“I’m Not Like Those Other Girls”: How One Group of Women Seeks Power Through Putting Other Women Down
“Enter my giveaway by inviting five of your friends to follow my page!”
“I will be holding a LIVE Q&A session tonight at 7- put your questions down in the comments!”
If you follow any influencers on Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok, you have most likely heard these lines before. Typically, influencers seek power through gaining the admiration of their followers. They model a lifestyle that is glitzy and glamorous, and their followers aspire to live the same way. Through live Q&As, meet and greets, and fan mail, these influencers seek to be relatable to their audience, like a friend who their fans can talk to.
However, there are influencers who seek power not through admiration but through criticism and outrage. Enter the anti-influencer. While typical influencers preach the benefits of a certain lifestyle, the anti-influencer harshly rails against a lifestyle, typically one that is very popular. The anti-influencer likes to claim that mainstream society is “lying” to you: his or her “different” lifestyle, no matter how unreasonable, is the best. Anti-influencers thrive on hate: unlike typical influencers who get engagement through positivity, they boost their engagement by intentionally saying very offensive things to provoke outrage. Anti-influencers can be spotted through one of the following characteristics: an extremely high dislike-to-like ratio, an excess of negative comments on their social media posts, and memes satirizing the influencers. Ben Shapiro, Candace Owens, and Girl Defined are some of the most well-known anti-influencers.
Evie Magazine is a prime example of the anti-influencer trope. The typical formula of an article found on Evie Magazine is simple: claim that women have been “lied” to through modern society’s promotion of feminism, and that their anti-feminist lifestyle is the “truth.” This formula is often accompanied by bitter condescension towards women who deviate from their standards.
Almost every article on Evie Magazine begins with some grievance against feminism. The writers at Evie Magazine like to blame feminism as the driving cause behind many incredibly complex societal problems: poverty and crime, broken families, and even the rise of anti-women subcultures. They argue that feminism is about dismantling the nuclear family through the promotion of female independence, when in reality, female independence is about being assertive and ambitious. In their eyes, feminism is unsupportive of homemakers and women with large families, as they believe that feminism is all about forcing women to gain independence from the shackles of domesticity through working outside the home. They cry about the evils of birth control and promote ineffective methods, such as natural family planning, instead. Birth control, in their opinion, is not so much about preventing unwanted pregnancy and providing relief for diseases such as endometriosis; it is a weapon for the so-called “feminist agenda” to encourage women to be “sl*ts” through premarital sex. Women who engage in casual sex are labeled as dirty and impure, just as women were in the days of yore. Women are to not be believed in instances of sexual abuse or rape; they ignore the fact that throughout history, women have been ignored for reporting their abusers. They twist the “believe all women” movement to insinuate that most women lie about sexual abuse to bring down powerful men, and in the process, make themselves look good, when in reality, most women accuse people with no wealth or fame. In the world of Evie, abortion is not a private decision made by a woman and her doctor: it is a travesty that must be outlawed at all costs.
The hundreds of articles on Evie Magazine relating to feminism can be summarized with one sentence: feminism is a dangerous movement that seeks to destroy men, families, and women’s so-called “nature.”
This idea is rehashed in a hundred different ways, from articles titled “The 10 Worst Lies Society Tells Women” to “Are Men Bad For Not Liking Intimidating Women?”
The writers at Evie Magazine deliberately employ the strawman logical fallacy to depict feminism and its supporters as a scary monster. There is not a single accurate definition of feminism in any of their articles; instead of doing proper research, the writers go off of their own misconceptions. There are many different varieties of feminism, ranging from radical to moderate, just as how political affiliation operates on a spectrum. Evie Magazine brazenly assumes that all feminists are radical, man-hating feminists, when in reality, feminism is about pushing for equal rights and supporting all women. Feminists want to encourage women who want to pursue high-powered careers, but they also want to support women who stay home, as well. There is no talk about dismantling the family: feminists want to make sure that all women, whether they are single, married, or with children, feel safe in their relationships and have an equal say. They want a future where women are not paid less than men, feminine hygiene products are affordable to all, and women have control over their reproductive healthcare. They want women to have their voices be heard, whether it is in the corporate boardroom, at home with their partners, or in the courtroom over a sexual assault case. They push for scientifically accurate sexual education in schools so that everyone is informed, but they also think it is fine if someone wants to wait to have sex. Modern feminism is about having the right to choose how you want to live without shame or judgment, whether it be traditional, countercultural, or anything in between.
The writers at Evie Magazine intentionally make feminism look bad so they can portray their lifestyles as morally superior, thus elevating their own social status. They are the prime example of the “I’m not like the other girls” phenomenon: in this case, the other girls are the “dirty, brash, and unchaste” feminists. There is a distinct shift in tone from how feminists are portrayed to how the authors talk about themselves: feminists are labeled as “lying” and “hateful,” whereas anti-feminists are labeled as “soft, submissive, and domestic.” Through the tone shift, the writers portray themselves as countercultural rebels to a “degenerate” culture. Why are they so insistent on rebelling? In their minds, if they accept the mainstream (or “lamestream,” as they call it) ideas of feminism, they blend in with everyone else. If they blend in with everyone else, they are forgotten, another speck in the sea of seven million people. To them, there is no worth in being typical: being typical doesn’t grant you any attention, fame, or money. They have a burning desire to be special, and if they can’t achieve attention through being loved, they achieve it through being disliked as a result of spouting controversy.
It is no surprise that the same magazine that publishes tons of anti-feminist articles publishes articles supporting conspiracy theories, including QAnon, flouting COVID-19 restrictions, and the Great Reset. Research has shown that people who are susceptible to conspiracy theories have a number of psychological traits in common, the most important being the need to feel special. Many supporters of conspiracy theories feel like they have been forgotten by mainstream society. They have an inherent distrust of pillars of mainstream society, such as the government and media, as they believe that the “elites” are secretly plotting to destroy everyone. This idea is evident in the QAnon conspiracy theory, as believers think that there is a secret “cabal” of Democratic “elites” who are participating in sex trafficking rings. This sentiment is also present in the anti-feminist articles of Evie Magazine, as the writers think that there is a great feminist conspiracy to destroy the family. In response, followers of conspiracy theories claim that they have insider information on the alleged wrongdoings of elites that no one else in the world knows about. Just as how QAnon followers claim that an insider called “Q” has information about the cabal, the writers at Evie Magazine claim that they know about the perfect path to life that the mainstream media has been hiding to everyone. By baselessly claiming that they have secret information on the wrongdoings of elites, conspiracy theorists attempt to elevate themselves above the elites. The writers at Evie are doing exactly that: they hate on the mainstream to elevate themselves above the “sheeple” of the world. In a twist of irony, they are the “sheeple” themselves, blindly following their own ideology that is not supported by any sound evidence.
The name Evie is not chosen on accident: in the Bible, Eve was tempted by a serpent to eat the forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden. Her eating of the fruit resulted in women’s first sin. The story of Eve is often used as an allegory for women to resist sexual temptation, with the snake representing Satan and the fruit representing sexual temptation. The writers at Evie Magazine sell this exact twisted idea that women are inherently sinful, and feminism encourages such sins.
Through their strawmanning of feminism, Evie Magazine reduces the “other girls” to caricatures: the definition of female sin. Instead of seeking to listen to the lived experiences of others without judgment, the writers project their own negative biases about feminism onto their articles, all for the aim of elevating their own personal status. They profit off of hating other women for living differently. What they should understand is that there is a difference between reasoned questioning and being contrarian to attract controversy. The former makes a curious individual. The latter makes a conspiracy theorist.