Portfolio of Hope

Last week, I received a comment on a post I wrote about how, I believe, eating disorders are fuelled by the patriarchal society within which we live (post linked here).

The comment, by another woman, was basically saying that I was wrong- that patriarchy cannot be blamed for eating disorders- which is fair enough, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. In fact, I don’t want everyone to agree with me, the world would be quite boring if everyone had the same opinion, debates are fun! But, what baffled me was, upon clicking on the profile of the woman who left the comment, I came across her blog- a self-described ‘Anti-Feminist’ and someone who supports ‘Pro-Patriarchy.’ And, the whole thing just baffled me. I just couldn’t/can’t get my head around how can a woman be anti-feminist and pro-patriarchy, when a feminist is simply someone who believes in gender equality… The exact definition: ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.’ EQUALITY OF THE SEXES. Feminism isn’t about women ‘taking over the world’, it’s simply about women having the same rights as men. And so again, I am left questioning, why doesn’t this woman support equal rights? Does she not value her life or the lives of other women? Does she not want women to be seen as equal?

‘We’re in a moment of antifeminist backlash, and, increasingly, that backlash seems aimed at silencing women, or punishing the women who won’t shut up.’- The Guardian.

Having decided to look into this more, I was shocked, and saddened, to see that she is not isolated in her views, and so I am going to be dedicating today’s post to exploring the concept of ‘anti-feminism’ and ‘pro-patriarchy’ in women, deeper…

The results of a study conducted by Kings College London in honor of International Women’s Day (2023) highlights how there is a growing resistance to gender equality in Britain today. 38% of people interviewed say they now agree that when it comes to giving women equal rights with men, things have gone far enough…

Some anti-feminists argue that feminism has no place in society anymore, since sexism no longer exists. Whilst yes, it’s true that women are so much better off today than they were, say, 50 years ago, there is still much to be done. It’s great that we can vote, that we are, at least in the Western world, on equal footing with men in terms of education and jobs, but, it doesn’t take much to see that there is still a hell of a lot of progress to be made…

When we are are labelled as ‘bossy’ for voicing our opinions.

When we are are beeped at in the street/catcalled by men- strangers- passing in cars, our bodies objectified as nothing more than sexual objects to be ogled at.

When we are ‘given away’ on our wedding day, a supposedly ‘wholesome’ act, passed from father to partner, suggesting that we are our fathers to give away/that we- us women- are ‘owned’ by men (ick).

Men don’t face any of these things, but, for women, it is something which they (we) experience all the time…

The high percentage of people believing that ‘things have gone far enough’ might also be due to some women feeling threatened by Feminism, and their misinformed views of what it represents… For example, women may enjoy being in charge of the household and children, and they may feel that feminists are trying to take that power away from them. This couldn’t be further from the truth, though, for the reality is that Feminism is all about giving women choice… And so, if a woman is genuinely happy being the ‘homemaker’, then they should keep doing that! No one is telling women to stop, they’re just reminding them that; they have a choice in what they do/don’t do, and this extends to everything

It’s easy to get into the trap of thinking that, in order to not be seen as ‘hypocritical’/in order to not be seen as ‘performing for the male gaze’, women should reject all aspects of traditional femininity, this belief being upheld by the idea that a feminist shouldn’t be ‘too feminine’ or ‘too girly.’ Whilst it’s true that some feminists do argue against women wearing makeup and spending money on clothes, the idea that all feminists are bra-burning, pink-hating protestors, is certainly not true. My stance on it though is that the whole point of feminism is to empower women. Telling women not to wear makeup or shave their legs or be interested in fashion or men is just as bad as telling them that they need to wear makeup and wear nice clothes for men, in my opinion. We all deserve to have the choice to decide for ourselves what we want to do with our lives. For the person wearing the makeup and spending the money on the clothes, the onus is on them to question whether they are doing these things because they get genuine enjoyment out of doing them, or whether they are doing them for male validation. Feminism at its core is about freedom- the freedom to choose, and that extends across all areas of ones life. If we cannot choose freely how to behave, speak, act and present ourselves, then we’re moving backwards…

Referring back to the survey highlighted above, another slightly disturbing statistic is that… 43% of people interviewed believe that ‘we have gone too far in promoting women’s equality to the extent that we are now actually discriminating against men’…

‘I don’t need feminism because I believe in equality, not entitlements and supremacy.’

The thing is though, feminism isn’t about ‘entitlements and supremacy.’ The idea of all Feminists being ‘man-haters’ is a myth, nothing more than an outdated stereotype. Feminists don’t ‘hate men’ (well, not all of them, anyway)… They hate toxic masculinity. They hate sexism. They hate misogyny… They hate Patriarchy (the existence of a societal structure of male supremacy that operates at the expense of women). They don’t hate ‘men.’

A concluding point: To the people who say that patriarchy doesn’t exist, who believe it to be nothing more than a hysterical war cry of extremist feminists determined to hunt down men who are guilty of ‘nothing more than past behaviours once considered perfectly acceptable’, I say ‘open your eyes.’ Gender inequality, which is what feminists are fighting against, is a condition of patriarchy. It is therefore patriarchy that needs to be abolished- the root of the issue- so that we can all live our lives in true freedom.

2 responses to “Why Are Some Women Anti-Feminist/Pro-Patriarchy?”

  1. Most confusing thing I remember hearing when I was young was “don’t throw/run like a girl”. Why is it that “like a girl” is used for doing athletic things in a sloppy manner? I’m less concerned about overt sexism than about all the little ways that women are put down.

  2. Yes! I was in an athletics club and at 15 my coach used to tease the boys for running ‘like girls’, which was ironic when some of the girls they were supposedly running like we’re faster than them! It’s definitely the little ways that women are put down that prevail, despite the greater equality we have in other areas of life. I think it’s so engrained though that some men don’t even realise what they’re saying.

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