The Anti-Lady: College Edition

by Danelle on April 7, 2011 · 19 comments

Most people know the Anti-Lady. She comes in a variety of forms, and does one or all of the following: She spits, she belches out loud, she swears like a sailor, drinks like a sailor, she objectifies herself, she ditches friends to go home with someone else, and worst of all, she either takes advantage of and/or aims to destroy gentlemen.

Wondering where she came from? The media, men, and let us not forget to give credit to the head architect, e.g. radical feminists of the 21st century.

First and foremost, radical feminists helped bring the Anti-Lady into existence. These feminists of today have no interest in promoting women to be themselves. Instead, they promote women to be like men. And the worst type of man – the Anti-Gentleman – which I wrote about a few entries ago.

I certainly do not object to women having different lifestyles. I, for one, am no June Cleaver (though I do own a vintage dress similar to one of hers). For example, I target shoot, I can lift weights over 100 pounds, I love pearl jewelry, and I love baking.  All of those things are a part of who I am – some may be stereotypically feminine; some may be stereotypically masculine. The notion of “being yourself” is not what I am talking about when it comes to what radical feminists promote.

Radical feminists sneer at girls wearing pearls, girls who like shopping, girls who like baking—the list could go on and on of anything stereotypically feminine. Rather than promoting a message to “be who you are,” they promote women to be more like a man—more accurately, an Anti-Gentleman – with poor manners. Cuss, drink, spit, have one-night stands, and reject any and all types of civility or self-respect.

It was out of Second Wave Feminism that the Anti-Lady was born. She is supposedly free – free to hook-up with guys and not be emotionally attached; something studies show to be close to impossible biologically for women to do. (See this article by Steven E. Rhodes, a professor at the University of Virginia.) Also, she is free to act like herself, which in a feminist’s mind, is limited to acting like an Anti-Gentleman.

Men just reinforce this behavior. Gentlemen were quick to drop in number after the Anti-Lady appeared. She could be just like an Anti-Gentleman: hang out with him at the bars, swear, drink, spit, and could also dress like a man desires a woman to dress and do the things a man desires a woman to do. The Anti-Lady was the perfect partner for the Anti-Gentleman: he could use her as an object of his desires and not have to respect her as someone with dignity and feelings, say, a fellow human being.

Media, of course, made the Anti-Lady a celebrity and a model for young women everywhere. Examples are found in shows like “Jersey Shore,” “Real World,” and “Gossip Girl” to name a few.

How do we help the Anti-Lady?  Enlighten her through NeW and more importantly, lead by example. Be polite. Be courteous. Be kind. Be confident of yourself. Also show her that the life an Anti-Lady lives is not one that gains respect (do the guys on “Jersey Shore” really respect the girls?). The only thing the life of an Anti-Lady gains is disrespect, low self-esteem, and “trainwreck” behavior. Hopefully then the Anti-Lady will see that being a lady is a lot better than the alternative. She will not only be treated better, she will also get respected for her personality, not for how many points she gets playing beer pong.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethany April 8, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Interesting article. Recently while searching for a Christian women’s group website, I used a phrase that I thought would allow the link I was searching for pop to the surface of google or bing. Instead, a very Anti-Lady website popped to the surface because they were slamming the women in the other smaller group. The name of the Anti-Lady website was something that no woman I know would truly want to be called…(rhymes with rich). I read just a few of the comments on the list, and I mentally compared the Anti-Lady’s website with the one that I was really looking for. The differences were striking, and the Anti-Lady’s group had absolutely hateful comments directed at the other group. The Christian group is a specific group that is for single adult women who might also be described as a Christian daughters group. It’s for Christian women who are valued members of their family, and how they relate their faith to their families. It’s run by two women who decided to share their experiences with others, and I had wanted to just read their website’s latest news. The Anti group doesn’t really have any reason to complain about the other group, so it’s interesting that they are making so many hateful comments about it. If I were reading the two choices, I would never chose the Anti group as a resource for role models, but I do believe that there are many collegiate organizations that would encourage the hate, and not realize that there is a significant difference between groups that harm women through physical beatings and mental abuse, and groups that just have a difference of opinion in how they want to live. I find it interesting that so many pro-female groups miss the concept that there are Conservative women who desire a different type of life, and don’t want to live in a world where everyone is the same.

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Danelle April 19, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Wow, that is interesting, Bethany. It’s amazing how radical feminists use their freedom of speech to try to shut up other peaceful groups’ opinions as soon as they offer an alternate opinion or lifestyle. It’s as if the very existence of a lifestyle different from their own needs to be “taken out.” Equality means respecting different views, and it’s sad how most radical feminists don’t promote the very thing they set out to. Hate in any form is not something to be proud of…especially against a peaceful Christian group who is trying to help women.

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liz April 19, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Thanks for your thoughts! I think it is interesting that you state the women’s movement encourages women to behave as men, as that is one of the central debates in feminist thought – how do women earn respect in a society framed around the supposedly neutral, liberal subject, when that subject has been historically gendered male, raced white, etc? White males are subjects entitled to rights, whereas others must fight for rights by strategically downplaying differences (acting like men) or using difference as a foundation for identity politics. In a society that privileges masculinity, it is no surprise that some women feel they should act like “one of the guys” in order to get attention. I can assure you, however, that most of these women probably do not identify as feminists. The characters on Jersey Shore and the other shows you mentioned are not examples of feminists; rather, they indicate a type of anti-intellectual entertainment that reinforces patriarchy, sexism, classism, and even racial stereotypes. If you want to know more about what feminists actually think, just ask one! You can start with me.

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Danelle April 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Thanks for the comment. However, when I mention shows like “Jersey Shore,” I am talking about the Anti-Lady and not feminists, so I agree – they aren’t feminists. The role that feminists play – radical feminists as I make clear – is that they brought the Anti-Lady into existence, regardless of whether she was created in their image.

Also, I understand why some women might be tempted to act like men in business or political situations, but there’s a difference between adapting to your work environment and acting like a poorly mannered “guys-guy” as the Anti-Lady does. I’m heavily involved in politics and I talk like a politician, not like a stereotypical man. Business women and business men talk “business” – straightforward, to the point, etc. I don’t think that is a gendered trait. It is merely a result of how business and politics operate.

Thanks again for the comment and offer for advice. I do consider myself a feminist as well, so definitely keep commenting and we can keep discussing women’s issues!

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liz April 20, 2011 at 11:00 am

Is your argument that by challenging strict gender roles, the feminist movement made it okay for a woman to spit and cuss? I guarantee women were spitting and cussing before the women’s movement of the 1970s. They just may not have been in the class that you have in mind or in the films made about romanticized 1950s life. The flappers of the 1920s drank, smoke, danced… The goals of the feminist movement of the 1970s included an emphasis on workplace rights and employment. Judging by the fact that you are in business, the movement was effective! Maybe we should be praising the women’s movement for removing some of the limits that stood in the way of women prior to the 1970s. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely valid criticisms of the movement, and feminist thought is constantly evolving. You should check out some third wave feminist thought so that you can criticize something current!

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Danelle April 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm

My argument is that the sexual revolution made it ok for women to spit, cuss, hook-up, etc. I have no problem with their original challenge to strict gender roles, but today feminists have strayed far away from their original purpose.

As a history major, I know there were women spitting and cussing long before today. There were indeed Anti-Ladies all throughout history. The difference between then and now is that the Anti-Lady is 1.) a lot more frequent 2.) glamorized and 3.) supported by today’s radical feminists.

Sure, the Second wave feminist movement’s goal was workplace rights. That’s wonderful. The policies needed to change. The part I talk about is, as I say above, the sexual revolution, which started the hook-up culture and from there, has been picked up by the third wave feminists. The Third Wave feminists popularized the hook-up culture, and has been leaving women confused about love because they are constantly being told to “dominate men” instead of living equally. Third Wave feminists (radical feminists) want to put the same hardships patriarchy put on women on men now. It’s counterproductive in my opinion.

Also, third Wave Feminists (I called them radical feminists of today in this post, so I actually do criticize them) encourage women to act like men in order to get far, which is wrong. Acting like a man (or more accurately, like an Anti-Gentleman) is denying your own gender and human civility, and I won’t stand for that. I am a woman and I know I will get far by acting who I am – personality-wise – not by hooking-up, cussing, spitting, etc.

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liz April 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm

I’m confused as to why you are confounding radical feminists with Third Wave feminists with feminists who think women should dominate men. Do you have any articles or websites that support this information? It sounds like a lot of unfounded hysteria to me. Heck, most people think that feminism is entirely dead, much less a threat to our society as we know it. There are a variety of feminist positions: socialist feminism, marxist feminism, liberal feminism, eco-feminism, black feminism, third world feminism… if you want some help differentiating among different types of thought, let me know. The vast majority of feminists do not think women should be superior to men. Furthermore, there are many different ideas about sexuality. You might enjoy Catherine MacKinnon’s work as she is popularly known as an “anti-sex feminist.” Many feminists do not support hook-up culture, because it can further objectify women, creating a rape culture, especially on college campuses. Feminists believe that both women and men can be proponents of patriarchy. The sexual revolution occurred at the same time as the Women’s Movement, but they were not one in the same. The anti-war movement, the black power movement, the women’s movement, the chicano movement, and the sexual revolution all occurred in the same time period, and many had overlapping members, but they were not all one in the same, as I said. For more clarification about feminist ideas, you should consider taking a Women’s Studies course or picking up some material on your own.

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Danelle April 20, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Sure, here are some sources. The first is written by a “third wave feminist” explaining why it is good for women to act like men sexually http://media.www.brockpress.com/media/storage/paper384/news/2007/02/06/Focus/Third.Wave.Feminism.Women.Acting.Like.Men-2706554.shtml

The second is a study by a Standford sociology/gender studies professor explaining where the hook-up culture came from. http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2008/marapr/farm/news/england.html

Also, here is my post about how men are portrayed in media: http://enlightenedwomen.org/are-guys-stupid-how-media-and-pop-culture-tells-women-that-they-are/

Oh, and here’s an article about the emotion cost of hooking up as a bonus: http://chronicle.com/article/The-Emotional-Costs-of-Hooking/65960/?key=SWglc1g1ayRPZHIwfSUSeyEGbiB5KE8sPi1GZnMaZlpR

I have many more articles and research to support this claim and all my other claims. You may be surprised to learn that I have taken a few Women, Gender, & Sexuality courses and read a lot of “feminist” literature with in the confines of that class, my history classes, and outside research. Please do not assume that I am ignorant of feminism merely because I am conservative. I know Friedan, Mulvey, Steinam, Wolf, and others quite well.

Also, you are quick to be the representative of “many feminists,” but say there are many different types of feminists. Please tell me how you are speaking for them all at once? Where do you fit? I at least make clear in my articles what type of feminist I am talking about – when I say radical feminist, I realize I am not talking about *all* people who identify as feminists, but they are the ones who get the attention in the media or write our tv shows, etc. The combo (as I say in the post) is what gave popularity to the Anti-lady and hooking up.

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liz April 20, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Thank you very much for your sources. I would recommend Female Chauvinist Pigs, which argues that the women’s movement is in fact not responsible for hook-up culture, but that raunch culture, which operates around and for male fantasy and desire, is the issue. The sex industry is the driving force behind raunch culture.
Here’s a review: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/3649354/How-the-sex-industry-killed-feminism.html

In other words, there has still not been a mass conception of what female sexuality would look like free from the bounds of male desire. Certainly some women do feel empowered by participating in raunch culture, and their experiences should not be marginalized. Many women, as you have pointed out, do not feel empowered by hook-ups. One must also take into consideration that women are still held to different social standards and may have more feelings of guilt for engaging in a hook-up. Also, there are plenty of men who do not participate or feel empowered by hook-up culture either.

The first article you cited is written by an apparently misinformed undergrad writing for a college paper. I’ve never met a feminist who believes that Sex in the City is liberating or that women should behave like men or be better than men. The problem is that it is difficult to determine how one honors one’s femaleness in a society that values masculinity. We have limited examples or ideas of how to be “equal” or what that would look like. Also, women may not be taken seriously unless they display certain masculine characteristics; at the same time, women who display masculine characteristics are often rejected as bitchy, controlling, or power-hungry. And realistically, there is just a vast range of experiences that cannot be generalized by categories of ‘women’ and ‘men.’

I identify as a liberal feminist, meaning that I oppose sexism, racism, heterosexism, and other forms of societal oppression and believe that social change must be enforced through policy and law. I believe that gender is constructed socially, and I reject traditional gender roles. However, I realistically do not believe that radical change is possible in a liberal political system that is paired with capitalism. Therefore, I sympathize strongly with socialist feminists, and I read just about everything. That is why I feel that I have the authority to generalize, though maybe I am mistaken.

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Danelle April 20, 2011 at 9:38 pm

I will look into the book you suggest. If you read my article on Hugh Hefner, you will see why I might find it of interest. I agree the sex industry has a lot to do with the hook-up culture, but I think the sex industry flourished because of the sexual revolution in the women’s movement. This is something we will probably have to agree to disagree on.

As far as the first article goes, I think it is a good source because it is from the words of a college writer who is encouraged by Sex and the City and links it most directly to Third Wave Feminism. Regardless of whether “”true feminists” buy into Sex and the City’s message, young women are associating feminism and women acting like men/sexual liberation in Sex and the City together. You said yourself there are many types of feminism. That is one result.

The bottom line is that I encourage women to be who they are. I like stereotypical feminine hobbies like baking and pretty jewelry, but I also like some stereotypical masculine hobbies like politics, weight lifting, and target shooting. None of it is *because* I am a woman – it’s because it’s who I am.

I do reject traditional gender roles in the sense that a woman has a choice in present times to stay at home or work. However, I do not criticize a woman for choosing one or the other, nor would I criticize a man for choosing one or the other. Marriage is something I think should be based on equality and not judged by outsiders on what role should and should not be adopted by the husband and wife.

Finally, societal change can only be made if people are educated on opposing lifestyles/views and respect them as they are, i.e., different lifestyles. So as a liberal feminist, I hope you feel enlightened on a conservative feminist’s view.

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liz April 20, 2011 at 9:53 pm

I agree with you that women and men should not be judged by their decision to work/stay at home or by the system of their marriage. However, I also believe that ‘choices’ are always constrained by social systems. Some women don’t have the choice to stay home at all due to their class, some women cannot get married, as they are in single-sex relationships, and there are many models for marriages that posit the male as the leader of the household.

Most people have both feminine and masculine characteristics, and I agree that they should be embraced, though I disagree that these characteristics are essential to us. Rather, I think our surroundings and upbringings affect our interests and gender presentations.

Also “equality” is really still a sort of figment of our imaginations. I’m not sure what that looks like as of yet.

I’m not sure what you mean about social change being related to respecting different lifestyles. Certainly respect is important, but I think social change occurs when one side of the debate mobilizes people in large numbers to influence society either politically or socially. Obviously we stand on opposite sides, so it is a race to mobilize toward our own goals. Neither of us will change the other’s mind. I would just prefer that you wrote more respectful blogposts about the women and men in my camp.

Finally, conservative feminism to me is an impossibility. I believe that people who identify as conservative feminists are actually anti-feminist essentialists who strategically frame themselves in the feminist camp so as to best criticize and change the women’s movement according to conservative goals. Conservatism is antithetical to the social, economic, and political interests of marginalized people that feminism fights for.

That being said, thanks for engaging in this dialogue with me. If you ever become a politician, please do not speak on behalf of women’s interests or feminists.

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Danelle April 20, 2011 at 10:31 pm

I am not sure why those characteristics are not essential to me or others since it’s part of my personality. To be honest, I don’t allow my gender to affect my personality, so it does not really fit with me.

And social change happens when masses rise up for a cause, sure, but it is successful when mainstream people respect that change. When women got the right to vote, it still did not change the opinions of men mainstream. But with time, men respected the right and it’s now mainstream. But we’ll agree to disagree since this is clearly politics.

I am not quite sure how I disrespected “your camp.” I say nothing of the sort about liberal feminists. And even when I criticize radical feminists, I don’t refer to them disrespectfully. I merely state what a great majority of them believe and link it to the existence of the Anti-Lady. I don’t refer to them or liberal feminists as being Anti-Ladies either.

Welcome to the new world – conservative feminists exist. We seek equality – nothing more, nothing less. We also don’t criticize women for their lifestyles–whether it be a stay at home mom, a career woman, or balancing both.

And if I ever become a politician, I will make sure to speak on behalf of women’s interests. I actually already do that. Believe me, there are many, many women who fit into the conservative feminist movement.

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liz April 20, 2011 at 10:39 pm

“Feminism isn’t for me.” Karin Agness And Phyllis Schlafly was no feminist, either.

Words use their meaning if they have no definition.

Conservative women have always existed. It’s nothing new. There have always been organizations of conservative women that are worried about losing their privileges. Usually white women.

Don’t worry too much, Danelle. Republicans are winning.

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liz April 20, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Excuse me, words LOSE their meaning if they have no definition and can be deployed in any context.

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Danelle April 20, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Traditional feminism isn’t for them or me. I embrace a new type of feminism – a movement for conservative women.

And I earn my respect as a woman and where I am in life – I don’t know about these privileges you speak of. Conservative women today should not be thrown into the same category as conservative women of the past. We’re not the same, just as liberal women are not the same as they were in the past. Also, conservative women are quite diverse. It shows ignorance when people use racial and social generalizations like that. And even though whose “side” is “winning” is not the issue at hand, I’ll accept it. Your words, not mine.

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liz April 21, 2011 at 7:57 am

Check out Righting Feminism: Conservative Women and American Politics by Ronee Schreiber and get back to me.

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liz May 1, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Danelle,
Hope you are well. This made me think of you, and I thought you might find it interesting.
http://noanodyne.com/2011/04/a-feminism-designed-by-men/

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Ben May 12, 2011 at 12:50 am

“Conservatism is antithetical to the social, economic, and political interests of marginalized people that feminism fights for.”

Conservatism is the idea of conserving certain policies and status quo. Conservatism has merit because it is tried and withstood the test of time. Progressivism is needed because environments change. The problem lies when one is not dynamic in their thinking.

This is the assumption that women were truly marginalized as Feminist would want them to be…in order to gain power. Does victimization truly empower women or restrict them? Hm…

“I think it is interesting that you state the women’s movement encourages women to behave as men, as that is one of the central debates in feminist thought – how do women earn respect in a society framed around the supposedly neutral, liberal subject, when that subject has been historically gendered male, raced white, etc? ”

In order for Feminist to feel of any worth, they must be measured in someway up to men. Despite the ideology being called “Feminism” that denotes the doctrine of the “feminine,” Feminisms argues that anything “feminine” is not real. Instead of accepting differences, goals are set up to prove that women can be anything as men can be. Feminism can only exist in this regard and finds itself within the “sexist” paradox it deems to fight against.

“White males are subjects entitled to rights, whereas others must fight for rights by strategically downplaying differences (acting like men) or using difference as a foundation for identity politics.”

Well yes, assuming that the founding constitution started white men for white men…we should suspect different? Your point is? While differences maybe exploitive or diminished for different ends, that doesn’t men that differences don’t exist. Identity politics is, as you phrased it, for survival and power for a certain group with certain interest (hint hint).

“In a society that privileges masculinity, it is no surprise that some women feel they should act like ‘one of the guys’ in order to get attention.”

Oh no, no, no, no. I won’t let you get away with that. The original goal of Feminism way to allow women to compete with men and allow women to do more “masculine” roles–via equal rights for women.

“…it is no surprise that some women feel they should act like “one of the guys” in order to get attention. I can assure you, however, that most of these women probably do not identify as feminists. ”

Really, so why does the butch “I can do anything men can do,” stereotype of Feminist is so prevalent? Truly, such stereotypes would die out if they weren’t true? No, Feminist, or those with Feminist values, constantly have to reassure themselves of their independence and assertiveness by comparing themselves to men. The wage gap argument is proof of this.

“There are a variety of feminist positions: socialist feminism, marxist feminism, liberal feminism, eco-feminism, black feminism, third world feminism… ”

Marxist Feminist?! NO! You don’t say?! They all paint themselves differently, but they argue the same thing at the core.

“The anti-war movement, the black power movement, the women’s movement, the chicano movement, and the sexual revolution all occurred in the same time period, and many had overlapping members, but they were not all one in the same, as I said.”

Yes and it is one of the reasons why the country is failing. Different interest groups causing friction with no unity. It funny how many vile the evil 1950’s for instance and yet US was the world’s undisputed superpower with the highest standard of living during the time…

“I identify as a liberal feminist, meaning that I oppose sexism, racism, heterosexism, and other forms of societal oppression and believe that social change must be enforced through policy and law”

I wouldn’t have guessed?! All funniness aside, I believe you have a very skewed view of the world besides the hypocrisy within your movement (and within the very quoted statement above…can you find it?!).

“For more clarification about feminist ideas, you should consider taking a Women’s Studies course or picking up some material on your own.”

Well I took a human sexuality class taught by a Feminist and by god I didn’t know how evil men were! Apparently we’re the scum of the Earth (“the patriarchy” “the media” “women are so oppressed” etc)! I learned quite a bit about Feminism.

“Most people have both feminine and masculine characteristics, and I agree that they should be embraced…”

Evidence? Carl Jung isn’t credible in this day of age.

“Marriage is something I think should be based on equality and not judged by outsiders on what role should and should not be adopted by the husband and wife.”

You mean like the fact that men go on one knee, symbolic of lowering himself down beneath you, buying useless rock that was obtained through African civil wars [for arms], then regulated by World Markets to inflate prices in which he buys from [very expensive] to give to you, you have the choice of rejecting of approving at your whim, all the while he puts all the effort into it just to prove his love for you?

Sure. Very convincing.

Feminism: Equality and equal rights when it suits me.

The funny thing is men don’t really complain (which I’m not just pointing this out). They just do. It is something that many women romance on, just life.

“Also ‘equality’ is really still a sort of figment of our imaginations. I’m not sure what that looks like as of yet.”

Oh, I will agree with you there.

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