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Feminism V Feminazism

Regular readers would be aware that I have referred to some people as being a “feminazi” from time to time. The word feminazi is a very misunderstood word, and whilst I believe that I know the difference between a feminazi and a feminist, I’m not so sure that everybody else does. It can be difficult to explain the difference clearly, which is the reason for this post.

Last night as I was doing one of my trawls of the sites that link here, I noticed that a page titled “Feminazis Don’t Do It For Me” linked here, and I thought they might have linked to my recent article about Canberra radio ratings [1], where I referred to Virginia Haussegger as a “horrible feminazi”. Ultimately it turned out that I’m just on the blogroll of the site with the “Feminazis Don’t Do It For Me” article.

Anyway, the “Feminazis Don’t Do It For Me” article [2] written by muslim feminist Umm Yasmin [3] seeks to clarify the difference between the two words. To quote some of the article:

I decided to visit the Women’s Room at my university to relax, have some lunch, and get away from the noise. I walked in and at first you just see a bit of a messy room with couches, a microwave, a sink, a bookcase full of books and various other bits and bobs. Then you begin to see the graffitti on the wall. “C**t-love,” “dead men don’t lie,” double female symbols hooked together, were written everywhere. All the stereotypical derogatory images of feminism comes flooding into my mind. There is a reason why an awful lot of people deride feminism for being anti-male, butch, lesbian-centric, etc.

Regular readers of Dervish will know I am a feminist, specifically a Muslim feminist. That means, I believe that no person should be treated as worth less, or be discriminated against, than others on the basis of the sex or gender. Because women have historically been the ones to face gender-discrimination, my attention is focused on feminist issues, but I am interested in ending discrimination generally.

Notice the last few words there? “I am interested in ending discrimination generally”. The words of a true feminist.

Ms. Yasmin goes on to explain what a feminazi is:

Now, of course feminism comes in a wide variety of flavours, but why is it that university Women’s Rooms have to be dominated by the feminazis? I slowly looked around the room (no one else was in there at the time) and took it all in. No, this is not my place. No, this is not my feminism. It was for and about women who hate men, who promote lesbian homosexuality as the paramount expression of sexuality, and who have little or no time for other types of feminists.

The article [2], not surprisingly attracted some interesting comments, and I felt compelled to reply with my own comment:

# Samuel Gordon-Stewart Says:
May 20th, 2006 at 1:03 am

Dear Ms. Yasmin,
I agree with your definition of “feminazi” and how it negatively affects decent feminism. In general I think that most “decent folk” (just follow along, you’ll get my meaning in a moment) understand the difference, but don’t see a difference between the two words.

“feminism” is, as you eluded to, an effort to stop the ongoing discrimination against women which seems to be ingrained into western culture.

“feminazism” is, on the other hand, an effort to turn the tables so that discrimination against men is acceptable, but not against women (not that I’m saying discrimination against women is acceptable, because it isn’t, but I think you know what I’m trying to say).

Unfortunately the feminazis, being the vocal minority, have managed to mangle the public conception of feminism in such a way that people think feminism is the same thing as feminazism.

We need more genuine femanists like yourself to stand up and have a public voice, before true feminism is permanently buried under feminazi clap-trap.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart

Anyway, go over and have a read of the article by Umm Yasmin [2], it is a very compelling read, and I think it explains the differences very well. The comments are well worth a read as well.

Samuel

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#1 Comment By John B1_B5 On May 20, 2006 @ 7:59 am

Perhaps you could interview one of them for your next persiflage Samuel . ( But make sure you go armed with a ‘slingshot of radio’ ) .

#2 Comment By Samuel On May 20, 2006 @ 10:29 am

I’ll also take a loincloth of flexible…and if need be I’ll break their monopoly…I’ll rip up their board and steal their top hat.

#3 Comment By Samuel On May 20, 2006 @ 10:30 am

You would need to have heard a particular “advertise on radio” commercial to understand those last two comments.

#4 Comment By John B1_B5 On May 20, 2006 @ 11:26 am

haha …. not sure I quite get that part about – ” Armed with a slingshot of radio and a loincloth of flexible ….” (pause ) .

I guess it gets aired in Sydney as well as Canberra .

#5 Comment By Samuel On May 20, 2006 @ 11:38 am

I think it’s just an ongoing part of the joke of the ads…the character interviewing people is a goose. And I’ve heard it aired on the 3AW webstream so I think it is a nationwide commercial radio campaign.

#6 Comment By mark On May 20, 2006 @ 8:47 pm

I feel that the word ‘feminazi’ is ludicrously inflammatory – either that, or it diminishes the Nazis’ crimes to an undue extent. While some feminists are too extreme, it’s not like they actually want to commit genocide against men. A less inflammatory word like ‘misandrist’ would be far more apt.

#7 Comment By Samuel On May 20, 2006 @ 8:57 pm

But how many people know what a misandrist is?

I can see your point mark, but I don’t agree with it. I don’t see “feminazi” as being any more inflammatory than the behaviour of the feminazis (or misandrists as you would have us call them), and I think the level of inflammation depends entirely on the usage. When misued as a term for any feminist, yes feminazi is very inflammatory, but when used as a word to describe the over the top, extreme, somewhat misandrist group of feminists, it is not inflammatory and merely being used as intended.

Feminazi (whether a recognised word or not) has a meaning of its own, the entire inflammatory connotation is from the misuse of it as a general term for feminists.

I also don’t see how it can be diminishing the apparent abhorence of the crimes comitted by the Nazis’…it may be partially derived from that word, but I think it stems from the unofficial “overly extreme” meaning of the word “nazi”.

#8 Comment By His Masters Voice On May 21, 2006 @ 8:41 am

Wouldn’t that be Ms Andrist?

Or perhaps the term ‘feminutter’ as in the comments would be more apt?

I’m not certain ‘misandrist’ is less inflammatory, as the term ‘feminazi’ doesn’t appear to refer to ‘man-haters’ so much as a rigid adherence to feminist principles to the exclusion of men.

Men are unwelcome in ‘womens rooms’ for example, whereas a feminist would (in theory) not set out to create discrimination in an attempt to eliminate it from the world surely? Would not a ‘feminist’ in pure form be welcoming of both genders rather than reverse discrimination so as to create the opposite of the intent?

A misnadrist simply hates. A feminazi excludes. A feminist includes equally.

Yes?

#9 Comment By Samuel On May 21, 2006 @ 2:08 pm

HMV, to use one of my favourite phrases “You’ve hit the nail on the head”.

#10 Comment By mark On May 21, 2006 @ 7:47 pm

HMV, no not having any exclusion of any kind is not feminism. Feminists seek redress of existing imbalance through positive steps. This does not have to include hating men, but it can certainly include that. The misandrists are feminists on an extreme tip. If you oppose gender distinction, you’re not a feminist. Feminists believe in empowering women not assimilating men and women to a genderless soup.

Samuel:
“I don’t see “feminazi” as being any more inflammatory than the behaviour of the feminazis”
By this logic, you ought to abject to both equally, as, indeed, do I.

#11 Comment By Samuel On May 21, 2006 @ 7:59 pm

Mark, I agree partially. True feminists want equality…which certainly means empowering women, but not moreso than any other gender. I think HMV’s statement “A misnadrist simply hates. A feminazi excludes. A feminist includes equally” sums up the whole matter quite neatly.

The point I was making about the word “feminazi” is that the word is no more obtuse than the activities of the feminazis, and is therefore an apt word to use as a description.