In this weird era in which we find ourselves, hashtags are the quintessential way to get your point across. People have hashtags for literally everything and anything you can imagine. I made up a hashtag for my birthday last week, political movements are spawned from hashtags, and news facts come to light with the help of hashtags. So what hashtag has set my fingers ablaze today? This one: #HowtoSpotAFeminist.
It’s unclear how this “discussion” got started on Twitter, but like most things it quickly descended into chaos. In fact, I can’t even call it a discussion because that would entail several parties making relevant points to arrive at a conclusion. The topics being spoken about in #HowtoSpotAFeminist have nothing to do with actual feminist ideas and desires, but everything to do with bashing the feminist movement as a whole. I’m pretty sure if I listened hard enough I could hear the entire MRA contingent becoming erect.
Two core things prove troublesome with this hashtag battle. The first thing is the outdated feminist stereotypes constantly being referenced. You would think that with all the strides being made by feminists worldwide, all of the collective haters would have come up with better jokes. The jokes aren’t even thought provoking, much less funny.
Then there was the failed attempt of actual feminists trying to “reclaim” the hashtag which had basically become a tag for cyber bullying. When something like this is unleashed on the internet there is no stopping it, and there’s certainly no kind of reclamation available. Plus, to even validate these mean tweets with an educated response is completely beneath any feminist at all. When fighting sexism on so many different fronts, there’s just no spare time to go through the litany of bad jokes and point out the flawed logic behind each and every one of them.
You can’t ‘spot’ a feminist, because we don’t all have the same look or the same giant F tattoo carved into the backs of our necks. In fact, a good amount of people that subscribe to feminist ideology reject the word ‘feminist’ because it has become so tainted with negativity. Many women of color blatantly refuse that title because historically, it didn’t even include them. They use terms like Mujerista or Womanist. There is, however, a certified way to spot a douchebag. If it inhales and says ‘liberal’ like it’s a forbidden word —then congratulations, you’ve just found yourself an asshole. Run away.