“Response To ‘I Am Not A Feminist ‘”: Libby Anne Bruce Wrote It, Mark Ruffalo Shared It… And It’s Awesome

FeminismSocial MediaWomen's Rights 17 Comments

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.”

  • Kathleen Kj Lowry

    Very Powerful…thanks!

  • Amy Luna Manderino

    I would add that there were many men who fought for all of these rights, too. We hurt the concept of “feminism” when we write feminist men out of history, too, and marginalize it to only women. In fact, it was all men who voted for women’s suffrage, for example (after women’s decades of advocacy). Males today need to hear about male role models who were on board for the civil rights of women. Otherwise, we just perpetuate the false idea of a Battle of the Sexes.

    • boner.jpg

      I would add that it perpetuates the patriarchy when men get credit for the work of women. It’s awesome that Mark Ruffalo is a proud feminist and that he used his voice to promote this, but need to celebrate the original author. Otherwise, it’s just another story in a long history of erasing women’s voices.

    • It was all men who voted for women’s suffrage, because it was only men who could vote.

    • homasapiens

      Yes indeed they do, and YOU can write a blog post about it– not in derailment of someone else’s thoughts, but on your own bat.

      Let’s make it go viral, too.

  • Hayley Prychun Rodgers

    thought feminism=equality, but in action it has not as of late. I have
    been ripped apart by feminist for choosing to be a stay at home mom, my
    husband has been called “rapist” because he is a man, and when I bring
    these up other feminists defend their actions. I do not want to be
    associated with that

    • Michele Roberts

      You take a small fraction of women you’ve dealt with who call themselves feminists and have applied their actions to an entire group of women. When you use these people as the face of feminism and denounce the whole thing, you are in effect shitting on the entire movement. What you don’t want to be associated with is a fringe element. People like that are often used as propaganda against the movement as a whole, because everyone assumes that’s what feminism is – just man-hating and telling women what to do. Actual feminism is women having a CHOICE. You ARE a feminist by definition if you think you should have the CHOICE to be a stay at home mom and agree that it is the choice of others to go out and work. Feminist action today is not just these women – it is women in the Middle East who are fighting for the right to learn. It is women in India who are fighting for the right to NOT be raped. It is women in America who are fighting for our rights to birth control and abortion. When you ONLY see these women and assume they are all there is, you are not really looking for anything past that.

      • Hayley Prychun Rodgers

        Try reading again, I acknowledge it is not everyone. I said when I bring this up others defend them. Or like you, you gloss over what they have done as if it is nothing. This “fringe element” is the loudest and best known because others refuse to speak out against them and denounce their actions. They ignore them, gloss over them and defend them. I want nothing to do with that.

        I am not a feminist, I am for equality. I do not believe a woman has a right to choose so much so that it trumps the rights of the would be father without thought. I do not believe that a man should be forced to pay child support if the woman wants to keep the baby but is not allowed any legal say in an abortion or adoption. THAT is not equality.

        Male rape victims are silenced, we are told they cannot be raped, or when it is acknowledge it is treated as LESS of a problem, or lower on the list of priorities. If feminism was truly for equality the masses would be just as loud about those cases as they are when a woman is raped.

        If the things I described are just a fringe element, it should not be the loudest voice being heard. They should be called out, but they are not.

  • lee

    Brown and Black Feminism is Integrationist: http://youtu.be/woaf_Tabd4Q

  • lee

    Feminism doesn’t benifit my people watch the video below to learn why.

  • kaitipoo

    Haley I am sorry that SOME feminists have given feminism a bad name by the way they treated you, but there is a problem when we assume that the actions of some are the actions of all. It happens over and over with Christians, Liberals, you name it. Do not throw out the baby with the bathwater. I sure there are many things you and feminists agree on only you do not know it or maybe have yet to acknowledge it. Would you disagree that the examples the author cited are worthwhile and not important to you even if you do not work outside the home? Would you rather that women did not have access to all the things that feminists, both female and male have gotten them?

  • mouth

    Feminism is every woman’s birthright and duty. It doesn’t have anything tondonwith hating men. I advocate fair child custody laws and justice for all. Respect is not a dirty word.

  • just1guywhocares

    gosh, such a risky position she took…she is so brave to state the an opinion that she knows will be embraced by the facebook fascists out there…she is truly, truly special unique, truly- oh, I am swooning from her bravery.

  • maximillion

    Feminists. Stop complaining online, stop emotional uber gay hashtag slogans, stop heart shaped “ism” pictures, stop selective shaming videos, stop that posh watson bird, stop angelina jolie she makes me want to claw out my eyes with her self importance, stop the male non entities of hollywood celebrating wholesale demasculation, You are mostly American here, you have it better than 90% of the world, even if you are just a woman working in mcdonalds..Get on with it. Nobody in the western hemisphere sets out to disadvantage you. I know you like to do it, but stop whining. Thanks.

  • Brendalee

    “Don’t let men who hate women, define feminism as women who hate men”.

  • Dexi Chaos

    It would help the feminist cause then if they were to denounce the feminists that are wicked man haters and think they are actually superior to men. They are the reason I am not a feminist.

    It does not mean I think women should not have rights, I just do not agree with them acting titled and therefore better than others. I have been mocked by feminists for being a good little wife and doing what i am “told” to by my husband.
    AS IF.

    My husband and I are a team and we advocate for equal rights of all persons, gender and race mean nothing. We are all human.

  • Rea

    What nonsense. Look up the stats around the world- in western countries merely 14-18 percent of women identify as feminist while over 90 percent support full and equal rights between men and women. Ask yourselves why.

    The ‘ignorant little jerk’ who wrote this is the one actually spitting on women for having opinions that defy her silly feminist cult. ‘Dictionary definition’ my ass. Feminism does not get to take all the credit for civil rights progress, and they outright ridicule the serious issues men face in western society- a society in which women have extreme privilege. They do not care about equality at all. They care about promoting female-as-perpetual-victim, and female supremacy. No thanks.