When the social media campaign Women Against Feminism first sprung up in 2014 only one thing was able to properly expose the absurdity of the group's message – the parody Twitter account @NoToFeminism. And while @NoToFeminism certainly isn't a Twitter newb, the satire account may be needed now in 2017 more than it ever was before.
Australian writer Rebecca Shaw began @NoToFeminism shortly after the Women Against Feminism campaign began to make headlines. "I just felt a bit sad that [Women Against Feminism] existed," Shaw wrote in a personal essay published last year about the story behind the NoToFeminism account. Although Shaw approached the Women Against Feminism campaign with an open mind she soon concluded that many of the reasons participants claimed they didn't need feminism were "rooted in clichéd and misguided arguments people have historically used to discredit feminism."
While others responded to Women Against Feminism with fiery debate over feminisms' necessity, Shaw said she "knew that once people had reached this stage of vocal anti-feminism, attempts at serious discussion and debate would probably have no impact except to potentially reinforce their beliefs." But still she had to do something, if only to make herself feel a tiny bit better about the situation. And so the @NoToFeminism Twitter account was born.
I don't need fimeme I love that lots of men are in charge of women's reproductive choices it is so calming & allows me time to do crosswords— WomanAgainstFeminism (@NoToFeminism) January 12, 2017
"I expected to do a few tweets, have no response and give up, as I always do if I'm not great at something straight away," Shaw wrote. Except she was great and the response was almost immediate. Through the account Shaw tweets satirical gems such as: "I don't need femimssm, a day for women?? What next, a WEEK? A MONTH? Women being respected and appreciated EVERY day?? #scare #slipperyslope" and "I don't need femimis women are far too emotional to be President!! A President need to be calm and normal. Like Donald Trump #calm #soothing."
I don’t need fimsms because men who abuse women are always SEVERELY PUNISHED!! unless they are famous or rich or white or good at sport or— WomanAgainstFeminism (@NoToFeminism) June 20, 2016
Since its creation, tweets from the @NoToFeminism account – in which you may have noticed Shaw makes it a point to misspell the word feminism – have been compiled into a book. Along with a book deal @NoToFeminism has attracted some high-profile followers, including Counselor To The President Kellyanne Conway.
I don’t need femiss because femistis are always so ANGRY!! they should be HAPPY & RELAXED like the men who send death threats to them online— WomanAgainstFeminism (@NoToFeminism) April 5, 2015
Unlike other parody accounts that burn out after a few months, @NoToFeminism's sarcastic humor has thrived for more than two years. And although it's impossible to know exactly why the @NoToFeminism Twitter account has resonated with so many people – it has more than 115,000 followers – Shaw has a theory. "Because there is so much serious discussion and discourse around feminism, it's a relief to be able to make dumb jokes or be silly and laugh about things, while still making a point," Shaw wrote.