When feminism was conceptualised during the 19th century, it was the battle of equality. Women rose together to demand equality in quality of life, profession and to present their opinions in public spaces. It started when women demanded the right to vote or pursue a profession. Feminism was backed by actions and not merely words as there were credible women fighting their way to become a successful doctor or a lawyer and so on. Feminism was the point of being heard.
However, in today’s world, feminism is sort of a claim that many venture after to embark on a journey that shows power or exhibits a status. Many women and men have lost out on the true essence of what can be regarded as feminism and exhibit toxic traits that are bad for personal development, interpersonal relationships and society at large. These are what one calls as ‘Faux Feminists’.
Spotting the faux feminist
A feminist is not a perfect person and is entitled to breathing space to commit errors like everyone else. A feminist is someone who believes in equal chances to be provided to those who deserve them and not on the basis of their gender. In the case of office promotions, the aspect of ‘May the best person win’ is mandatory. A true feminist will focus on the credibility of the employee in focus and nothing else.
A faux feminist will incline towards the lady even though the gentleman was more deserving. Faux feminism leads to misogyny, eventually ending up as a vicious cycle.
Relationships too bear the brunt of faux feminism as lies and unfairness loom at the surface, overshadowing the basic affection for the partner.
Such behaviour arises from the way a child is raised. If he/she was raised in a strict matriarchal household, chances are he/she will grow up unaware of the concept of balance and embrace the idea of controlling or being controlled. A patriarchal household will turn away from the concept of women empowerment and therefore children of such houses do not believe in the concept of feminism at all. A balanced household builds the foundation of balanced children who see things based on fairness and capability, rather than feminist attributes or machismo.
So, how do you spot a faux feminist? Some of the clear traits are:
Control freak: Control is very important to a faux feminist. Consider it as a baton of power which yields command and superiority above the others. A faux feminist is unable to step down on a situation even though it is required and will fight tooth and nail, to prove a point. This is the first step to creating negativity.
Internal dialogue of ‘should’ or ‘must’: It is said that a person who thinks he or she is right, is the easiest to fool. Faux feminists undertake an internal rant where they convince themselves that they are right. Instead of being in the moment, they are caught up with the concepts of ‘musts and shoulds’. Moreover, it is very easy to fool such people by simply agreeing with their definitions.
Blame game: One can only control a person or a situation so much. Upon losing control, the faux feminist will usually resort to a blame game where she will be quick to point out, “If in my control, things would have been better”. A highly unhealthy trait, this blame game is known to break personal as well as professional relationships, rendering the person incompetent and inflexible.
Too much ownership or lack of accountability: In order to prove a point, faux feminists cross the lines of what they can do and they can’t, ending up with a load that they can’t carry. However, the need to blame is super strong which eventually leads to lack of accountability which labels them as irresponsible. This trait is especially toxic when it comes to relationships with their partner, family or friends.
Overcoming the impact
Nothing beats pseudo-feminism than open communication. Open communication can follow a trail of disagreement, quarrels, fights and finally, a calm heart-to-heart conversation. It is not always easy to build a resonance with someone who is so fixed in their ideas and just don’t budge.
A professional intervention in the form of life coaching or counselling can help the matter and untangle the web that was woven due to a false sense of righteousness and complex analogy of what is wrong and what is right. People should be taught about the concept of individual freedom and empowerment. However, the lesson should extend to those who are hell-bent on exploiting its virtue for their personal gain. Feminism is simply a concept of levelled perception and equal growth.