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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

I’m a feminist, but I don’t hate men

A response to anti-feminism social media influencers
Peyton McKenzie

I’m a feminist, of course I support women — but I support men, too.

Feminism is defined as “all genders having equal rights and opportunities,” according to the International Women’s Development Agency. But, after many years of the same argument, there somehow still seems to be a misconception around what feminism is. Consequently, the anti-feminist movement has gained more of a following thanks to social media apps like TikTok.

A TikTok has been circulating recently from the creator Lily Kate, using a trend currently on the platform to make it known that she isn’t a feminist.

“I’m not a feminist, I can wear dresses and feel pretty,” Kate said in her Dec. 11, 2023 video.

Meanwhile, she showed herself in a spaghetti-strap dress. Thanks to feminism, she can wear a dress with spaghetti straps without it being “scandalous.”

“I’m not a feminist, I don’t hate children,” she continued.

Thanks to feminism, she can choose when to have children, if ever, because women fought for her to have that choice.

I couldn’t believe that she was serious. I thought it was satire. But it wasn’t. After reviewing more of Kate’s content, I realized her perspective of feminism is completely skewed, as are those of many anti-feminists on the app. I thought that arguments like Kate’s had died out.

When Kate says she’s “not a feminist,” does she know what she’s actually saying? By definition, she’s claiming she doesn’t support her own freedoms.

Feminism doesn’t mean we want women to be superior to men. We just want equal rights.

Feminism is seeing the gender wage gap and being angry that women on average only make 82 cents to a man’s dollar, and even less for women of color.

I get even angrier when I think about the fact that wages decrease when more women enter male-dominated fields such as engineering. Did you know that computer programming was originally a female-dominated field? Yet it only gained prestige and increased pay when it became male dominated. If this makes you angry, you’re a feminist.

Notice how I didn’t say men’s pay should be decreased? It’s because all we’re asking for is equality, not for men to suffer what we’ve had to suffer since the beginning of time.

Anyone who thinks that feminism is just anti-men needs to take a history lesson. People like Kate who use their platforms to spread false information just because they’re ignorant are dangerous. If you claim to not be a feminist or even anti-feminism, you’re just anti-women.

Early feminists paved the way for us to vote and go to school — just like men do. They didn’t say, “Well, now men have to stay home with the kids.”

Anti-feminists love to bow down to men, so they should know that feminists aren’t just the reason for women’s freedoms. They are advocates for men’s freedoms as well. 

Early feminists made it so it was possible for men to stay home with kids and be homemakers while women worked if they wanted to. The key word here? “Want.” We have these freedoms because of feminists, so we can do what we want, when we want.

The argument that feminism is “anti-men” is a tactic to discredit the movement. If you believe women hate men because they’re feminists, think about who told you that. Was it a man? Was it a woman in a moment of anger because she had to deal with misogyny every day — misogynists like anti-feminists?

Because of these false ideas of what feminism is, it’s often treated like a dirty word.

Men can be feminists, too. Saying “I’m not a feminist” as a woman is saying “I don’t want freedom.” Saying “I’m not a feminist” as a man is saying “I don’t want women to have freedom.”

The problem is that anti-feminists don’t even want to try to understand the views of feminists. So, they make up preposterous lies about feminism and spread them, like these content creators.

Debra Lea, another woman who creates anti-feminism on TikTok, stated in a video, “Feminists mad I’m anti feminist because I don’t wanna grow my armpit hair out.”

Is this really what anti-feminists think of when they think of feminism? It’s sad and disturbing to say the least.

Another creator, Mallory, said in a different video, “don’t tell the feminists, I’d rather stay home and cook and clean.”

Some women want to stay home and cook and clean. That is what will give them a happy and fulfilling life, and that’s perfectly acceptable. Yet, that’s not the goal for every woman on this planet. The whole point of feminism is that if that is what you want, then go for it.

If you want to have more traditional gender roles in your home, then that is fine, just don’t force everyone else to live that way and don’t shame the women who would rather not live that way. 

TikTok is a great source for entertainment, but I think we should take every perspective on a serious topic with a grain of salt. There is no reason for women’s rights to be villainized or politicized, but with creators like Kate, Lea and Mallory spreading harmful misinformation on the app, it’s hard for them not to.

It seems women have a long way to go before they can actually be seen as equals without a fight.

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About the Contributors
Lillian Curtin
Lillian Curtin, Opinion Editor
Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

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    BrendaFeb 23, 2024 at 12:05 pm

    Great job, Lilly!