Up until a few weeks ago, Libby Anne Bruce, “a lady with opinions and a love of writing,” had an audience that was limited to “a few hundred Facebook friends, plus some feminist folks” who had seen one of her posts floating around social media. But that all changed in an internet nanosecond when husband, father, actor, director, climate change advocate, and proud feminist Mark Ruffalo shared Libby’s “Response To ‘I Am Not A Feminist'” on his official tumblr page.
It was a piece Libby says she wrote “from the heart” in response to the “Women Against Feminism” movement that sprang up on social media last summer. She posted her piece for her inner circle to read, and that was that.
Then… fast forward eight months to March 26, 2015… “Through the magic of the internet, that humble little rant made it to a Hollywood actor’s screen, and he liked it, and he shared it,” as Libby recounted on the new tumblr page she just started June 1st. She continued, “A lot of people thought he wrote it, but many others did some googling and tracked me down to compliment the piece and let me know about the mis-attribution. They also encouraged me to start posting to a more public platform.” She added, “So here we are.” [Editor’s Note: We are shocked at how many legit media outlets are still wrongly crediting the authorship of Libby’s piece to Ruffalo, even though HE clearly credits her on his tumblr.]
Of the viral tidal wave that has overtaken her life, Libby wrote, “It is astonishing and amazing and humbling to write something from the heart and have it resonate with strangers around the world. You all give me hope for the future, for feminism, for women and for justice.”
So without further ado, here’s Libby’s brilliant “Response To ‘I Am Not A Feminist,'” which SHE wrote in July 2014, expecting only a handful of people to see. But thanks to Mark Ruffalo, her powerful words have now become visible to millions, and celebrated as a rousing battle cry for the countless women and men who DO passionately believe in women’s equality and who KNOW what feminism is truly all about.
By Libby Anne Bruce
“My response to the ‘I am not a feminist’ internet phenomenon…
First of all, it’s clear you don’t know what feminism is. But I’m not going to explain it to you. You can google it. To quote an old friend, ‘I’m not the feminist babysitter.’
But here is what I think you should know.
You’re insulting every woman who was forcibly restrained in a jail cell with a feeding tube down her throat for your right to vote, less than 100 years ago.
You’re degrading every woman who has accessed a rape crisis centre, which wouldn’t exist without the feminist movement.
You’re undermining every woman who fought to make marital rape a crime (it was legal until 1993).
You’re spitting on the legacy of every woman who fought for women to be allowed to own property (1848). For the abolition of slavery and the rise of the labor union. For the right to divorce. For women to be allowed to have access to birth control (Comstock laws). For middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). To make domestic violence a crime in the US (It is very much legal in many parts of the world). To make workplace sexual harassment a crime.
In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.
In short, kiss my ass, you ignorant little jerks.”