Feminism How To’s: the good, the bad, the ugly

In an episode of aimless Google searching, I found myself at eHow looking at “how to” articles about feminism, or more accurately, feminists. Since individual articles are written by different contributors, they run the gamut of reactions to feminism, or more accurately, feminists.

The Good

How to Date a Feminist, By an eHow Contributing Writer.

Most women are feminists in one form or another. The work that women still need to do makes it necessary they be aware of women’s issues. Feminism at its heart isn’t about hating men but about equality and benefits both sexes. By showing your date you’re pro-feminism, you prove you’re mature, aware of her struggles and looking out for her interests. Read on to learn more.

This article is actually quite awesome. I love that it acknowledges that “most women are feminists in one form or another” right off the bat. It then gives instructions that are thoughtful, respectful, and seriously not a bad idea, including reading up on the history of feminism, learning about current feminist issues and topics, getting involved in women’s activism, and supporting her by participating in women’s activism with her. What a class act, that eHow Contributing Writer.

The Bad

How to Be a Modern Feminist, By Natasha Jackson-Arnautu, eHow Member

Being a feminist no longer means that you have to have more body hair than a gorilla with a terrible fashion sense. Being a modern feminist is about embracing your femininity while taking charge of the world. If you agree with the feminist principles but not the wardrobe advice, keep reading (and bring your razor).

Oh dear. Apparently the point of “modern feminism” is that you can be successful AND pretty. Who knew? The instructions are: shave (“Forget what you’ve heard, a modern feminist realizes that the better you look, the better you feel.”); wear makeup (“when and if you feel you need it”); wear comfortable clothes (“but still look feminine”); stop hating men (askjdfasf); keep the bra; and finally “be yourself.” So, by these standards, what sets a “modern feminist” apart from any good-looking, well-dressed woman? Let me know if you figure it out.

The Ugly

How to Deal with a Feminist, by insufficient, eHow Member

Feminists are radicals. If you’ve never met a feminist then you are probably a very lucky individual. These women are people who hate the fact that men are different from women. They hate the fact that hormones can control and influence a person. They want to neuter men. They essentially want to cutout what makes us human by suppressing our natural instincts and evolution to make a zombie species where girlfriends and boyfriends are nothing more than life partners and anyone that says otherwise is wrong. Don’t let them get to you or try to argue with them! You can’t win.

And that’s just for starters. Behold: “Deep down all they want is attention,” “They will try to dominate you with their rigid views of the world,” and my personal favorite, “Lots of times they will work in low level and paying jobs like animal shelters and other nurturing places so they can feed off of being compassionate and use that as ammunition against the “man” trying to hold them down for not having a job that requires years of hard work just to get their foot in the door.” Tips for dealing with a feminist include: “humor them,” “don’t let them get to you,” and “don’t give them any personal information.” It sounds more like instructions for dealing with dangerous cult leaders than feminist women. Ohhhh, I get it. Feminist women are dangerous cult leaders. Silly me!

So there we have it, the modern perceptions of feminism — good, bad and ugly. A “how to” article I’d like to see?  How to reach a place where “feminist” is no longer a dirty word.

One thought on “Feminism How To’s: the good, the bad, the ugly

  1. Wow. That eHow piece is nothing more than officially-sanctioned trolling. Coincidentally, advice like “don’t let them get to you” is more applicable to trolls than the “feminists” described there.

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