Internet Feminism

If you are active on Twitter, you have probably come across her, the “internet feminist”. She would most probably have an avatar with a beautiful head of natural hair, complimented by a Maya Angelou quote on her bio, with a side of use of unnecessarily complicated and big English words and a main of no-nonsense “my way or the highway” style of tweeting. Now this blog post is not going to be a barrage of insults towards what I call “internet feminists”,its just going to be my point of view about how they push they movement and how, in my opinion which I think i share with most people, they should be going about in pushing the movement.

My first encounter with an “internet feminist” was a couple of years ago,after I had called her a “female” and she cursed me out and blocked me (she still has me blocked by the way). Obviously, as a teenager,uninformed, overconfident internet troll ,I did not see a problem with what I had said and I just assumed she was just being an oversensitive bitch. It was only after I learned myself that I realized it was actually quite demeaning to refer to a women as “you females”,inthat you are actually not taking into consideration her human dignity and are just classing her as a female animal. Now I did not learn this from my “internet feminist” foe, or anything about feminism from her for that matter, and that is the problem I have with most internet feminists, the way they convey (or fail to) the message about their cause, which is a wonderful cause I must add.

The internet, unfortunately, is a very vile place, crawling with ignorant, egocentric, humans. So if you are going to try to push a cause,like feminism, a “my way or the highway” strategy will definitely not work. People, not just internet trolls, hate being told that their wrong because its human nature. However, when you show and explain to them how and why they are wrong, instead of just barking orders in their direction, they tend to be much more receptive and accommodating which would mean that the probability of the message you are trying to convey being heeded would be much more.

Now I have asked some internet feminists why they resort to blocking and cursing out people who have a different view from their own (FUN FACT:one of them actually blocked me for asking this question) and the response I got was that it’s not their job to teach people feminism.uhhm,what?So you just want to tell people they are wrong and not tell them why?As much as we would hate to admit it,misogyny and many other forms of female oppression have been normalized in our societies. This means that to most people, especially ignorant people, who make up most of the internet,the barrage of misogyny they spew every time is ok. Trying to get people to change this mindset with a patronizing approach will not likely work because not only do they think it’s alright,most society think it’s alright too.This makes the challenge even more,well,challenging and a condescending approach is not going to make things any better.

The whole point of this blog post is not to sit here and tell internet feminists how to be feminists .It is just to give a point of view of someone who at one point was at the receiving end of a patronizing and in no way educational response from an internet feminist. A message is only as good as how effective it is conveyed. Feminism is a very important movement because it’s virtually the only tool the world has that can help rid the world and help people unlearn misogyny and other forms of female repression. Having someone see that they are wrong is the first step to getting through to them and you are not going to do that by being patronizing and having a “holier than thou” kind of attitude. As a matter of fact, you are just creating more anti-feminism mindsets which really does not help the movement. If you were to ask Twitter users what they thought of internet feminists ,the response would be more in the lines of “mean”, “annoying “, “irritating” and every other negative adjective. I very much doubt you would get a “oh they are very educational, because of them I know and appreciate the feminism movement so much more” kind of responses, which I doubt is what they want their movement to achieve.

So if you guys really want to push the movement, which is an effort I personally applaud very much, understand that most aspects of female repression have been normalized by society, soit’s important to first try to get people to unlearn these mindsets, and you do this by being patient,open to every opinion, no matter how offensive or absurd,then showing people how and why their mindsets are wrong by being educational and not by hurling insults and big words in their direction. Like a wise woman once said, ”It’s the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain an idea which is the complete opposite of yours”.

PS:For any feminist out there who is really about pushing the movement ,I would very much recommend reading The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer.It’s really intriguing and thought provoking and highly recommended.