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Two parts cultural commentary, one part personal ranting. Serve with a side of political debate. May contain sarcasm.

How the internet destroyed Feminism and why Emma Watson might just save us all.
26 September 2014 @ 12:52

Feminism was something that was taught to me in my first year at University. It was an hour long lecture, compulsory for anyone studying anything vaguely politics-y. 
 

We learnt was that there were two types of Feminist
1) people who believe that women are naturally superior to men and 
2) people who believe that the sexes should be treated equally. 
Everyone in the class agreed that the second kind of feminism was a good idea. If anyone did disagree, they didn't dare say so aloud. We also read pretty much everything by Mary Walstonecraft and were asked if it is possible to justify paying men more for doing exactly the same work as a woman. No one could. 
 
And that was the end of it. Feminism number 2. Let's do that. Next lecture: Environmentalism. 
 
 
To me its always just been that simple. Until the internet decided that Feminism was the new black. There are millions upon millions of articles, videos and social media posts about Feminism, but not just Feminism; post-structural-feminism, neo-feminism, transfeminism, antifeminism, and whatever else becomes the cool, new prefix. There is an argument and a counterargument to everything. For every article there are thousands of angry commenters saying that no, no no, the author's got it all wrong
I've read too many articles explaining why Beyoncé is a great feminist. Why she's a terrible feminist. Why Nicki Minaj is a better feminist than Beyoncé. But that's a pointless debate. It doesn't matter. No one should be a better feminist than anyone else.
 
The internet is taking us in circles. We've started fighting each other instead of fighting for equality. Words such as "slut-shaming", "male privilege" "sexual harassment" are thrown around with little care. For every logical point discussed there is at least one idiot in the world who will say "yeah I don't care what this woman has to say, she's an ugly cow" or "you don't get a say about feminism because you're a man". 

Every article or you tube video produces an endless cycle of unproductive, angry and ill-informed debate. Before people became so bold and troll-y on the internet everyone agreed that equality was, in general, a good thing. But somewhere along the line feminism has become a dirty word.

So people have stopped identifying as feminist. It causes too too many problems. It induces eye-rolling and trolling and threats. In some cases the word has been hijacked to mean something completely different or something so extreme that people are scared to be associated with it.
 
No one should be afraid to say they're a FeministFeminism is a simple concept. It's a good concept. It is, pure and simple, the quest for economic, political and social equality. 
 
Emma Watson gave a brilliant speech about this at the UN. She said that feminism is a fight for everyone, that both men and women are stereotyped and discriminated against and that this must stop. Her words are infallible. Her argument water-tight. 
 
But for the mere fact that she's a woman, some lowlife scum have decided that they need to "teach her a lesson" and "put her in her place" by releasing nude photos of her. 
 
Before the internet, this could never have happened. If anyone had any problem with Emma Watson's speech they'd have to write to her personally or write to a newspaper. And like hell would a newspaper publish anything to "get back at" Emma Watson for doing her job as a UN Goodwill Ambassador. Nowadays anyone can publish any number of horrendous things online and they can whip around the world in seconds, shared on social media. The internet has made people bold. It rewards the evil.
 
But how do we stop it? How can we go back to the days of Politics 101 when no one dared argue publicly against equality for fear of being shouted down as a sexist, misogynist, ignorant prick?  
 
This is how: we support Emma Watson and her HeforShe campaign. We don't let the bullies win. 
 
We take the feminism debate offline and into the boardroom. We take it into parliament. We take it onto the street.
 
We stop fighting behind computers and we start demanding equal pay, we start blaming rape on rapers not on alcohol or outfits, we start breaking down gender stereotypes and we start treating everyone withthe respect they deserve.
 
It won't be easy, but we cannot let the internet destroy equality. We cannot let the evil trolling bullies and the feminist hijackers win. 
 
I am a feminist. I support HeforShe. I hope you do to


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1 Comments


tteedd said:
16 May 2016 @ 21:39

The way to sort out the internet is to make the service providers responsible for the content.

When retailers were made responsible for the goods they sold we were told this would not work. It has worked well.

We can identify the shop we bought an item from just as we can identify the ISPs.

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