LOS ANGELES, August 11, 2014 — Women Against Feminism (WAF) is a burgeoning movement which gained international attention through a mocking Buzzfeed article in July. The WAF Tumblr blog site allows women and girls to submit written statements on why they do not need feminism.
Many of the posters choose to use a selfie image with their statement, but others simply post a photo of the statement. WAF also has a Facebook page, and with the free publicity, the promotion of the #WomenAgainstFeminism hashtag, and additional articles that capitalized on the Buzzfeed mockery, both social media platforms have seen a marked increase in subscribers.
If nothing else, this is a testament to that fact that more women than we think wish to distance themselves from modern-day, third-wave feminism.
It should come as no big surprise that WAF has come under attack from the very feminist they eschew. While Cathy Young of Time magazine makes an effort to see WAF’s point of view, for the most part many of the articles are hostile, assuming the page is anti-progress and anti-woman.
Mariella Mosthof of Styleite asks, Why Is No One Talking About How ‘Women Against Feminism’ Are Mostly White and Straight?, as though being either “White” or “Straight” disqualifies you from judging feminism; particularly since both the second- and third-wave movements are primarily white and upper-middle class.
Mosthof gets appropriately trashed in the comments section of the article: “Real women standing up against feminism. Awesome stuff,” one commenter cheers. “As usual, the feminist response is priceless.
“In fact, their response is one of the reasons that WAF exists in the first place.”
Match point for that person. Who needs patriarchal men? In its rush to tear down any detractors, it seems the feminist movement is destroying itself.
Another commenter slams Mosthof for her own bigoted stance:
“Stop it with the silly race card already. Just admit you are intimidated by the Women Against Feminism movement and as such the only argument you can construct is one involving ad hominem attacks regarding the color of their skin. […] so thanks for making yourself look like a total bigot.”
What I find distinctive about WAF — as opposed to the modern feminist movement — is the variety of women from all races, age groups, and walks of life. White, black, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, stay-at-home moms, sex workers, scientists, executives, lesbians, transgendered, straight, and bisexual have proudly posted statements and commented on the Facebook page.
Some of the women are pro-life, others pro-choice; some are liberal, others conservative; many are Americans, but many are from other countries and continents. So despite Mosthof’s assertion that they are mostly white and straight, the photos and statements tell a different tale.
Looking beyond the 140 character tweets and the selfies, this writer dug deeper into the Facebook Notes. The Notes allow the women who want to say more to go into greater detail.
Those who really do not want their image shown can express their point of view while maintaining some degree of anonymity. The common threads among the selfie images and the Notes posts shows why this movement has gained so much steam, and will not be going away any time soon.
WAF do not need feminism because they are NOT victims.
Daisy writes in the Notes, “I don’t need feminism because I do not see myself as a ‘victim’ who needs to be protected from men.” Different forms of that sentiment are part of the selfie images as well.
This victim mentality in the feminist movement is most evident through the whole “rape apologist” and “rape culture” talk and advocacy. The latest video flooding my Facebook newsfeed is yet another Buzzfeed offering: “What Men Are Really Saying When Catcalling Women”.
“Catcalling” used to be akin to an annoying form of flirting. Now feminists are placing it in the same category as an actual rape.
When Nia Sanchez, the current Miss Nevada was asked a question about colleges and sexual assault, Miss Sanchez, who is a fourth-degree black belt, dared to suggest that women could counter physical attacks and sexual assault by learning to defend themselves from a young age.
Feminists were apoplectic, blowing up Twitter, calling Miss Sanchez a rape apologist, and claiming she was enabling rape culture.
This type of hyperbole is not only demeaning to actual rape survivors (some of the WAF women have stated as much), but it paints all men as predators. When Miss Sanchez dared to say that women need not be victims but should be able to feel confident in defending themselves, she was attacked by the women who supposedly advocate empowerment.