When feminism was a thing a few years back, it was awesome. Women were fighting for equal rights, pay, and job opportunities.
They raised awareness on gender inequality in other countries, and how they were undermined despite their skills.
It was truly an empowering and proud moment, seeing women standing up for themselves.
Fast forward to this day – I feel ashamed to tell others that I’m a feminist.
It’s because of all the negative associations with this term. Somehow, it feels like the cause has been derailed, and it’s no longer about what it was when it started.
I support feminism when it’s true to the cause.
I support feminism when I see men degrading women and treating them as being less.
I absolutely hate the idea that women should be confined to home duties and doing nothing more, while men work to earn a living.
The idea that women are only good for staying home, giving birth to keep the family lineage going.
We are NOT baby factories.
I support feminism when I see women being denied the right to drive, or judged as sluts for what they wear, yet labelled as a prude when they’re fully covered.
I support feminism when it counts – when it is truly about gender inequality.
I do NOT support extremist feminism, or what I would call toxic feminism.
Naturally, I have a few friends who are feminists as well. But just like some vegans, they take feminism to the extreme.
By this, I mean everything that goes wrong in their life is because of sexism and gender inequality.
It’s never their own fault.
When they get stopped by the police while the driver in front of them wasn’t – sexism.
Their first question isn’t towards their own behaviour, but other people’s.
“Is it because I’m a girl?”
They read about men being distasteful – catcalling, slut-shaming, etc – sexism.
“All men are disgusting.”
(God forbid the men ever reply with a “Not all men.”)
I mean, I hate catcalling and slut-shaming too, and these acts are disgusting – but generalising all men just isn’t right.
When some men point out, “All women are only after money”, these are the same girls who respond with “Not all women” and scream sexism in their faces.
They see a classic movie remake with men starring as main characters (just as it used to be) – sexism.
“Where are the ladies? Where are the people of colour? Where are the LGBTQ+ representation?”
No longer can we enjoy a movie just as it is. Every movie must include a main female lead of colour and preferably be bisexual or something. Maybe even physically disabled.
Or else the movie is ‘against women, feminism, and the LGBTQ+ community.’
They dress inappropriately for a formal occasion, and when confronted, they go on and on about how feminism is all about wearing whatever they want, whenever they want.
Because it’s ‘empowering’ for women.
I, a female who also wants to support feminism, am wrong for telling them that what they wear is not suitable for said formal occasion.
Imagine wearing a tank top to a formal event and using feminism as an excuse!
Toxic feminism is NOT empowering. It’s just as disgusting as toxic masculinity.
Stop picking at things that don’t matter.
Imagine a feminist arguing about how firemen should be called a ‘fireperson’ or ‘firewoman’ instead of talking about the gender-related pay gap, women who aren’t allowed to drive in certain countries, or tampons being a ‘luxury’ product.
These feminists are out there, waging wars on silly things.
You can talk to these extreme feminists about any topic – and they’ll find a way to link it back to feminism and how all men are pigs.
They then end the discussion with, “This is why we need feminism”.
In fact, this article itself might be shared with that sentence as the caption as well.
Tell me these toxic feminists aren’t annoying.
No, you toxic feminists are NOT empowering other women or battling for equal rights.
You’re just creating drama for the sake of it. You’re drawing attention to yourselves, making other women disgusted with your behaviour and straying far away from feminism.
You’re making us ashamed to call ourselves feminists.
Not all feminists, yada yada yada.
Feminism, as it was in the beginning, was awesome.
I’m all for equal rights and opportunities. Yet these feminist extremists are looking at all the wrong things.
Issues that don’t matter, especially when there are bigger things to worry about.
It’s a shame that some of my feminist acquaintances – I’d be ashamed to call them my friends – make feminists look bad. They turn any issue into one that degrades men, rather than about gender-equality.
They’ve learnt to use feminism as a shield and can no longer look at themselves objectively. Nothing they do is ever their fault.
It’s strange but this is how I feel. I would have been more of a feminist if not for these so-called ‘feminists’ themselves.
For more articles on toxic behaviour, read I Used to Spread Toxic Masculinity. Here’s What I Did, and Positive Female Interaction Ended My Relationship.