Feminism and How It’s Complicated

The concept of organized feminism was introduced 1848 after the first Women’s Conference. The idea of feminism at the time was of traditional feminism which was the original idea of equality between the two sexes. Feminism today is described as 3rd or even 4th wave feminism. Today, the mere mention of feminism to people are likely to lead into a tirade or even a rant. It is due to the negative connotation that it has garnered over time but that is not to say that all feminism is bad. To say that it is complicated and a mixed bag is a bit of an understatement.

Today’s feminism has the problem with the idea that someone’s feminism is not their feminism. Many notable feminists of the Third Wave consist of very positive and very negative figures. The underlying problem with this polarizing categories is that those that act out and gain attention from the media are usually in the negative category. The ones that have to defend feminism at its core are the ones in the positive category but are almost never put into the spotlight. Therein lies the problem of traditional feminism versus its modern counterpart. This has gotten so bad that some people are referring themselves as humanists or egalitarian rather than feminist to avoid the negative connotations that come with it. Even worse are those that will use feminism as a shield or a label for their own gain. Third Wave Feminism has this problem with how their brand of feminism would be different than others which lead to the idea that “These other women are not really feminists”.

This brand of toxic feminism has gotten so bad that feminism has been associated with SJWs or Social Justice Warriors. This in combination with Third Wave Feminism has led to many on the internet to mock these figures as professionals at being offended. One of the many negative figures in the group of Third Wave Feminists is Anita Sarkeesian who is known though her handle of Feminist Frequency on the internet, Twitter and YouTube for focusing on video games and its rampant sexism. One of her beliefs is that “Everything is racist, everything is sexist, everything is homophobic and you have to point it out to everyone all the time.”

Many people have criticized her for misrepresenting the games and not doing proper research. People like Phil Manson, a YouTuber under the alias Thunderf00t, Troy Leavitt, a veteran game developer, and Dr. Christiana Sommer, have criticized many of Anita’s points and pointed out many of the flaws in her argument to push a specific narrative. Many have challenged her to a debate in regards to sexism but none have been responded to from Anita.

Doing a google search on feminist leaves much to be desired. For the most part, there are the negatives that are mentioned but also the old classic feminists such as Sojourner Truth are easy to find which makes it a rather hard topic to compare good and bad feminists. So who is to blame for the poisoning the meaning of feminism? Is it social media or society as a whole?