If there’s one thing that is guaranteed to make me stop and think, it’s going to be the rise and rise of the “new feminist.”
At first glance, I almost supported the recent “twittersilence” campaigned by Caitlin Moran and India Knight as it looked good on the surface to raise awareness of the rape and death threats that were sent to some women on Twitter.
On deeper reflection, I pulled my socks up, opened my big mouth and decided I was against it. I’m always happy to see people taking a stand on something they believe in, but the campaign left a bitter taste in my mouth about how it was promoted, and some of its feminist supporters. I say feminist as I saw absolutely zero tweets from men taking part being negative to other people although it is quite possible there were plenty.
Many of the feminist supporters in their zealousness and possible eagerness to please their hallowed favourite authors in the hope they’ll be noticed, were less than nice to those they believed were the abject antithesis of their action and said no. I even saw tweets that included comments like leave twitter to the horrible people on that day (in much stronger terms).
I didn’t really have a problem with people who felt like making a choice to be silent in a sisterly stand together although for me, shutting up is the last thing I’d do after threats, but some of it needs to be taken into context.
Yes, the rape and murder threats were different, but that’s a police matter, not a Twitter one. Just because Twitter was the vehicle used to carry the threats doesn’t make Twitter bad or in need of punishment. Their reaction to the media publicity was to agree to add an abuse button and add more staff. I think that’s a fair and reasonable step to take. People make those threats, not Twitter.
If feminists were responsible for the campaign, then I’d have expected them to not have committed abuse on Twitter, yet Caitlin Moran has been accused of allegedly using words such as spaz, mong and more.
As the parent of a child who often gets called words like that, aren’t those lovely words disablist, or is it ok to mock those who can’t reply or drum up lots of opinionated feminists to raise a campaign for them. I’m told Caitlin Moran apologised for those tweets, but a twitter user countered that if it’s ok for her to apologise for words she didn’t really mean, why isn’t it ok for others who didn’t mean what they said be allowed to apologise also. She has a valid point.
If that’s the model of modern day feminism, then I’m happy to be an anti feminist, stuck in my rut of giving up working 9-5 for an employer to look after the boys we adopted, while making sure they’re fed and watered, fend off the people calling middler names like spaz and working through promoting inspiring women which we did on the day of twitter silence.
Almost all of us old twitter hands were still around on the day and it’s made me rethink my timeline as there were none of the celebrity feminist retweets that can clog up the streams. Most of those taking part seemed to be the newer tweeters, for whom a campaign like this is likely to be the first one they’ve seen.
What better way could they have raised awareness with their large twitter audiences? How much better could they have been supported with more of the popular niche bloggers on board with a campaign they too believed in. I did spot Caitlin Moran asking people to respect those who didn’t want to take part, so kudos to her for that thoughtful tweet on our behalf.
I do feel that for feminism these days, it should more easily read anti traditional lifestyles. There’s nothing wrong at all in wanting to have an old fashioned traditional life where the woman cooks, cleans and follows the male household lead, but also has opinions, a voice and and is considered. Far too many people confuse women living like that with verbally or physically abused women who’ve been dominated by a partner.
What about men, are they to be called malenists if the role is reversed? How would we take it if men continually berated women online for not wanting to be out working long hours, take on the role of protector, or generally do most of the holiday driving while their partner supervises the kids.
I’m anti-feminist and pro-choice. There seems to a very clear difference in my mind. What about yours?
Abusve comments will be deleted, however you are free to disagree with me politely.