Fauxmenist: Someone who claims to be a feminist, yet doesn’t seem to have any idea what that really means. They are often heard putting men down, expecting special treatment, demanding to be put on a pedestal, or insisting that the world should be run solely by women and men should be underground and used strictly for breeding purposes.
I’m sure you know, or have at least come across one of these at some point or other in your life. They’re often loud, obnoxious, and do nothing but hinder the cause they believe they’re fighting for. It’s hard to believe that anyone takes these people seriously, and yet it’s their words that are always the first to be mentioned in an argument against feminism. It’s because of them that people believe we have nothing left to be fighting for, since “all we want now is to be better, not equal.”
They’re everywhere, and they’re sneaky. You’ll think that you have some common ground because they claim to share your values, but as that mask slowly comes off, you realize you’ve been supporting and had the support of someone who is unintentionally, but viciously, going against everything you stand for and fight for.
I scribbled this down on a notepad the other day while waiting for the train, and now that I’m re-reading it I realize just how much it sounds like a trailer for a really obnoxious horror movie. However, despite how crazy I’m sounding, I still feel it requires repeating.
This is something that I am unfortunately dealing with on an almost daily basis, and my anger and bitterness towards it obviously shows. It’s bad enough that I am constantly feeling bogged down by sexism, misogyny, and inequality every day of my life, but when I’m also up against people who are supposedly on my side, it’s frustrating, it’s angering, and it’s exhausting.
The truth of the matter is that we are in a constant battle, and in battle you need allies. There is no way I would be where I am now without the support of those around me, the people at my side who share the same purposes and goals, with our hands on each other’s shoulders and our faces looking toward victory. There are people in my life that support me, that I try to support in every way I can, and when I have a day or time of “fuck this, I’m done,” I know they’ll be there to pick up the slack, or even to pick me up and remind me why I continue on.
Then there are people who try to force themselves onto this team, who show camaraderie and get amped up by the idea of fighting the good fight, but have no idea what they’re actually doing. I would not hand an AK-47 to an untrained civilian to go fight in a war, and I would not hand a megaphone to the fauxmenists to lead a movement. In both of these situations, you’re likely to strike against your own side, hurt those you’re trying to help, and do a lot more damage than good that someone else will have to clean up after.
I’m not saying that we should just shut them up and leave them behind, but rather help them along. Knowledge has power, and by educating these people on the purposes and goals that are truly worth fighting for and reminding them the reason for the fight, we have the potential to gain so much more emphasis and power, to not be fighting against ourselves rather than the enemy, and gain a louder, stronger voice to be heard by everyone.