I drew up a list of some of the anti-feminist tropes I’ve been seeing lately. (They’re not overtly anti-feminist – they’re more “this is how feminism is supposed to be done” – but they’re so crude and wrong and clueless that in fact they are anti-feminist. They’re anti everything that has been recognizable as feminism for a couple of generations now. The “feminism” they think they’re for isn’t really feminism.)
- Heroism is better than feminism. Don’t talk about systemic problems, don’t be a “victim,” don’t “whine,” don’t say there are obstacles, don’t resist harassment. Just suck it up and be tough and succeed anyway. Anything else is an insult to women, especially to women who did suck it up and succeed anyway.
- The struggle is over. We won. Feminism has fixed all the things already. There are no barriers, no obstacles, no issues, nothing to overcome, nothing to get rid of.
- Women and men are different, so feminism is stupid, because it acts as if they’re not. Women are weaker and stupider than men. They like different things. They think in different ways. They shop. They fuss with their hair. They gossip. They don’t like sports or computers or gaming or cartoons or computer science or engineering or philosophy or science or logic or atheism or speaking in public or activism.
- The way things are now is exactly how they are supposed to be. The jobs and interests and lives people have are all exactly the ones they want to have under any conditions whatsoever. People’s choices are not the least bit shaped by the surrounding culture or expectations or stereotypes or bullying or harassment or sexism or misogyny. There is no reason to ask why there are so few women in philosophy or physics or computer science. The numbers and proportions are what they are because everyone made a free choice, and that’s all there is to it.
- There is no reason to make an extra effort to recruit women to fields and activities where they are a minority, because any time women are a minority, it is because they want to be.
- Harassment and sexism and overt, vocal misogyny make no difference to anything. They’re all just jokes, just part of life, just haters being haters, just a tiny corner of something, just a little irritation which adults ignore.
- The real feminism, “equality” feminism, is about formal explicit written laws, and nothing else. The laws are now all perfectly fair and egalitarian, so feminism has no work left to do, so any residual feminism is obviously crazy. Critical reflection on culture and stereotypes is “radical” feminism and it’s totally crazy and wrong. Dislike of overt, vocal misogyny is radical and crazy and wrong. Real feminists get the joke and laugh along with it.
That’s the list.