In Defense of #WomenAgainstFeminism

Billy Chubbs attacks the #womenagainstfeminism photos popping up on Twitter and elsewhere. firmly declaring himself to be among those who find #WAF to be “typical female attention-whoring.”

I’ll readily concede that aspects of #WAF may in fact be “female attention-whoring”, but he loses me at “typical”, for the “typical” modern Western woman cares only about socially acceptable “causes” that boost her standing with the “socially aware” set or that benefit her financially.  These women are actually going against what’s supposed to be popular, essentially agreeing with us instead.

Nevertheless, Chubbs gives us three reasons to discount #WomenAgainstFeminism.  I’ll deal with each of them in turn.

1.  Writing on a piece of paper doesn’t do or mean anything.

In many cases he’s right.  Like he describes, #BringBackOurGirls was worse than useless.  It demonstrated utter impotence against a ghastly and tangibly evil act, exemplifying the “pat myself on the back for ‘caring'” form of activism so prevalent on college campuses and elsewhere.

Boko Harem probably felt more emboldened in the wake of #BBOG than they would have had Michelle Obama, Emma Watson, and company just ignored them.  The hashtag showed them that we all knew what they did and disapproved, but we had nothing beyond “a piece of paper” to back it up.  When it’s guns versus hashtags, the guns win every time.  If you’re not going to bring the requisite guns, keep your hashtags at home; better to pretend you don’t care than to show you care but are powerless.

Yet the battle against feminism isn’t like opposing Boko Harem, requiring trawling through the jungle with night-vision goggles and sniper rifles (at least not so far).  Feminism is a set of pernicious ideas, and ideas are both spread and opposed with “writing on a piece of paper.”

To take but one of countless examples, Marxism began with one or two jackass putting words on paper.  Sometimes Marxism’s fought with guns, but quite often it’s fought with other words, many of which are on paper.

But although it’s partly about words, it’s about more than that.  Chubbs:

What are a bunch of random semi-cute-to-really-cute girls going to achieve with #womenagainstfeminism? Nothing. It’s a hollow gesture, intended to make the chick posting the picture feel good.

Women are social animals, they often do exactly what everybody else does just because everybody else is doing it.  Fitting in matters, hence how ostracism is one of the most potent weapons women use against each other.

In #WAF we have lots of attractive women (who other women want to be like) boldly declaring that they are not feminists.  This makes other women who have a few doubts about feminism feel just a bit more willing to feel the same way.  One of the most effective ways leftists of all stripes keep others from exploring other views is through spreading the idea that only freaks and weirdos with no friends could ever disagree with them.  #WomenAgainstFeminism neutralizes that tool, and feminists aren’t happy about it.

As to whether or not the posts are “intended to make the chick posting the picture feel good”, who gives a damn?  If she’s helping to expose the lie that “only those ugly women with long skirts who never have sex aren’t feminist”, I don’t care if she’s doing it out of religious conviction, because her friend dared her to do it, or just to impress some writer on Return of Kings.

2.  It continues to give women all the power in the discourse.

If some guy were to start #MenAgainstFeminism, it would be met with the same derision as #OilBaronsAgainstCarbonCaps or #AsiansAgainstAffirmativeAction.  Of course you hate feminism.  You’re a white guy who just wants to protect your privilege.

But when a woman does it, it has a different effect.  Feminism is supposed to be in a woman’s self-interest.  Therefore, if a woman visibly opposes it, people are more likely to take note.  Our opponents recognize this, which is why they often attack anti-feminist women with the same vehemence as black conservatives.  The more they can get us all to think woman=feminist, the better.  Only women themselves can fight that perception.

Chubbs also compares #WAF with the prominence of women in the Men’s Rights Movement, although there’s a somewhat different dynamic at work.  #WomenAgainstFeminism is quite literally closed off to men as a means of expression, whereas the MRM and manosphere are not.

There are two prospective problems here.  First, there is the possibility of women “taking over” so to speak.  Justice is an abstract that’s accessible to everybody, but we all tend to view Justice through the prism of our personal interest and experience.  Women’s interests and experience are different from men’s.  They’ll never quite “get it.”

To which I reply that what matters is the message.  If you’re helping to spread it, you’re good.  If you’re not, you’re not.  If a woman is helping out, let her.  The moment she holds us back, stop her.

Dr. Helen handled her multiple media appearance quite well and brought some of our ideas to a much broader audience than damn near any one of us.  Would it be better for a man to do it?  Yes.  Would it be worse for it not to have been done at all?  Also yes.

Some of us here in the manosphere would do a great job at spreading the word, but a few of us might be just a bit too inclined to address a TV reporter the same way we address other commenters at Heartiste (which although quite fun to hear would probably backfire).  Thus far, our female allies have done a good job at presenting our views, actually getting some favorable press.  As long as they continue, let ’em.

Nevertheless, Chubbs does have a point in that we men are going to have to come to the fore eventually.  It’s no accident that the MRM is the most touchy-feelie female-friendly realm of the manosphere, the one most dominated by women, and the part getting the most favorable press.

But the MRM promotes but one small part of what needs to be done, and if it gets too far ahead of itself it could steer what needs to be a cultural and social movement into a purely political one.  Women will never understand many of the relatively apolitical aspects of what men need to do, i.e. attracting women, raising our sons, living fulfilled lives, etc.  If the manosphere devolves into MRM with some side comments, it would indeed be too feminized and counter-productive.  Men need to ensure this never happens.

Chubbs’ second objection is that female prominence sends the message that “men themselves are not allowed to talk about the problems society inflicts upon them. All problems concerning the sexes must be filtered through a woman’s mouth.”

Unfortunately, for reasons I’ve cited above, at present women are many of our most effective spokespeople.

But the solution for this isn’t to tear women down, it’s to build men up.  We can’t participate in #WomenAgainstFeminism hashtags, but we’re every bit as capable at deftly handling hostile questions on a talk show.  How about a few of us start acting like it?

Don’t like how many women are speaking for us?  Be better at it yourself and take their place.

3.  They are not actually against feminism.

Chubbs lists a bunch of the ways in which he suspect the women of #WAF might be more feminist than they suspect, such as favorable college admissions policies, easy liberal arts degrees, lowered work requirements and expectations, marriage 2.0, hookup culture, and family law bias, concluding with [emphasis his]:

How many of these women would actually be all for that? Because that’s what a world without enforced feminism would look like; not because of the evil patriarchy, but simply because men are better than women at most things. These chicks say they’re against feminism, but they and their proud feminist sisters are still enjoying the exact same benefits that feminism has bestowed upon them, all the while avoiding the responsibilities those benefits would entail if they happened to be men. If it came right down to it, would #womenagainstfeminism actually put her money where her mouth was? Of course she wouldn’t.

Remember the golden rule about women: Judge them only by what they do, not what they say.  Stupid signs posted on the internet included.

As much as I agree with judging a woman based on what she does, neither Chubbs nor I have any idea how most of these women actually lead their lives.

Yet I’d be far from surprised if most of them lead the anti-feminist life I’d like them to lead.  Chubbs is correct that many of them have no idea whatsoever how much of a role feminism has played in their lives, nor how much they agree with its assumptions (an argument made by feminists themselves).

Yes, feminism is a “tricky word”, one that feminists define as merely believing that men and women are both human.

But bit by bit, we’re exposing the lie of that ridiculous belief.  It’s a label, but we’re making headway against that label.  We’re beginning to turn it into something women don’t want to be.

Obviously, there’s the label for beliefs, and then there are the beliefs themselves.  They’re related but not the same.

However, once a woman declares to the world that she’s not a feminist, she’s begun to set a trap for herself.  If she insists on getting paid to lactate, I thought you said you’re not a feminist.  If she complains about some guys starting up a men-only gym, I thought you said you’re not a feminist.  If she encourages her female friends to be more aggressive, if she insists that the government pay for her tampons, if she tears down masculinity or tries to keep a father from raising his son to be a man, I thought you said you’re not a feminist.

“I’m not.”

“Then stop acting like it.”

Does this solve all of our problems?  Reform family law?  Cause women to universally respect and understand all that men go through to make their lives easier?

Hardly, but it’s a start.  The fight against feminism is multi-faceted.  It’s legal, social, sexual, cultural, religious, and economic.  It’s nothing we’re going to win in a year.

We’ll strike down labels, they’ll come up with new ones.  We’ll call ostensibly anti-feminist women on their crap, they’ll tell us it’s not really feminism.  We’ll get a law passed here, they’ll get one passed there.  Some churches will go back to traditional roles, others will discard them altogether.

But we take every victory we can get.  We tell the world that feminism is bad.  We’ve got some fairly decent women telling the world that feminism is bad.  This is a good thing.  Not perfect, not enough, but a step in the right direction.

To progress as a movement, we’ve got to be realistic, but we’ve also got to acknowledge victories when they come our way.  #WomenAgainstFeminism thrives in part because feminism has betrayed the feminine imperative, but biological female self-interest isn’t quite the same as a political movement that crushes anything that stands in a woman’s way.  Women are starting to recognize that wrecking men might not be all that good for women.

Self-serving?  Perhaps.  But it’s in our interest, too.  Should we really expect any more?

After all, they’re still women.


This entry was posted in Arts, Culture, Family, Feminism, Politics, Rhetoric. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to In Defense of #WomenAgainstFeminism

  1. Pingback: In Defense of #WomenAgainstFeminism |

  2. donalgraeme says:

    This is an interesting situation. I think it represents a valuable opportunity, but I’m not sure that we are in a position to take full advantage of it.

    Of course, this also raises several questions. The first is whether WAF merely represents an attempt to preserve the feminist gains made so far- kind of akin to Dalrock talking about how “men are screwing feminism up”, the WAF are saying that Feminists are screwing feminism up. Related to that is the question of whether we want to stop the progression of feminism. An argument could be made that allowing it to run its course would be advantageous. After all, even if you eliminate the worst excesses of feminism you are still left with an unstable, inferior and dangerous socio-political system.

    • An argument could be made that allowing it to run its course would be advantageous.

      The average person learns by screwing up, then experiencing the consequences of their screw-up, and finally connecting the two. Most people do not reason in the abstract, nor do they study history to avoid past mistakes.

      Our current electorate has largely been insulated from the consequences of feminism, progressivism, and all the other varieties of keft wing -isms. They’re finally starting to register discomfort, but I don’t think the majority have made the causal connection yet. They need a few more years of unabashed and unconcealed progressive policymakers running the show before they finally realize why things are so bad.

      The electorate is stupid, but it can learn with enough pain and time. Another 4 to 8 years might be enough.

  3. ar10308 says:

    First, any chair in a bar – fight is valuable.

    Secondly, although many of these WAFs are very Egalitarian, this will probably cause a number of them to look even further into anti-Feminism and possibly consider more traditional roles for themselves.

  4. Stingray says:

    Women Against Feminism, the Red Pill Women’s reddit, and so forth are a new herd. The rebels. They are demonstrating a new power dynamic and that growth in power will attract more and more women in and of itself, regardless of the message. This is just the fact of the matter. As you’ve demonstrated, there are pluses and minus to this.

    The plus being, that it is a demonstrable shift in thought and its popularity is only going to grab more women’s attention. As it becomes popular to love men again, more women will love them and support them. The problem being, as you said, they’re still women. This love and support for men will be through the realm of womanhood. What this means today and that this support will come from a bunch of women who grew up entrenched in feminism.

    Let me see if I can coherently explain. There has always been a female imperative (there always will be). However many years ago you wish to go back (to the 1950’s or the 1850’s) there was an imperative there. But it was different than today’s. The women were brought up in a patriarchal society and their imperative reflected that. These women today, there imperative was developed in a matriarchal, men bad/women good society. And while they may want to learn to support men, their ability to to this is far more hampered than women of the past.

    I’m not explaining it as well as I would like, but hopefully you get the picture. I support these women, I applaud the courage of those who began it. I will support them in their efforts but will always do my best to point out their flaws as they grow in popularity and their message flows back toward feminism. As a r10308 said, many will hopefully look even further into antifeminism. It will be a minority, but the more numbers we can add to this minority, the better chance we have. Men, I think, can have an enormous impact on the size of these number.

    • Martel says:

      As discussed in the J4G article I cite near the end, lots of women oppose feminism from more of a “pro-woman” than “pro-man” standpoint.

      I’m fine with this, for I believe that we all benefit when we’re not systematically screwing over either gender. More intelligent women are recognizing that feminism messes with the Feminine Imperative. They’re out for themselves.

      But they’re my allies nevertheless. I don’t expect people to come to the correct conclusions from pure motives, I just expect them to come to the correct conclusions. Women who oppose feminism oppose feminism. Fine by me.

  5. Zodak says:

    i didn’t like that article either. it was a “cutting off your nose to spite your face” article. i completely agree with you on all your points. would it better if it was a man? sure but i believe “the ends justify the means” so if girls have to be prominent, so be it.

    • peregrinejohn says:

      It was indeed. Martel’s point #2 above is something I’ve been trying to get through to a lot of people for a while, now.

  6. emmatheemo says:

    Roosh says that even the MHRA women are only there for attention, and will leave once they get bored with it. But if women are using you for attention and validation, use them to spread and validate your message. Feminists used thirsty men to spread their message and win, so why not? Just don’t turn into a pedestalizer for them. Frankly, I can see it – it’s not unusual to burn yourself on the expectation that internet people are your friends, when they are really just internet people. I’d say, just don’t expect too much.

    • Martel says:

      Exactly. We seem to resent women helping us because “they get something out of it”, but very few people do much of anything without getting something out of it.

      The problem is when they get something but somehow make you worse off. In this case I don’t see that happening.

  7. “Women are starting to recognize that wrecking men might not be all that good for women.”
    I think, again, there is giving too much credit to women. Feminism is passe, old. The new prize is an actual damn husband who is not a total loser, a very difficult threshold or women would not prize it. What Chubbs is addressing, but not directly by inferring a standard of constructive political agency for women, is that the men who value the female #WomenAgainstFeminism efforts as politically constructive are dupes. There is nothing in the behavior of those women to correct. They are ostensibly on the correct side of the issue, a side that is positioned in the direction of patriarchy. It is for the men to be men, and not to foolishly watch, hope, and think twitter pics by women following the status scent are a godsend. They ain’t.

    • Martel says:

      “The new prize is an actual damn husband who is not a total loser, a very difficult threshold or women would not prize it.”

      Is there something wrong with that? They’re starting to recognize that fostering stable families is more important that hitting sales quotas. Isn’t that good?

      “It is for the men to be men, and not to foolishly watch, hope, and think twitter pics by women following the status scent are a godsend. They ain’t.”

      In no way have I suggested that #WAF is a “godsend” or anything remotely close.

      There are at least a few dozen things that need to be done to turn around our current paradigm. Among these is women openly declaring that they oppose feminism, thereby making it less “cool” or “just how decent people think”.

      Do men have to be men? Yes. Do we need more substantive change? Yes. Do we have any idea whether or not these women will actually select anti-feminist paths for their own lives? Support the repeal of anti-male family laws? None whatsoever.

      But it IS a step in the right direction, however small it might be. I see no reason to sit back and bitch about how somebody else’s efforts aren’t enough when we have millions of people doing literally nothing whatsoever.

      • I know you were not saying #WAF was a godsend. I think that is the central issue to Chubb’s and therefore your post. Doing nothing = saving your powder and sanity. I think the problem is the solution. You think missionary work is the answer. You are welcome to try, but masculinity bred from masculinity is far more efficient and competitive that masculinity that responds particularly to the sirens of #WAF and not the abuses of the women they meet in real life. If you can demonstrate the missionary approach is working with facts, I’d be impressed. That would be a godsend. I don’t actually like the way I think things are, but for me the dignity of realism is the first concern of my well-being. To the topic at hand, if the men aren’t men, they aren’t worth much as women either. I think that should be the focus of the Sphere, but it’s not. Being against feminism is not constructive (in literal sense); that’s what being for patriarchy is. I have no qualms about the tried and true methods that made civilization in the first place, especially against the methods of tax farming. Forceful methods of productive construction are not indefinitely superseded by rhetoric or charm, though they are superseded for now. MGTOW makes a lot of sense to me. Some steps are so small as to be immaterial, and other steps will become the norm in the future. Even after that, if rhetoric is what binds men together, we have sewn the same seeds of institution based on emotional mandate rather than realism. Maybe the wise man simply rides in the times he lives. Of course, a preacher must preach, whatever the time of his life, just as a realist must be real (or pessimistic). Are any times not too interesting?

      • It just occurs to me that, yes, there is something wrong with the way women prize able husbands. Women prize scarcity. If you show me the plenty of able husbands I will show you women at large who were forced into submission by patriarchy to their own benefit and to the benefit of men who make culture and society a reality.

      • Martel says:

        “Doing nothing = saving your powder and sanity.”

        Sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s just being lazy.

        “You think missionary work is the answer.”

        Corrrection: “…AN answer.” I’ve no issue with anything you advocate here because I believe that the battle is multi-facted and we need to respond in multiple ways.

        “Being against feminism is not constructive (in literal sense); that’s what being for patriarchy is.”

        Sometimes the best way to open somebody’s mind to a new way of thinking is to sour them on their current way of thinking. People are more likely to respond to alternatives when they see the need for one, and you get them to see the need for one by pointing out what’s lacking in how they see and do things now.

        “…if rhetoric is what binds men together, we have sewn the same seeds of institution based on emotional mandate rather than realism.”

        Rhetoric is just a start. As I’ve said in other posts (no idea which), rhetoric is the means by which we remove emotional obstacles against what we we believe and open somebody’s emotions to what we do believe. If it stops with rhetoric, somebody with better rhetoric can just turn them back around. If we follow up the rhetoric with dialectic, we’ve made a permanent ally.

        And dialectic is all about realism.

  8. Pingback: Learning about Women Against Feminism | On the Rock

  9. silverpie says:

    Just a note–the woman originally advocating “free tampons” was Jessica Valenti, who is (in case any don’t know of her) not a #WAF–she is a full-throated feminist.

  10. disenchantedscholar says:

    Reblogged this on Philosophies of a Disenchanted Scholar and commented:
    Fighting fire with fire.
    The enemy of my enemy…

  11. Pingback: Lightning Round – 2014/08/20 | Free Northerner

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