Monday, June 11, 2012

What Does the Internet Think About Feminism?

A friend of mine recently introduced me to the website What Does the Internet Think?. Its purpose is to evaluate what the people who use the Internet think about the terms you search. I have no idea how reliable this website is, but I decided I’d try it out for feminist-related stuff.

This is what the Internet thinks about feminism:

Interestingly, here's what the Internet thinks about women's rights, which (at least in my opinion) is pretty much synonymous with feminism:

This one, my search on men's rights, made me kinda sad. Although I suppose it explains why the Paycheck Fairness Act didn't pass.

This next one made me even sadder.

While the Internet seems to hate feminists, they like individual feminists of every era:

Sadly, Jewish feminism rated even worse than regular feminism.

I wasn’t really surprised when I saw the negative response to these terms, but it did make me sad. Of every reform movement in America’s history, I think it’s easy to argue that feminism is by far the most misunderstood. This is really particularly sad, since feminism demographically applies to literally half of the population. And honestly, it extends much farther than that, since men benefit from feminism just as much as women do.

I find it interesting that people are less negative and more indifferent towards women's rights than they are to feminism. I guess in general, feminism has gotten a bad rap. While the First Wave feminists in the 1800s certainly faced loads of opposition, I think that the roots of modern-day negativity to feminism has its roots in the Second Wave. I think that the world just wasn’t ready for radical feminists in the late 1960s and 1970s. Their extremism just put middle America off, and (with the media’s aid) made people generalize feminism as a far-left movement about not wearing bras or shaving your legs and being a lesbian and hating men.

And I think we definitely have the media to blame. Feminism was and is consistently put down by the media as a true f-bomb. Betty Friedan said it in 1963 in The Feminine Mystique and Julie Zeilinger says it in 2012 in A Little F’d Up. It’s up to us to take these stereotypes about and negative attitudes towards feminists and feminism and prove them wrong. If we don’t, where will women stand in this world?

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