The Mutilation of Feminism | Teen Ink

The Mutilation of Feminism

April 30, 2010
By theblazingstar101 GOLD, Foley, Alabama
theblazingstar101 GOLD, Foley, Alabama
10 articles 1 photo 21 comments

Most Americans that have not been hiding under a rock for the past century or so, have no doubt heard of feminists and the feminist movement. But what exactly is a feminist? A feminist is defined most commonly as one who believes that both sexes should be equal. That is all. However, feminism has been mutilated and thrown around until the original goal of feminists has been warped into something horrendous and barely recognizable. Being a feminist has become synonymous with being a whiny jerk. So how did feminism obtain such a poor reputation, and what does it mean today?

One of the reasons for the bad reputation of feminism is due to a number of anti-feminists. The famous televangelist Pat Robertson in 1992 wrote that, “It [feminism] is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.” Also speaking against women having equal rights is Peter Thiel (the CEO of PayPal) and even Sigmund Freud cautioned against women wishing equal rights. Now, surely, most people realize that women do not wish to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians, but some people do not. Also, while Sigmund Freud was a very intelligent man, he was not always correct.

However, another reason for feminism’s poor reputation is because of feminists themselves. Some feminists target other women, calling them anti-feminist when the women in question may or may not be. Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series, has recently been a target. While this writer has her own opinions on the series and its shortcomings, she also does not believe Miss Meyer is an anti-feminist. Other women have also been accused such as the author Marion Zimmer Bradley.

Firstly, Stephenie Meyer has been criticized for her weak female characters, her ‘soccer mom’ status, and her motherly image; this all makes her an anti-feminist. While this writer will confess her dislike for Miss Meyer, she is not an anti-feminist. The character of Bella Swann may be weak in Meyer’s works, but this does not appear to be a conscious anti-feminist effort and more as Bella being poorly characterized. It should also be noted that some male characters, such as Edward Cullen, might also be viewed as shallow and even stereotypical. Also, there is no philosophy in feminism that says a woman cannot be a soccer mom or housewife if she wishes. In its purest definition, feminism is a choice, not an obligation. If a woman wishes to become a housewife or soccer mom, she should be able to without fear of criticism. Sadly, this fact has been overlooked by feminists for decades.

As an example, Betty Friedman, a leader of the feminist movement, was well known for her criticism of housewives and weak-willed women. Frank O’Connor once remarked that, “No man is as anti-feminist as a really feminine woman.” Mister O’Connor seems to be stating that feminine, elegant, and traditional women are all anti-feminists, and that is just not true.

A final cause for the distortion of the meaning of feminism is the attitudes from feminists, who claim men have no right to be feminists. This makes little sense. Many men see women as their equals and believe they should be equal under the law. Is it not a warped form of anti-feminism to tell men that they have no right to believe that both genders should have equal rights? There is no gender requirement for being a feminist.

In conclusion, feminism is a surprisingly common belief, and through the actions of feminists and anti-feminists, it has turned into something barely recognizable. Thus, my friends, man and woman, boy and girl, I encourage you to decide for yourselves which stance you take. Feminism should not be something to be ashamed of or something just for women. Only when everyone realizes that men and women are equal will the Battle of the Sexes finally end.

Similar Articles


This article has 11 comments.

Shelly-T GOLD said...
on Jul. 29 2010 at 11:07 am
Shelly-T GOLD, Romeoville, Illinois
13 articles 0 photos 71 comments
I really liked this article, thanks for the encouragement! 

jdeluca GOLD said...
on Jun. 4 2010 at 1:05 am
jdeluca GOLD, Bedford, New York
11 articles 0 photos 7 comments

This article was very well written and really proves a point but for some reason it really made me angry (im a guy). I want equality between a woman and a man but in my school women are treated much better than men. In divorce cases most of the time the woman wins is a so called myth but i did some research and

gave a lot of information out although i could not find percentages women usually do win the custody cases unless they are proven unfit (drugs alcohaul etc) this is also an issue with colleges and schools. People try so hard to be equal that they are in fact being unequal if you are applying to a school and you are caucasian and you have the same grades and same activities as an asian or an african american or another minority that school is most likely going to choose the minority because they need to show race percentages in order to make it look as if they are not racist... i beg to differ... 


on May. 25 2010 at 2:04 pm
whispersofthenight GOLD, Tallahassee, Florida
10 articles 2 photos 35 comments

Favorite Quote:
I am an artist; I paint with words.

Great article! I hate sexism, there's tons of it here

on May. 13 2010 at 9:05 pm
theblazingstar101 GOLD, Foley, Alabama
10 articles 1 photo 21 comments

Firstly, thanks, and to be quite honest, I despise Twilight. It's nice to meet another person who doesn't, too. Every time I mention I don't like Meyer's work, I feel like I'm at an AA meeting talking about my alcoholism or something.

As for your comment on her work, I agree completely. I was actually surprised when I learned people were calling her anti-feminist. She actually responded to the claim on her web site, in fact. And while I hated to admit it (because I also think Meyer is very, very arrogant), I had to admit that she defended herself rather well, and clearly, she isn't an anti-feminist.

Another interesting thing. I actually didn't realize there was an anti-feminist movement either until I started researching for some quotes to use.

on May. 13 2010 at 9:01 pm
theblazingstar101 GOLD, Foley, Alabama
10 articles 1 photo 21 comments
Ah, yes. I've known a few 'feminists' like that. What particularly annoys me is the women that are so horribly offended when a man holds the door open for them or calls them ma'am. What bothers me about the situation is that it's just being chivalrous and polite. Heck, I hold open doors for people, too, and I address men as 'Sir' and women as 'Ma'am'. That's just the way I was raised. A friend of mine, though, chewed this guy out because he was 'oppressing' her by opening a door for her. It's really quite ridiculous, and what's crazier is that it prevents actual feminists from making progress. But, still, I guess at least there still are true feminists out there.

on May. 13 2010 at 8:57 pm
theblazingstar101 GOLD, Foley, Alabama
10 articles 1 photo 21 comments
I'm glad to have helped. ;)

on May. 13 2010 at 8:57 pm
theblazingstar101 GOLD, Foley, Alabama
10 articles 1 photo 21 comments
Thank you; you're too kind. :)

on May. 13 2010 at 8:17 pm
Annabelinda-Tsuki, Chubbuck, Idaho
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
Are you telling me I can dodge bullets? --Neo from "The Matrix"

Wow, that's quite an amazing little article. And I didn't know those things about anti-feminism. That really is interesting. Granted, I can't say I liked Twilight (the plot was just a little too ridicules for me), but I agree with you. I wouldn't call Stephenie Meyer anti-feminism, just a poor writer when it comes to characters. Very interesting. Thanks so much for writing the article!

on May. 12 2010 at 10:53 am
toxic.monkey SILVER, Tashkent, Other
6 articles 0 photos 210 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Homo homini lupus"

I agree with you entirely!! I have a few friends who are "feminists" but really they seem to think that women are better than men... Still sexist. Good article!

Tomboy GOLD said...
on May. 12 2010 at 10:17 am
Tomboy GOLD, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
13 articles 0 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The human heart had hidden treasures; in secret kept; in silence sealed; the thoughts; the hopes; the dreams; the pleasures; whose charms were broken if revealed" - Charlotte Bronte

im a total feminist and this helped me understand more of what that means.  thanx

MikkiLee said...
on May. 10 2010 at 6:23 pm
MikkiLee, Seattle, Washington
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I loved your article- keep up the good work.