Why I’ve detached from feminism

Vanessa de Largie | Tuck Magazine | Dec 1, 2017

Once upon a time…I confidently identified as a feminist.

Then in October 2016 after writing a column about Kim Kardashian for The Daily Telegraph. I found myself splashed across The Washington TimesCosmopolitan Magazine (US), The Bolt Report and The Guardian, to name a few.

Let me tell you, when they write a negative column about you in The Washington Times — the world unkindly responds.

For three months, my words were taken out of context and I received horrific abuse and death threats online from women who ‘supposedly’ identified as feminists. The irony!

Suddenly, my ‘pitches’ as a journalist were ignored by editors who had happily published my work prior.  Editors whose brand is apparently equality.  Editors who publish numerous articles about bias and equal work opportunities.  What a crock of shit!

I was trolled, cyber-bullied and attacked by high-profile Australian commentators and editors from Daily Life, The Guardian, SBS and Junkee.

The Kardashian article was consumed ‘literally’ and processed ‘emotionally’.  When in fact, I wasn’t writing about Kardashian at all.  I was making social commentary about poisonous celebrity culture and how it ruins our young girls.

I was to be judged solely on ONE article.  Because that makes sense right…?  All my advocacy for women in the decade prior was to be dismissed.

My books and columns on domestic violence, female sexuality and rape.  My advocacy on topics such as Endometriosis, abortion and sex-positive attitudes.

I identified as a feminist back in the days when feminism was more about equality and less about vitriolic reactions and hating men.  I identified as a feminist when it was less fashionable.

I’m tired of feminists ignoring the authenticity of male issues.

I’m tired of vitriolic hatred being directed at unborn sons.

I’m tired of hearing the overused term toxic masculinity – What about toxic femininity?

I studied feminism. I spent a decade familiarising myself with the history.  But now, every Madison, Rose and Clara identifies as a feminist.  Share an Emma Watson quote and boom, you’ve been initiated.

The ‘feminist movement’ has become about notoriety.  Who can say the most outrageous thing?  Who can degrade and dehumanise men, most successfully?

Earlier this year, I interviewed Australian domestic violence advocate — Phil Hunt.  Hunt’s advocacy work primarily focuses on men.  Considering more than 30% of domestic violence victims are men, Hunt was shocked to find the only assistance available to him was via phone counselling hotlines and none of these could offer further assistance as he wasn’t a perpetrator.

Are feminists so weak in their position that they’re unable to cope with criticism of their ideas?

Are feminists so politically correct that when others say things in disagreeance — they should be shut down and punished by vilification or public crucifixion?

Are feminists so pathetic that they believe insults and stereotypes are fine as long as they’re against men?

IT SEEMS SO.

Recently #MeToo spread virally on Twitter, to denounce assault and harassment in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein.  The hashtag was popularized by actress Alyssa Milano, who encouraged women to tweet it to publicize experiences to demonstrate the widespread nature of misogynistic behaviour.

I proudly used the hashtag to share two articles about my own journey through rape — one published in The Daily Telegraph and the other in New Matilda.

It felt empowering initially, joining a chorus of women across the world — in our collective abuse.

But then as a survivor, I began to feel that sexual violence was being trivialised by women banging on about innocent acts such as a hand on a knee.

Seriously, is it possible for a male to do anything now without it being considered predatory behaviour?

How does a man go about flirting?  Or pursuing the opposite sex?

And who decides?

The social media jury?  Australia’s angriest radical feminist and her lapdogs?

As Ella Whelan states in her recent article on Spiked, such weak claims could drag us all back to the age of the damn chaperone and curfew.

I am a HUMANIST.  I believe in equal rights for everyone.