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“If This Makes Me A ‘Feminazi’, I’ll Wear It As A Badge Of Honour”

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By Shaheen Ahmed:

Sundays are generally meant to be leisure days for me, a day when I can lounge around the house in pajamas reading inane news stories, watching films, or browsing through the internet. I like chilling on Sundays. But yesterday, I found myself fuming over what I had just read on the internet. A well known website called MensXp, which is quite popular and writes on men’s stories, decided to go a step further and publish a post which was clearly nothing more than an insidious rant against feminism. The post was by a little known Facebook group called Man-Handled on the difference between ‘Feminazis’ and ‘Women’. This post is a set of graphics putting ‘Feminazis’ in opposition to ‘real women’. This morning, the wildly popular Logical Indian Facebook page also published this set which at the time of writing this piece was liked by almost 10000 people and shared over 2000 times. (The Logical Indian has now removed the post and issued an apology)

feminazi vs real women

Before we delve into the issue at hand, let us first talk about who is a ‘Feminazi’.

A cursory Google search leads me to the etymology of the term. It was coined by the American conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh in the early 1990s. The Wikipedia page describes a feminazi as a ‘term which is used perjoratively in popular culture to describe either feminists who are perceived as extreme or radical, women who are perceived to seek gender superiority over men, or, in some cases, to describe all feminists’. Rush Limbaugh has not only enriched the English language with his benign contribution, but lest we forget, he was also the same guy who called women ‘sluts’ because they wanted contraception in their health packages. But hey, who are we to say anything? After all a woman’s body is of course not hers, she is of course not allowed to have a say on her reproductive health rights. So does that make Limbaugh a ‘Malenazi’, ‘Misogynazi’? I am just attempting a poor play at his own creation, so please excuse me, or maybe readers can add their own terms.

To go back to the posters published online and becoming a hit with not just men but (surprise surprise) many women all over too, lets look at who is qualified to be a Feminazi. Feminazis are those who accuse and play victim game, degrade men, demand respect, pretend being independent and free minded, demand equality, want sympathy, and support the Deepika Padukone video ‘My Choice’. Whereas, ‘real women’ are those who stand strong, stand with men, earn respect with their values, prove they are independent by their actions, work towards equality, own self-respect and support women empowerment.

This was the metanarrative, let us quickly move into the subtext and propaganda behind these graphics. The real woman is strong because she can dance like a flamenco dancer with a perfect hourglass figure and stand with her back bowed in an impossible angle with a hand fan to cool her hotness, she stands with men because she will not hit back at violence or patriarchy (applause), she earns respect with her values which is by wearing a cutesy apron and baking for her husband and in-laws, prove their independence by being all girly and fawning over that cute stray dog on the street and covering its head with an umbrella when it rains (oh I am having a cute overdose now) and of course they support women empowerment by earning and loving equally for if she isn’t the earning types she isn’t successful, and neither is she empowered if she doesn’t have a male partner (obvious, innit?).

And the feminazi is one who is educated because she can be a judge (Holy Mother Of God), she is the smoking cigarettes types (Adarsh Bharatiya Mahila does not smoke, she lights her husband’s smoke, period) and of course she wears the trousers (like Diane Keaton in Annie Hall, remember).

At a time when India is witnessing a massive debate over gender justice and women’s empowerment, which gained renewed momentum after the Jyoti Singh gang rape case in 2012, these propaganda posters are exactly what the patriarchs needed. Isn’t it hypocritical that the many young people who were demanding the execution of Jyoti Singh’s rapists are also sharing and re-sharing this misogynistic propaganda?

Look into the entire word construction of ‘feminazi’ – a woman demanding her equal rights is being compared to the Nazis who killed millions of people and committed enormous amount of atrocities on civilians. What this post proves is that in the eyes of the patriarchal person, a woman who stands by her traditional roles of homemaker, nurture giver, silent receptor of male violence, dressed in feminine clothes is the ‘Real Woman‘. Anyone who demands her rights or breaks social taboos is equivalent to the terror that is Nazism.

Within this paradigm, I am extremely proud to say that I stand up for my rights, I demand equal wages, I demand a partner who cooks for me as I cook for him, who cuts her hair short, smokes a cigarette along with her male friends and is working hard to qualify as the equivalent of a judge someday. If that makes me a Feminazi, then I wear it as a badge of honor. This means that I am not your doll to be ordered around and neither will I tolerate any bullsh** in the form of patriarchy.

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  1. Martanda

    I’m glad such a post came. This reminds me of a small incident. A batchmate of mine, a girl, and me were once was having a discussion. Out of somewhere she started taking about some bird which she found very ‘cute’. So she asked me my opinion and I said IDK, its just a bird. Then I said ‘Yeah, but i’d like to kick it for once,’ which was an intentional salingerish comment to tease her. Now, this girl stood up from her bench, came to me, pulled rather literally snatched my earphones from my ears and my phone and gave me a hard push and said ‘I will kill you if you did that again’. Not that I took any of that drama seriously but it shook me for the hypocrisy that these so-called feminists show.
    Let me tell you why; whether it is Feminism, communism, anarchism, libertarianism, or any such ideology that seems to have developed out of exploitation of and for support, sympathy and emancipation of the individual the basic underlying philosophical theme is humanism. One must first respect the dignity of another individual, show respect to it before claiming to emancipate a worker from an industry-driven economy or a woman from a patriarchal setup.
    If you show disrespect to another person and physically hit him/her for light teasing then you’re just a bully who lacks any sense of humor. That girl and her likes, a feminazi or not, are definitely not a feminist, she is in fact a destroyer to the cause of feminism by portraying them in a bad light. I would have harangued if it had been a boy doing that to me but since she was a fuming ‘feminists’ basking in her own glory of empowered individualism I was disgusted by her behaviour and I left.

  2. ItsJustMe

    That is exactly what is wrong with feminism. Equal pay you say. The pay discrimination is baseless. It has been statistically proven that the low pay ratio is because of popular career choice of women being among the lower paying group. Further more if corporations could pay someone lower than men, for the same job, then why would they hire men. They would be jobless. And have you even read the whole article, it is against feminism and not women. Don’t assume every women to be a feminist and demand they be offended. The fact that you choose to attack the media for an article that no one cared to criticize or find anything wrong is exactly what makes you a feminazi. And don’t be too proud of that, they don’t do anything for actual gender equality. They are a sexist, gender biased group of people who has never spoken up for the other gender. Further more they attack artists, scholars, writers and politicians claiming ridiculous things about their work of a public address to be sexist. It is a means by which they make sure everyone agrees with them and no one have any other opinion or stand than their own. Hence the term feminazi

  3. B

    It is not always about you. Is is not ‘your choice’. It is about making the ‘right choice’.

  4. B

    The wage gap myth has been debunked many times.


    I don’t want to hire any more women.

    Yes, I said it. You cringed when you read it and I cringed when I wrote it, and even more so when the thought first occurred to me. I am a woman, a feminist, a mother, and a passionate entrepreneur. I don’t just stand for equality – I have crashed the glass ceiling in every aspect of my life. I get extremely angry when I come across articles that insist there are gender differences that extend beyond physiology. I am fortunate to have had female role models who taught me through their own examples that I can accomplish absolutely anything I desire.

    Over the years, I have hired outstanding women – educated, intelligent and highly articulate. Yet, I am exhausted. I have become profoundly tired of being a therapist and a babysitter, of being drawn into passive-aggressive mental games and into constantly questioning my own worth as a manager. I have had several women who quit to stay home to “figure out what to do next”. No, not to stay home and care for children, but to mooch of a husband or a boyfriend while soul searching (aka: taking a language class or learning a new inapplicable skill that could be acquired after work). Incidentally, I have not had a single male employee quit with no plan in mind.

    I have had women cry in team meetings, come to my office to ask me if I still like them and create melodrama over the side of the office their desk was being placed. I am simply incapable of verbalizing enough appreciation to female employees to satiate their need for it for at least a week’s worth of work. Here is one example to explain. My receptionist was resigning and, while in tears, she told me that although she was passionate about our brand and loved the job, she could not overcome the fact that I did not thank her for her work. It really made me stop in my tracks and so I asked for an example. “Remember when I bought the pictures with butterflies to hang in the front? And you just came and said ‘thank you’? That is a perfect example!” – “Wait”, I said, “So, I did thank you then?” – “Yes! But you did not elaborate on what exactly you liked about them! Why didn’t you?” She had bought them with the company credit card and I actually did not like them at all, but I digress.

    I have developed a different approach for offering constructive criticism to male and female employees. When I have something to say to one of the men, I just say it! I don’t think it through – I simply spit it out, we have a brief discussion and we move on. They even frequently thank me for the feedback! Not so fast with my female staff. I plan, I prepare, I think, I run it through my business partner and then I think again. I start with a lot of positive feedback before I feel that I have cushioned my one small negative comment sufficiently, yet it is rarely enough. We talk forever, dissect every little piece of it, and then come back to the topic time and time again in the future. And I also have to confirm that I still like them – again and again, and again.

    I am also yet to have a single male employee come to my office to give me dirt on a co-worker or share an awkward gossip-like story. My female employees though? Every. single. one.

    When I opened my company, I was excited for many reasons. One of them was wanting to make it an amazing place for women to build their careers. After all, we were two women, both mothers with very small children, opening a company in a very competitive industry. I was going to celebrate the achievements of my female hires, encourage them to find their voices, celebrate their pregnancies and year-long maternity leaves, be understanding and accommodating when they would have to juggle work/daycare/school schedules. Yet, I had no idea that the problems women faced in their workplace were often far removed from the typical inequalities feminism continues to address. It is not men who sabotage women and stump their career growth – it is women themselves!

    Article taken from Clarissa’s blog

  5. irate_pirate

    Smoking, drinking, whingeing and whining doesn’t make one a better person. Man or woman. Hard work, patience and commitment do. If you want to play the role of the primary earner in the family, by all means marry a man who is willing to stay at home and look after the home. It’s a much easier job than going out and ensuring that there is a constant stream of funds to run the family. In addition you have to ensure you provide him with jewellery, nice vacations and sex. Also ensure that the kids have a good education. Plus you have to look after the financial and health needs of your parents. This is what a typical Indian man does. The responsibilities he has are immense. I’m a woman. In a small nuclear family, life for me is farfar easier than for my husband. Role reversal for me? No thank you.

  6. Vishal Bheeroo

    So proud of you, Shaheen. Spot on and bang on:)

  7. themaverickwoman

    Shaheen Ahmed:I love u and glad that u came up with a strong article…I often see offended men on feminist comment pages. I understand why they are instantly offended and defensive. It’s because they have absolutely no idea how it feels to be so completely and utterly pushed down as a gender and made to feel as though you are not worth as much as your male counterpart.

    Women are not asking for an easy ride but a fair ride !!!

    Feminism is about giving women equal opportunities to women that men have automatically, just by being men .

    1. ItsJustMe

      Wrong. People wont speak out if they are comfortable and happy. People respond when they are threatened and mistreated. That’s what men are doing right now. It may be late, but never too late to act against feminism and everything that it has done. Oppressed you say, how much more do you want men to bend down so that you will feel comfortable? How many more insults and labels do men in this country have to take before your own insecurities clears off your mind. How many more artists, writers, public figures, and media have to redact their work / publications before feminists back down from criticizing everything on baseless sexist grounds?

  8. John Doe

    I’m surprised the author wasted so much time to come up with this crap. It is mostly the first breakup that makes most women want to read feminist literature. There, I said it.

  9. Monistaf

    “I stand up for my rights” – Good for you. As far as the law is concerned you have “more than equal” rights in India (Gynisthan).
    I “Demand” equal wages. Why do you feel you have the right to demand anything. The rest of us try and “negotiate” a wage that we think is a fair exchange for the skills we bring. If we do not think we are fairly compensated, we go elsewhere. The fact that you feel it is your right to demand anything is what qualifies you to be a feminazi. Again, if you “demand” that your partner cook for you, he/she will probably reciprocate in kind. You will probably have a more meaningful relationship and a better chance if you just ask nicely. If you want to express your liberation with short hair cuts and smoking with the guys, go for it, no one is stopping you. Just spare the rest of us the misery of second hand smoke. Your claim of a woman “demanding” her equal rights is baseless. You just have to realize that you already have “more than equal” rights. What you are demanding and fighting for is privilege and hence the term feminazi.

    1. TheSeeker

      The way the author has twisted that article is aplaudable.

  10. Ryan Majumdar

    Don’t worry. Cancer isn’t sexist. 🙂

    1. Ryan Majumdar

      Not that I oppose your post. As a man I agree with every part, except the part on cigarettes. You see, tobacco doesn’t really care about your gender before attacking your heart , lungs and body.

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