The feminist movement is fragmented. *GASP* This isn’t really new news as most people who care enough (read: have that much free time on their hands to look up things to get upset about) know this to be a fact. You can see this with the current backlash of men and women who have formed a number of media sites and blogs who, at least at the surface of it, oppose the current iteration of feminism. Many of these media sites and blogs, by the way, do acknowledge that the feminist movement has done a grand service for women everywhere in the West, despite the constant narrative on the other side by feminist and/or feminist-leaning websites insisting quite the opposite or not even acknowledging this basic fact. By feminist and feminist leaning websites, I mean specifically Everyday Feminism, Feministing, Feministe, XO Jane, Bustle, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Jezebel, TheFrisky, Slate, Buzzfeed, and many, many others. I cannot believe how many feminist and feminist leaning websites there are on the internet. It’s absolutely insane. And these are just the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t even mentioned the major news media sites like Huffington Post, The Independent, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Time Magazine, and others who are all to varying degrees feminist leaning. I haven’t even mentioned all the non-profit and for-profit feminist websites that have all mysteriously popped up out of nowhere in more recent times (as in the last decade) and there are at least a dozen of them. Now granted, in the above list, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Bustle are technically women’s magazines. They started out as a women’s-focused magazines but have gradually changed their tone to incorporate more and more feminist ideologies into their articles. Jezebel, XO Jane, and The Frisky are properly just a woman’s personal blog sharing personal experiences of their lives with respect to men and society that has gradually evolved into a feminist leaning website whose aim is to empower women with feminist ideologies while enforcing traditional gender roles (which flies in the face of common sense since the whole point of feminism is about equality and the tearing down of social, cultural, and gender norms and making them obsolete). Lastly, Everyday Feminism, Feministing, and Feministe are strictly feminist websites. Not a magazine or a woman’s personal blog that gradually evolved into a feminist leaning website. No. These started out with feminism as the foundation and the core of the entire website and have built their site around this.
Within each of these sites, they often times speak about feminism like its one singular but massive force to be reckon with. And it is, at least on the surface of it. But underneath the hood, there’s a lot of infighting between competing feminist ideologies right now which is not that different from the infighting they experienced nearly a century ago. And it’s interesting to take note of this as this is important and people should be aware of what’s going on around them. Right now, there is the mainstream feminism, also known as third wave feminism or modern feminism or present day feminism, all of which point to one and the same thing, the feminism that is being preached the loudest and driven down people’s throats the most at the immediate moment. A lot of feminists and feminist leaning websites have often times remarked that they don’t subscribe to the notion that women are superior over men. A lot of the same feminists and feminist leaning websites have also quoted the academic definition of feminism and insist that the movement is about equality. You can simply do a Google search and look for it yourself as there are plenty of sites out there that will gladly explain it to you in great detail what feminism is all about and what it purports to do for humanity. What they don’t tell you is that the existing feminist movement is fragmented. Like the past, there are multiple competing forms of feminism that are competing for supremacy within the movement at the immediate moment since third wave feminism is apparently, based on my research, slowly losing favor within the Western hemisphere. (A growing number of the Millenial Generation absolutely refuses to identify as a feminist but instead would rather call themselves humanists or some variation of it. Or not be labeled at all). The newest one right now that is gaining a lot of followers? Intersectional feminism. You can think of intersectional feminism as the watered down version of third wave feminism. Because it is. Then there are the race-specific feminism like Black feminism and Asian feminism. Then there are other types of feminism that are, to varying degrees, the less extreme version of third wave feminism but aren’t called intersectional feminism or any of the race-specific feminism because their views are far more conservative than either of the three. These lesser known feminist ideologies are, unsurprisingly, not currently labeled as anything. But I would like to call each of these different variations the “pick-and-choose-your-own feminism.” Meaning, one picks and chooses those aspects of feminism that they agree with and discard the one’s that are no longer applicable, are no longer based on current societal and cultural realities, or they simply don’t like it for whatever their reasons, religious, moral, or otherwise.
And this isn’t surprising given all the recent articles and studies that have been done that have popped up in the past couple of years that mentioned that women’s overall happiness have taken a serious nosedive from nearly a century ago and continues to dive ever lower with each passing year despite being granted access to an ever increasing list of opportunities, choices, and freedoms that feminism has fought long and hard for women kind. And let me be clear about this. I’m only speaking about women in the Western Hemisphere, not those in the Middle East or those who live in countries in dire need of equality.
All this fragmentation, contrary to what a lot of feminists have decried, isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually a good thing. Because it’s evolving. It just happens to be the case that modern feminism has evolved into this decrepit state where it is slowly being shunned by a growing number of Millenials. Now, these newer forms of feminism are taking center stage like intersectional feminism and the race-specific feminism. So far as how well that these new forms of feminism will fare or last in the coming years is certainly worth watching. I’m very curious to know. I’m curious to know how the race specific feminism will work or not work with intersectional feminism. From the standpoint of the race-specific feminism, it doesn’t seem like it is very compatible with intersectional feminism. Or maybe, these race-specific feminism are one and the same with intersectional feminism. Hard to say. Or maybe, intersectional feminism is the response to the race-specific feminism that has cropped up as a backlash to modern feminism which mostly consists of white, middle class women.
Whatever the case, I have a strong hunch that feminism, as a movement, will continue to fragment further.