Got a Problem? Blame it on Feminism!

From alcohol abuse among girls to the destruction of Israel, the big bad feminism is apparently the root of all evil. Most recently, feminism has become the scapegoat for victim blaming. Really.

Jessica over at Feministing caught this one before I did, but I thought I should still spread the Bad News to anyone who hasn't yet been made privy to Kathryn Jean Lopez's antifeminist nonsense.  Her article, titled, "What Feminism Wrought" details the horrors that can be attributed to the belief in equal rights.

To start, Lopez blames feminism for the results of a recent poll conducted by the Boston Globe, in which almost half of 200 teens polled thought pop star Rihanna was at fault for being beaten by her boyfriend, Chris Brown. You may ask yourself how anyone could blame feminism for victim blaming behavior when so many feminists are anti-sexual violence and anti-victim blaming activists.

Well, according to Lopez, feminism is to blame because we feminists have gone and 'confused everyone' by 'inventing oppression where there is none and remaking woman in man's
image.'
  That's right.  Now everyone is running around like chickens with their heads cut off because the darn feminists are going against 'natural gender roles,' in which men protect women and women expect protection.

While condemning feminism for causing victim blaming behavior and all around confusion, Lopez engages in some victim blaming herself, saying,

I appreciate the kids' wanting Rihanna to take some responsibility for
her situation. She's an adult, after all, as is Brown. And if she gets
beaten, she should get the heck away from the person responsible. And
as a best-selling artist, she has the financial freedom to extricate
herself from her trouble.

I guess in Lopez's world the only thing that prevents women in abusive relationships from leaving is money. Unfortunately, real-life domestic violence is much more complex than simple financial factors.

Aside from attributing victim blaming to feminism, Lopez has some other bones to pick with the movement.

But while feminists whine about false pay gaps and oppression that
doesn't exist, we ignore the mess that we've created in rejecting the
fact that there is good in nature and tradition.

There isn't actually a wage gap and opression is pretend! This is such a relief! I'm gonna go tell all my feminist friends that they don't need to pay any mind to the wage gap or opression of any kind because everything they've been working for has been accomplished. I can't believe we didn't get this memo sooner. Thanks Kathryn Jean Lopez!

P.S. This is why feminism is scary!

 Why feminism is so scary!

Oh my. Photo via Sociological Images.

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Comments

24 comments have been made. Post a comment.

Don't need to hysterically overreact to this one...

I think the author got it wrong too, but it's a reach to say that the author is blaming feminism for everything. What she seems to be saying, albeit rather poorly, is that chivalry seems to have been rejected by feminism and therefore leads not only to men behaving badly, but a scewed sense of victimhood from the younger generation.

It would have perhaps made more sense to indict feminism as failing on the domestic violence front, as evidenced by the study the article was pointing to. It's a silly argument, I agree, but the blogger just made the article writer's point: feminists jump on the lame issue (i.e. this article) and then ignore the real problem (that 200 highschool girls blame a victim for domestic violence). Bitch blog should be talking about the viewpoint of these teenage girls rather than the viewpoint of one anti-feminist writer.

@anonymous

hysterically overreact? to what? i don't understand why feminist websites have so many male contributors that feel the need to preface reasonable comments with accusatory things like that. why be antagonistic before your even provoked? if feminist are going to be angry about anything you just said, i think its likely to be that your feeding the stero-type that they are nothing but reactionary.

@anonymous

hysterically overreact? to what? i don't understand why feminist websites have male contributors that feel the need to preface reasonable comments with accusatory things like that. why be antagonistic before your even provoked? if feminist are going to be angry about anything you just said, i think its likely to be that your feeding the stero-type that they are nothing but reactionary.

Why would you assume I was male?

I'm not, and you seem to be missing the bigger point, ie. the last sentence of my original post. And I wasn't saying feminists are nothing but reactionary (I'm proud feminist)...just said they too often react to the wrong issue. They shouldn't be angry (as you seem to be) over idealogic challenges, but should rather engage in some critical thought and debate when idealogical challenges present themselves- which should happen often in feminism, because so many viewpoints lie within. Again, quit making a big deal out of one (or two) persons' opinions, and see the importance of addressing the bigger issue - that too many teenage girls are justifying rather than denouncing domestic violence.

hi there

In case you're interested, Ashley here at Bitch touched on the issue of young fans defending Chris Brown in her Douchbag Decree a couple weeks back.

Take note: Opinions expressed are those of their respective authors, not necessarily those of Bitch. Dig?

i'm not angry about you

i'm not angry about you challenging the ideas, i said so in my response. i found nothing offensive in the content of your post except a slight annoyance at you introducing an otherwise thougtfull post by presuming everybody would fly off the handle. it also treads dangerously close to old sterotypes of women as hysterical and feminists as reactionary. i think it is legitimate to call out these sorts of stereotypes even in comments because bitch is all about analysing the latent cultural sexism used by otherwise well meaning people, even proud feminists.

i also thought about whether or not to leave the assumption you were male open. i did just because i have seen so many commentors with male names preface with these defensive statements. so i was commenting more on a general trend than you specifically so i didn't think it mattered much.

this is just my opinion on how to promote better dialoge, if i thought you were a troll i wouldn't have bothered. shine on

WHaaaa?

That article took a needle in a haystack and made it the sewing project. The point is NOT that feminism needs to re-define itself, but that our society is fucked-up when it comes to male aggression towards women, and the scores of depressing interviews with teens on the news lately saying 'She probably deserves it' proves the point.

Heck, if the accusations

Heck, if the accusations against Rihanna were the worst anti-feminism in America right now, I'd be downright ecstatic. If you have a strong stomach, Google "Quiverfull Ministries." Victim-blaming (for spousal abuse, rape, infertility, etc.), coupled with the idea that if you don't get married straight out of high school and have at least ten children (this is not an exaggeration, folks), you're not a good Christian.

Why aren't we speaking out against the people who twist religion into the dehumanization of women, instead of making cutesy pictures?

Quiverfull

There was a great article on the Quiverfull movement in the Singular and Plural issue of Bitch, if you're interested.

Take note: Opinions expressed are those of their respective authors, not necessarily those of Bitch. Dig?

Truly, to make your points

Truly, to make your points as pointy as possible, don't contradict them in the same short article.

Is it or is it not about money?

The thing about not leaving an abuse man cause it's more complex than money is completely undermined by the picture at the bottom.

Is power through money the aim of feminism? That's what you're saying there. Absolutely nothing about equality.

GMcG

About the photo...

It's supposed to address some of the stereotypes about feminism in a tongue-in-cheek way.

Take note: Opinions expressed are those of their respective authors, not necessarily those of Bitch. Dig?

I think the photo's

I think the photo's hilarious. (Male, BTW.)

unbelievable...the victim blaming

Great post. It's amazing the way people will contort themselves -- and their arguments -- to blame feminism for everything bad in the world.
Speaking of victim blaming, there's plenty of it going around in this Chris Brown travesty.
http://hateonme.com/2009/03/31/hitting-women-is-wrong-wrong-but/

just a comment

I agree with the author when she states that domestic violence is a multi-faceted issue and that there are more factors for consideration that just one's socio-economic status. But, I feel the author has given up an opportunity to explain what some of those other factors are. I get this all the time from co-workers and friends, especially since the Rhianna thing: "Why doesn't she just leave him, it's not like she needs him." or "I would never put up with that kind of behavior." I try to explain to them that it is not as simple as a man striking out at a woman, there is a lot of manipulation that goes on prior to the actual physical abuse. It's gradual, but small things turn into big things quickly. Not only that, it sometimes appears or actually is safer to stay with the abuser because if that woman leaves he might kill her. There are a lot of other factors and sometimes one gets tired repeating oneself over and over, but I feel there is a need. Take a cue from the advertising people, repeat it over and over so that people finally are aware of it.

blah..

As far as my views on the Rihanna situation..

Her being a woman is not what bothers me about the scenario, it's a human being that is being violently attacked by another human being. I'm such an extreme "both genders are equal" person, that I have no biased when it comes to these types of things (this may be because my mother and most of the women in my life could flatten out just about any man..and have flattened out some men who were supposedly known for being "tough" before.). I don't care if Chris Brown was even dating a masculine acting male, you still don't have the right to beat the hell out of someone who's in a relationship with you..someone who has allowed their self to be vulnerable around you..I don't care how mad you are.

The problem with the "she deserved it" mindset is not femnism or equality of the genders, the problem is a society gone mad because it's so desensitized to violence and rage. I don't believe in a such thing as a "weaker sex." As I have stated my mother could outfight me (I'm a guy by the way..and even though I have some feminen qualities I'm still "masculine acting" mostly and I'm a "skilled martial artist"), and she's already out-arm-wrestled me (although I don't arm wrestle..I have pretty weak arms lol, most of my strength is in every other part of my body), and I'm sure if we had a "strength showdown" she could out weight-lift me too. Many of the women in my life were always either as strong as..or stronger than the men (and trust me..these men were legendary for being "tougher" and "stronger" than most average guys) and it has proven to me that the "weaker sex" thing is bullshit.

Now in this instance, Rihanna proved to be the more "submissive" and "weaker" (physically) person in the relationship and that makes it wrong. Women are still subliminally (sometimes not even subliminally) raised to be the weaker sex and most don't have that same attitude as my mom or other strong females that I was raised by. Even IF Rihanna was tough like my mom, I've witnessed her taking shit from guys who's asses she could've beat but held back because she loved/cared for them. When you're in a relationship, the rules change. You may even be the more physically strong person in the relationship, but still become a victim to someone you could've "beaten down" if you wanted to..but couldn't because you've been vulnerable around them and your mental reaction towards said person is different than with anyone else.

This Lopez character can kiss my ass side-ways, because I love the female role models of my life..and I wear it like a badge of honor that I was brought up by women whom all could be referred to as your archetypal "tough bitch."

Why is it that anti-feminists females are sharing their opinions anyway? Don't they know that's a feminist ideal? The ability to share your opinion if you have ovaries? Shouldn't she be partaking in her gender role? Doesn't she have a casserole to bake, a house to clean, and a husband to please? I wonder if her husband knows she's sharing her opinion with society without asking him first..

~sigh~

The saddest people are the ones who hold their own "group" back because they're brainwashed and fear REAL liberation.

P.S.: the images of the three women = lmao. She can do me and steal my job, I'm fine with that..but I get to stay home and be "house dad"

As far as my views on the

As far as my views on the Rihanna situation..

Her being a woman is not what bothers me about the scenario, it's a human being that is being violently attacked by another human being. I'm such an extreme "both genders are equal" person, that I have no biased when it comes to these types of things (this may be because my mother and most of the women in my life could flatten out just about any man..and have flattened out some men who were supposedly known for being "tough" before.). I don't care if Chris Brown was even dating a masculine acting male, you still don't have the right to beat the hell out of someone who's in a relationship with you..someone who has allowed their self to be vulnerable around you..I don't care how mad you are.

The problem with the "she deserved it" mindset is not femnism or equality of the genders, the problem is a society gone mad because it's so desensitized to violence and rage. I don't believe in a such thing as a "weaker sex." As I have stated my mother could outfight me (I'm a guy by the way..and even though I have some feminen qualities I'm still "masculine acting" mostly and I'm a "skilled martial artist"), and she's already out-arm-wrestled me (although I don't arm wrestle..I have pretty weak arms lol, most of my strength is in every other part of my body), and I'm sure if we had a "strength showdown" she could out weight-lift me too. Many of the women in my life were always either as strong as..or stronger than the men (and trust me..these men were legendary for being "tougher" and "stronger" than most average guys) and it has proven to me that the "weaker sex" thing is bullshit.

Now in this instance, Rihanna proved to be the more "submissive" and "weaker" (physically) person in the relationship and that makes it wrong. Women are still subliminally (sometimes not even subliminally) raised to be the weaker sex and most don't have that same attitude as my mom or other strong females that I was raised by. Even IF Rihanna was tough like my mom, I've witnessed her taking shit from guys who's asses she could've beat but held back because she loved/cared for them. When you're in a relationship, the rules change. You may even be the more physically strong person in the relationship, but still become a victim to someone you could've "beaten down" if you wanted to..but couldn't because you've been vulnerable around them and your mental reaction towards said person is different than with anyone else.

This Lopez character can kiss my ass side-ways, because I love the female role models of my life..and I wear it like a badge of honor that I was brought up by women whom all could be referred to as your archetypal "tough bitch."

Why is it that anti-feminists females are sharing their opinions anyway? Don't they know that's a feminist ideal? The ability to share your opinion if you have ovaries? Shouldn't she be partaking in her gender role? Doesn't she have a casserole to bake, a house to clean, and a husband to please? I wonder if her husband knows she's sharing her opinion with society without asking him first..

~sigh~

The saddest people are the ones who hold their own "group" back because they're brainwashed and fear REAL liberation.

P.S.: the images of the three women = lmao. She can do me and steal my job, I'm fine with that..but I get to stay home and be "house dad"

Some research on the image, please

It's too bad that the original post where you got that image didn't bother to give it any context, and neither did you bother to investigate the artist (Sarah Maple) or that particular image.

She's an award-winning Muslim, female artist, who's been compared to Tracy Emin, and has done a lot of controversial work and is certainly worthy of being more than an offhand footnote comment on a post about what feminism has or hasn't wrought upon us, especially coming from Bitch Magazine, who should be applauding someone like this. Her work focuses on gender, sexuality, and religion, and plays with perceptions of Islam among both Muslims and non-Muslims, drawing a lot on her own background as a westerner and Muslim. I'm disappointed.

You can read an interview with her here: http://artthreat.net/2008/11/sarah-maple-interview-islam-new-black/

Other bits and pieces here, including controversy over her art show in London, including threats against the gallery: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mandrake/3280515/Gallery-show...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mandrake/3174625/Sarah-Maples...

About that image...

It's too bad that the original post where you got that image didn't bother to give it any context, and neither did you bother to investigate the artist (Sarah Maple) or that particular image.

She's an award-winning Muslim, female artist, who's been compared to Tracy Emin, and has done a lot of controversial work and is certainly worthy of being more than an offhand footnote comment on a post about what feminism has or hasn't wrought upon us, especially coming from Bitch Magazine, who should be applauding someone like this. Her work focuses on gender, sexuality, and religion, and plays with perceptions of Islam among both Muslims and non-Muslims, drawing a lot on her own background as a westerner and Muslim. I'm disappointed.

You can read an interview with her here: http://artthreat.net/2008/11/sarah-maple-interview-islam-new-black/

Other bits and pieces here, including controversy over her art show in London, including threats against the gallery: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mandrake/3280515/Gallery-show...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mandrake/3174625/Sarah-Maples...

Thanks

Hi there. I appreciate the resources on Sarah Maple. I'm actually familiar with her work (and a fan) and I didn't mention her specifically in this post because I was hoping to do a sm[art] post on her in the future. You're right that I probably should have given her credit in this post since I used her photo in it.

Take note: Opinions expressed are those of their respective authors, not necessarily those of Bitch. Dig?

Females are superior and need to assert, take control

Forget all the banter about males being stronger. Physical strength went out when Smith and Wesson came in. Learn to take care of yourselves, females! Get a gun, learn how to use it. and make sure all males in your vicinity know about it. Male strength says only one thing to me: they're meant to be the mules of society, with females directing them.
See related comic videos on YouTube at TheTopShoe.
My multimedia ebook, Men Are Not A Prize, Marriage Is Not A Goal, says it all. Get it at:
http://www.shoetothehead.com

Men CAN be a prize.

Men CAN be a prize. Marriage CAN be a goal. This doesn't mean they have to be the only things that define you. why are all our viwpoints coming from penises and vaginas? We are all humans. We all get abused. We all have a hard road. What the fuck ever happened to humanists? Bitch, go iron something.

wow..

Sorry, but I am a male and I'm pretty sure you're not superior to me in any way considering you're an ignorant sexist and have it in your head that genitalia makes you superior to someone. You're no better than the chauvinists in this world as far as I'm concerned.

Are you that insecure that you need to be deemed superior from what's in your pants from birth? What a jackass comment. All you do is hurt the cause thanks.

From birth everyone is equal, and the only thing that can make them inferior is to choose to be ignorant as hell (as you have obviously done).

Ah, the Top Shoe. Aside

Ah, the Top Shoe. Aside from questionable understanding of human genetics, you offer contradictory sentiments such as "Females, tending to be less violent than males," "Give him a shoe to the head," and of course the above encouragement to purchase a phallic symbol and wave it at men. You do realize that such advice and stylisms play right along with those who paint feminists as embittered and a touch unbalanced.

That said, I understand there's comedic value in some presentations. In the spirit of running with a gag here's a link to a web comic that also involves shoes: http://bbtoon.blogspot.com/2006_09_01_archive.html

Well, I have to make a

Well, I have to make a confession that I am in my late 30 and still single. Sometimes, on a bad I feel like this: I worry that I will never find anyone and I worry that I let time slip away. I'm afraid that I was selfish and I will die alone. I'm desperated and complain that no one told me that my clock would run out. Sometimes this happens and I lock myself in my lovely apartment, and drink an expensive bottle of wine that and I allow myself to indulge in my self pity. . .Then, when the bottle is empty, I shake it off and look around at the lovely life I have created for myself and you know, I smile... YES! .... because it is exactly what I wanted and because I know it is a brave thing to live your life by your own rules :D