Recently, I saw a post on Tumblr that was criticizing modern feminism and I was with it for the first couple lines. The poster talked about how they don't like that some corporations are profiting off the feminist movement by making merchandise that says things like "girl power," without actually supporting any of the feminist movements. I agree with that part because it was the same sentiment that the LGBT community had with corporations making merchandise for pride month while still discriminating against LGBT employees.
But then it took a turn. Before I continue, here is the post in its entirety. I'm not going to link it, because I feel it is wrong and I don't want to send an angry mob that person's way.
The poster started talking about how feminism is an inherently rebellious movement and I was like okay..... And then they stated that if you do anything BUT rebel to what people expect a woman to do, you are not a feminist. This is when they lost me. Overall, this post claims that doing things like wearing makeup and shaving your legs, even if you enjoy it, is wrong. They claim that you do not actually enjoy it, you were just conditioned to like it from birth to appease the men.
I have so much wrong with this. This is literally gatekeeping feminism. I don't care if you think that not wearing makeup and not shaving your legs makes you feel like more of a feminist, but don't tell other women that doing it makes them less of a feminist.
I also want to bring to attention the hypocrisy of the post as a whole. They say that they do not do things because they don't want to do things that men want them to do. But isn't that letting men control you just as much as if you did something that they wanted you to do?
Additionally, by saying that women have to object makeup because it is inherently feminine backtracks on a major part of the modern feminist movement that states that women should be able to do anything men do and that men should be able to do anything women do.
They also talk about famous women such as Ariana Grande who sing about feminism but don't actually rebel and I was really confused. They don't sing about rejecting femininity, they sing about women's empowerment. I feel like a woman is empowered when she is doing whatever makes her feel most comfortable, and that may be wearing makeup.
Then they say something that kind of strikes as just wrong. They say that this whole post does not apply to trans women who try to reclaim femininity. So cisgender women aren't allowed to look feminine, but it seems like trans women have to?
The whole post is a mess of buzzwords that someone stuck in their edgy phase wrote.
My major gripe with it though is the gatekeeping of feminism. Feminism was made to promote women's empowerment and the equality of the sexes. It is intersectional, meaning that it includes all women from all backgrounds. I feel that excluding women that follow these weird "feminine" rules, isn't intersectional and therefore isn't feminist.
Telling women what they should and shouldn't do is one of the only rules of feminism. Women were mad that that was what men were doing and so they started to do whatever they wanted. Sometimes that includes things that men may like such as shaving or wearing makeup.
Nowadays, most women I know shave their legs when they want, not when they are told to. Sometimes that means they shave their legs every day, not at all, or when they want smooth legs. People are using makeup as an art and a way to express themselves. People are doing what they want.
There are so many things that are going on in the world right now that directly affect women and can or is harming them. Young girls are facing genital mutilation, rapists are allowed to walk free on college campuses, young girls are being sold into marriages, sex trafficking is on the rise. There are countless things that are happening that are threatening to take away the rights of women and I'm sorry if I feel that whether or not a girl wants to wear makeup is the least of our problems.
Modern feminism is in trouble. It's in trouble because this is what people are worried about. They have lost sight of what feminism stands for and have started to use it as a way to preach their beliefs on a pedestal that has its roots well-defined by women pioneers who risked their lives.