"In a society that disparages women’s culture, distancing myself from that culture was a way of benefiting from sexism by again aligning myself with the dominant regime. ‘Yes, women suck, but I’m not like all those other women.’
It was the same impulse that leads so many women to say that they ‘just don’t get along with women; they’re so catty after all.’ The underlying message is: ‘I am one of you, not one of them, and entitled to the advantages you enjoy.’
Most of posters on the Women Against Feminism Tumblr instead embrace the trappings of traditional femininity: They don’t need feminism because they ‘love to cook,’ ‘want to be stay-at-home moms’ or they ‘like men.’ Obviously these women are operating under a very flawed understanding of what feminism means. Feminists didn’t fight for the right to cook and be a mom because those options have always been on the table. They wanted additional choices. (The logic flaws in their argument are nicely summed up here.)
But I think the WAF are ultimately utilizing the same strategy I was back then: Sisterhood is dangerous. Much safer to uphold the status quo, to say to your oppressor, ‘You know what? I think you’re right about this whole feminism thing.’ Aligning yourself with the dominant group and upholding their ideas is a subconscious attempt to benefit from their power. And it can work, for awhile.
Ultimately, the problem is that this is a short-term survival strategy, based on an assumption that inequality is the way of the world, that it’s unlikely to change anytime soon, and that one has to figure out how to get by within that unfair system. For a 16-year-old girl with no real power in the middle of Oklahoma in 1999, that felt very true. For young women who live in a place where gender roles are very entrenched, where those who reject sexism are in the extreme minority, and where there is a lack of access to the resources and community that can sustain them during a lopsided fight, they may never adopt a more long-term strategy.” (x)