Although 4th wave feminism can be defined by far more than the internet itself (that’s for a whole different piece), it has unfortunately become synonymous with “internet feminism” and its attendant infighting and call out culture. A Huffington Post article last year likened “internet feminists” of the 4th wave to “mean girls,” adding fuel to the fire and increasing contempt for this subset of feminism. While many of the accusations against so-called “internet feminism” are reasonable, they cannot and should not diminish “internet feminism”’s potential to be a catalyst for real change. There is no part of the multi-faceted movement that is beyond reproach, so why should “internet feminism” be singled out any more than the others?
Perhaps now that a majority of feminists (and non-feminists) alike express themselves and their opinions in the digital world, words like “tumblr feminist” and “internet feminist” will begin to lose meaning. Within the next decade, digital feminism will become mainstream feminism, with few visible or functional distinctions. Whatever happens to the movement, it’s my hope that our most connective, globalized medium available will hopefully be seen as the antidote and not the disease. Until then, I remain, an #internetfeminist4life.