A recent movement called “Feminism is Cancer” has unfortunately gained some popularity among mostly young, white people. They claim that third-wave feminism, a.k.a. radical or modern feminism, is “cancerous” because it doesn’t “consider men’s rights.” While they try to address societal concerns, they’re bickering devolves into childish and ignorant whining.
The movement was created for privileged white men who don’t like their power being challenged. The entire platform of the movement is backed by people who have no idea how hypocritical it is. The movement not only is based off of a stereotype, but the name is almost as bigoted and ignorant as the people advocating it. “Feminism is Cancer” horribly uses cancer as a joke to illustrate its concern of feminism.
The movement’s name was coined by self-proclaimed alt-right “meninist” and critic of feminism Milo Yiannopoulos. You might recall the name as he was permanently banned from Twitter on July 19 due to his hate-speech inducing tweets and for a poll he posted asking if people would rather their child have cancer or be a feminist.
Supporters of this movement are quick to clarify that the more moderate first and second waves of feminism are not under attack here, rather they’re targeting the radical feminism of the modern third wave. Advocates of the “Feminism is Cancer” movement view radical feminists as sensitive, masculine-looking women. However, their main issue with them by far is that they are apparently man-hating.
“A lot of feminists don’t consider men’s rights because they see men as lesser or think all men are bad or all men are oppressors and we (women) are oppressed,” said 18-year-old student and “Feminism is Cancer” advocate Myah Bowermaster to International Business Times.
It is true that some radical feminists have openly stated their contempt for men. Valerie Solanas, famous for being an outspoken radical feminist who also attempted to murder Andy Warhol, wrote a book called “SCUM Manifesto.” In the book, Solanas writes, “To call a man an animal is to flatter him; he’s a machine, a walking dildo.”
While people like Solanas unfortunately have these opinions in the feminist circle, they are not the majority—not even close.
“I don’t know that there’s ever been a large faction of feminists that has ever thought men were the problem,” said Jodi Davis-Pacheco, Ph.D., full-time lecturer in the Women and Gender Studies Program and Queer Studies Minor at Cal State Fullerton.
Activists of the “Feminism is Cancer” movement are not only wrong about feminists in general, but are completely misinterpreting what feminism is about.
Feminism is “a movement and a way of thinking that focuses on social, political and economic transformation. It seeks to dismantle systemic racism, sexism, xenophobia, transphobia and any other system of power that makes life unlivable and unsafe for those on the margins,” Davis-Pacheco said.
Because most of the advocates benefit from white and economic privilege, they completely dismiss the fact that women still face many issues because of their gender. They then claim to support men’s rights, but if they truly want to be advocates for men’s rights, why aren’t they standing up for trans men, men of color or male abuse victims?
“Feminism is Cancer” does touch on one important topic: pressure for men to appear masculine and the fact that men are not taught how to express their feelings properly because sensitivity is discouraged in today’s society. If this is all they are advocating for, then they are no better than the one-track minded radical feminists they complain about so much.
The patriarchal system does need to change. That’s not a dramatic overreaction—it’s a fact. Yet these angry, ignorant people aren’t looking at the bigger picture. They need to stop focusing on the few and start looking beyond their own privileges to see that not everyone gets to experience life the way they do.
To see the full extent of how badly these cry-babies hate feminists, check out #feminismiscancer on Twitter.