Shit People Say to Feminists (aka The Inevitable Is Bound to Happen)

Folks, it was inevitable. The “shit people say” meme has spilled out onto our humble feminist blogosphere. And it is chuckle-worthy (and in my experience, pretty spot on)! Check it out below. And add some “shit people have said to you” as a feminist in comments!

Related: Read Samhita on “shit girls say” for a more critical take.

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is Executive Director of Partnerships at Feministing, where she enjoys creating and curating content on gender, race, class, technology, and the media. Lori is also an advocacy and communications professional specializing in sexual and reproductive rights and health, and currently works in the Global Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A graduate of Harvard University, she lives in Brooklyn.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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  • toongrrl

    Oh God! I can relate!

  • Giselle Renarde

    hehe… “Why are you so angry all the time?” Yup! I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked that question.

  • Frankie

    It’s so true. I’ve been asked at least half of these…

    • Ivan

      Spot on, this.

      Wish we’d had this compilation video in my college days when there was a massive “This is what a feminist looks like.” t-shirt project/fundraiser. A lot of professors & guys bought & wore the t-shirts and got a lot of funny looks & questions.

      It is commonly said that “there’s no such thing as a stupid question,” but this video provides many exceptions to that maxim.

  • Catherine Brydges

    I enjoyed this video, especially as a lot of it is (unfortunately) familiar. However, I am still finding myself agreeing with Samhita’s analysis on the linked post, that the popularity of these videos is not that they make incisive comments about microaggressions or ‘low-level’ (so to speak) racism/transphobia/sexism, but rather that the whole series is focused on Shit GIRLS Say. Leaving out the issues over addressing women as girls, it seems to me that what many people are finding funny is, basically, that girls are stupid/passive-aggressive/say silly things. They aren’t, I suspect, examining their privilege (or if they are, they are people who already know about privilege and the importance of continually checking it), but just enjoying yet another joke at the expense of women. If there were more videos that began ‘shit people say’ or ‘shit men say’, that would even out the balance. But currently it’s a just one long joke on girls being stupid.

  • Rob Diaz

    “Men cant be Feminists!”

  • nazza

    “I know you say you are a feminist, but…” [insert critical comment]

  • Dom

    I’m a white guy and I can’t find a well-paying job/can’t afford a house/have been rejected frequently… (so please let me hijack whatever you’re saying because my experience is more important, otherwise you are SEXIST!)

    I get this on my blog…

  • braveasanoun

    “But we’re comrades! Discussing sexism will only divide us!”

  • Matt

    Shit people say to “male feminists:”

    “Whatever THAT means.”

    “Ohhhhhh….” (wrinkles nose)

    “That’s so politically-correct.”

    “Well duh, cuz you’re gay.”

    “I’ll never be some PC-type like you are.” (“PC-type” = for someone who is both feminist and anti-racist, apparently.)

    “God this PC shit is taking over everyone.”

    “Why don’t you just be what you WANT to be?”

    “Haha you’re like a lesbian trapped in a gay man’s body.”

    “Are you from Portland or some shit like that?”

    To be honest though I revel in these comments, they rarely bother me. Except for the “PC” concept; something that gets annoyed reactions from the majority of people is the antithesis of “politically-correct.”

  • libay linsangan cantor

    haha nice! someone once told me “so you’re a feminist *and* a lesbian? you must *really* hate men!” rolled my eyes and walked away.

  • Tam

    “Well, as a straight white male I’m disenfranchised by feminists.” That’s a real quote. His girlfriend, horrified, tried to politely suggest that maybe he misunderstood what ‘disenfranchise’ meant, which in turn triggered him verbally lashing out at her and fighting with her until morning.

    Also, I’m waiting on the edge of my seat for a “Shit Dudes Say to Girls They Don’t Know on the Street.” It would feature all the perennial favorites such as: “Hey baby, why won’t you give me a smile? What are you a bitch or something?” “Nice tits sweetie!” “Hey hey hey what’s your name what’s your name what’s your name?” and “Dammmmmmmmnnnnnnnnnn girl.”

    • SC

      Oh, jeez, the “Smile for me” thing makes me cringe every time. I’d love to say “Oh, I’m so glad you told me to smile! That just made my whole day. How charming! Wanna go back to my place?” but, unfortunately, I think the sarcasm would be lost on them.

  • Nicki Meier

    After chiming in on a conversation my friend was having about socialization, I made some very brief comments on the different ways our genders our socialized and this guy stopped and said, “wait, you aren’t a feminist are you?” (with a disgusted look on his face). Oh society and its teachings….

  • Screamer Creamer

    Has it ever occurred to you that feminists might be somewhat responsible for their bad public image? I mean, your head honcho still hasn’t apologized for her unforgivable histrionics during the Duke Lacrosse scandal.
    We aren’t all out to get you, sweetheart. Take care and God bless.

  • daria

    oh. my. god. i so get this all the time. especially the why are you angry all the time? one. i also get:
    why do you need to be so negative all the time?
    did you know that feminists have a really racist history?
    most feminists think that the way to solve womens inequality is to put more in parliament.
    feminism is really reductive.
    feminists are so disrespectful.
    a lot of my friends are feminists but i could never be one- i dont have the ability to hate that much in me.
    you’re a feminist? like germaine greer right?
    you’re a feminist? so what do you think of julia gillard?

    all of the above make me want to smash my head against a wall for various reasons.

  • amanda

    “you have no sense of humor!” and “lighten up, it’s just a joke”… I hear this a lot when I complain about stupid sexist jokes. It happened just last night! So annoying.

  • F.Toth

    After declining to watch yet ANOTHER movie wherein the hero is 25 years older than the leading lady (who has to run around practically naked) and the plot depends on women getting killed and a man (with help from other men) coming to save them:

    “Jay-sus! Can’t you just enjoy a movie?”

    “I don’t care how many more men than women there are in a movie. __I__ can just be entertained.”

    “Duh. Of course she’s younger. If older women want to me in movies they should take care of themselves.”

    “You’re just jealous.”

    “Then write your own *&^ movie.”

    “Do you HAVE to see sexism EVERYwhere?”

    “No wonder you’re single.”

  • Naomi Waxman

    “You’re too pretty to be a feminist.” – direct quote from a friend’s father. Talk about awkward, especially since he was taking us out to dinner.

  • Angela

    ‘Women do all these things to themselves! Man have nothing to do with it, you see all those fashion magazines run by women, and women just love staying at home and care for their children!’

    ‘My boss is a woman, so feminism is outdated.’

    ‘No, you’re not a feminist, you’re an equalist!’

    ‘But the hunters! And the gatherers! What about them? It’s unnatural to turn the roles around!’

    ‘If you’re a feminist… why are you wearing a short dress?’

    ‘So you want men to do everything to you?’

    ‘I’m not sure mentioning that you’re a feminist is a smart thing to do on a first date.’

    The worst: ‘You’re a feminist? You’re a femi-nazi hahahaha that’s so hilarious!’ And getting angry when I ask them what’s the connection between wanting equal rights and respect for men and women, and killing millions of people.

  • ila

    I once had a male (now ex) friend proclaim that I wasn’t a feminist, and refused to listen to me try and tell him otherwise. Interestingly enough I was in the process of starting my undergraduate degree in Women’s Studies and had spent much of my time before that protesting, writing and focusing on feminist thought. I guess doing these things while sporting make up and cute dresses somehow discredited my feminism, or rather, as far as he was concerned, saved me from it.

    He would later criticize me for pointing out a lack of women’s voices/opinions in the terrible bogus documentaries he asked me to watch, only to get flustered and say that his co-workers boss was a women, and in as such I had no point, and the world was a-okay.

    Secondly, and far worse, my ex-girlfriend’s roommate once told me straight faced that “you feminists are ruining it for regular women, men are afraid to pay for my dinner because of you guys”. I’m pretty sure that was one of the few times in my life I was utterly and completely speechless, due partially to the fact that she herself was rather intelligent and an otherwise pleasant person to be around.

  • Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    I once got a multilevel-whammy of pissed off by an acquaintance who said it was great that “Latina women were untouched by feminism, that’s why they’re so unafraid to express themselves so sexually.”

    Then there’s constant questions like: “If you’re a feminist why do you wear skirts/wear eyeliner/like pretty things/like flower gardens/enjoy cooking/etc.?”

    Relationship stuff:

    Single: “Maybe all that feminism stuff puts off guys.”

    Dating: “Does your boyfriend get weirded out by you being a feminist?”

    Engaged: “I thought you didn’t believe in marriage.” (Bonus points if the person has never expressed such opinions)

    Married: “Does your husband get weirded out by you being a feminist?” “Which one of you cooks/cleans/budgets/insert gender stereotyped task here?”

  • PeggyLu

    “You know, guys don’t like that.”

  • Lissa

    This page makes me cringe so much because it’s all so familiar!

    “shouldn’t you call yourself an egalitarian instead?”
    “There aren’t a lot of women in politics because it’s not something they are usually interested in.”
    “what about men’s rights?”
    “but cat-calling is just a compliment!”

  • SC

    A comment from a regular at the bar I worked at about my trip to Decatur, GA (a region of Atlanta, basically): “Oh, did you have fun in Lesbania?”
    Me: “Yeah, I had a great time. What did you say, though? Lesbania?”
    Him: “You know, there’s that lady college and Emory. It’s full of lesbians and feminists.”
    Me: “Well, that’s probably why I liked it so much.”
    Him: “….”
    Me: “So, what would you like to drink? A tall glass of women-hating, or are we moving on?”