Over time, the many movements of feminism have culminated in the modern Fourth Wave, which, through lack of a better description, has splintered and diffused into a mess of opposing views.
The Fourth Wave feminist movement is characterised by a strong online presence and prides itself in its intersectionality… or so they say. So much as a hint of conservative views or disagreements over the rights of transgender women entering biologically female sports and you will be the subject of a modern day witch-hunt.
It appears that Western societies have reached a point over the last few years where the feminist movement is floundering over what to complain about next and is using current events to push forward a frankly misandrist message. The recent tragic death of Sarah Everard has spurred on the message across social media and on the streets of our cities that men are the problem, with one Green Party Baroness having the audacity to suggest a 6pm curfew for all men. In reality, the only problem is violence and evil, which is ironic coming from many of the same people who believe violence against their own unborn children is acceptable to meet the convenience of women.
The turn to online activism has led to a plethora of TikToks expressing women’s many emotional day-to-day burdens, but has descended into an array of trivial complaints. One such video depicted a young girl’s struggles around whether society would take her intelligence seriously if she weren’t attractive, but if she was seen as attractive society would only accept her for her appearance and overlook her intellect.
Had this girl considered simply abandoning these fabricated problems and attitudes? Apparently not, since she proceeded to blame men and, of course, the dreaded Patriarchy for these beliefs. There are many women, however, for whom these thoughts never even enter their heads, and as such are not held back in life by a constant belief that they are a victim.
In light of International Women’s Day, feminist pages across Instagram took it upon themselves to tell women exactly who and what types of women they should be uplifting. One such page explicitly stated that women should ditch the ‘girl-boss’ attitude and stop celebrating those who are successful with their money or have climbed the career ladder to become CEOs, because this celebrates capitalism and clearly their success must have been a result of exploiting others!
But past posts from the same page continued to exhaust the wage gap narrative, complain about the unequal share in global wealth between men and women, and provided a list of BIPOC businesses to support. All this indicates a movement that is confused. Confused about what ideals they want to uplift and what attitudes should be imposed on others. Confused about the invisible obstacles they have created in their lives that can be used as an excuse for failures or feeling held back.
Their contradictions amass even to the point of one feminist acknowledging that women’s goals are attainable in Western societies, yet remaining adamant that women struggle in an oppressive system. Statistics are failing to withstand the Western feminist’s narrative that women are perpetual victims since more women now graduate from university, women on average earn more than men in their twenties, and women are less likely to be homeless, to name just a few.
As such, the Fourth Wave of feminism appears to have steered away from the legal and tangible aspects of gender equality, instead reaching a philosophical stand-off with their goals becoming unclear, and implosion a foreseeable eventuality.
By Charlotte Clarke.