One way feminism gets discredited (in six easy steps)

Step 1: Women take any step forward (or even just hint they might be able to) towards class consciousness, legal, economic or societal rights

Step 2: Men invent a caricature of feminist women designed to hit the nerves of women’s most deep seated values under patriarchy: beauty, kindness, empathy, inclusivity, motherhood, wifehood.

Step 3: Sensing that these caricatures are being used to discredit feminists, many women, who haven’t yet grasped the severity of men’s disdain towards women and who haven’t deconstructed their own patriarchal values, conclude that these caricatures are in fact observations of certain members within feminism.

Step 4: Believing “bad” members of her group to be the reason for these caricatures to exist (with the men only observing and naming these women), these women water down their politics and demeanour to men to prove that they are virtuous women, their feminism becomes focused on meeting men’s standards because they believe that men are the best judges of a women’s rights groups’ merits (After all, if feminists weren’t doing something wrong then men would be happy to give us our rights)

Step 5: Feminists who refuse to make a song and dance over proving themselves to be nice feminists are accused of alienating potential allies and being the reason men still haven’t supported women.

Step 6: Profit. The women’s movement spends its time trying to be palatable to men while cannibalising feminists who seek to actually destroy the patriarchy. There is no such thing as a bitch, feminazi, karen or terf. These are patriarchal inventions designed to discredit and split our movement.


Believing “bad” members of her group to be the reason for these caricatures to exist

How do we fit libfems in here? I'd say they are not feminists at all, but men's demands activists.

But then I'm saying there are "bad" members.

We are the "bad members" - the libfems are the "real feminists"!

They are actually bad members though and I think it's fine to say that, because they're not feminists. You're right, they're men's demands activists.

They're mysogynists. You can't be fighting for men's "rights"and call yourself a feminist.

I know this is true because this was me in my early twenties. Trying to make a point of being a "reasonable feminist" as if womens liberation could ever be unreasonable.

[–] veryllama 10 points Edited

Gold. Excellent analysis, thank you to the originator and OP because this is so pervasive and such an PITA, so exhausting to deal with. Literally, they end up with (ideally, in their minds), women pandering to men to meet men's standards of what feminism should be. Everything has to be cleared by men in order to become legitimate and official. Translation : Everything has to be cleared by the oppressor in order to become legitimate and official. Because men are like women, ultimately virtuous, empathetic, and well-intended, and they would change if they knew what they were doing wrong, right? They wouldn't want to be bad people and do unethical things just because it serves their dicks, fancy, and egos to do so, right?

That'd be pretty evil, and it's hard to believe that men as a group would be that evil. That'd be horrifying. We're all humans, right? With empathy? Who want to do the right thing?

[–] BlackCirce 🔮🐖🐖🐖 4 points

Feminists kneecap their best brawlers and send pacifists and panderers (nicest term for it) to the front lines. It’s embarrassing.

Very true but lacking in nuance. The problem I see is that this is real and happens- yet it is used by feminists who are defeatists to claim they are the "real feminists" while advocating for things most women don't want such as separatism. At worst, it turns into a culty thing where everyone is out to get you- men just want to fuck you and women who are "feminist enough" are deluded tools of men. So you should only listen to a tiny minority of women who have some really good points, yet are also somewhat out of touch. (Yeah, that's my opinion of some- deal with it.) I'd say the bigger problem is that women are expected to be perfect to be heard. I don't agree with Andrea Dworkin on some things. I also love a lot of her work. Why are woman thinkers supposed to be taken word for word instead of being sources of thought to be examined critically? Not every black person had to love Malcolm X to participate in the civil rights movement, and every woman who isn't a radfems isn't pandering to men. We can actually have our own thought independent of men. Just as MLK wasn't actually secretly supporting white supremacy- he was more moderate and that appealed to some. So some feminists are more interested in working with men. If "working with" men means libfems supporting porn and prostitution, it's a problem. If it's women who like men and aren't inspired by dreams of separatism, that fine.