Feminazi is an image and narrative created by patriarchy to control the liberation and recognition of women as autonomous political subjects, and to serve as a warning to thwart these processes.
It is a label used for male supremacy to name the fearless woman. Fear is a control mechanism used to keep us living in terror of: expressing opinions, gaining weight, walking on the street, being raped, ridiculed, or lonely, not being married, being rejected, or dismissed, having too much cellulite, going to hell, traveling alone, being beaten, believing in ourselves, etc.
Feminazi is a modern myth designed to make us believe that there are good and bad feminists, and that it is possible to exclude and ignore all feminists through labels and stereotypes. A woman’s transition toward liberation can be seen as threatening to others when it is assumed that “someone else” outside the woman herself, has the privilege to define which feminisms are acceptable, or which processes of liberation and searching for autonomy are legitimate, or not.
The archetype of the Feminazi is not new, it is mythical. In sacred traditions, images of the Goddesses or Divine Feminine represent women with power, defiant character and sexual autonomy and women like Kali, Lilith or Oyá, as sinister temperamental females, who are linked to chaos, death, or destruction, these women are dangerous for the Statu-quo. Because, obviously, there is nothing more dangerous than a woman who has nothing to lose.
When terms such as violent feminism or man hater are used, women’s liberation processes are being disqualified and dismissed through the use of symbolic violence and stereotypes to depoliticize and destabilize women’s responses to oppression.
All feminism is radical, since feminists look for the TOTAL END of all inequality, violence and exclusion. This means going to the very ROOT, to the genealogy of oppression, in order to fully understand oppression itself and to design multiple strategies to definitively end oppression. Being radical is not a matter of sensationalism and violence, but of daringly questioning everything and persisting in doing so. This is only annoying for those who benefit from everything continuing just as it is.
Feminism generates so much resistance and so much hate because it is a revolutionary movement that breaks with the established order. People are afraid to change, they are terrified of the unknown, and they feel attacked when they see that there are other ways of living, thinking and acting. That’s why people invent monsters, boogeywomen or Feminazis, to justify their fear of fearless women.
But there is no Feminazi. Not in feminisms, not anywhere, for the simple reason that the goal of feminism is social justice.
We feminists do not seek to create a Fourth Reich of hegemonic domination based on the idea that men are inferior to women and must submit to our authority. We do not wish to leave them without right to vote, nor to rape them in wars, nor to mutilate their genitals in favor of cultural traditions, nor to confine them in the domestic sphere, nor do we want to stone them for adultery. Feminists do not claim that men are owned by their mothers and then by their wives, nor do we want men to receive lower wages, nor do we want to banish them from the top positions of media, business and political power. We do not promote the economic marginalization of men, nor do we want to traffic their bodies for the enjoyment of women, nor do we want boys to be killed for being born males.
That madness, that violence, that bloody nonsense is not promoted by feminists.
Feminazi is the vilified image of a woman who is motivated by the idea that she is a person; it is the label thrown at her by those she makes uncomfortable. The label Feminazi is attached to women who understand that the end of violence must be the TOTAL END, because there is no going half-way when it comes to defending women’s lives. We are brave human beings who do not mind meeting derision on the way to reclaiming our power and dignity.
Vanessa Rivera de la Fuente is a specialist in training and community outreach in Gender, Communication and Interculturality. She’s also a learning and social projects designer and a qualitative researcher; an awarded activist for women’s rights who too does independent scholarship in Religion, Gender and Social Discourses. Nomadic writer. A woman with stories and geographies, lover of books, cats and spicy Chai.