Date

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Department

Sociology

First Adviser

Krasas, Jacqueline

Other advisers/committee members

Tannenbaum, Nicola; Zhang, Yuping

Abstract

Feminism has been fraught with backlash since its onset, primarily by men’s rights activists. Women’s anti-feminism, however, is a more complex issue. One popular Tumblr blog, Women Against Feminism (WAF), began on July 3, 2013 and became a viral sensation in the summer of 2014. The purpose of this thesis is to understand the fundamental reasons why women identify as anti-feminist. A Content Analysis of the Women Against Feminism Tumblr analyzes the prominent motives of women’s anti-feminist identities on WAF from July 3rd 2013 to August 31st 2014. Five major themes of anti-feminism emerge including common feminist stereotypes, feminism as anti-male, feminism perpetuates victimhood, feminism as a threat to traditionalist values, and the idea that equal opportunity between men and women already exists. Many of these themes confirm that men’s rights activists (MRA’s) influence the Women Against Feminism Tumblr page. There are also connections between WAF rhetoric and organized religion and neoliberal theory. WAF members are unable to place their personal experiences, or the personal experiences of others, into larger patterns of sexism or oppression. Rather, WAF views these experiences as isolated experiences and thus rejects the premise of a women’s movement. Therefore, WAF bloggers use rhetoric from MRA’s, organized religion, and neoliberalism as tools to combat feminist ideologies due to their hyper-individualistic nature.

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