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What Are Things That Feel Like Feminism But Actually Aren’t? Twitter Thread Proves We’ve A Lot Of Unlearning To Do

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If you’re a man (or woman) who came here for some feminist bashing, I suggest you turn around, sir. We’re here to talk some serious, certainly controversial, but rather educational stuff. Feminism, the word and the movement, has always been on the receiving end of flak from those who don’t want the power balance to tilt. But lately, a lot of the criticism has suddenly started seeming fair, because there are those who wrap themselves in the flag of feminism but end up corrupting its purpose. On the surface, it might appear as feminist, but these actions and ideals are morally dubious and end up hurting the movement and pulling down the progress over the years. Pseudo-feminism sucks.

How does that happen? Well, for starters, improper, half-baked knowledge about the purpose of feminism. It’s certainly not hating men or imposing women as superior. As Jane Galvin Lewis said, you don’t have to be anti-man to be pro-woman. You don’t also have to be anti-feminine and hate women for pursuing feminine interests because you think being more like men is the answer to equality. And of course, if you think that by putting down anyone’s personal experience and struggle, you’ll be upholding your own womanly truth, then that’s not feminism either.

Recently, Twitter user Dr. Mary McAuliffe, who is a historian and an Assistant Professor of Gender Studies at University College of Dublin, posed a question to her followers—what are some things that seem feminist but are actually not?

Interesting thing to ponder, isn’t it? We all think our idea of feminism is correct. And yet, consciously or subconsciously, we may be doing things that are opposed to the very essence of he movement. Let’s also not forget that these movements evolve with time, and what might have seemed the right approach earlier, might be too rigid or limiting in the time right now.

A lot of the responses revolved around not shaming women for being interesting in doing ‘womanly’ things, not abusing the feminist movement for personal gain or not hating men with absolution. Not just women, even men chimed in with their own examples.

ICYMI, Harry Potter author JK Rowling has been branded a TERF which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist, which does not recognise the gender identity of trans women as women. And that kind of radical feminism that reeks of transphobia is not feminism.

Guess what’s also not feminism? Thinking that women must act more masculine to assert their strength.

Just because you want to support women and their progress, doing that for the heck of it does not help! You have to hold them up to the same standards as you would anyone else in their position. Especially when it comes to politics.

Some responses might come as a surprise, like this one that says granting women employees maternity leaves is actually not feminist. However, these people came armed with well laid out arguments.

It has been a hard learning process for me to stop upholding men as heroes just because they do basic things for women (like sharing domestic chores, etc.) that they should’ve been doing always.

Also, say no to toxic femininity, darling!

Remember, when Rahul Bose’s character ‘allowed’ his wife to work in Dil Dhadakne Do? Yep, so not a feminist ally.

Or the whole work-life balance sham that never seems to work out for women because hellooo, our life is always work!

You know how every time men have to be discouraged from hurting a woman or being insensitive or mean to to her, the thing that’s said to them is “Ghar mein maa-behen nahi hai kya?” Or “What if this was your mother/sister/daughter in this situation?” Erm, that shouldn’t be the only way to shake their conscience awake, no? Men need to respect women regardless of the existence of blood relations with them!

Also Read: Female-Led Workplaces Have So Much Potential, If Only We Could Get Rid of Toxic Femininity. Why Do Women Bully Women?

Like I said before, feminism is quite the debatable topic! So naturally, when certain views were expressed, it invited a lot of discourse.

One of the things that some women on this thread discussed was how writing the word ‘feminist’ in your social media bio is a good way of turning away creepy men, or in some cases, putting this bullseye on your back because the trolls and feminist bashers will come to pick a fight with you. And it’s sad, isn’t it, that feminism gets shrouded in all this negativity and misunderstanding because of the fallacious approach of a few.

Hopefully, twitter threads like these can help spread awareness about the real, uncorrupted essence of feminism and take the movement ahead!

Also Read: Devdutt Pattanaik Says Feminism Is ‘Structurally Similar’ To Hindutva And Socialism. Here’s A Structured Takedown Of His Sexism By Team Hauterfly

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