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The #FeministsAreUgly hashtag on Twitter confuses and frustrates some of the internet's most dedicated feminist-haters

Not actual feminist
Not actual feminist

#FeministsAreUgly is confusing a lot of people, misogynists included. The Twitter hashtag – which took off yesterday and is still going strong, if not quite so strong, today – was originally started not by misogynistic trolls but by two feminists, @LilyBolorian and @Cheuya, who intended the hashtag to be a way for feminist women to celebrate their own beauty, whether it conformed to conventional (and generally white-centric) standards or not. As Bolorian put it,

https://twitter.com/LilyBolourian/status/497453684440444928

https://twitter.com/LilyBolourian/status/497398674054725634

Women responded at once by doing just that, and the hashtag was quickly flooded by feminist selfies. This being the internet, it was also flooded with comments from misogynists and trolls. Given how many of the latter were posted, many feminists on Twitter initially assumed it was just another outburst of internet misogyny; it took a little while before the feminist origins of the hashtag became widely known.

So how did the devoted antifeminists of the manosphere and the Men’s Rights movement react to the hashtag? Some responded with unabashed glee. The regulars on Roosh V’s forum reposted the selfies of some in women posting in the #FeministsAreUgly hashtage, mocking them as fat, lazy “cunts.”

One commenter offered this helpful observation:

A lot of fat crazy feminists are also obviously on heavy psych meds. One of the tell tale signs is volatile temperment and grandiose delusions. The weight gain is often a side effect of some of the drugs. So next time you run into some fat cunt spouting feminist rhetoric just keep in mind she could literally be crazy (bipolar) too.

Another waxed conspiratorial:

Feminist women are trying to turn themselves Idols to be worshiped.

It all ties into the writings of Alice Bailey and Madame Helena Blavatsky.

But elsewhere in the misogynistic online subculture sometimes called the manosphere the responses were a tad more complicated and conflicted.

On the Red Pill subreddit, the hashtag seemed mainly to make the regulars angry. A fellow calling himself MajorStyles won himself some upvotes for a comment complaining that

these bitches have gained control of the media for the past 40 years. Enough is enough. They have desecrated the moral landscape of this country to a barely recognizable wasteland. Fat tattooed harpies who shit on men of value.

Time to call them on their shit.

Over in the Men’s Rights subreddit, the regulars were wary, many of them afraid that the hashtag was some sort of sneaky feminist trap to make them look bad … I guess by luring them into posting what they really thought?

SleepingSheeple 18 points 20 hours ago  Probably started by feminists trying to manufacture victimhood.      permalink     save     report     give gold     reply  [–]ArchangelOKC 4 points 11 hours ago  A false flag attack, basically

Among the assorted antifeminists I follow or otherwise encounter on Twitter, there were two basic responses. Some flatly declared that yes, feminists are ugly:

https://twitter.com/FemsHaveBallz/status/497601470527983616

Others, a bit more circumspect, suggested that the real problem is that feminists are ugly on the inside.

A Voice for Men “Honey Badger” Hanna Wallen tried to have it both ways, posting a Dworkin joke aimed at a feminist who, like Dworkin, has dark curly hair, followed by a series of earnest and often incomprehensible tweets trying to prove that feminists (including me, specifically) have ugly souls.


I can only imagine how tough it’s been for MRAs to read through this hashtag. MRAs constantly attack feminists as fat and ugly; feminist women who aren’t fat are accused of having “manjaws” or other allegedly unflattering features. But many MRAs are also vaguely aware that constantly attacking their opponents as a bunch of uggos doesn’t exactly seem very statesmanlike. And so, many MRAs bite their tongues.

It’s tough being a men’s human rights activist. Sometimes they have to pretend that their opponents are actually human too.

 

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damselindetech
6 years ago

I totally was late to the show and thought it was a tag set up by trolls, so I responded by sharing my stunning beauty

https://twitter.com/damselindetech/status/497536721060634625

dustedeste
dustedeste
6 years ago

On one hand, I can definitely agree that embracing one’s looks can be liberating and radical, particularly in the case of those who suffer oppression along multiple axes, but on the other hand, I really, really hate it when people start posting pictures of “attractive” feminists in an attempt to disprove the idea that feminists are, by definition, ugly. I feel that, at least in this instance, arguing (specifically, arguing that there are pretty feminists) lends credence to the idea that beauty is a valid measurement of worth (especially for women), and that the attractiveness of feminists has any bearing on the necessity of the movement at large.

It’s not that I don’t think people should be allowed to be beautiful, or to appreciate their beauty, or whatever – it’s that pushing the idea that “everyone is beautiful” seems to solidify the idea of beauty as a required trait to be considered human, and that is hella problematic.

Sorry if that was too tangential, I just wanted to throw it out there.

Abacus Toms
Abacus Toms
6 years ago

…. I am still very much confused by this.

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

Wow, you look badass, damselindistech!

RE: dustydeste

I think I know what you mean. Beauty’s a complicated thing. For me, sure, there are things I’m attracted to, but that’s not the same as beauty. And I like drawing different kinds of people, trying to get their features right.

maistrechat
6 years ago

I’m especially confused about what theosophy could possibly have to do with a twitter hashtag. I don’t think Blavatsky is more than marginally relevant to modern feminism.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Yeah, I feel like a person’s attractiveness or lack thereof doesn’t bear on whether or not they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. I wouldn’t have gone down this particular road.

But it is worthwhile to study the manosphere’s reactions to it, as well as how quickly misogynists swarmed the hashtag.

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

BLAVATSKY?

Well, at least it’s not Valerie Solanas. (Was gonna say Dworkin but too late.)

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

Yes, it’s true. I am trying to turn myself into an idol to be worshipped.

If you want to divert my righteous feminist wrath, you can appease me through offerings of bon-bons and male tears.

Donuts and coffee acceptable substitutions.

But seriously, these people. What is wrong with these people?

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

I feel that, at least in this instance, arguing (specifically, arguing that there are pretty feminists) lends credence to the idea that beauty is a valid measurement of worth (especially for women), and that the attractiveness of feminists has any bearing on the necessity of the movement at large.

QFT.

Who gives a shit if anti-feminists think feminists are ugly.

redpoppy
redpoppy
6 years ago

@dustedeste- You hit the nail on the head. It’s sometimes difficult to break the habit of reassuring other women that they don’t look “ugly” and that everyone is beautiful, but I agree that physical appearance does not determine value or worth and shouldn’t be treated as such. Everyone has value.

redpoppy
redpoppy
6 years ago

@damselindetech- Your piercing is awesome!

And I’m also hella confused about the Blavatsky comparison. Just…what…the hell?

damselindetech
6 years ago

If my teeth are showing, that means I’m smiling, right?

https://twitter.com/damselindetech/status/497535388270206977

Abacus Toms
Abacus Toms
6 years ago

I want the freedom to be ugly tbh.

Why do we need a feminist hashtag that is beauty driven?

Abacus Toms
Abacus Toms
6 years ago

@damselindetech

I love your pics. I wish more selfies in the hashtag were goofy/fun like yours.

Kakanian
Kakanian
6 years ago

Well Blavatsky was a witch. She probably did bewitch a few men in her life and steal their sperm for Satan or something.

Reminds me that I used to read a theosophist forum – it was dramedy 24/7 and everybody trying to crawl up the moderator’s asshole for the rest of the time. The social dynamic of it resembled one of those tiny message boards run by small groups of teenagers, only that I had to assume that everybody was well of age in this case.

maistrechat
6 years ago

@Kakanian I was once interviewed for a job at the Theosophical Society U.S. HQ, and while the people I met there certainly weren’t teenagers you wouldn’t know it from the level of discourse.

Amatyultare
Amatyultare
6 years ago

I also have complicated feelings w/r/t the relative importance of widening cultural perceptions of beauty vs. demolishing the idea that beauty=value.

On a lighter note, I have to ask…

[blockquote]Pout, stammer your feet, throw tantrums and protest all u want, fat will never be beautiful. #feministsareugly[/blockquote]

…how exactly DOES one ‘stammer [one’s] feet’?

Amatyultare
Amatyultare
6 years ago

(cuuuurse you, blockquote monster. I knew I should have looked up the coding to make sure I had the right brackets….)

Michael McG
Michael McG
6 years ago

Why do some of those tweets remind me of the phrase “ugly on the inside–deep down where it counts”?

kittehserf
6 years ago

@maistrechat – yeah, my reaction to seeing Blavatsky mentioned was “Wat?”

I’ve wandered into the Theosophical Bookshop in Melbourne a couple of times, but they never stocked the books I was after anyway, and if they’re still all into reincarnation ideas as Theosophy used to be, it wouldn’t be the place for me at all.

@dustedeste – I feel the same “hmm” about the whole beauty thing. It’s so reminiscent of the suffragists (not suffragettes, specifically, but the wider movement) choosing attractive women as their speakers, trying to deflect the same “you’re ugly and barely human” shit misogynists threw at them then.

@Amatyultare – stammering with your feet sounds like what dogs do with their back feet when you tickle their ears.

Phoenician in a time of Romans
Phoenician in a time of Romans
6 years ago

sparky: Yes, it’s true. I am trying to turn myself into an idol to be worshipped.

You want us to hollow you out, bronze you, and build a fire in your belly?

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

dustedeste,
You are so on point. Well stated.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

…how exactly DOES one ‘stammer [one’s] feet’

Good question. I’m not sure.

blahlistic (@blahlistic)

A lot of fat crazy feminists are also obviously on heavy psych meds. One of the tell tale signs is volatile temperment and grandiose delusions.

…And he said this without even a ~hint~ of self-awareness…the irony’s enough to give you hyperemia.

Besides that, if the meds are working, presumably you are not being volatile and grandiose. The meds are supposed to make you not lose your shit, that’s the point of taking them.

Scott Siskind
6 years ago

Hey guys. I’ve recently looked at the arguments that conservatives make again t gays and gay marriage to get better insight of them. I just came across this conservative forum discussing the issue here: http://mpcdot.com/forums/topic/5549-homosexuality-and-gay-marriage/
How would the arguments they make be countered? I am not totally in touch with the issue and thought maybe some here might be able to help. Thanks! 😀

Robert
Robert
6 years ago

I’ve read that the ‘evil witch’ imagery (nose and chin meeting, toothless, etc) dates from pre-modern Europe. People tended to lose teeth as long as they lived, but if you have a beard and mustache it’s less obvious. Also, there were fewer old women than old men, since multiple pregnancies were more dangerous than being in a war. So very old women were uncommon and unfamiliar looking. An old woman who’d outlived her husband and had no family to take her in tended to be poor. Viola! Scary witch woman.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

I wonder why the misogynists haven’t figured out that feminists don’t care if they like looking at us? It’s not our job to be pretty for them or to think their estimation of us is more relevant than our estimation of ourselves. I just don’t care. Do they think we want to please them? Why would they think that? Who the fuck are they to us?

Doesn’t this conversation in person basically go:

“Hur-hur, I don’t think you’re pretty!”

And?

“That gives me sad pants-feels.”

Good.

kittehserf
6 years ago

You want us to hollow you out, bronze you, and build a fire in your belly?

The fire would be quite handy in winter, and think of how simple cooking would be!

coffee
coffee
6 years ago

damselindetech, consider my day made.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Look, I found foot stammering!

http://youtu.be/75y-fIrvkow

brooked
6 years ago

I don’t think this is some grand statement, hash tags are at best chatty and conversational, but I don’t have any problem women saying that they are comfortable with their appearance and don’t giving a flying fuck what random strangers think.

Every time I read one of Roosh Five’s word vomits I grow more certain that he spends his entire life either gaslighting insecure and vulnerable young women or mocking them like a high school bully to win points with his insecure and vulnerable male readers. Sewage plants have more charm and appeal than that unctuous toad.

kittehserf
6 years ago

brooked, that’s an interesting difference, isn’t it: women saying that they are comfortable with their appearance and don’t giving a flying fuck what random strangers think
isn’t the same as saying they’re beautiful/pretty or whatever. The I don’t care what you think seems more important, to my thinking, than what can come across as but I’m beautiful too! like beauty is necessary. Fucking hard to get away from the desire to be seen as beautiful, or not need anyone’s validation, so more power to those who can.

I wasn’t able to: I knew intellectually that it was pointless to give a shit about the opinions of people who either didn’t like you or (the vast majority) didn’t give it a passing thought, but that shit was internalised since high school. Curious, isn’t it, how you can utterly despise your schoolmates yet not quite shake off those years of being told you’re ugly.

It really wasn’t until Louis and I got together and he made it really clear by word and deed that he loves my physical self as well as who I am, that all that shit started to get cleared away. I still don’t think of myself as beautiful or pretty but I’m happy with what I see in the mirror (well, with a bit of foundation 😛 ) and as far as other people, especially men, go, he’s the only one whose opinion matters. Just more proof that being rational alone isn’t enough!

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

I question the foundation behind that second tweet: “Please tweet your sexiness under #FeministsAreUgly”

Why must I be sexy? I mean, it doesn’t even say attractive or beautiful, but “sexy.” Attractive/beautiful would be problematic, too, but I think the “sexy” standard is more so.

Nevertheless, it’s good to get a lot of pictures out there of ordinary women, of all facial and body types. Despite seeing ordinary women in real life every day, it seems like a lot of people don’t “get” that women don’t have to be ultra-thin supermodels with Caucasian or Caucasian-esque features. But if they see pictures, it somehow becomes more real than reality. Not sure how this works, but I’ve seen it happen to acquaintances of mine.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Policy of Madness, yeah, ugh, the idea that we have to be sexy, somehow, some way, even if it’s not whatever the mainstream idea is right now. Fuck that.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

This seems like a rehash of #feministselfies except with a side order of objectification.

blahlistic (@blahlistic)

…Um…Am I weird for finding a wide range of body types attractive?
…But yeah, my worth as a human shouldn’t be measured in millihelens.

brooked
6 years ago

@kitteh

I found critiquing beauty standards and being honest about my insecurities rather then cowed by them personally helpful. I associate that with feminism but also with the independence of thought one gains by growing older (hopefully). I agree that patting women on the head and saying “everyone’s pretty in their own way” has a childish tinge to it, but this seems more about saying I’m not going ashamed of my appearance or hide from it.

I don’t take hashtags particularly seriously since they come and go quickly, leaving only shallow think pieces in their wake.

Personally my miserable adolescence ruined my twenties for me for the most part, I’ve been a lot happier as a SPINSTER, despite my lowered sexual market value. It took a real fucking long time to get over shit that happened before adulthood, but that’s life I guess.

redpoppy
redpoppy
6 years ago

@blahlistic- No you’re not weird. I also find a broad range of bodies/genders to be attractive. The most important thing for me is intelligence/personality and if we get along. And that could be anybody!

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

I love when losers do a 180 after realising I don’t buy their anti-feminist schlock. It either goes from “Whoa, you’re so hot” to “fat, ugly cunt” or “Whoa, you’re so hot” to “Too bad you’re a stupid bitch but I’d still cum on your face”. Classy, classy guys.

brooked
6 years ago

I’ve never use the word “sexy” unironically because it just feels like a silly word to me and I’m way too snarky in general. That said, I read that tweet as “yes, twitter, ugly feminist are sexual too, deal with it” rather than “I’m sexy like Kin Kardasian, teehee”.

I tend to be generous in my interpretations of things that feminists do if they’re being thoughtlessly, unfairly or unmercilessly being picked apart by anti-feminists and misogynists, just on principle.

kittehserf
6 years ago

…Um…Am I weird for finding a wide range of body types attractive?

Nope!

brooked, yes, knowing one’s insecurities (and what a heap of shit they’re founded on) is very important, and growing older helps a lot! For me it was about the difference between knowing what rot it all was intellectually, and not caring anymore once, well, once validation had come along, I guess. Is it a pity that it took that for me to feel differently? I guess it could be looked at that way, as a slight disappointment I couldn’t chuck the residue of that conditioning, but tangentially, it’s evidence of something more important to me, so buggrit. 😉

damselindetech
6 years ago

Thanks for the props, all. Since work has slowed down a bit, I’m going to share my selfie wherein I attempt to consume the overwhelming cute that is my Furrinati Overload.

https://twitter.com/damselindetech/status/497538156850606080

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Look how chill the cat is about it all. Doesn’t give a fuck. Love it.

Mnemosyne
Mnemosyne
6 years ago

[blockquote] A lot of fat crazy feminists are also obviously on heavy psych meds. One of the tell tale signs is volatile temperment and grandiose delusions. The weight gain is often a side effect of some of the drugs. So next time you run into some fat cunt spouting feminist rhetoric just keep in mind she could literally be crazy (bipolar) too. [/blockquote]

*Headdesk* Red Pill types claim to understand both abnormal psychology, psychopharmacology, and neuroscience all the frickin’ time, when they really understand none of them. Antipsychotics and mood stabilizers don’t make you volatile and delusional. Antipsychotics, especially, have a dulling effect. Weight gain is a side effect, I’ll give him that, but that’s the only thing he got right.

One guy Red Pill type claimed that people on psych medications were drug addicts. He said that prozac was the same as methamphetamine. When someone else told him that they were completely different, he said the non-Red Piller was ignoring the truth. I guess everything I learned in my psychology classes were wrong; stimulants and SSRIs are exactly the same.

It’s not someone’s fault if they have to take medication, so they can lead a normal life. Having bipolar, schizophrenia, etc., is not the fault of the individual, it’s a disease like any other disease. Twenty-five percent of Americans will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives. Red Pillers may not realize, but they are among that 25% as well, Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Psychopathy count as well. Just because the two things I listed are “alpha” traits, doesn’t mean they are healthy.

I’d rather hang out with the people who have schizophrenia and bipolar than psychopaths anyways, their illnesses usually don’t make them jerks. Stop talking about psychology like you understand it, PUAs, because you don’t. /End rant. Sorry about that, I just really hate when these guys claim to know everything about a subject, when they don’t.

kittehserf
6 years ago

I attempt to consume the overwhelming cute that is my Furrinati Overload.

Now that’s one fine typo. Or pun, whatevs. 😀

Mnemosyne
Mnemosyne
6 years ago

I’ll never get blockquotes right.

Falconer
6 years ago

Nthing the “Helena Blavatsky? What?” thing.

How did they make that connection? At least it’s not Dworkin or Solanas again.

And my small frisson at recognizing a fellow nerd (a Fraal is a version of the classical grey alien from the RPG Alternity) is immediately harshed by realizing “Nephanor of Fraal” is a complete jerk. Dammit.

tcwill00
tcwill00
6 years ago

@Mnemosyne: You had the command right, but instead of the square brackets (which bulletin boards take) you want angle brackets ( < and > ).

blahlistic (@blahlistic)

One guy Red Pill type claimed that people on psych medications were drug addicts. He said that prozac was the same as methamphetamine.

…Are y’all old enough to remember the old Folger’s instant coffee commercials? I hope so…

Announcer:
“We’ve secretly replaced the fluoxetine in these people’s capsules with methamphetamine CRYSTALS. Let’s see if they notice!”

*Cue video of people hurling tables and setting fire to the drapes in a nice restaurant, shouting and screaming can be heard in the background*

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

@ brooked

That said, I read that tweet as “yes, twitter, ugly feminist are sexual too, deal with it” rather than “I’m sexy like Kin Kardasian, teehee”.

There’s a difference, at least to me, between “sexual” and “sexy.” “Sexy” always connotes being there for another person, because we are only sexy if other people find us so, whereas “sexual” is a trait that someone has innate to themselves, independent of the opinions of others.

Nothing wrong with being sexy or wanting to be or feel sexy, but there’s something wrong with expecting that of other people. The tweet seems to imply that everyone is sexy, but not everyone is or wants to be, so it’s kind of exclusive for me in that way.

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