There once was a time where feminists stood for equal rights, a fair wage, and so that they didn’t have to be submissive to men. Since then, they’ve largely succeeded. We’ve seen a shift in the dynamics of “traditional family values”, However, for a new generation, this simply isn’t enough. Throughout the 2010’s, the narrative of feminism has been shaped by a new generation of neofeminists, except these aren’t the feminists seeking equal rights. On the internet, they seem set on enforcing a worldview in which women are superior to men, and they do this by proliferating petty outrage wherever they can, all while demanding reduced breast sizes in female video game characters, claiming that male fantasies are harmful to women, but providing no evidence to support their argument.
The narrative provided by the majority of neofeminists asserts that women are superior to men, and yet they are the victims of chauvinistic stereotyping and patriarchal oppression. This is their rationale for shaming comedians, businesses and artists into self-censorship under the guise of sensitivity. Of course, it’s all a lie. In fact, any real feminist would reject this notion entirely, because although feminism is about empowering women, it also stresses the equal treatment of men and women. What the neofeminists of the internet are doing is reinforcing the outdated myth of the “battle of the sexes” by making men look like horrible misogynists wherever possible. Not only are they missing the point of feminism, but their harming feminism by making feminists look bad.
The problem with the neofeminist’s central narrative is that it’s ultimately based on the same kind of sexism that should have died years ago. If you remember the feminists of the 1960’s and the 1970’s, you’ll probably remember that they were fighting against sexism, and against the idea that one gender is superior to another. What are the priorities of today’s social justice warriors? Power and control over free thought. They seek to bully anyone who doesn’t agree with them, or isn’t ashamed to be masculine. They target harmless fictional settings, often because they provide escape from a world where we may constantly have to keep ourselves in check for fear of disapproval. They don’t seem to have any idea that you can’t just promote your cause by making the other side look like complete monsters, simply because that mentality can only harm the cause rather than help it.
Of course, not all feminists are like this, and it’s highly possible that not all neofeminists are like this either. However, on the Internet, the ones that cause torment are so common and enjoy so much anonymity that it becomes impossible to determine the good ones from the bad ones, and what we’re left with is a heavily distorted narrative that can potentially ruin one’s perception of feminism. It’s easy to assume that it’s only sexism when a man devalues a woman, but bias is still bias no matter whose side your on, and no amount of liberal guilt can ever change that, regardless of what soapbox it’s coming from.