Why are Feminists so mean to each other?

I am very sad today after reading Jessica Valenti’s post on her AMAZING blog Feministing.com. Not because I don’t think that it was very heartfelt, honest, reflexive and promising but that it pains me that she felt she had to write it at all. Feminists are mean to each other. Especially in their comments online.

When I stumbled across Feministing, I was so pumped. I couldn’t believe that other smart, saucy women were thinking, writing and commenting about the same issues I was frustrated about. When I was super-pissed at a horribly sexist AXE ad, I could turn to my sisters and see them bash it and I felt grand.

But then I started participating in the comments section and soon, I felt like I was in junior high school all over again, being bullied by the other kids in the schoolyard. Some women were supportive: great, or questioning: awesome, or constructively critical: fabulous – let’s all learn and grow together. But I have to say, so many women were just cruel. They would kick you where only a feminist knows to kick. Throwing out insults that would question your very authority to call yourself a fellow feminist. They would judge you for this and then someone else would judge you for that. It became so upsetting that after crying, arguing, crying, yelling, re-posting, and then feeling my heart race as I logged back in to check the responses in the comment section, I realized, THIS WAS SHIT.

It is my opinion, and only my opinion, and not to say that I am right or fully informed or inclusive of everyone from every viewpoint…but I feel that BEING A BULLY SUCKS. And please don’t take this in the wrong way… as I am not meaning it to be a criticism of people who would like to be vocal and have discussions… and not to say that all bullies are bad and maybe because you were bullied or because others bully you or… not that I am even an authority or should say this but I just think that maybe………FUCK.

This is what happens. A chill on opinions and voices – more apologies than opinions because people want to sleep at night. I have seen blogs shut down, not because of misogynist jerks, but because of other feminist women so aggressively criticizing someone who identifies as feminist for her words, her choices, what she is doing, what she isn’t saying.

This is a problem. And when Jessica speaks and writes about the many reasons why young women are scared off and deterred from calling themselves feminists, I think we need to consider this as well. We need to come together. We are a small and marginalized group. Yes, we have different colours, classes, abilities, education levels, marital statuses, orientations, ages, but who cares.

We have work to do sisters. And all work that aims to make this world better for women is at least work in a positive direction. Can we put down the poison and maybe give some word ups here and again?

I love you Jessica.


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