The Review

Independent Student Voice of UVU


May 2020

The Problems with feminism

The Problems with feminism

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By Tyler Carpenter | Staff Writer

Is modern-day feminism dying?

Based on research done by YouGov, an internet research firm, only 26 percent of the population in the U.S. identify as being a feminist. A more recent poll was done by Vox that shows that only 18 percent of the population identifies as being feminist. In this same poll it is shown that 85 percent believe that there should be equality for women. So if the majority of the population believes that there should be equality between the sexes, why aren’t there higher rates of people identifying themselves as feminists?

According to another YouGov poll, forty percent of Americans believe that modern-day feminists are too extreme, 47 percent of whom are women.  This can be seen in the outrage over the smallest things that “trigger” feminists. An example can be the outcry over the X-Men poster in which the main villain was seen choking Jennifer Lawrence’s character. The problem was that this is promoting violence against women. False. It’s the good guys versus the bad guys. It’s a superhero movie. Wouldn’t it be sexist for the main villain to hit everyone except the female characters?

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Another problem with the feminist movement today is that many don’t understand what exactly is being fought for because their causes, for the most part, have already been fought and won. Women have the right to vote, work the same jobs that men have, and also get paid the exact same amount as men. According to the Wall Street Journal, the wage gap is a “myth that won’t die” and is something that can be proven false time and time again. Even the American Association of University Women, a feminist organization, has done studies proving the wage gap to be a myth. John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963 making it against the law to do so.

“Everyone already has equal rights,” says Kaija Moon, a freshman. “Sometimes feminists are over the top and demanding things that they already have. What more do they want?”

Modern-day feminists want to be exactly like men, as if it’s a buffet of rights you can choose from. This why, according to another poll done by YouGov, 67 percent of men believe women should be drafted. If women want complete equal rights, why shouldn’t they have to be drafted. Yes, women can have equal pay and women can have the right to vote, but would they also like to pay for the movie next time? That’s a joke by the way. But that’s the thing; there is nothing wrong with men and women being different.

Maranda Fisher, a speech communications major, said “Men and women are different and should stay different, and there is nothing wrong with that.” This isn’t to say that they shouldn’t have equal rights, but at the same time people need to realize that there are differences between the two genders both mentally and biologically. A man opening the door for a woman, or helping her lift something isn’t them saying that women are weak and below them, it’s them being a gentleman. It’s called being a good person.

Quite frankly, feminism has turned into what feminist writer Lauren Messervey calls, “A movement of childish temper tantrums, causeless wildfires, name calling, and abusive labeling.”

So what can be done? Is modern-day feminism losing its hold because women can’t identify with the movement anymore? Is the movement won and over? Not necessarily.

The next step for feminism would be to start fighting for other causes. bell hooks, probably the greatest feminist currently, said “at its core, feminism is a movement that mobilizes women across identities to dismantle oppressive systems.” There are many women in the world who are not being represented and who are not given a voice.

Let’s start a movement where feminism can spread across the world. Let’s create a world where women don’t need to be impoverished, held slave to their corrupt governments, and not seen as second-rate members of society. Let’s take this fight to other parts of the world where real discrimination is happening.

Ultimately, there are too many kinds of feminists. Feminists, the sane ones, need to rally together and create a belief system of things that true feminists believe. Then they should say that anyone who does not believe in these core values is not a true feminist. This would eliminate the crazy, over-the-top “abort male babies” feminists that the media portrays, and instead show us what true feminism is, which is the desire for the equality of the sexes.

Feminists need to fight the real battles that need fighting, and not be distracted and outraged by every little thing that could be considered sexist. These acts are what drive people away from the true feminist movement. If feminism is to be saved, there needs to be outcry against true discrimination in the world, rather than the little ones we see in the media.



Tyler Carpenter

17 thoughts on “The Problems with feminism

  1. I disagree. It’s time to END feminism and instead build a movement to promote egalitarianism worldwide. Feminism is a sexist supremacist movement to many, whether they admit it or not, and they need to be isolated to grow ever more insane while people interested in true equality for both men and women can focus efforts wherever they are needed.

    I would like to suggest a movie called “The Red Pill” for anyone wanting to see where efforts are currently needed.

  2. We don’t disband the military in times of peace, so why are you claiming that the Feminist movement should stop fighting for equality here at home.

    The war is far from over in our country, because something as simple as a Republican President appointing a Pro-Life justice will set the clock back 40 years.

    Not too long ago, men could commit their wives to insane asylums because they suffered from “female hysteria” and in some cases women were forced to have hysterectomies. I realize at your age, such knowledge would require you read books instead of internet polls. In most cases those polls were administered to people who also don’t read books.

    Domestic violence and rape are perfect examples of where sexual discrimination still exists. Your county was catapulted onto the national stage when the BYU Honor Code was proven to be a novel method of victim shaming.

    One could ask why we have to make a law to ensure police would arrest a man who injures his wife? Because for years it was not considered a big deal to injure your wife. In some cases, the police didn’t even write a report when a woman was physically abused by her husband.

    Why do you suppose we had to make a law that you cannot rape a woman using alcohol as a facilitator? Because it was very common and it is very wrong! Some states have even had to spell out that the woman’s incapacity to give consent is not her fault.

    We still have a long way to go young man. Go check out some feminist history books, you know the paper kind.

    If you need help to find where to start.

  3. Mr. Cavanaugh, I don’t want to start a debate, and I won’t be continuing any further comments to this article, I will only say this (and before you discount this as rhetoric from what you erroneously understand as feminism, I am white and I am male):

    Both you and Mr. Carpenter have a fundamental misunderstanding of feminism. Feminism is trying to promote egalitarianism. Women have historically been, and continue to be oppressed by a system that considers them to be a second-rate citizen. Everything from our political system to our economic system is oppressive, not only to women, but to anyone who is not white (our economy is still based on a single income family). These are the things that feminism is trying to fight. The portrayal of feminism and feminists through the media gives both of you the ideas that you have that are flawed at their inception.

    Laws like Affirmative Action and Title IX – both coming out of the civil rights movement – were put into place to help people who aren’t ideal, that is to say white male person, an equal footing in the world and in school. These laws have been in place for nearly half a century, and even though the legislation says that a person cannot be discriminated against based on their race, religion, color, and many other traits including biological sex or gender(these aren’t necessarily the same thing) that doesn’t change the culture in which these identities are. These identities are still very much separate, there is a gendered wage gap and this gap is even more prevalent when applied across races.

    We can’t even look at a person who doesn’t fit in the way our culture views sexuality and gender – meaning the LGBTQIA community – as being worthy of the same rights that we give to everyone else. Parts of this group had to fight tooth and nail to even be able to get married, with no argument against it except for a religious one (I bring that up because, when it comes to legislation, religion isn’t a basis for restricting or allowing things to be). Trans men and women are viewed as social pariahs and are ridiculed for something as trivial as using a bathroom.

    You want to fight for an egalitarian world, become a feminist. While it started to gain equal rights for women, feminism is NOT about women, feminism is about equitable justice for all people, no matter who they are.

  4. Tyler, why do you keep writing these articles without doing more unbiased research? Besides one survey, I don’t see any sources besides people who agree with you. Maybe I’m missing something.

  5. I’m confused by your research. Or really, your lack of research. From the wall street journal: there was an opinion piece written in 2015 saying it was false… is that your “reference”? And the next time you’re groped because you just looked too tempting I hope you remember writing this. Oh wait, that probably won’t happen to you to because you’re male. Unlike the 1 in 6 women who have either been raped or had someone attempt to rape them. But I guess 3 in 100 men face that same thing….. is this the equality you’re talking about?

  6. I think acts of sexism is true discrimination. This article makes me sad. To the author Tyler, there are some awesome people at UVU that having a dialogue about this piece might be helpful for others to better understand your viewpoints and to understand those that view it differently than you (women’s success/Dr. Susan Madsen, anyone in the multicultural center, Dr. Kyle Reyes). I would love to have a dialogue as well so feel free to contact me.

  7. Here’s the thing… a man writing an article about feminism saying that superhero movies are showing the women as the “bad guys”, quoting a freshman in her first year of college, and misleading the reader by saying that women DO have the same jobs, pay, and opportunities as men? I disagree.

  8. This is an excellent example of the violent culture of ignorance coddled at UVU. How did this article get past the editors? The next time anyone asks me if I feel safe and respected on campus, I will certainly point them to this article and inform them that my university believes that this is acceptable rhetoric.
    Tyler, take a feminism class, or have a 5 minute conversation with someone who disagrees with you and actually listen, actually THINK about women as fully human with a different lived experience than you.
    There are so many types of feminism because there are so many types of women. Your article is just another piece of text that tells women to “shut up and be reasonable”. Well, I don’t want to be a man and I don’t want to be reasonable, I want the patriarchy destroyed, and I want freedom for women, men, and all the other genders that are subjected to your ignorance and the systemic violence that is REAL, even if it is invisible from your perspective.
    #uvureview shame on you.

    Also, Tyler, when I see bell hooks next semester, I’ll be sure to show her your fine piece of work.

  9. Wow, UVUreview…this is pretty cringe-worthy. Dialogue about movements like feminism are important, and representing differing perspectives is necessary to a productive discussion, but as other comments have noted, this piece is poorly researched. Embarrassingly so. This is an academic institution, right? Shouldn’t we have higher standards than buzzfeed? This article does not address nor does it suggest knowledge of actual feminist theory or causes. It does not even accurately represent U.S. law or history. It caricaturizes an entire movement and reductively misrepresents and then pokes fun at their critiques of society.

    An opinion piece like this should aim to understand and accurately represent the position it is disagreeing with before responding. How can you say you disagree with current feminist ideology if you don’t even understand what that is? Carpenter comes away with zero credibility on the topic, and his use of bell hooks is hilarious–clearly he doesn’t understand her work at all. Overall this is a shabby, embarrassing piece of journalism.

  10. “Let’s start a movement where feminism can spread across the world. Let’s create a world where women don’t need to be impoverished, held slave to their corrupt governments, and not seen as second-rate members of society. Let’s take this fight to other parts of the world where real discrimination is happening.”

    THIS. This is exactly what I am trying to and I´m a Feminist. THIS if Feminism. I was on the other side of the world, I grew up there, where traditional roles and patriarchy discriminate and oppress women. Places where a child (14 year old girl) was seen as dirty and a shameful, because she got raped. Her family and everyone else looked at her with disgust for years, “brought shame to our family!”
    This is what we, men and women, need to fight against.

    But I also have to disagree at one point; We still Need Feminism, at least in the US, where women´s reproductive rights are at big danger right now. We can´t ignore this. It´s about a human right. In Arkansas, a rapist can now sue his victims for getting abortion – nope, this is NOT a joke. This is what we have to fight against.

    In fact, we are all Feminists; we believe every human is born free and equal.

  11. Just a few observations from someone who has practiced feminism and journalism in two continents- addressed to the author:

    Feminism is diverse, heterogeneous- featuring many fragments and many internal tensions.Often scholars and practitioners refer to it as “feminisms,”- and this is the case with many many scholars and activists who speak/write in English and those that do not. There indeed is a big, wide, beautiful, and frightening world outside UVU, outside Utah, and outside the United States. In this world that might or might not be familiar to you, feminisms may include political/revolutionary ideologies, theoretical frameworks, academic endeavors, politics of sexual difference and commonalities, practices of reconfiguring knowledge systems and power relations that seek to maintain an unjust status quo- erasing women’s contributions from history and from the present.

    UVU’s own Roots of Knowledge installation, for instance, while aesthetically pleasing- surprisingly does not include images of women pioneers from the fields of science and technology, arts and humanities. While women do have equal legal rights in this country, statistics from multiple not-so-feminist sources (Such as Department or Justice, Education, Labor, Defense- as well as non-governmental think tanks) demonstrate how far we are from numerical equality as well as equity. Feminisms today include politics of critiquing and opposing androcentric, misogynist, racist, heteronormative, classist, ableist, and various other exclusionary and exploitative social systems and structures that undermine democracy and social justice- not just women’s rights.

    As a feminist academic, I will also point out that feminisms have many flaws, and it is through this same culture of critiquing, reporting, and transformation that we can all move forward no matter what gender identity we claim (“women” and “men” do not exhaust all gender identities by the way). Your use of biased sources, your universalizing language (e.g. “Modern-day feminists want to be exactly like men” or “Another problem with the feminist movement today”- I mean there is no single, unitary feminism just as there is no unitary, homogeneous modernity), misreading of bell hooks, etc. makes this a disappointing piece. You are of course entitled to your baseless opinions, and freedom of expression is a beautiful thing. I absolutely love the conversation you have opened up. I hope you can speak to feminists before writing a future piece on feminisms- feminists who can readily tell you what they like, and dislike, about feminism. Thank you.

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