I’ve very upset by the number of people seeking to score points with me by telling me they aren’t feminists, by badmouthing feminism, discarding it as a whole. Did you miss the part where I am still a strong, out spoken feminist? I criticize it because I want it to get better. I don’t think it’s bad. People, especially women, who go out of their way to explain how they aren’t feminists because feminism is bad, right after reading my comic about one problem in feminism. Sure, there are more than just that one problem. There’s more than one problem in anything good that you like anywhere. Stop proudly telling me how you aren’t a feminist. That makes me not like you.
There are a lot of problems with feminism, a lot of legitimate concerns and criticisms. On top of the policing that a lot of feminists engage in, as outlined in your comic, there’s a ton more even MORE problematic elements. The lack of intersectionality is a big one, often reducing feminism to straight, white feminism. You see that one all over tumblr and out in the real world. Then you have the extremely loud portion of feminism that erases trans issues, proclaiming “feminism is for real women!” and “trans women are agents of the patriarchy!” In short, there are a lot of issues with inclusion in feminism. There are times when feminism completely and utterly fails women.
If people feel alienated by that, is that really their fault? I certainly wouldn’t think anything less of a trans woman who’s hesitant to call herself a feminist. Do they really need to attach themselves to that label, that movement, and try to make it better from the inside? Or do the people who already identify as feminists need to become more inclusive and work to reclaim their image?
I understand that feminism isn’t a single viewpoint, and that there’s a lot of variation within it. Radical feminists are completely different than liberal feminists or womanists. But that’s not something everybody realizes, and it causes feminism as a whole to suffer for it. With that in mind, it’s not hard to see why people do discard feminism as a whole.
tl;dr there are a lot of issues within feminism to be addressed, and you can’t judge people who try to distance themselves from it.
…Of course, there are also a lot of people out there who hate feminism for completely invalid and inane reasons. But this isn’t about them. This is about people who look at feminism, see what it could be, and see what it isn’t.
Unfortunately, most of the feedback I’m getting right now comes down to “feminists are stupid and gross and meanies who think they’re better than men, and women can vote now so feminism is unnecessary.” And then they look at me like I’m going to pat them on the head and say “congratulations for seeing through this feminist ruse I’ve been playing!”