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.

it sucks because there’s always going to be actual legitimate criticism of women in a patriarchy— women who are still aligned with male values and male beliefs as we are taught to do. in the current political climate everything is more confusing than ever before because feminism is seemingly mainstream, except not really, and men can become women etc

i think libfems fit into #3 - women who haven’t yet grasped the severity of male hatred towards women. if they had, they would understand that terf is just another iteration of “witch.” and so they believe male demonizations of the evil “terf.”

another time this has come up for me is that “pick me” was seemingly a legitimate criticism of women who try so hard to align themselves with men, but now it seems to be tossed around so often that i’m starting to feel like it’s another expression of misogyny. (my feeling is that libfems are cultural/societal pickmes so i’m no longer taking pickme criticism from a pickme)

it’s hard to differentiate between actual criticism of women who are aligned with men, and a projection of internalized misogyny on women who are “too feminist.”

and of course libfems probably see us as the former as well, thinking our understanding of sex as binary as a conservative/patriarchal talking point.