I’m not going to lie, this is a very messy and angry post, so I apologise for grammatical errors and incoherence. I just wanted to get this on paper. No doubt I’ll change this every 5 minutes for the next day or two.
I think we can all admit that online feminism is not a nice place at the moment. I’m still a bit clueless as to how this all started, but it’s making me very angry, frustrated, and a bit tired of feminism to be honest. Feminists are dropping like flies on here, and organisations that help women are being attacked at the whims of a certain few. Have we stopped to think how this is looking to everyone else? Probably not, but a few tweets from women who have told me how off-putting all this excruciatingly pointless arguing is, got me thinking.
We are basically shooting ourselves in the foot, let’s be honest. We are helping to peddle that tired old stereotype that feminists are angry and incredibly aggressive women. From looking at latest arguments, I wouldn’t blame any passer-by who thought this. It seems you literally can’t say anything around here anymore, without fear of a feminist commenting on a misplaced comma* and starting world war 3. That’s not to say some criticisms aren’t necessary. For example if I tweeted out something racist, that would not be cool, and I deserve to be put in my place. But I think a line has been crossed now, what was once a tool to help people understand oppression, and their own privilege, is now used to bully, patronise, and really hurt people. Wonderful bit of intersectional feminism going on there.
People may wonder why would anyone put up with this shit, but the fact is, online feminism is a tiny yet crucial part of the feminist movement as a whole. It gives women’s voices platform, that the offline world to often does not. Not to mention the fact that online feminism is for whatever reason, all some people have. If you are ill for a long period of time ( like I was ), and/or disabled, it’s physically impossible to get involved with offline feminism. Online feminism has been a lifeline for me in my darkest hours, and I would go as far to say that it saved my life – this is why it’s really hurting me to see it fall apart.
It’s because of this, that it is of paramount importance that we make online feminism safe and stress-free again. We are not only doing the feminist movement a disservice with our endless fighting and bullying, but we are doing those less privileged a disservice. Which I think you will all agree is horrendously ironic, considering feminism is supposed to be an intersectional movement, that caters for *all* women – especially those vulnerable and most in need of the feminist movement.
* Obviously that is a slight exaggeration, but I’m just making a point at how silly a lot of people are looking at the moment.
This is a good article on a similar topic, by an infinitely better writer than me – Zoe Williams.