Thursday, May 29, 2014


Quote by Lois Wyse
Print by grimmricksen

Back in the mid-1990's I was labeled a "feminazi." Sure, this was not a very difficult achievement, considering that I attended a university in Utah County -- Brigham Young University. At first I was confused about why I was being called this behind my back by all of my housemates and ward members: both boys and girls. I found out that it was because when a bunch of guys started door-to-dooring in the search of some "women who would make them cookies," I was the only one who said "No." Also, I was mocked for being very upset when I heard the voicemail of our 18-year-old male church leader. "Leave me a message or I will beat you up like the woman you are."

You might think that I am joking. 

That was literally his answering machine recording.

And everybody thought it was hilarious. (Or pretended to think it was hilarious.)

I was called a feminazi because of my pretty understandable outrage. And what's funniest to me now, is that I wasn't even that much of a feminist. I was still a teenager and pretty sold on "gender roles" and the goodness of patriarchy. Within the first few weeks of school, I felt like a pariah. It made me wonder if BYU was the right school for me. Spoiler alert: it was not the right school for me.

I hadn't really thought about any of this for a long time until I read a comment left on my friend's stellar article about Elliot Rodger in the Salt Lake City Weekly. Here's a bit of Stephanie Lauritzen's genius:

Despite the fact that a man who feels entitled to a woman’s body and finds feminism evil just shot six people in an act of premeditated murder, responders are already quick to condemn anyone who identifies his behavior as an example of our inherently misogynistic culture gone tragic. “Not all men!” is the default response, trying to portray Rodger as an anomaly instead of a byproduct of a culture that consistently blames women for the crimes perpetrated against their gender. We live in a world where it is acceptable to ask what a rape victim was wearing, or why they didn’t fight back against their attacker, and yet stand back in wonder when a man believes he has the right to slaughter the “sluts” who wouldn’t sleep with him. 

And here is what the commenter "truther" has to say.

Warning: this comment is very graphic and disturbing. I took a screenshot of it, rather than typing in the quote because I do not want it to go into a search engine.

I'm speechless. Okay, I'm not speechless, but the speeches I am using are not family restaurant friendly. 

Maybe we still need some feminism, YATHINK?

But what do I know. I'm just a feminazi.


  1. I hear you sister! And more power to you for speaking out. Feminism is far from over - I think we need it now more than ever!

    1. Now more than ever! Agreed. It seems like we are backsliding a bit as a society. I worry about my daughters.

  2. I hate the word Feminazi. I hate that people who think it's just common sense that women should get, oh I don't know, equal pay and whatnot are on the level as people who approved of killing entire races of people. YOU KNOW SAME THING WHATEVER.

    I think that the Internet HAS made us backslide... I have seen a predominance of the "shut up and make me a sandwich" attitude in teenage boys. It has been a battle with even my boys (and their friends, who are all considered my boys), who are pretty progressive-minded, having a lesbian grandmother and all. It's just as much of a battle to get them to stop saying, "that's gay," but that's a different story.

    JUST TODAY my oldest was telling me about one of his female teachers railing against a girl student for wearing short shorts, talking about how boys can't control their hormones, are always horny, and won't be able to keep from pawing at her. NO LIE. My son responded with "excuse me, we may be hormonal, but we can control it. We can be horny at will," but I was HORRIFIED. Baffled. Utterly dumbfounded.

    I wish we could all be peopleists and teach our children to respect each other, no matter what, respect themselves, just be respectful. The internet is turning us all into anonymous assholes.

    In less depressing news, I also mentioned you in my 50 canvases video for today, you awesome thing, you. :D

    1. Exactly. It's about being peopleists! Not putting women above men or men above women.

      And I will check out the video. Yesssss.

  3. Kudos for standing up for yourself and what you believe. Don't ever let sexist jerks silence you.

    Oh, and that male church leader's voicemail message was just sick.

  4. I missed this post. How did I miss this utterly amazing post?

    I agree with the above poster regarding how the internet has created anonymous assholes. Without a face, name or repercussions, people can be as nasty and sexist as they please without worrying about seeming like a jerk in real life. And it perpetuates the double standards and misogeny that so many have worked to adjust for so many years. I had hoped it was improving, but maybe that's just head in the sand stuff. I know personally, my hubs and I are teaching our boys to respect women, and that they are no better than anyone, male or female. I hope many others are doing the same, but there will always be ignorant assholes, and unfortunately, those assholes procreate and teach their kids by example. Turn turn turn.

  5. Okay, how did I even miss this post? I'M IN IT. Anyway, I was sort of alarmed how hurt and disturbed I was by that stupid comment, sort of how you were hurt by that answering machine message. I think that is the less visible but equally insidious way patriarchy damages women. All of the sudden I feel disturbed and unsafe, even though I know I'm not in any real danger.

    1. Steph!

      That comment was terrifying and upsetting. It still shocks me. I hope that guy gets some serious help.