**I know the intention of the article was to empower feminists. However, after reading the article, I was left shocked and wanting to write an article of my own as a response. So, fair warning, this article is part critique, part rant. Also, this critique was built around my own definition of feminism and I understand that my version of feminism may not be everyone's cup of tea.**
Yesterday, while in the midst of studying for my history final, I went onto the Her Campus national website for a break. The first story on the site was "17 Signs You’re the Man Repellent of Your Friend Group.” My initial reaction: AHHHH!!! Why would you give any female empowerment-type article a title like that????
The article opens with “Can we get a round of applause for all the powerful AF women out there who just can’t help but be the man repellent of their friend group?” First off, what this statement tells me is that women who are “powerful AF” are the “man repellent of their friend group.” It makes it seem that one cannot be a feminist while at the same time be attractive to males. However, ladies, this isn't true at all. This kind of rhetoric, I believe, is the reason why many women are afraid to identify themselves as feminists. Also, if a guy is "repelled" by feminism, then he isn't worth your time, or really anyone's time.
As the article continues, the author then begins to list some behaviors she believes contributes to why "guys are scared to approach you and your squad at bars." Some of the reasons include, "you love to dance alone," "give any man a death glare that tries to approach your friends," and "you don't believe in hiding your intellect." What I believe the author was trying to get at was the idea that these behaviors repel men who don't believe in feminism. And yes, I totally agree. Men who are repelled by some of these behaviors are pigs. However, at the same time, she still frames these behaviors within the context of whether or not they are man-approved. This is where, I believe, the article seems to be sending the wrong message about feminism.
Also, the first point in the author's list of "man-repelling" behaviors is "you've got pink pepper spray hanging from your keychain as a literal repellent." I believe this point isn't really associated with feminism at all. Women and girls don't carry around pepper spray because they are making a statement. In the world we live in, unfortunately, there are men out there who feel comfortable with approaching women and making them feel unsafe. Therefore, having pepper spray isn't really a choice. It is for personal safety and self-defense purposes.
Honestly, if you probably can’t tell already, I am very disappointed with this article. “17 Signs You’re the Man Repellent of Your Friend Group,” just rubbed me the wrong way because it made it look like you can't be a feminist without being "man repellent." Also, I would further argue that Her Campus should be more careful about what articles are being published on their national platform. For me, Her Campus offers an amazing opportunity for college women to get some experience in journalism/social media. In my mind, Her Campus is very empowering for women. I completely understand that every HC writer is entitled to a certain level of creative freedom (and this is another thing I enjoy about HC!). However, I still do believe that HC national should be pay more attention to the content they are publishing given that the main demographic of the company is young women.