What’s trending on the sexuality front this week? The hashtag #feministsareugly has grabbed the attention of feminists and anti-feminists worldwide, and the Twitterverse is freakin’ out.
The hashtag first appeared a little over two weeks ago, and many assumed that it was coined by misogynst, antifeminist crusaders, following in the footsteps of other hashtags like #Idontneedfeminism and #womenagainstfeminism that have been flooding people’s twitter feeds all summer. (News outlets and blogs added to the confusion of the hashtag’s origins with posts such as Feminists are posting stunning selfies to mock #feministsareugly hashtag and Feminists hit back by posting stunning selfies.)
However, the hashtag was actually coined by feminists @LilyBolourian and @Cheuya in order to change the narrative about women of color and standards of beauty. Studentbeans.com did a great piece: This is why #Feministsareugly is a brilliant hashtag. And @LilyBolourian has been particularly vocal about the origins and purpose behind the hashtag:
Lily shared with me that the hashtag was inspired by a need to respond to both…
misogynist trolls judging women’s appearances and fellow feminists pearl-clutching because they felt that our way of hitting back against patriarchy was somehow reinforcing it.
But in the end…
There is no proper or right way to feminist.
And the call for selfies was also from the hashtag creators:
Resulting in TONS of amazing selfies from feminists- both women and men! (Yay men!)
No matter what, it’s has certainly inspired a dialogue over feminism, objectification, standards of beauty, etc:
Over at HuffPoUK, they wonder if feminists are missing the point:
We understand these women are trying to point out the ridiculousness of the ‘ugly feminist’ stereotype, but are they really re-claiming the phrase or just playing into the hands of the aforementioned chauvinistic pig?
Feminists believe in equal rights, which in turn means believing in an end to the objectification of women. But by posting selfies, are some not promoting the objectification of women by inviting others to judge their ‘hotness’?
But what do we do with this hashtag now that people are freakin’ out about it? Certainly many have taken the opportunity to speak out about the value of self expression, about their views on feminism, about the evils of misogyny, and the importance of getting your story straight before you post it!
I think this particular freak out in and of itself highlights the variety of opinion and the strength of individuality, and how we need to honor and respect people no matter how they express themselves or what they look like. It can be hard to disagree with someone else, but it can be done respectfully, without dragging them under the bus for who they are. Twitter has become a hotbed of trash-talking, by opponents and allies of feminism alike, and #feministsareugly reminds us to be beautiful, own that beauty and respect the beauty of others.