I’ve got a problem with anti-feminists, or people who do not call themselves a “feminist.” There, I said it. And let me tell you why. I’ve got a problem with anti-feminists because their very existence perpetuates the continuance of the patriarchy, an inequality of the sexes, denial to equal pay, and restricting access to reproductive rights.
By disengaging themselves from what they see as the dreaded label, “feminist,” anti-feminists suggest that the whole concept of feminism is a far-fetched idea. The concept of feminism isn’t even that wild. As the Queen of Feminism, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said, a “Feminist [is] a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes” (1). I really, truly will never understand why such a simple definition causes some people to be so hesitant to join the ranks of self-proclaiming feminists. By distancing themselves from the conversation, anti-feminists are perpetuating the centuries-old idea that women who demand equality are troublemakers, and ought to be outright avoided. Anti-feminists are haunted by what they see as the radicalization of women, falling into the cycle of spewing patriarchal ideas that see women who are demanding and loud as those to be looked down upon, neglecting to see that the true purpose of feminism is to adhere to the simple demand for equality.
Those who paint feminists to be radical, loud, and annoying are, as I see it, threatened by the power of women. Women who are bold and confident threaten men, because they refuse to adhere to the gender binary where there is an expected personality women are to conform themselves into. We are supposed to be meek, forgiving, and deferring, and the entire concept of feminism threatens this paradigm of women. I’ve got a problem with anti-feminists because, by refusing to call themselves feminists, they are suggesting they want to stay within this restrictive sphere of gender expectations, where women are subservient to men.
And yes, I call bullsh*t on those individuals who may say they do not believe in continuing this vision, they just “refuse to label themselves.” By refusing to call yourself a feminist, you are perpetuating this vision that you may say you’re not a part of, but in actuality, you are. What’s so wrong about labels anyway? For anti-feminist men, is it because you fear that your precious masculinity may be threatened if you associate with the equality of the sexes? For anti-feminist women, is it because you feel that giving into demanding equality may cause you to be regarded as radical and loud? To the first, I say shame on you, anti-feminist men; you are exactly the reason why we need feminism. And to the second I say, reevaluate your loyalties, and reconsider how better off the female population would be if we were given the same opportunities, benefits, and level of equality as men.
Yes, I’ve got a big issue with anti-feminists. I believe that anti-feminists have some serious thinking to do, especially regarding how they continue to perpetuate the patriarchy. I don’t understand why anyone would not call themselves a feminist, even if the bonds holding women in one are may be tighter or looser than the women in another area. You’re doing a serious disservice to society if you do not join in and demand the equality of the sexes.