Nobody Likes Feminists or Environmentalists

Illustration for article titled Nobody Likes Feminists or Environmentalists

According to new research, some people don't recycle and treat women like equals because environmental and feminist activists are so annoying.

Writing in the European Journal of Social Psychology, a research team led by University of Toronto psychologist Nadia Bashir found that negative stereotypes about activists reduced participants' willingness “to adopt the behaviors that these activities promoted,” thus playing “a key role in creating resistance to social change.”

“Participants were less motivated to adopt pro-environmental behaviors [among others] when these behaviors were advocated by the ‘typical’ environmentalist, rather than by the ‘atypical’ environmentalist or the undefined target,” the researchers report.


“Unfortunately,” they write, “the very nature of activism leads to negative stereotyping. By aggressively promoting change and advocating unconventional practices, activists become associated with hostile militancy and unconventionality or eccentricity.”

Some changes activists could make so as to be more inspirational but less obnoxious:

  • Stop following me down the street asking me to save trees when I'm clearly trying to text and walk at the same time
  • Scream less
  • Eradicate PETA


Tyler McKay /

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I think that people don't like to examine the broader impact of their actions because to do so would make them feel guilty. When presented with a person who is advocating for something they suck at themselves they're suddenly and inescapably faced with their own repressed guilt. The guilt makes them feel bad so they project that onto the activist.

/armchair psychology