On the show

Is feminism still relevant? Some women posting why they don't need it

July 30, 2014 at 11:01 AM ET

A movement against feminism is burgeoning online, and it’s stirring up a debate nearly as fiery as the original crusade for women’s rights.

The source of the groundswell comes from Tumblr page “Women Against Feminism,” where mostly millennial women have posted photos of themselves with signs that finish the sentence, “I don’t need feminism because…” 

A Tumblr site, "Women Against Feminism," has created a growing online debate over the relevancy for the movement.
Women Against Feminism/Tumblr
A Tumblr site, "Women Against Feminism," has created an online debate over the movement's relevancy.

The campaign generally argues that feminism casts women as victims and men as adversaries and predators. Among the reasons listed for rejecting feminism:

  • "I love men and value their human rights." 
  • "I can form my own opinions without the influence of other women, politicians and liberal college professors." 
  • "Because when I dress feminine it’s for ME, I am not oppressed." 
  • "I am not a weak minded person."
  • "Cooking for my husband is not oppression."

Several posts mention rape, including one woman who wrote, "getting drunk at a party and having sex with a stranger is just irresponsibility, not rape!" While other women wrote less weighty notes:

  • "How the (expletive) am I supposed to open jars and lift heavy things without my husband?' 
  • "I like when men say compliments about my body!”
TUMBLR
Women Against Feminism/Tumblr

The movement has fired up feminist supporters, who insist many people today don't understand what feminism actually means.

“The phrase has been hijacked,” documentary filmmaker Soledad O’Brien said Wednesday on TODAY. Many young women don’t remember the struggle to secure rights to vote or get paid equally as men for the same jobs, she said. 

Video: Journalist Soledad O’Brien and Abby Huntsman, an anchor on MSNBC’s “The Cycle,” join TODAY to talk about the state of modern-day feminism as an anti-feminist movement grows among young women online, as reported by NBC’s Hallie Jackson. From the Orange Room, Carson Daly asks viewers for their thoughts.

“Somehow it’s been misconstrued by some of these fringe–sort of edges... who are doing these things that are perceived to be bad," said O'Brien, a former TODAY correspondent. "The option to have choices is actually what feminism brought about.”

Abby Hunstman, host of MSNBC’s “The Cycle,” said she considers herself a feminist, but agrees that people need a better understanding of what that actually means.

“I actually think that the women promoting feminism could do a little bit of a better job with the campaign, showing women that, 'You know what? I’m a stay-at-home mom and I’m also a feminist,'" she said. "Or, I’m pro-life, I’m also a feminist. I love men, I’m also a feminist. I think we all need to be in this together.”

TODAY asked viewers to tweet their views on the subject to the #OrangeRoom and opinions were equally divided.



Follow TODAY.com writer Eun Kyung Kim on Google+ or on Twitter.

TOP