In response to the Women Against Feminism Tumblr that’s been gaining widespread notoriety this week, the webcomic Manfeels Park, which posts comics of Austen characters juxtaposed with hilariously sexist Internet comments, did a special edition entitled Austen Characters Against Feminism.
The comic makes brilliant use of the commentary on women’s lack of social power already found in Austen’s adept satire in order to gently poke fun at the anti-feminist movement. While the original Women Against Feminism contains gems such as “I don’t need feminism because I love masculine men like Christian Grey,” Austen Characters Against Feminism dips into the archives for classic anti-feminist sentiments such as “I don’t need feminism because I think a man looks nothing without regimentals!” — proving that women against feminism have always reached for the same clichéd ideas about men being men and women being women.
The creators of Manfeels Park, Erin and Morag, recently pointed out in an interview that Austen is the perfect source to plumb for their feminist webcomic: “The more we got into it though the more we realized that Austen was perfect due to the gender politics of the novels,” Morag explained. “Obviously they’re of their time, but even then Austen had a lot to say about how confined and subjugated women were.” It’s a message plenty of Women (and Cats) Against Feminism still need to hear today.