WOMEN

11 Vintage Images Reveal Where Negative Stereotypes About Feminists Come From

Feminists: Fielding bullshit for 100+ years.

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. 

  • Feminists want to emasculate men.
    Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.
  • Feminists are bad mothers.
    Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.
  • Feminists are ugly.
    http://www.historyextra.com/
  • Feminists are angry bullies.
    Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.
  • Feminists hate marriage and relationships.
    Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.
  • Feminists don't actually want equality, they want to rule men.
    Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.
  • Feminists are promiscuous.
    Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.
  • Feminists don't want to take care of the house or family.
    Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.
  • Feminists are angry.
    http://www.historyextra.com/
  • Feminists want to take men's roles.
    Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.
  • Feminists don't care about their family or children.
    Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA.

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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