Why I’m No Longer A Feminist

I got hoodwinked into believing women only had power if it looked exactly like a man’s. Modern feminism did not make me feel equal; rather, it misguided me toward unsustainable hyperproductivity and unrealistic expectations.

By Delphine Chui3 min read
Pexels/Mathilde Langevin

As a budding mainstream women’s magazine journalist, I enthusiastically bought into the idea of feminism. I literally had the T-shirt and would joke about taking down the patriarchy.

But I was sold a lie.

Enveloped in a female-dominated industry, I longed to share an affinity with my colleagues and friends, and that affinity was feminism. It was an identity I didn’t dare question – after all, I agreed with the suffrage movement. But today’s message of feminism isn’t like that of history. Here are five reasons why I am no longer a feminist:

I Experienced Feminism vs. Femininity

Instead of embracing my femininity, modern-day feminism led me to believe it was a weakness, feeling that I needed to constantly do and experience more to be more. I placed my value in my own productivity, and it was physically and mentally exhausting. 

It fooled me into thinking my worth was purely achievement-based, leading me into an unsustainable cycle of toxic productivity. I was always chasing the next promotion and pursuing side hustles, at the expense of embracing my inherent worth and value as a woman.

As a mixed-race daughter of two immigrants, I grew up constantly being told how difficult my life must be. But the only difficulty I experienced as a cushy London-based millennial was getting trapped on this treadmill of trying to be a great employee, daughter, sister, friend and girlfriend all at the same time. I didn’t even have the capacity to imagine adding wife and mother to that list.  It’s no wonder so many of us feel like failures. 

We women aren’t made for the daily grind. While men have a 24-hour testosterone cycle, we have a four week cycle that impacts everything from our energy levels, sleep quality, food cravings, libido, spatial awareness, and concentration levels. It took me my entire twenties to realize it was impossible for me to live, love, or lead like a man. 

I Got Tired of the Double Standards

In today’s cancel culture, I’m well aware that every statement needs to be prefaced with disclaimers or qualifiers. So, here it is: While I don’t call myself a "feminist," I of course stand for equal dignity of both sexes. I believe in equal pay for equal work, support for working mothers, equality of spouses regarding family rights, and valuing the work of women, both outside and within the home.

I want to see a world where all women – including females in the womb – have their fundamental freedoms and human rights respected and honored. Fetal femicide (sex-selective abortions) kill up to one million females in India annually and yet this hasn’t been addressed as a pressing feminist concern yet… 

Women need to be protected and reverenced, alongside the rights of innocent children and men –not at their expense.

I Realized Sex Differences Do Matter

While men and women are 100% equal in value and dignity, we are not the same. We have differences when it comes to our physical strengths, our emotional capabilities, and our roles in society and in the family. 

Pope Benedict XVI once said that the “gender war” encourages a blurring of the distinctions, stating that "men and women’s differences tend to be denied, viewed as mere effects of historical and cultural conditioning." While British politician Ann Widdecombe was quoted saying: "It wasn't that we would become men. Instead of civilizing the world, what we have done is create a ladette culture. We have certain characteristics that we can bring to the world that are valuable, and shouldn't be submerged." 

But it’s British author and theologian G. K. Chesterton who describes the irony of the movement best: "Feminism is a muddled idea that women are free when they serve their employers but slaves when they help their husbands."

This all got me asking myself, are women really only valued for what we do in society rather than within our own families? 

My experience of feminism distracted me from stepping into my own femininity. I didn’t see examples of young wives and mothers, aspirational homemaking content, or women embracing distinctly feminine traits. I rejected learning the useful skills my grandmothers once had, choosing to focus instead on making money and a name for myself. I believed this to be “progress,” but it simply ended up making me materialistic. The only thing I was nurturing was my own narcissism. 

I Learned Socioeconomic History 

The peak of the sexual revolution and feminist liberation movement in the 1960s was a huge challenge for women, and one we’re still suffering repercussions from today. Suddenly, fatherhood was deemed unnecessary, and reproductive control was placed solely on women, removing men from shared sexual responsibility. This didn’t make us equal, it just encouraged societal behaviors that pushed out traditional family values, resulting in lots of heartbreak and suffering. 

Looking at history shows how Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin was very open about his mission to destroy the family by pushing women into the workforce. Marxists were able to double the number of laborers, keep wages down, raise the number of people being taxed, and encourage the raising of our children to be outsourced. 

This made women more dependent on the state, not less, and downplayed our crucial part in creating independence and freedom for our families. Within the home, women have the ability to create self-sufficient spaces that nourish, educate, and act as peaceful sanctuaries from the outside world.

I Discovered What's Needed for Healthy Romantic Love

Knowing that it isn’t in my nature to literally provide and protect has freed me to learn how I can creatively nurture and intuit instead. It has also changed my whole perspective on the complementary roles of the sexes and what a healthy relationship dynamic should look like: less mothering and disparaging on my part, and more encouraging and respecting

I now embrace my strengths and weaknesses, encourage chivalry, dress femininely, and reject the pithy slogan that "the future is female." Without men and women, there is no future. 

In my current state as a single woman, I need to provide for myself financially, but I try to make sure my career never comes above my womanhood or wellness. I’ve shaped my work life so that it’s mostly remote and allows for freelance projects in my downtime, which I see as the perfect training ground for “naptime income,” if I ever get to have a family of my own someday. 

Closing Thoughts

It has taken me a while, but I now refuse to conform to a culturally defined idea of what being a "good woman" means or believes. And if not identifying as a feminist, and rejecting the ideas that come with it, makes me "anti-woman" (as I’ve been called), then it’s pretty clear to me that feminism, as it stands now, isn’t even about women anymore anyway. 

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