Texas Tech University

Gender SEAMS Research Team

Gender SEAMS Research Projects

"I don't need feminism": A Content Analysis of (Dis)Empowerment, Sexualization, and Bodies of Women Who Hate Feminism

  • Samantha Christopher, Benjamin Finlayson, Tori Heebner, Alejandra Moreno, Kirsten Dalquist, John Purcell, Kelly Chroback, and Elizabeth Sharp

Negative and inaccurate media portrayals of feminism has served as a barrier for women self-identifying as feminists for decades (e.g., Faludi, 1990). More recently, post-feminism has complicated the landscape by co-opting feminist concepts to promote consumerism and hyper-sexualization of women's bodies. Embedded in post-feminism is the belief that equality has been achieved and individuals are living lives directed by their own choices (Budgeon, 2001). These ideas coupled with media-fueled stereotypes of "second wave" feminists and linked to large numbers of young women who reject the feminist label (Aronson, 2003). Moreover, there exist groups of young women who not only disagree with feminism, but also forcefully denounce feminism. One such group is the "Women Against Feminism" (WAF) Facebook page. To explore images and content associated with WAF, photographs with 800 or more "likes" on WAF page are being considered for analysis. Images and comments were examined using content analysis, focusing on how women's bodies are sexualized and/or objectified within the context of feminist and post-feminist discourses.