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Posts Tagged ‘feminazi’

Have you ever come across the word “feminist” or “feminism” in context that just doesn’t make sense? It’s a word that seems to have been coated in a thick layer of dirt in the past couple of decades, covering up the true meaning with a nasty overcoat. Something that means equality has been mutated into a fowl word, the thing you won’t call even your worst enemy, something that twists the young and innocent. Just take Rush Limbaugh’s lovely mutilation of the word into “feminazi.” Unfortunately, a large group appears to have adopted and internalized this warped sense of the word so, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that misuse of it occurs in fiction at times. After reading soaringwing’s post about a convoluted comment about feminism, I decided to do my own calling out of problematic usage.

ningyou_kyuutei_gakudan_ch3_p026

Take a look at the image above. This is a scene from Kaori Yuki’s Grand Guignol Orchestra,  which follows a small band of very unusual members of an orchestra that cleanse people who have turned into doll-like zombies through a strange virus. In this particular episode, Eles, Lucille, and company have arrived at the mansion of a certain Lord Red-Beryl. The lord is a young man with an apparent obsession over beautiful women. The only reason the orchestra was allowed onto the lord’s premises was because he mistook Lucille for a woman and the only people in sight are all young, beautiful girls who act as his maids, servants, and guards. The group finds out that Lord Red-Beryl has dreams of protecting every woman he can and also of finding a woman he can marry, all for the sake of his mother who had a difficult time after her husband died when their son was only a boy. After discovering all of this, the conversation above about Lord Red-Beryl takes place between Eles and the other orchestra members.

Now, the first problem with this usage of the word “feminist” is that it just doesn’t make sense in this context. Eles says the lord isn’t a feminist, that he simply has a mother complex, but that seems to imply that the lord’s behavior resembled that of a feminist’s in some way. However, before Eles mentions it, feminism did not enter my mind in the slightest while I was reading this section of the manga. If anything, maybe sexism, but certainly not feminism. While Lord Red-Beryl appears to respect his mother, the way he treats other women doesn’t seem like the behavior of someone who sees women as equal to men; I might argue that someone who thinks all women need the protection of a man suggests that women are weaker than men and is, in fact, sexist. When you take into account how Lord Red-Beryl treats the women around him (telling them how to dress, using them as servants which inevitably puts them in a position of considerably less power, and viewing each new (beautiful) girl as someone he could wed for his own benefit), sexist seems the much more likely choice.

As for the second comment about the difference between a leecher (essentially someone who takes from others and gives nothing back) and feminist being paper-thin, that’s just a plain insult. While this could be simply a reflection of the character, because no one denies or contradicts his remark, the idea that feminists are like leechers just sits out there, virtually accepted. Feminist has taken on a negative connotation in this day and age, to the point that even those who believe in equal rights for women won’t call themselves feminists, and this rather random insult in a manga reinforces that connotation. Feminists have been equated to extremists who want more, more, more and women with chips on their shoulder who hate men. If you truly believe that women are equal to men in every society, it may seem that way, but if you look at things like what women get paid in comparison to men who work the same jobs (in the U.S., it’s 77 cents (if you’re a white woman) for every dollar a man makes), the glass ceiling and second shift effect, gender roles and stereotypes, and even more serious issues in certain countries, there are still reasonable issues that feminists are trying to work on. Are there people who call themselves feminist who may be extreme? Probably, but most feminists are average people who see that equality between sexes is still an ongoing process.

Sadly, there are a lot of misconceptions about feminism buzzing about so, if you see any iffy usages of it in fiction and don’t have a blog of your own, please tell me about them so I can call those mistakes out.

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Last week I went to a book club discussion. I’ve never really been a part of a book club before, but when I heard the book being discussed would be Gail Collins’ When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present, I decided to go at the last minute; if it gave me the opportunity to hear opinions on a good book on the history of feminism, I had to go.

It was a relatively small gathering, apparently not accumulating as many readers as last month’s, but promising an interesting discussion nonetheless. In the end, there were five women (including myself) and three men, ranging in diversity from a grandmother who experienced much of what the book discussed to a man and a woman from other countries who could compare America’s feminist progress to their own country’s. Certainly, it was an eye-opening experience.

However, one of the topics that stuck the most with me was about today’s feminism. A number of the people present seemed to believe that the feminism movement was going just as strong as in the past and without receiving as much grief from non-feminists. Certainly, there are feminists continuing to strive for equality, but there’s also a large group trying stubbornly to soundly undermine them. I also have to wonder how we can compare our current feminist movement to that of the past when nowadays many people (including young women that could be the strength of a feminist movement) are under the impression that feminism isn’t even needed anymore. These people think we’re all fine and peachy now that women are able to wear pants without grief even though women are still being paid less than men.

There’s the classic, “I believe in equal rights for women, but I’m not a feminist” phrase that really says a lot about some people’s view of feminism. It’s been warped in many people’s minds from a cause for equality to something ugly and extreme. Thanks to people like Rush Limbaugh and his famous invention of the word “feminazi” and other media, people don’t want to associate themselves with feminism.

On Feminist Frequency, Anita Sarkeesian used the sixth part of her Tropes vs. Women series for Bitch Magazine to point out just how the media has tried to sabotage people’s opinions of feminism through the use of what she calls the “straw feminist” trope. Sarkeesian explains that the media not only presents viewers with feminist extremists in this trope (if you can even call these characters “feminist”), but also feeds them the idea that feminism isn’t needed anymore. This makes anyone who dares to call themselves a feminist look crazy and extreme. Similar issues are discussed in Susan J. Douglas’ book Enlightened Sexism: the seductive message that feminism’s work is done.

 Hey. I’d love it if feminism wasn’t needed anymore, too, but if people are just going to believe it isn’t needed, they may as well try to believe away the recession as well. As long as companies like Hardee’s and JCPenny are still using scantily clad women as the bait to get customers, Hollywood is still shoving offense female stereotypes at viewers (while pointedly not presenting us with many realistic female characters), and the government won’t allow women to make their own health decisions, we still need feminism.

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Wow! Now thats evidence! A cheap pic combo of "feminism" and the Nazi symbol!

At this very moment, we are under attack by an irrational group of people. They are bringing about the downfall of our country and all reason!  Now, wait! Stop! I am not referring to the people who hang on Glenn Beck’s word with cult-like mindlessness; I am speaking of the real threat. Feminazis (also known as militant feminazis, lesbian feminazis, etc.)! Though they call themselves feminists, radical guys who have big mouths (all the better to spread the truth with) and radio shows like Rush Limbaugh are there to tell us the truth. But how do we spot these dangerous usurpers of nature?

The basic key to spotting feminazis is simple: stereotype and draw presumptuous conclusions! If you can do that, you are ready for the following steps:

1. Feminazis are easy to spot by their comical ugliness.

Wanted: Feminazi

As any good feminazi-watcher knows, feminazis are ridiculously unpleasant to look at. I mean, what is attractive about a woman who blubbers about being treated like a fellow human being and talks back? Nobody wants that! (Just watch Stepford Wives; the best looking women will always do a man’s bidding (as mindless Barbie robots should).) One key sign; Feminazis commonly grow mustaches as to openly denounce their femininity. It might be a tip-off if it’s shaped like Hitler’s infamous little ‘stache (I hear it’s all the rage with any group you disagree with).

2. Feminazis lack feminine, womanly behavior.

Because feminazis are so unfeminine (evidence we have based on the many fervent squawks of insult cried by advent feminazi-watchers), it has been discovered that they are actually man/woman hybrids (one man from the blog Kevnice even suggested feminists, as feminazis like to call themselves, complete the job and “get a sex change”). According to these experts, feminazis are loud about their opinions, irrational when arguing their points, and mow down anyone who disagrees with them without question or care of the people they’re running over all in the effort to reach their goal. Oops! Maybe I’m mixing that up with a description of the feminazi experts like Rush instead of a description of the feminazis they’re watching out for…

3. Feminazis hate children.

It is a well-known fact that feminazis plan to uproot the family ideals. No one who wishes for something so outrageous as for society to get rid of harmful, stick-figure ideals could care an ounce about children. They’re not thinking of the young girls who are starving and mutilating themselves in an effort to conform to unrealistic expectations for beauty. No, it’s obviously some selfish motive. I mean, what kind of mothers would they make, wanting their daughters to receive the same pay rate as their fellow male employees?

But of course, as Rush Limbaugh kindly explains, “A feminazi is a woman to whom the most important thing in life is seeing to it that as many abortions as possible are performed.” He elaborates further, saying that abortion is “a modern-day holocaust.” Yeah, because feminazis couldn’t possibly be thinking of the rights of girls and women that have been raped, women pregnant with a baby so unfortunately diseased that allowing it to be born would be cruel (ever heard of anencephalic infants?), and the other sad circumstances surrounding abortion and that it is the woman’s right to decide to keep the child despite circumstances or not. But I’m sure Rush must have thought of these things (carefully), of course; just as sure as I am that Rush must have had the experience of carrying around a child for 9 months as he is so knowledgeable on the responsiblity and impact of it.

HOW TO HANDLE THEM

A typical day in the life of a feminist. (Hrm. I wonder why I can only find a pic like this as a cartoon?)

Be a real man.

Feminazis seem to be able to sense fear; fear of letting a gender rise to equality (nothing more or less) because it can only mean change for instance. Strangely, they only become agitated when aggravated by those with boyish immaturity and insensibility and fear of cooties. So, the good news is, real men have nothing to fear!

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