Posted on | March 20, 2015 | 45 Comments
The phenomenon of “Tumblr Feminism” really has to be seen to be believed. In the 1950s, women with mental illness were treated with psychoanalysis, tranquilizers or electroshock therapy. Now, all the crazy women just log on and post their deranged gibberish on Tumblr, where thousands of other crazy women tell them how awesome they are.
You think I’m kidding? Consider Lily, a “Pansexual/Demisexual” teenage “GenderQueer,” whose profile lists her diagnoses as borderline personality disorder, anxiety and depression. She posted this message:
JUST TO MAKE THINGS CLEAR
FEMINISM: Equality for all sexes/genders
MISANDRY: hatred for men, power for woman
MISOGYNY: Hatred for woman, power for men
MENINISM: a joke
Ha ha. The thing about Tumblr is, when people reblog a post, they can add information. At some point, the last item was amended:
MENINISM: a joke. like a literal joke. the concept was created to mock male anti-feminists, but they didn’t get the memo and rolled with it like it was a legitimate thing
Ha ha, again.
What are we to make of this? Well, to begin with, there are apparently no sane normal women on feminist Tumblr. Everybody’s profile lists either some kind of mental condition — depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, whatever — or some kind of abnormal sexuality: Use a “Lesbian Sphinx” as your avatar, for example, and you’ll fit right in. Also, it helps if you’ve got “body image” issues. The other thing — and here Tumblr Feminism is a barometer of the zeitgeist — is that these crazy weirdos are endlessly exasperated that the rest of us just don’t understand what feminism really is. There’s a lot of posturing martydom, the suggestion that women are being bombarded with misogynistic hate for daring to proclaim their feminism, which none of their critics understand:
“I feel that feminist shouldn’t be a ‘label’ as a lot of people make it out to be. It’s about equality. Why would wanting equality be a label? And why is that a bad thing?”
— Candace, 23
Feminism as it exists today began as the Women’s Liberation Movement in 1968. Sometimes called “Second Wave” feminism (to distinguish it from the “First Wave,” circa 1850-1920), this movement arose from the radical New Left. I’ve got three histories of the movement sitting on my desk right now: Personal Politics: The Roots of Women’s Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left (Sara Evans, 1979), Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967-1975 (Alice Echols, 1989) and In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution (Susan Brownmiller, 1999). All three of these books are by feminist authors who frankly acknowledge that Marxist women — especially the daughters of Communist Party activists, known as “Red Diaper babies” — were influential in founding and leading the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960s and ’70s. Furthermore, I’ll recommend two other books, Red Feminism: American Communism and the Making of Women’s Liberation (Kate Weigand, 2001) and Betty Friedan and the Making of the ‘Feminine Mystique’: The American Left, The Cold War and Modern Feminism (Daniel Horowitz, 1998). To put it quite bluntly, at a time when the Cold War was raging, when the tyranny of Soviet imperialism threatened to conquer the world, and when U.S. troops were being killed by Communists in Vietnam, feminists were on the other side.
The Women’s Liberation Movement emerged from the extreme fringe of anti-American, pro-Communist radicalism. From its inception, this movement was hostile to men, marriage, motherhood, religion, capitalism and patriotism. Some people try to claim that there is a “mainstream” feminism that was “hijacked” by radical kooks, but in fact the kooks built the feminist plane, and any perception that feminism is “mainstream” is an illusion created by the movement’s dishonest publicity/media apparatus. The mentally disturbed young “GenderQueer” on Tumblr is thus perfectly typical of feminism.
Behind the “mainstream” publicity, feminism is today what it has always been, a dangerously radical movement that attracts misfits, malcontents and maniacs. Let me share some feminist history you kids probably didn’t learn in school:
[L]eftist fugitive Susan Saxe was arrested in Philadelphia on March 27, 1975. Saxe had been underground since October 1970, when she and four others robbed the Brighton branch of Boston’s State Bank and Trust and absconded with $26,000. During the robbery, a policeman was shot and killed. Saxe and the others were charged with another bank robbery and with the bombing and burglarizing of a U.S. Army armory in Newburyport, Massachusetts. . . . Some time after going underground, Saxe came out as a lesbian; she was involved in Philadelphia’s lesbian-feminist community at the time of her arrest. Saxe issued a statement following her arrest in which she declared:
“First, a greeting of love and strength to all my sisters — courage for our warriors, hope for our people and especially for all my sisters and brothers underground in Amerika. Keep on fighting, stay free, stay strong. I promise you a courage to match your own. For me this is not an end, but a new beginning. I intend to fight on in every way as a lesbian, a feminist and an amazon.” . . .
Saxe had emphasized that in her case feminism “was not a ‘conversion,’ but a process that followed my previous commitment as day follows night.”
That’s from pp. 262-263 of Daring to Be Bad, and Susan Saxe — “one of only eight women ever to make the FBI’s Most Wanted List” — was absolutely correct that her radical feminism was a natural progression of her “previous commitment” as a violent terrorist. Saxe became a radical while attending an elite school, Brandeis University, where her roommate was Katherine Ann Power:
In a statement issued [after she turned herself into federal authorities in 1993], Ms. Power said she had “a lifelong, untreated condition of endogenous clinical depression.” [therapist Linda] Carroll said Ms. Power was taking an anti-depressant medication, trazodone hydrochoride, for her condition. . . .
Ms. Power drove the getaway car in the 1970 robbery of a Brighton bank . . .
The transformation from high school honors student to one of the nation’s most-wanted fugitives began at Brandeis, where Ms. Power was on a four-year scholarship. In Denver, her home town, she was the 1967 valedictorian at Marycrest High School . . .
According to court testimony, Ms. Power and Ms. Saxe hooked up with three ex-convicts and committed a series of crimes, including the theft of ammunition. . . .
Ms. Saxe and Ms. Power went underground, staying in a series of women’s communes. Ms. Saxe was arrested in 1975 and served seven years in prison.
So, one of them was suffering from clinical depression and the other was a lesbian, and they were roommates at an elite university before becoming radical terrorists. And feminists.
The Boston policeman murdered by the Saxe-Powers gang, Walter Schroeder Sr., was the father of nine children.
The young crazy weirdos on Tumblr don’t know anything about the history of the movement they’re supporting. Instead they insist that it is feminism’s opponents who are ignorant:
really tired of ignorant people demonizing feminists for every possible thing.
all we’re doing is making you aware of the sh–ty things that plague society that you maybe participate in, knowingly or otherwise, and you feel guilty or confused so you lash out.
and stop blaming feminists for man-hating, or for making up problems. those tropes are older than the suffragette movement and if you had bothered once in your life to read any feminist literature, or any radical thought at all, you would know that feminists seek to erase the patriarchal system that hurts men as much as it hurts women. educate yourself before you speak.
hating feminists doesn’t make you cool, trendy, different, intelligent, or counterculture. it makes you look threatened, underinformed and hateful. every movement deserves criticism and there are lots of valid criticisms that can be aimed at feminism, regarding exclusivity (in terms of white dominance or the garbage TERFs), but crying “man-hating” or “misandry” literally expose you for the baby you are.
in case anyone needed a refresher: a feminist is someone who believes in the social, political and economical equality of the sexes. if you believe in that, you’re a feminist. if you think that one sex is somehow naturally better than the rest, you’re an a–hole and your kind will be phased out. goodbye.
Where did she learn this jargon about the “patriarchal system”? Why do these young feminists habitually insist that they know more about feminism than do any of their critics? And why do they keep endlessly recycling the same tropes?
I love how fragile male ego is sometimes. Like, they’ll verbally attack and humiliate a person in front of as many people as possible, but the moment they get called out, they have to retreat behind “not all men” and validate themselves. Like, you tell a guy that you don’t appreciate him catcalling you, and suddenly he becomes a hero, paying lonely strangers compliments, rather than the a–hole that said terrible things to someone for literally no reason. Or when you make a statement about how men are historically problematic to literally every gender, race, religion, orientation, etc., and they come out of the woodwork to extol the virtues of XY chromosome holders of the past. Men like to maintain the idea that women are emotional, but they deal with so much humbling, humiliating shit on a daily basis, meanwhile cisgendered, heterosexual, Anglo men are holding some of the most fragile egos. I’m not talking about all men, because some have managed to pull their head out of their ass and realized that there needs to be change, I’m addressing the person who would send a woman death threats for suggesting feminism is important. You know who you are, scum.
Notice that it is only certain men — straight white guys — who are depised as “scum” by the feminist, accused of possessing fragile egos, “catcalling,” sending death threats, etc. This feminist trope implies that all gay men, all black men, Hispanic men and Asian men are enlightened egalitarians, so that it is heterosexual white men who exclusively perpetuate the patriarchal conspiracy to oppress women. And the Tumblr Feminist is always blissfully unaware that she is supporting a totalitarian ideology with a history of terrorism.
If your ambition in life is to be a lonely bisexual with anxiety disorders and body-image issues, you can stay on Tumblr all day and rant to your heart’s content. On the other hand, if you want to accomplish something in the real world — the place where adult human beings actually get stuff done — you will find feminist ideology may be less than helpful.
I keep saying it: Every word of that is quite literally true.