Coincidentally, this week I also found a very good, concise statement of the Radical Feminist platform over at Women’s Liberation Radio News.
“Third Wave” Isn’t Feminism
Before we dive in, I want to spotlight the fact that “Third Wave” Feminism is actually backlash against the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960s and 70s.
The 1970s saw significant legal progress for women. We acquired the privilege of applying for credit, terminating unwanted pregnancies, and legal protection against housing discrimination. The UN declared 1975 International Women’s Year. Women’s Studies became a feature on campuses everywhere.
These days, it’s morphed into Gender Studies.
Hmmm, How strange! In 50 years we went from “Please can I have a bank account and an apartment?” to not even needing a single dedicated class? Has any movement ever come so far so fast?
Of course not. But Patriarchy runs the show and, after giving women a few showy wins, sat back and waited for our guard to slip.
So now we have boys winning girls’ track scholarships and men are being counted in affirmative action quotas. We are losing access to reproductive healthcare. Meanwhile I have people trying to argue with me about female penises.
Which is why we need Radical Feminism more than ever.
Radical Feminism Is:
- Focused on female power, freedom and independence, not on the reformation of males
Guys, it’s not always about you.
- Anti-Patriarchal religion
Especially femininity as performed by women.
- Critical of heterosexuality, marriage and the nuclear family
This is a neglected point. Tends to get reduced to ‘marriage is oppressive!’ Which has merit but some of us are straight, y’all!
So I figure I’m on the front lines of this one.
- Against the hatred and oppression of lesbians
Because they’re women, duh.
- Recognizes and condemns males violence against women and children, animals and the earth
Thus the anti-Capitalism and all that. Capitalists would happily burn up the planet for profit.
- Supportive of female segregation and female-only spaces
Another one that should be obvious. ‘Exclusion’ has become a dirty word, but sometimes being exclusive is the point. Like making the Dean’s List or joining a hiking club.
If you don’t make the cut or are unable to go hiking, those groups are not for you.
If you are a male, the ladies’ room is not for you.
- Anti-rape, including paid rape in the pornography and prostitution industries
- Anti-BDSM and all forms of abuse generally
I’m personally still working on exploring these topics. It’s slow going because of some experiences that turned it into a personal minefield.
- Morally absolutist/culturally universalist on issues relative to female oppression
This is probably my favorite part.
I don’t care what your culture or your religion says. If you think educating girls is a waste of time, you are part of the problem.
If you think a woman’s value lies in her body, whatever form that belief takes, you are part of the problem.
If you support anyone born male having access to women’s spaces, you are part of the problem.
Your Argument is Beside the Point
Because before I am American or white or red-headed and frumpy,
I am female.
It’s something fundamental we all share that can’t be taken from us.
No matter how many words get redefined or how many TERFs get punched.
What really sucks is, it’s all irrelevant!
Calling me every name in the world won’t stop Patriarchy. It won’t stop the epidemic of male violence.
Someone came at me saying he had to confront me because he couldn’t let dangerous bigotry and hatred go unanswered.
I asked him to go pick a fight with one of the many thriving white supremacy groups, but told him I understand that picking on me is easier. Just don’t pretend it makes you some kind of hero.
Radical Feminism is about liberating women everywhere from the tyranny of Patriarchy.
And as Patriarchy gets more creative, so must we be creative in our response.
So, yeah, I’m a straight white lady with a big ass, and I’m gonna tear holes in all the sexist, racist, greed-infested bullshit I can find.
Radical Feminism is real. It’s nuanced. It’s intoxicating. It’s woman-focused. And it’s growing.