Friday, August 23, 2013

No Hope for the Human Race Slays the Three-Headed Feminist Dragon

What happened: This is Kelly Martin Broderick. Last Spring,  Kelly participated in a feminist campaign for her university. The photo was simply herself holding up a sign that said, "This is what a feminist looks like."

Then: Around August 19, 2013 somebody took this photo and created the meme you see above.

Then: The meme was featured many places, including Tumblr and the Facebook page, "No Hope for the Human Race." According to her blog (or "rant" as No Hope calls it), by the time she discovered it, it had over 2,000 shares, almost 10,000 likes, and almost 1,000 comments. Here are some of the things people said:

"I'd like a show of hands from the feminazi types here. How many of you think that the really fat feminazi wench in the picture though that when she posed for the pic, that she would gain this much attention? This is great huh? I meanw, how about these guys here about a round of applause for all if these guys who took some serious time out of their evening, which we didn't have to, in order to pay a little homage to that obese salamage? Iv love this country." -Brian Shaune

"Fat, old, angry and single. If they still have a sex drive they find another angry lesbian feminist and make each other and the people around them miserable."-Brent Finnigan 
  "You women want everything equal good lol when you get a divorce or have kids get a job and support without child support and alimony. Equal my ass.. i see more females getting a free ride just because they married or got the dick from some dude that works hard." -Skyler Valdez

"How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb? None, because feminists won't change anything." -Brad Beringer 

"And in come the feminazi's."-Connor Ross

"And this is what a fish jammed inside a chicken's neck smoking a cigarette looks like... guess which one I'd rather have around?" -Josh Wylie

 "Feminism killed chivalry.."-Lauren Combs

"Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Teach a feminist to fish and she will accuse you of patronising her, claim she knew how to do it anyway and that even if she didn't, she could easily work it out without the help of a man."-Peter Jepic

"Never understood feminism!! I like my doors opened, drinks bought, ect!! The feminists are too stupid to see we actually have it pretty good! Hell, most men share their earnings, too!! I would be a feminist, why???!! Lmao " -Deborah Lashley 

"I'm a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn. That's what kind of man I am. You're just a woman with a small brain. With a brain a third the size of us. It's science." -Matthew Read

But many defended her: 

"I think she's beautiful. I am a feminist as well. Human beings come in all shapes and sizes. Get the fuck over it."

"So if you are not the society definition of beauty, it invalidates you as a person? is this what we have become? i guess that goes with the name of this page."

"No one here seems to even know what "feminism" is. A bunch of sad, uneducated morons. Im unfollowing this retarded page."

"This thread proves we still need feminism. Fuck off mysonginists."

"Jesus fucking Christ. I'm unfollowing this bullshit page too. All the men laughing about this--enjoy your chauvinism. For all you women laughing about this, fuck you. All of the people who fought for your right to vote and have equal pay, access to birth control--you just pissed in their faces."
 Feel free to check out the post.

Her first move: Kelly and several supporters asked Facebook to remove the meme.

Facebook said NO: Because it did not violate their "community standards."

Kelly.... *get ready*.... DEFENDED HERSELF... *gasp*.....: Peacefully. In fact, the only glimmer of ridicule she unleashed was imply the immaturity of one of the thousands of lashings inflicted on her.

 Kelly continued her revenge by starting a Tumblr page called "We Are What Feminists Look Like" so that several believers in gender equality could submit their photos and show that feminists are not just overweight women shamed by those who are threatened by them.

No Hope for the Human Race decided that Kelly was out of line. They decided to fight back on her blatant "attack."

No Hope for the Human Race's Response: 

So it appears that the feminist movement is now waging a war on our wall because of this post.

Her rant can be found here:

It features every step she took to report the image and facebook telling her that is wasn't in violation of anything.
Our response:

I think I speak on behalf of all no hope fans when I say that we come here to laugh at the expense of all people. No exceptions!
When you post an image of yourself on facebook you are giving your images to the internet. Just like you can express your opinion on your feminist movement, the internet can respond back with their opinion. The problem with feminism is that you are getting carried away and have been for some time. When a funny picture on the internet becomes a reason for you to want to take away someone else's right to an opinion, that is a real problem. If people in our comments refer to feminists as "an army of lesbians who need the cock," that is not OUR opinion. It is the opinion of the one who commented. Which in this case, would offend lesbians. Someone might say that feminists look like uptight ugly fat chicks who are pissed off that hotter chicks get more dick. Once again, that is not OUR opinion. That is the opinion of the fan who commented and they have a right to express it. The meme that was created merely stated that you look like how most individuals (including attractive women who can get laid) would commonly imagine feminists to look. You stating that you were being slammed for being fat is your own insecurity. The irony, is that you are now using this as a way to promote your bullshit movement and lame tumblr page. Which I am feeding into by addressing this. Though I fear not, our fans would never entertain your wack site.

Lastly, 90% of your family and friends who supported you through this "make believe crisis" are probably fans of our page in secret. They probably laughed behind your back and now message you with sorrow. Hypocrisy at it's finest. After all, we are the page that so many won't admit they like because their uptight friends may judge them. This proves the point of our page.

You want to talk about Feminism? Think of the young girl being stalked on facebook by a sexual predator who didn't receive the help she needed, because facebook admins were inundated with you and your feminazi friends reporting this stupid ass image.

The next time you want to throw a fit about something on the internet, take your own advice.
Remember this article you posted?

You know...maybe her site should take their own advice. they had this article on there.

Carry on with your feminism. We'll carry on making fun of it along with making fun of everything else. People's right to an opinion doesn't stop where your feelings begin.
I'll admit: 
-Yes, everything we post on the Internet is subject to be stolen and used in any form (which is why I kept the names of Kelly's haters.. muahahaha).
-No Hope for the Human Race is correct. They are not responsible for the comments their fans post, no matter how idiotic or cruel they may be. 
-I "like" No Hope for the Human Race and share a good deal of their photos. But I've decided, in support of Kelly, to change that. Not because I have no sense of humor, but because I've felt the pain Kelly is feeling right now. I get it and it's shitty.
-In the past, I have shared photos that ridicule people. 
But you know what? I don't think I ever will again. 
Kelly's experience really shed light on the meme's we laugh at on a daily basis. And, sure, a good bit of them are cute. Like this... 

and this... 

but then there's this...

and this...


These people are strangers. We're removed from who they are and therefore, have objectified them for our own amusement. But Kelly reminds us that these memes are human beings with lives, loved ones, and feelings. No Hope for the Human Race is right. I have laughed at memes that probably felt like a knife in the gut to the people whose images we verbally brutalized. 

I'm an author and writer of some pretty controversial material. As I state on the home page of my website, I am well aware that I am practically requesting hatred. That comes with the territory.  Even though I know that the end result is worth it, it always hurts. 
However, Kelly was just a college student participating in an activity. 
She wasn't asking for international attention.  She was simply a woman who believes in gender equality, happens to be overweight, and dared to not hide in a cave all of her life.
Obviously, I am a feminist. 
I do not hate men. I do not fantasize about castrating every male who doesn't want me.  I like it when a man buys my drink just as much as I like wearing makeup, pushup bras, and dresses. I have fun with those traditional roles to an extent.
Why am I a feminist? 
I believe in gender equality. That is the definition of feminism. If I was not a feminist, I would either wish to be inferior to males or superior to males. That would either make me a self-loather or a man-hater. 

But what made me fight for feminism? You know, become that loud mouthed  feminazi cunt taking feminism"way too far?"
I went on my first diet at age 11. I was anorexic by 12 and bulimic by 14. By 18, I was coughing up blood. I'm pretty sure that I would be dead if I had not joined the Navy. Boot camp and my lack of privacy in ship's quarters forced me to quit. 
This was me when I first kicked bulimia.

This was me a few months later..... 

This is me 8 years later... 

And you know what, Kelly? I still get called "fat" every now and then, even though I work about about 5 days a week.  That's typically the first insult men unleash when they hit on me and I turn them down. I'm sure if I were a size 0, they'd find another insult. 

Naturally, Kelly's fat shaming hits home.

My bulimia triggered Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a condition that is the leading cause of infertility in America. I know some women who have had this and packed on 200 lbs within months, even on a diet of kale and cardboard. Women with PCOS come in all shapes and sizes. The one commonality of this condition is that it is incredibly difficult to lose weight. You can do it, but it takes significantly longer.
The Navy was my rehab. Bulimics have two choices. They have to either quit or die. I didn't want to die at 18, so I was forced to take on an active and healthy lifestyle. The weight came off, but what would take the average person a year to lose took me about 6 years. 

Until then, I was a woman in the military living a size 4 lifestyle in a size 16 body. From puberty until high school graduation, I was considered a reasonably pretty girl. It's astonishing how different the world treated me with a bit of weight on my body.  I was stationed on a ship of about 300 men and 30 women. The women were subject to a lot of scrutiny. They were well aware that my body image was my vulnerable spot. And no, I'm not exaggerating when I say that I was treated like absolute garbage.
You know what always triggered their insults? My confidence- when I dared to have any.   

Fat girls are supposed to be meek. 
Fat girls are supposed to be submissive. 
Fat girls are supposed to know their place. 
Fat girls are supposed to hate themselves.

I remember one guy in particular. The second I said something witty, sarcastic, or showed an ounce of self-esteem, he'd snap something like, "Shut your fat face!" He was always making cracks, like how I looked like a cow jumping over a fence when I leaped off a few steps. 
Even after I dropped the weight, I relapsed back to anorexia a few times. I was never satisfied. At least not until I figured out the root of my illness and their ridicule.
What bothers me the most about those memories isn't the insults of others, but that I let them affect me to the point of bordering suicide. 

Why did I feel the need to diet at age 11? 
I grew up in a culture where beauty was a woman's greatest attribute. I could call out the whole gamut, like the Disney movies were the only happy ending I knew was for a beautiful princess to be loved and rescued by a prince or the Barbie's I played with from potty training age.
Women are taught to validate themselves through men.  I felt obligated to be beautiful because that was supposed to make men love me. A man loving me was the ultimate accomplishment. Because of the pressure I felt to be attractive, I ruined my chances of having children. Because of the pressure I felt to be aesthetically pleasing to men,  I almost killed myself. My eating disorders are just a fraction of the shit I got myself into for the sake of male approval. 

I truly became a feminist when I realized that I was broken inside. My emotional dependency on men was the root of the struggle and self loathing that haunted me most of my life. After a lot of self discovery, I learned to not need men. It's not that I don't like them. The key word is need.
Now, I live my life for myself. I do hope do hope to fall in love with someone someday, but I don't prioritize it. I suppose I had to be alone for a while so that I could grow into someone I truly approved of. That way, if I felt rejection in any relationship, I would not degrade myself because of it. 

Kelly,  I am so terribly sorry for all of the pain you've experienced from this fiasco, but I want to point out the silver lining in all of this. 
This disaster, which unfortunately happened at Kelly's expense, calls attention to what's broken within all of us.
The person who created that meme targeted her looks. In fact he or she didn't even have to clarify that. Here is a comment from someone I know. 
"The comment just says that's what I expected. Not much harm till you the reader judges her by her image that it actually takes flight." 

But when people degrade a woman, they instantly target her looks. Here's another example of all too many mentalities. 

“If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hairstyle.” -
Hillary Rodham Clinton 

  The fact is, both men and women are still trapped inside of their prescribed gender roles. While a woman is degraded for being strong, bold, and outspoken, men are ridiculed for showing vulnerability, compassion, and emotion. While a woman is pressured to be thin, busty, and feminine males are pressured to be tall, muscular, and strong. When a man wants to insult a woman, he calls her fat. When a woman wants to insult a man, she tells him his dick is small. 

"Men weren't really the enemy- the were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate where there were no bears to kill." -Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique 
We use those angles are our go-to assault weapons because they work. Men are still validating themselves by their masculinity while women their beauty. Those insults affect us because we have allowed ourselves to put something so shallow on a pedestal.

And we have to ask ourselves why we are so mean to each other? Why do we deliver such petty, but potent crucifixion to the innocent and unsolicited? 

Perhaps they are not completely unsolicited. Without realization or intention, most likely our victims threaten us.

I reflect on every person I've said cruel things about. And trust me, I've been a horrible, irrational bitch plenty of times, especially in the height of my insecurity. I have been that woman ranting about a man's microscopic dick. Most of the time it was because I felt some form of rejection, which made me feel badly about myself. I felt that degrading him or objectifying him would emotionally remove me or escalate my worth.  I've picked apart other women, and every negative word stemmed from my own internal damage that I did not want to own up to. 

I've always wondered what the big threat of feminism was. So much of American society treats feminists like three-headed-dragons. They're blatantly terrified. They don't know whether to stare with their mouths gaped open or slay them. 
What caught my attention about the Kelly vs. No Hope battle wasn't the meme generated in the first place. It was the reactions to her defending herself. They present their action for posting the photo in an innocent, "What did you expect? This is a website that insults everyone equally," tone. But what did they and all the people who shamed her for fighting back expect her to do? 

"I hate what women like her have turned feminism into. What a crock." -Sam Janney 

When Kelly reacted, she did so in a peaceful way. She didn't unleash insults degrading men, as many of her critics defined feminism. She didn't utter a hateful word, but simply carried an attitude that said, "I'm not ashamed of who I am. I'm feminist and am proud of my views. You're being mean by not removing the photo that humiliated me, so I'm going to take your negativity and turn it into something positive."

I find it interesting that a woman who did not follow the guidelines of the beauty ideal and dared to have a spine seemed to enrage so many people.

The fact that that No Hope for the Human Race considered her taking a bit of action, "throwing a fit" really demonstrates their expectation of placing her into a corner, zip lipped and beating her if she dared attempt to step out of line. 

This is my theory on the feminist shaming broken down in the simplest terms: 

-Men who hate feminism feel so because gender equality threatens their masculinity. Ironically, this pressure to be masculine suppresses them just as the pressure to be feminine suppresses women. 
-The women who hate feminism feel so because they believe that equality to men will compromise the male approval they are petrified of losing. 
-Those who lashed out at Kelly did so because they were disturbed that the threat of cruelty, ridicule, and societal pressures to be and act a certain way did not control her the way it controls them. 

Although I've never met Kelly, the No Hope for the Human Race admins,  or the thousands of social media users who attacked her, maybe every one of us participating in this conflict sees that Kelly has been forced to break free from the glorification and worship of the physical appearances that will inevitably fade in all of us.
What the fucked up mind frame have we shackled ourselves to and what monster has it created?  
Speech and opinions may be free, but that doesn't mean that they are not evil. 
Hey, Kelly, thanks for not letting them put you in your place. We still need feminism.

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