No To Femism!

By Cybele Knowles

Writer and comedian Rebecca Shaw started Twitter account Woman Against Feminism as a creative response to Women Against Feminism, a women’s movement that rejects feminism due to a set of fear-based and oppressor-internalized assumptions and beliefs. Woman Against Feminism parodies these assumptions and beliefs, always misspelling the word “feminism,” e.g.:

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The speaker of Woman Against Feminism assumes that feminists dislike domesticity and family life:

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The tweets also parodically assert strong beliefs about what makes a man a “real man” — all of which reveal the arbitrariness and narrowness of the traditional definition of masculinity.

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The glossy-banged speaker of Woman Against Feminism ventriloquizes sexist beliefs widely held by men as well as by Women Against Feminism women, e.g., that women aren’t funny:

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Many tweets parody the belief that the full responsibility for protecting herself from assault and harassment falls to the woman — and that she will only become a victim if she chooses to become one, because, of course, it’s entirely up to her.

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As you can see, the parody of Woman Against Feminism takes place in the land of extreme absurdity, which offers fertile terrain for social commentary. For me, the combination of the absurd and the re-visiting/re-presentation of persistent sexist beliefs has a powerful cumulative effect. I’ve considered myself a feminist since encountering Free to Be You and Me as a kid in the 1970s, but reading the absurd parody of Woman Against Feminism over the past year has brought the causes and effects of sexism into sharper focus for me while making me laugh.

Rebecca points out through Woman Against Feminism that the main driver of sexism and all forms of inequity is fear. Fear of the downpressed, and of giving them back their agency and space. It’s harder to detect the fear than the hate, but Rebecca, shining her sharp light on it, helps us see it:

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Scary4Woman Against Feminism makes me laugh and helps me resist. So I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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