I love women’s rights but am no feminist

So I recently saw a Facebook image proclaiming that to support women’s rights but not feminism because it’s too extreme of a word” is a no brainer, or words to a similar effect.

There is a growing number of women and girls coming forward publically to admit they are not feminists and many have posters with explanations as to why. The “why I’m not a feminist” type of campaign has made its way round the internet and blogosphere in recent years.

As an ex-feminist myself (of 1 year and 3 months) I have some points as to why the number of ex-feminists and non feminists appears to be growing and to why there are many who will put their hand’s up for women’s rights but won’t be present in the room when feminism is bought up.

The growing need to believe everything they believe This is true increasingly both on the internet and at real life events. While having a new cause or newer viewpoint on something is great, to go out and ostracize anyone who even slightly deviates from that view can turn a lot of people off.

Some may legitimately appreciate its beginning such as the right to vote and the right for a woman to own property but not be too keen on the modern-day variety of feminism or even believe there is a necessity for the feminist cause in the 21st century.

Some have no activist bone in their body While not all feminists are big activists or activists at all the image most seen by the public at large of feminism is a large activist presence.

The feeling that some aspects of Womanity are not as celebrated by the feminist cause. Sure from an equality point of view its great women can choose to have a career and do “anything a man could”. There however is a growing sentiment among non feminists that some aspects of being female are not as celebrated (or not celebrated at all) by the movement. Such things as wearing makeup to becoming a mother.

The extreme types that can put people off completely. There are groups who pull shocking stunts in the name of feminism and post the videos all over the internet.While these sorts don’t represent the entire movement they serve to put off some who might have considered it.

They can overplay the victim status Sure many bad things and injustices can and do happen every day, I am not suggesting otherwise. But the feminist cause can and does overplay this to some extent, usually to justify its own existence. Blaming everything on “the patriarchy” might not actually solve all your problems but it may drum up further support within the movement.

The shaming of women and girls who have a non feminist identity So I get the movement seeks to gain new followers or keep who it has, sure all movements do from veganism to anti-fracking. But one of the dirty little secrets of the feminist movement is some shame, ridicule and infantilise women and girls who openly and proudly display a non feminist type identity. Trying to claim were un-educated or secretly internally misogynistic is one way of putting people off.

I hold a number of identities of my own but feminist is not one of them, nor is its sister identity labels of “social justice warrior” or “progressive”.

Samantha Eaton

La Reina Razonable

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