The last decade has been a real struggle for feminism.
The movement became ‘cool’ around 2008. We started hearing the term feminism more and more. We saw celebrities adopting the label and news anchors discussing the merits of the movement.
In 2010, there were actually feminism themed products. You could buy clothing with big bold letters saying, “This is what a feminist looks like”. You could buy pillow covers featuring Ruth Bader Ginsberg and mugs with the definition of the term feminism printed right on them.
And while feminism got cool, many people continued to hate feminism.
People bought the apparel, people argued about shallow sub topics, and some people even started self-identifying as feminists. That’s when it all went downhill.
Millenials wanted to be feminists; deep down they thought it was a neat thing. But other people, the loafer-wearing squares, grandmas, middle-aged bosses and football jocks all scoffed at the notion. They said it was ridiculous and declared, ‘you look and sound preposterous!’
You see, feminism is a hipster.
In the same way that people mock individuals for growing long beards and wearing grungy clothes, individuals are criticized for saying that women deserve to be on equal footing with men. In the same way that being a hipster made you part of an underground club, so did feminism. That is, until the mainstream population began to adopt feminism/a hipster disposition. The mass adoption sullied the ‘cool’ factor of being a hipster. Suddenly, something that had garnered appeal for being “out there” was no longer so radical. How can one be a hipster when everyone is a hipster? Simple: you can’t.
In the same vain, as hordes of people started to self-identify as feminists and strutted their new label around town, the feminist movement became sullied. People rushed to claim involvement of the movement without actually giving a crap about it. People eagerly debated whether or not Taylor Swift was a feminist, without actually understanding any theoretical underpinnings needed to properly discuss the matter.
Feminism, as it became cool, got really, really uncool. The more popular the movement became, the less intelligent, revolutionary, and rousing it became.
But there may be hope for us yet.
If the hipster is dead, and the “yuccie” is alive and well, the same can be said for feminism. Third wave feminism died when Wikipedia informed men and women adopted the movement. It became saturated with bubble gum feminism and watered downed politics. But after a while, feminism lost its luster to its newest recruits. After a few years of claiming the feminist label, those people grew tired of defending their newfound ideology and suffering through insults and attacks.
Today, feminism is slowly beginning to resemble its former self; the feminism that came before the influx of celebrities and politically charged tweets. We are in a new stage of our own; our own ‘yuccie’ stage.
Are we post-third wave feminism? Are we feminism 2.0? Are we fourth wave feminism? Who knows. All I know is that the only thing that upsets me more than being vehemently hated is being ignorantly loved and falsely represented.
I’m glad bubble gum feminists are fed up of fighting the good fight, and I am excited for my sisterhood to continue on our journey towards justice.
Because, let’s be real, there’s nothing easier to hate than a hipster.