Teenage girls across the world are publicly rejecting feminism.
Now, excuse me one moment while I get inside my bomb shelter, but I can kind of see their point.
Yesterday, we reported on the most depressing site on the Internet. It’s a Tumblr called ‘Woman Against Feminism’, where girls – most of them barely out of puberty – share all the reasons they’re not feminists.
It’s galling stuff. Stuff that’s prompted pained howls from all corners of the f-word wielding Internet. But I know where it comes from.
Signs that say: “I don’t need feminism because the men in my life care about and respect me” make sense to me. They come from the same place as teenage blockbuster actress Shailene Woodley and popstar Katy Perry saying that they’re not feminists.
They come from the fact that feminism has a marketing problem.
If you were raised with an awareness of feminism, then it might be incomprehensible that people don’t get the basic “equal rights, safety and access regardless of gender” message of the movement.
Seeing people missing the basic point completely; missing the fact that “the men in my life care about and respect me” is feminism, probably makes you want to shout and throw things. It probably makes you want to shake your fists and scream “How could people still think this way?!”
So that’s what you do. You shout, and throw things and scream “How could people still think this way?” And the people who still think that way look at you and say: “ See, I told you they love to shout and throw things, those bitches are crazy.”
Imagine for a moment, that you’re Shailene Woodley. You’ve maybe heard the word feminism a couple of times before. You know enough to know it’s controversial, but you’ve never really looked into it. Then a journalist – possibly looking for a gotcha moment – asks you if you’re a feminist. You say no, because you’re not really sure what it means.
The next day you’re curious, so you Google feminism, and what you discover is 1500 feminist blogs calling you a fucking idiot for saying you’re not one of them.
The girls calling you a fucking idiot? They are not the girls you want to sit with at lunch. So that’s it, it’s cemented. You’re not a feminist.