I've talked a lot about feminism in the past not only on the Odyssey, but also on my other social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, and WordPress. The biggest problem is that there are many people who claim to be feminists and constantly agree with and share a lot of my posts (and other people's posts) that really are not when you actually get to know them. These pseudo-feminists tend to completely miss the point of the feminist movement and what it is actually about. So, here are ten ways you can spot a fake feminist.
1. They constantly talk over others and think their needs are the most important.
While there are quite a lot of cases where one marginalized group's needs need more attention and focus at a given moment, these "feminists" tend to turn oppression into a competition (which it's not). The feminist movement should be about all different types of women fighting for each other, not against each other.
2. They often exclude women of color, trans women, disabled women, etc. from the conversations.
As a queer disabled woman, this is one that really gets to me. I have said this many times before, but feminism is about fighting for all women, not just the women you agree with or understand.
3. They put other women down.
Like I said before, the feminist movement is about all different types of women fighting for each other, rather than against each other. Putting other women down because they do things that you do not necessarily agree with should not be allowed in the feminist movement in the first place.
4. They never believe they are in the wrong at any time.
I have a firm belief that self-love without self-accountability is useless. I have known plenty of women who have blamed others for their own issues that they either started or have to do with them in any way, and it annoys me at no end.
5. They are constantly seeking the approval of others.
I completely understand that reassurance is needed every once in a while to help get some weight off of people's shoulders, but if you're seeking approval constantly, you would have to step back and ask yourself, "what am I fighting for?"
6. They not only generalize men but also generalize other privileged groups.
We have heard stories constantly about feminists generalizing men, but what about when they generalize other privileged groups? I have seen many people who claim to be feminists generalize cisgendered people while attempting to fight against the generalizations of trans and nonbinary people, which I would consider hypocritical, along with the fact that there are so many cisgendered people who are not TERFs at all.
7. They jump on any feminist bandwagon trend that they can possibly find.
Trends such as #MeToo and #TimesUp has gained so much traffic in the last few years to the point where it is easy for pseudo-feminists to hide behind them without doing any work. Even events like the annual Women's March gains so much attendance where most of them don't really care about the issues they are fighting for.
8. They defend abusers.
This is one that I will admit that I was guilty of in the past; not just with my own abusers but with other people's abusers. I was considered to be "too nice" my entire life and would defend anyone that was nice to me, no matter how toxic they actually were. I see many people defend abusers and claiming I'm the bad guy and trying to make them look bad, and this is the type of behavior that should not be in the feminist movement.
9. They abuse others.
Speaking of abusers, this is one of the most obvious ways to spot a fake feminist. Again, I will admit that I have abused quite a few people close to me as a child and a teenager, but after many years of therapy and other ways to control my issues has helped quite a lot (I also believe it's never too late to redeem yourself). My most recent abuser claims to be a feminist and it still upsets me that they are never held accountable.
10. They blame the victim.
If they have ever said anything along the lines of "he/she/they shouldn't have done this" or "why don't you just leave?" when an abuse survivor explains what happened to them, chances are they don't really care about the feminist movement. Whether it's because they are friends with the abuser or they genuinely believe the victim is to blame, this is the type of behavior that should not be allowed in the feminist movement.