We Need To Stop Gatekeeping Feminism

"Gatekeeping: When someone takes it upon themselves to decide who does or does not have access or rights to a community or identity"

Hello lovely readers. I was watching a Q & A of a Youtuber who I have watched for a few years now. When asked about her thoughts on feminism she made some great points about how feminism should be about women of all races etc. But one of her points rubbed me up the wrong way and was a clear form of gatekeeping, which is what I wanted to address in this post. 

"Right now I think it's like cool to be a feminism and everyone's jumping on the bandwagon with the women's march and everything... But when I see people taking pictures of themselves at the march with their signs that they made and I read something where someone was like 'I'm now going to to start using my platform to talk about thing I find really important', that's so easy to say and so easy to do now that's it's like cool to be doing that you know?"

OK so what she said isn't particularly awful at first glance but I think saying things like this could have some serious consequences. First of all the mocking tone she put on when she mimicked whoever she was referring to was really childish and uncool. I completely agree that feminism is not a fad or trend and should be taken seriously. But by mocking those who have just started speaking about feminism is counterproductive. Not everyone does everything at the same pace, it might take someone longer than others to feel comfortable to speak about important issues. Let's face it speaking abouit feminism on the internet usually is followed by a shit storm and even I am a little nervous and writing this post. 

Maybe it has taken all of the awful things that 2016 brought to have kicked a huge amount of people into action but people speaking up rather than keeping quiet is exactly what we need right now. It really annoys me when people act like feminism is this exclusive club that you can't join unless you've been there since the beginning. It's like being told you can't be a fan of a band because you didn't know them when they were playing gigs in basements for 20 people. 

BY attacking those who are only just starting speaking about feminism it could result in those people feeling to uncomfortable to speak up. Meaning less voices are heard, meaning less people are reached. The more people we have speaking about these issues the more likely we are to be heard. 

Also, by criticising those just joining the movement we create a divide, it becomes "us" and "them". And that is when things being to fall apart. It also damages the credibility of the movement as it gives fuel to the stereotypical view of women, that we are all bitchy, backstabbing, squabbling girls. A stereotype we are fighting so hard to destroy. I truly believe that we are only going to be taken seriously and listened to if we are united. Which we won't be if we continue to gatekeep feminism. United we stand, divided we fall and all that. 

I'm sorry this post was a bit ranty and I want to make it clear that I still like and respect this Youtuber and this post is in no way just an excuse to criticise her but I think it's an issue that really needs to be addressed. 

So let's stop gatekeeping feminism and celebrate how many are joining the movement and are fighting for equality. 

I hope you enjoyed this post, what are your thoughts on gatekeeping feminism? 

Thanks for reading! 

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  1. Every movement has founders and early adopters who spoke out when it was unpopular to do so. It's difficult for those folks to resist the urge to criticize those who jump on the bandwagon later, because they can't tell who is sincere and who is doing it just for "show." As an example, I've supported LGBT causes for YEARS but only recently became more vocal about issues around feminism, especially for women of color. I know I don't have the track record others have, so it's likely they can't know how sincere my passion is. Hopefully someday we'll welcome ALL regardless of when they became "woke!"

    1. Totally get that, it must be hard to tell who is sincere but I feel like by gatekeeping we might scare off those who are sincere. Yes, definitely! Thanks for stopping by!

      Ella xx