From angry cat ladies to uptight man-haters, there are some very specific, negative images people associate with feminists. But where did these (false) stereotypes come from? Associate Professor at Occidental College Lisa Wade did a little digging to find out.
In a recent Sociological Images article, Wade pointed out that many of these enduring and damaging stereotypes may have originated from the propaganda used against the British Women's Suffrage movement in the early 1900s. Using postcards, posters and newspaper ads, anti-Suffrage groups created and perpetuated myths that the women fighting for equality were angry, uptight, unfeminine, anti-family and anti-men.
While the general understanding of feminism and public perception of women who identify as feminists has come a long way, these stereotypes still linger. Today, feminists are often still assumed to be uptight, angry, whiny and man-hating. (Side note: If we're angry it's probably for a good reason. And let's not forget dudes can be feminists, too.)
Scroll below to see a few anti-Suffrage postcards from the early 20th century and the negative stereotypes they reinforce -- which, unfortunately, feminists are still fighting against today.
In conclusion: These ideas are still as misguided as they were 100 years ago. And for the record, a feminist can be a person of any gender, sexual identity and ethnicity, so this whole stereotyping thing has got to go.
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