The 4 Ways People Respond to Feminism

Sometime ago, a friend who has two daughters, one of who dreams of becoming an astronaut, was telling me about how she wants this and that for her daughters, like she would for her sons, and then shuddering, like she was shaking off some insects that had crawled on her, she said, “But I am not a feminist!”
And I replied, “That you certainly aren’t! You fall in the category of a ‘shameless feminist user’.”

If you don’t know yet, there are 4 ways to relate to Feminism.  And here they are:

FEMINIST:  This is not a gender.  It is an ideology. It includes women and men, who have fought and continue to fight to ensure that laws and social norms allow girls and women equal rights and access to all things, to life in general,  like boys and men have.

FEMINIST HATER: This is also not a gender.  It is an ideology.  It consists of men and enough women who don’t like the idea of men and women as equal beings with equal rights and opportunities in all fields.  They quite like the gender hierarchy with men on top, ruling, owning, dominating, inflicting violence, exploiting, killing women.  The men support this ideology because, obviously the system offers them a built in advantage.  The women who support it is because they have become unhealthily addicted to their low-life position, and somehow have their brains programed into thinking that this is reality and it is their job to defend and further it.  Hence this group obviously hates Feminists.

FEMINIST USER:   That is also not a gender.  These are men and women who either directly or indirectly (through their daughter, mother etc) use the rights that women and girls are already entitled to because feminists have fought for these rights.  They don’t hate or love feminists.  They may appreciate what Feminists have done, but don’t want to be a part of the battle to continue leveling the gender playing field.  So they find themselves a nice, cosy, comfortable corner from where they watch the battle, and mark out and use the rights that are easily available and usable.   “Feminist users” are important to society!  For it is only when rights are used, that they are strengthened.

SHAMELESS FEMINIST USER:  My friend however falls into this last category.  This again is not a gender but an ideology.  These are women and men who want all available rights and equal opportunities, for themselves directly or indirectly, i.e. for their daughters, wives, etc.  Like the Feminist Users they don’t like to be a part of the battle for these rights, they just use whatever is easily available.  However, where they differ is in that they shamelessly curse the very people who fought for the rights that they use, and that they hope will help their daughters’ lives in the future!

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13 Comments

  1. It’s misunderstanding of the term. People who react in this way to feminism do so because they believe that it is defined by the ‘negative’ associations that feminism has somehow picked up, no-matter how little feminism actually has to do with them. For example, men-hating.

    Reply
    • Rita Banerji

       /  August 18, 2012

      Hi Louise, I’ve heard that argument too. But if you look at other movements against violent discrimination against a group, take for e.g. the Civil Rights movement in the U.S. and the anti-apartheid movement in S. Africa, there are factions that hate the group that are oppressing them. The entire movement however is not about hatred, and black people in both countries understood that. My question to you is this: Despite white-hating groups, black across the board supported the anti-racist and civil rights movements. They understood that with this kind of oppression, there was bound to be some hatred. HOwever the movement was for their rights, and whatever rights they had was because of the civil rights movement. So Why isn’t it the same for how women view the feminist movement? I can understand why men would be wary of hate groups in the feminist movement just as whites may have been wary of hate groups in the civil rights movement. But blacks even if they didn’t agree with the hate groups in the civil rights movement still supported the civil rights movement. Why isn’t it the same for women and the feminist movement?

      Reply
      • Ramgopal

         /  September 17, 2014

        Louise gave the right answer already. But I will redress it like this: Civil rights movement wasn’t called Blackism. Why is that the movement for equal rights for men and women/gender neutral rights/human rights is being hijacked by ‘feminism’? The word itself is about division.

      • It is called the black civil rights movement. And it was about the oppression of blacks by whites. Feminism is about patriarchal oppression of women. I think you also misunderstood the above comment. Read it again.

  2. I have to fall into a fifth group. The effect of birth control is that women can live like men. But if women living as men, so there is no place for children. But what kind of society can live without children?! It is therefore necessary to pay women in order to make children. Since it is not possible for men and childless women to pay wages to the mothers, then they must pay in another way. That they can afford to mothers (which does not cost money), is status and social interaction. The society in which mothers have high status and live close together is a matriarchy. Ergo: Matriarchy is the only possible form of society that can survive in the future.

    Reply
    • Samantha Vimes

       /  September 2, 2012

      And what are these mothers supposed to do with power but no money– I know! Tax the men and childless women so they can feed their children.
      I like democracy myself, so why don’t we ALL share power, like we are supposed to, and then we could tax ourselves enough to pay those mothers a wage for there work. There are countries that do just that.
      Or we could recognize that 7 BILLION people is a lot of people, and recognize that it really wouldn’t hurt to move to a zero population growth model, with birth levels even slightly below replacement and a generous immigration policy to keep the population stable while relieving the burden of overpopulated countries like India.

      Reply
      • Rita Banerji

         /  September 7, 2012

        No this woman friend I’m talking to with two daughters is upper-middle class, highly educated, and financially able. In fact that is the group that is most resistant to the word feminism, that is least involved, that never raises its voice about women’s and girls rights in the homes, in the public places or in politics. But wherever these rights are available, easily, they use it — and turn around and curse the feminists! That’s not gratitude nor common sense!

      • India is overpopulated country because women are generally suppressed, and are forced to bear children as a livelihood. A generous immigration policy can move the kan move oppression of women from India to a country where women are not oppressed. And the Indian immigrants may then take over the country and populate it or the Indian women will be free and stop by making children.
        If such developments continue as it does today, then all Indian women one day buy a training program and get an education and become free men and free of their family. And after some years missing hands every time there is one who dies. The old falling on the street is rich, but there are no people who can take care of them. The free Indian women will kill the society, because the society does not respect the mothers.

  3. “That’s not gratitude nor common sense!”

    It is what is called culture. The worst woman oppressors are other women. Men can only beat up women or lock them in or out. But women can amputate independence in other women’s soul.

    Reply
  4. Vandana

     /  January 1, 2013

    Very clear thoughts, Rita. I suddenly could classify everyone I know :). Happy I could read your thoughts.
    Peter Ove Kvint, I quote you: “all Indian women one day buy a training program and get an education and become free men and free of their family.”
    How can Indian women ever become free men? The problem lies with our very language. It reflects our psyche. That is universal. It is not an Indian thing. The shift in the culture has started and is proceeding in most countries, some more than the others. No country has yet claimed that 100% mark. Having said that, I totally agree with you that the biggest threat to women is other women. So very true. Those were the very same words of my father.

    Reply
    • How can women get the same height as men?! The answer is that women are naturally different from men. That it is women who bear culture because they are more social than men.
      Some cultures are 100% built around women’s nature. These cultures can be easily identified by the women wear large jewellery. Conformity is an expression of power in a female culture.

      Reply
  5. Tom

     /  January 18, 2014

    Maybe I am misunderstanding something here but I guess Feminism is not about Women beeing free of men or beeing free of houshold duties as well as children. So the underlying argument, as far as I understand Peter, is: the men cannot do it so if the women don’t do it then soceity will fall apart. While its true that men cannot have children without women (despite what Mahabharata says about Drona 😉 ) that does not mean that the same is true for household and upbringing. Its not a law that women have to do the household and take care of the children. In my family for example my father most all of the household things and it was not until my twens that I realized that this is not the “normal” procedure. My parents both work fulltime, we never had any household help, my brother and myself went to Kindergarten early, infact sometimes I had to baysit my two year old brother when I was four and do our part to clean and shop for groceries when we were six years. Admitedly not everything went smothely but it went well. And despite these household scores having the notion of beeing whimsy and “unmanly” tasks, early independence makes you bold and daring. So bottomline the limitations are mainly in the heads of people. As long as women see that freedom only means either kids or career it will lead to lower birth rates it really needs the guys to change, too.

    Reply
  6. Reblogged this on the wrong bathroom.

    Reply

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