Editor’s Note: This is part four in a fascinating ongoing series exploring feminism’s transformations and its impact on culture, history, politics, and relationships. Be sure and check out the first three installments in Amelia’s series. Part 1: The Relevant and the Ridiculous: A Guide Through Feminist History, Part 2: How 8 Songs from the ’90s Define Third-Wave Feminism, and Part 3: 5 First-Wave Feminists Who Made a Real Difference.
Once a label for women who were fighting real battles, “feminist” is now for men and women who are easily offended and looking for a reason. Here are a few times that feminists proved themselves to be obsolete, while simultaneously making sane women look bad.
1. F-Bombs for Feminism
Want to see little girls curse like sailors for no apparent reason? You’re in luck!
Really, feminists? You need to use children as props to score cheap points? There are so many things wrong with this video that I hardly know where to start. The obvious starting point is the language. I’m not just offended that little girls are swearing in this video, I’m offended that they have used children at all and I’m offended that they’re putting swear words into their mouths. None of these kids fully understand the issues for which they’re being used (which are ostensibly inequality of pay and sexual violence), they’re just adorable puppets being used by the adults (in age, at least, though not maturity) in their lives.
One of my main problems with the video, aside from the use of children, is that it’s worthless. Sure, they have garnered attention through shock value, but does anyone remember anything but the swearing? Not really. The message has been overpowered by the medium.
The video asks viewers to chip in $15 to buy a pro-feminism t-shirt, one-third of which actually goes to “kick-ass charities.” One third? I think that says it all. Good job, crazy people!
Watch a woman get catcalled on the streets of New York, and question your definition of “catcall.”
2. The Ubiquitous Catcalling Video
Modern feminists really like to be offended. I would say it is one of their top ten hobbies, along with protesting and not shaving. Sometimes, however, life just isn’t offensive enough. What’s a feminist to do? Go looking for it.
Take the ubiquitous cat-calling video for example. This woman walked around New York for 10 hours to expose what it’s like to walk around NYC as a woman. To be fair, she did meet some creepy guys. That guy who walked with her for 5 minutes, for example, would have given me the major creeps, too. The guys who said “good morning,” or “have a nice day,” though, probably shouldn’t have been included in the final video. Why are those things offensive?
Hint: They aren’t. These “filmmakers” were scraping the bottom of the barrel to prove a point.
3. Gloria Steinem’s T-Shirt Hypocrisy
This is truly liberal logic at its finest. You might be more familiar with it as hypocrisy. Gloria Steinem is one of America’s most (in)famous contemporary feminists, something to which other feminists aspire. She speaks openly in favor of disarming the American people because she cares that deeply about America’s children. The problem is that she gloats about not protecting her own child when it was defenseless in the womb. This kind of selective outrage and moral inconsitency is typical of today’s feminist logic.
Let’s empower girls by banning vaguely offensive words!
4. Ban Bossy
I get it. We want young girls to know that they can grow up to be the boss, to empower them to dream big. What we shouldn’t want is to start banning words and act as they though can squash a little spirit. We all know that the old adage of “sticks and stones” isn’t exactly true, but “bossy” isn’t about being a leader, it’s about being a mouthy kid. All kids, girls and boys, can be successful leaders without being jerks. Let’s focus on that, and not on giving words undue power.
Did Laura Petrie really have it that bad? Spoiler: No.
5. Anti-Domestic Diatribes
OK, I know real life isn’t the The Dick Van Dyke Show (although it should be), but getting married, having kids, and taking care of your family are good things. Just don’t tell Amy Glass or Amanda Marcotte.
A while back, a little-known writer named Amy Glass wrote a piece titled, I kid you not, “I Look Down on Young Women with Husbands and Kids and I’m Not Sorry.” It was picked up by several outlets and quickly went viral. Because it’s insane. She starts out by saying that, in essence, feminism is about making certain choices, not living one’s own dream. “Every time I hear someone say that feminism is about validating every choice a woman makes,” she says, “I have to fight back vomit.” She goes on to say “Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself?” You see, according to Glass, taking care of a family is the easiest thing in the world. “If women can do anything, why are we still content with applauding them for doing nothing?”
Amanda Marcotte, on the other hand, thinks making dinner for her family is so difficult as to be downright oppressive. Seriously. Is it a pain for working women to make a gourmet meal every night? Sure, but her article seems to highlight the fact that husbands and kids are ungrateful more than anything else. That’s a problem with the husbands and kids she knows, not with dinner. Dinner isn’t oppressive, Amanda, and cooking doesn’t victimize women.
Many women want these things. Too bad feminism only supports pre-approved life choices.
Come on, ladies. Stop embarrassing yourselves and, more importantly, please stop embarrassing the rest of us.
In summary: sssssh.