Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"Bad Feminism"


I recently received a rather long comment on a piece....a woman was agreeing with a man who disagreed with me (follow that?) Her comment ended in: "Good feminism is striving for equality while bad feminism is striving for a matriarchy."

After I rested my eyes from pulling a muscle with an epic roll, I couldn't help but think how unnecessary these types of statements are. Like seriously...what's the point? Who are these mythical straw feminists? What's your end game in making these comments? Why are we perpetuating a lie that some feminists strive toward a male oppressing society? How does saying something like this help feminism?

When we talk about these things and tout ourselves as "good feminists" distinct from the "bad" ones, we give credibility to the absurd claims of anti-feminists and MRAs. Is that what we really want to do?

Don't give this crap the time of day. Don't legitimize it with a reaction or a response. If you want to talk about "bad" feminists, how about you talk about the racist or transphobic ones?

Please see the commenting policy before replying to this post.


  1. This whole "good feminist" / "bad feminist" concept has me puzzled. I have been calling myself a feminist (man) for years, but recently I've become unsure I should continue to use the term. Rush Limbaugh and his ilk have turned the public understanding of feminism -- never very clear to begin with -- on its head. So now what am I saying?

    On the other hand, given the right-wing definition, it should be impossible for a man to be a feminist at all, since by that definition I would have to be anti-myself, so maybe my self-appellation helps prove the right-wing definition wrong.

    Comments? Opinions as to whether I should call myself a feminist?

    1. I think you might find this interesting:
      It's a TED talk from Jackson Katz. At about 8:45, he addresses the right-wing's "definition" of feminism and explains what that's really about.

      And for me personally, yes, it is possible for a man to be a feminist. While there is no unified definition of what a feminist is, to me it's anyone who acknowledges that there are inequalities in privilege and oppression among the genders and seeks to end those inequalities.

  2. I get so tired of eye rolling on Twitter, as various women snipe about other feminists being 'bad feminists'. Short of Julie Bindel and her transphobic ilk, I'm very much of the opinion that feminism is a case of 'the more the merrier' (which for me also addresses Ralph's question about whether a man can be a feminist). We don't always have to agree about certain issues, but that doesn't make any of us bad or good feminists, it makes us human.


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