The problem with all these new leaps and bounds for women’s rights is that not all women are on the same page for what they want. Instead of being united they are fighting among themselves, debating what it means to be a “real” woman and being ashamed of women who are different than them.
Women do not want to be associated with their social group because of guilt for belonging to it or dislike of the stereotype but every time a woman distances herself from other women or attacks the female gender she is weakening her own overall social rights. It was described passionately by Claudia Gray, “It saddens me to see girls proudly declaring they’re not like other girls. It’s taking a form of hatred for women and internalizing it by saying, ‘Yes, those girls are awful, but I’m special, I’m not like that’, instead of stepping back and saying, ‘This is a lie.’”
This can be seen when specific women are attacked. Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke, a birth control advocate, “a slut” on national television and was actually supported for saying it. Male commentators speak more often on female issues than women do in the media, as can be seen in the following chart compiled from large newspapers, televisions shows, and media companies.
As a result of this it is harder for women to find opinions they can relate to in the media. Women who want social advancements such as contraceptives are often painted as sinful and women distance themselves from revolutionaries in the field such as Fluke. Some women distance themselves from women like Fluke and proclaimed feminists because of stigmas surrounding feminism: they believe it makes them appear unfriendly, angry, or a lesbian, all traits that will make them unappealing to men. This type of woman believes that if people view her as an exception rather than a representation of a stereotype then they will treat her better and consider her special. This is protection in a perverted fashion, attempting to find safety by dividing forces and appealing to the harmful groups, “I’m different. Don’t treat me like them.” This is an incredibly dangerous viewpoint because instead of expanding people’s horizons and shattering the idea of stereotypes it is only encouraging the idea of exceptions.
Stop woman on woman hate. There is no way women as a whole can win the Battle of the Sexes if there is a female civil war erupting among the ranks.