the (non)sense of anti-feminists : the anti-feminist commenter
If you were of the anti-feminist persuasion, you would probably say feminists have been getting too much space in the mainstream media of late and getting in a tizz over nothing. If you are of the feminist persuasion you would realise that feminists have actually identified an important issue: the double standards between Unilever’s ‘Love your body’ campaign and the use of women in advertising for Lynx body spray for men (also owned by Unilever).
When a recent article appeared in The Age by Nina Funnel and Dannielle Miller identifying the problem of different yet contradictory messages from Unilever, anti-feminists were just as vocal in their condemnation of Nina and Dannielle. However it did not take long for anti-feminist commenters on the internet to quickly shift their attention to incorporate the entire feminist movement. Not surprisingly, the present day relevance of feminism was questioned, especially by ‘Bevman’ who believes that everything is considered sexist these days. Or in other words, no one can do anything without feminists making a lot of noise over nothing.
‘Cornelius’ suggests the feminist movement is now defunct, has no current purpose and more worthy causes should be focused on. ‘Cornelius’ almost writes we live in a feminist dominated world. S/he questions how feminists can push their point of view when we have a female prime minister. Well, if I’m not mistaken, since Federation in 1901, Julia Gillard is the first female Prime Minister of Australia. If ‘Cornelius’ thinks one female Prime Minister in 111 years means we live in an equal world may I suggest ‘Cornelius’ needs a little perspective! Ok, yes you’re right, a LOT of perspective!
Anti-feminists always use strong verbs to describe what feminists want to do or have done. In replying to Nina and Dannielle’s article ‘Bender’ believes feminists simply want to “control and define men’s appetites and interests”. I would have thought anti-feminists would be rejoicing in the halls of conservatism if feminists wanted to control men’s appetites because feminists would be in the kitchen. But of course it is not the appetite for food ‘Bender’ refers to but the one for sex, fun and enjoyment. ‘Ballboy’ (gee he must like tennis) uses very strong words to describe feminists saying they are “femmo-nazi nutters” involved in a jihad on humour. A jihad means a war or struggle against non-believers, and this in itself suggests feminists are forcing people to believe what feminists believe.
Lastly, I will leave you food for thought (yes another reference to the kitchen which I must get back to) about the frightening longevity of anti-feminism. In ‘Cornelius’’ words of wisdom, s/he makes the unsurprising statement that feminism has sought to turn women into men and that feminism makes women increasingly masculine. But this is nothing new. In 1894 in Victoria, a politician opposed to women’s suffrage said that voting would have the effect of unsexing women and making them masculine. The similarities in these beliefs is not surprising, nor is the loss of the original point of Nina and Dannielle’s article amongst the fear created by anti-feminists.