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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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LBT (with an open writeathon!)

Now seems like a good time to drop this here.

(And I don’t put photos up of the vessel. Gives people the wrong idea.)

Bina
Bina
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.

Plus, according to my mom, there’s a German saying from olden days: “Every child costs you a tooth.” Probably due to the fact that pregnancy leaches calcium from the bones if you’re not getting enough of it to compensate, and if the jaw is very vulnerable to that (and other factors such as periodontal disease, poor nutrition, etc.), then I can see that happening. Of course, with modern medicine and sanitation came better nutrition, dental care, birth control, etc….so of course, there are fewer women having dozens of children in short succession, and losing lots of teeth in the process.

If these guys think the “good old days” before modern medicine (and feminism) were a golden era of feminine beauty, have I got bad news for them.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Love those pics, LBT, especially the first one! XD

Policy of Madness – yes, this! Sexy as “something put on for a photo for strangers to look at” – fine if you want to, but being asked to? Eurgh.

Sexy’s not even a word I’d apply to myself; it comes across as fake, silly, somehow. It makes me think of doing absurd poses or wearing clothes I’d never consider, and has nothing to do with my desire for someone, or his for me.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

I’m not sure I agree with the hashtag. I think if one uses this type of hashtag, one is playing into the strategy of the opponent. Using it provides the opposing side with an aura of credibility – why would you use the hashtag if you didn’t think the opposing argument had some merit that you needed to address?

And given that the accuracy of feminism is not based on whatever cultural definition of beauty one wishes to use, the whole hashtag is irrelevant. Every feminist, female and male, could be exceedingly unattractive and it wouldn’t damage the merits of feminism one iota.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

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.

Hammer, nail, head.

I wonder, too, how many of them are body-dysmorphic and don’t realize it, and are projecting their self-hate outwards as some kind of deflection so that they never have to admit that they are ill and deal with it. Not that being mentally ill excuses their behavior, but at least treatment might help some of them come out of it.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

Can we stay away from internet psychologising? It is scientifically and ethically flawed to put psychological diagnoses on people in this way.

Mnemosyne
Mnemosyne
6 years ago

@Pallygirl:

I only said those things because Red Pill pick-up artists try to present themselves as such because they worship the Dark Triad. Sorry. 🙁

tesformes
6 years ago

Greta Christina’s writes about Richard Dawkins’ apologizing for Dear Muslima: http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2014/08/07/richard-dawkins-apologizes-for-dear-muslima/

The reddit /r/skeptic thread I found it in is wonderful. We’re arguing over Elevatorgate, and whether wearing a boot on my head in public is a form of harassment.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

@kitteh

I look in the mirror and I like what I see. I have numerous traits that by conventional standards of beauty are considered flaws. Nevertheless, I like what I see. I am happy with my appearance. The only thing I didn’t like was my crooked teeth, but I am straightening them right now and regarding the other things that are “wrong” with my appearance, I say “Fuck you” to the standards.

Nevertheless I am not sexy. I don’t feel sexy and don’t feel a need to be or feel sexy. Implying that I must be sexy, or that the standards of “sexy” need to be changed so that I qualify, is alienating to me. Maybe I am oversensitive on this point. I don’t know. I just know that that tweet rubs me the wrong way.

tesformes
6 years ago

I’ll say that I don’t particularly care all that much about his apology. I’ve already written him off, but hopefully people will see this and realize that this brand of debate isn’t acceptable, any more.

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

My relation with beauty regarding myself is… uncomfortable.

I always knew the vessel was beautiful, and I HATED IT. It was used to justify all the raping and harassment, and I spent a lot of adolescence FEELING hideous inside, and wishing that internal feeling could be projected onto my outside so people would stop wanting to rape me. Being trans didn’t help. When we announced we were going to have surgery, one of the most common laments were for our lost beauty. For people who didn’t have to deal with them, they sure were attached to my damn tits!

Getting rid of them and going on hormones have apparently tarnished our beauty, but I feel SO MUCH BETTER NOW. I never wanted a body that was beautiful; I just wanted one that FIT.

Only now, oddly, am I able to actually like the vessel I’m in. As for my own body… it’s still a growth process.

RE: Kittehs

I like them too! It really shows how lighting, angle, and makeup can make a huge difference in how someone looks. People really are stretchy little critters.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

The reddit /r/skeptic thread I found it in is wonderful. We’re arguing over Elevatorgate

/headdesk still not seeing why what Rebecca said is such an issue: “guys, don’t do that”. There is no discussion to be had here.

???

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

Well, there you go, pallygirl. A woman was telling guys NOT to do something!

THEIR FREE SPEE — I MEAN ACTIONS.

yazikus
yazikus
6 years ago

Policy of Madness,

Nevertheless I am not sexy. I don’t feel sexy and don’t feel a need to be or feel sexy. Implying that I must be sexy, or that the standards of “sexy” need to be changed so that I qualify, is alienating to me. Maybe I am oversensitive on this point. I don’t know. I just know that that tweet rubs me the wrong way.

I think this harkens back to the earlier discussion of sexy vs. sexual. If you are a person who sometimes has sexual times (or even ‘sexy-times’), then you can be sexy/sexual. I think it is important to remember that we don’t have to be sexy or sexual for anyone but ourselves, and in the best-faith, charitable reading of the hashtag I think that is what they are trying to promote. I totally respect your viewpoint.

Note: re-reading my comment, and what I am trying to parse, I’m not sure it is necessary. I think you get it, and I get it, and there are definite problematic issues with the hashtag. I appreciate your comment.

blahlistic (@blahlistic)

@LBT…I’m really sorry you got to be put through all that, and what you look like isn’t an excuse. There is no excuse. Ever.

I dissociated a lot… but someone in here, when I was 8, decided we would start eating for protection. My top weight was 320. Since I have lost the size of a small person the way the world reacts to me has changed completely. People don’t assume I’m stupid. People don’t ignore me. It’s really weird.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

@Mnemosyne: internet psychologising is really bad. We don’t have all the facts ahead of us, and it is really influenced by confirmation bias. Also, MRAs use any psychological disorder as an ad hominem attack, which throws people with mental illnesses under the bus. I’m not keen on feminists diagnosing people either, because then it can look like *we* are also throwing people with mental illnesses under the bus.

That said, it’s open season on their nasty, vile comments. There’s a world of difference between attacking the comment, and the “logic” and “facts” used to support a comment, and attacking the person. 🙂

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

It’s okay, blahlistic. It was a long time ago, and things are much better now.

*laughs* I went the opposite route, though! I STOPPED eating!

Mnemosyne
Mnemosyne
6 years ago

…because it can look like *we* are also throwing people with mental illness under the bus.

Oh no! I don’t want that! I would never dream of doing that to them. save the psychopath label until I’m trained in the use of the PCL-R (Psychopath Checklist-Revised), in the scenario that that some future version of myself is called to testify at a parole hearing. If I overuse it, the term might lose it’s meaning…

safer midwifery utah
6 years ago

So basically you have to give a dude a boner before your opinion is worth a shit. nice.

I really wish that women didn’t clamor at the chance to prove they aren’t ugly. Who would give a fuck if we were?

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

@LBT:

I’ve been told I have an expressive face. I don’t have anything on those women. Wow. Impressed.

Re: Hashtag

I… think the hashtag could work, if only literally any and all feminists posted no matter what they looked like. I share the concern about the foundation, putting the emphasis on sexy, when it really should be emphasizing “who gives a shit?”

It’s tough though. If you respond, maybe it makes people think that the question of looks is a valid one. If you don’t, the anti-feminists have the floor to make it the issue.

I can say that it’s better as a hashtag then an actual campaign, though.

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

We’re pretty rubberfaced, so we could probably pull stuff like that, kirbywarp. I just feel weird putting photos of the vessel online, especially since we have some minor net fame.

katz
6 years ago

whether wearing a boot on my head in public is a form of harassment.

Dare I ask?

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

I think this hashtag campaign was pretty dumb to start with, honestly (because we’re not fighting for all women to be considered beautiful, we’re fighting for a world in which women are more than our bodies). That being said, the fact that the tag was immediately swarmed by angry misogynists? Unsurprising, and not a good look for the guys doing the swarming.

Janet
6 years ago

@blahlistic If liking different body types makes a person weird, then I’m weird, too. I’ve never had a type. About the only thing that they’ve all had in common is that they’re human. So, yay, no bestiality!

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

I really have to view sexiness (and attractiveness as a whole) as being similar to artistic ability.

Nothing wrong with having it. Nothing wrong with trying to cultivate it, if that’s your game. But there’s also nothing wrong with not having it and/or not wanting to bother with it. My worth as a person is not dependent upon my ability to draw a tree, and likewise it is not dependent upon my ability to get another person aroused.

So this meme is like telling feminists to tweet pics of their best charcoal sketches, and proves just as much, but has the downside of supporting the popular meme that women = attractive (and that feminist = woman).

blahlistic (@blahlistic)

I’m not keen on feminists diagnosing people either, because then it can look like *we* are also throwing people with mental illnesses under the bus.

Throwing me under the bus will probably not get that bus fixed, even though larger vehicles are easier to work on than cars. :p

dustedeste
dustedeste
6 years ago

Sorry I just dropped that first comment and then peaced out! I had surprise!workshift. Hooray for closing the store 6 nights out of the week >.<

Anyways, I definitely have a few types, but those types are very disparate! And my husband and I have very different preferences when it comes to women, which I always find amusing. (He's straight, so obviously we have differences in our preferences of men, too, haha, given that his preference there is "NOPE" and mine is… variable.)

Binjabreel
Binjabreel
6 years ago

Omg I’d been trying to figure out where I remembered Madame Blavatsky from. I think Mary Roach has a piece about her in Spook.

Though armed with the knowledge of who she is I think I’m even more confused than before.

beegee
beegee
6 years ago

@Bina on the good old days and femine beauty

Thanks, now I’m picturing some red pill dudes getting sent back in time and arguing with all the men about how men can’t find the “fat” ideal of the day attractive because of biotruths! 😀

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

@Policy of Madness: I’ve got lots of alleged flaws too, by conventional standards. Funny thing, relative to your comment: my teeth were the one thing I always liked about my face, cos I have prominent canines. Fangs is good! 😀

@tesformes: Three years it took and according to Greta Christina’s article it’s buried at the end of another of his piles o’ shit? Yeah, fuck him, I don’t believe it. I like Rebecca Watson’s meh response to it, though.

@Binjabreel, yeah, knowing who she is definitely makes the reference even more ridiculous! I don’t think I’ve ever heard Blavatsky’s name mentioned in connection with feminism. ::baffled::

beegee
beegee
6 years ago

“Fat” being the term used by the red pill dudes, obviously. 😉

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

MRAs certainly don’t believe any men who say they like women who don’t fit the currently popular mode, so I doubt that they’re quite ready for the concept of beauty standards as a thing that changes over time.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

whether wearing a boot on my head in public is a form of harassment.

Dare I ask?

It must depend on the boot.

Wearing Uggs on the head in public would definitely constitute harassment.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

MRAs certainly don’t believe any men who say they like women who don’t fit the currently popular mode, so I doubt that they’re quite ready for the concept of beauty standards as a thing that changes over time.

Make ’em look at Rubens’s The Three Graces (note: nudes) and watch their teeny little heads explode.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

I’m not even going to attempt the “different cultures can have different beauty standards even within the same time period” conversation with an MRA, since I know that it will inevitably be some poor woman who has to clean up the mess from the resulting head explosion.

katz
6 years ago

The grace in the middle clearly has a wedgie. She’s looking at the one on the left like “um, can we stop dancing for a sec…”

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

Oh, I dunno, I’d clean up that mess quite happily as long as I got to watch it happen. It wouldn’t be any worse than some of the muck I dealt with at the Museum.

Just make sure he ‘splodes on tile or lino rather than carpet.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

katz, LOL!

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Her facial expression is a bit “not too happy with this”, now that you mention it.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago
Kootiepatra
Kootiepatra
6 years ago

The weight gain is often a side effect of some of the drugs.

I think this is the first time I’ve heard a Red Pill dude ascribe weight gain to anything besides eating lots of junk food and stealing the scooter at Wal-Mart from people who “really” need it. Like there’s the tiniest glimmering of a clue that “calories in, calories out” isn’t quite how human beings work.

Too bad he smothered that clue in skeevy ableism, misogyny, and fat hatred.

BritterSweet
6 years ago

When an anti-feminist calls feminists ugly/fat/hairy/lesbians/etc., my usual retort is, “Even if they were, they’d still be right.”

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

Kittehserf:

Wearing Uggs on the head in public would definitely constitute harassment.

In Australia, it’s simply suggestive flirtation…

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

In Canada, it means “I’m available”.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

Gah, I have seen the price of true Uggs. Bloody hell, does Aussie have a sheep shortage or something – they’re really expensive.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

In Australia, it’s simply suggestive flirtation…

Only among the bogans!

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

You call them bogans, we call them ex-pats living in Queensland. 😛

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

ROFL!

I like that joke (I presume it’s an NZ one) about all the NZers coming here raising the intelligence of both countries.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

Source of that quote, third paragraph here: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/kiwis-overseas/page-4

Although that type of wit is much more associated with David Lange than Robert Muldoon.

kittehserf MOD
kittehserf MOD
6 years ago

Good God, that was a Piggy Muldoon line? You’re right, if I’d thought of any PM doing quality snark like that it would have been Lange.