i am a radical feminist, writer, and jewelry designer/maker who loves reading, collecting turquoise, and learning new languages.
Posts tagged radfem
I don’t get why people think that radfems as a whole are racist. I’ve seen more intersectionality and talk about race issues among my fellow radfems in the short time that I’ve considered myself one than I did in the entire time I followed libfem blogs. I’m not saying that there aren’t racist radfems out there, but it seems to me that libfems are the ones who care more about white feminist bullshit like slut walks and smearing menstrual blood on bathroom walls.
I totally agree with this. Much of liberal feminism in reality ignores WOC’s experiences. Slut walks? When WOC are already viewed as over sexualised sluts? Prostitution as a choice? Ignoring the disproportionately high number of poor WOC who are forced into being prostituted. Cultural relativity? Ignoring that women in countries where we don;t live are real women who feel abuse, hurt and pain as much as us.
I think a tremendous amount of women’s energy in particular goes into denying atrocities to women, and I deal with them very directly, absolutely all the time, and you know people are always asking me, you know, how can you, like, do this, and I’m like, how can you, like, not? And I don’t mean that as a moral stand, I mean that as a stand of how much of your energy is going into denying what’s going on around you, how much of it is going into holding down, holding in, shutting up, squishing, compressing, flattening yourself inside yourself?
You know, you get a tremendous amount of energy out of actually letting it in and flowing back with it, letting it go through you, and feeling what it really feels like, and being changed by it, and knowing what you know and saying it and finding ways to say it and push back against it and work around it and you get a tremendous amount of energy from actually — you know, Andrea once said to me, and it like shocked me totally, to death, I think she published it, that she, how’d she say, that she had recently come to think, it’s something she learned largely from me, she said, that women have a right to be effective.
Now, I had never thought of it that way, you know, but I think that we do. Like, we live here, too. And that understanding that we have a right to occupy space and, you know, to speak out and to say what we see, and that that isn’t the same thing as doing battle all the time as if you’re just, you know, smashing your head against a brick wall. It’s actually engaging with the life of your own time, as opposed to acting like you weren’t even there.
Getting the chills/melting from this amazing quote.
Oh man, if I had a nickle for every time I’ve seen a radfem tell another radfem to stop talking about race until we dismantle the patriarchy, I’d still be waiting eagerly for my paycheck on Friday.
Seriously, why. Why is it always the people who have no idea what they’re talking about the ones who feel most comfortable talking?
The patriarchy is the system that oppresses all oppressed groups, not just women. Fighting to dismantle the patriarchy is fighting to end institutionalized racism, institutionalized homophobia, institutionalized ableism, and institutionalized misogyny.
I’d love to see a liberal feminist draw a graph of how she thinks oppressive power structures operate. Lots of circles. nextyearsgirl
anyone besides me and sento-bishojo living in massachusetts right now? or if you live in a neighboring state are you able/willing to travel to mass? we’re both desperate for a radfem meet-up of some sort. radscum social, if you will. anyone interested?
Inclusiveness versus Solidarity
I cringe when I hear people talking about feminism being more “inclusive,” a buzzword popular among liberal feminists. As someone who falls into the category of women these feminists would like to include in their rather lackluster politics, I find the whole thing a bit insulting. The implication of the word (for me at least) is that feminism is owned by certain women and really the issue is that they need to do things to make the rest of us feel more welcome to take part in their liberal goals, the kind that won’t do anything about the male supremacy crushing FAB all over the world.
Well, fuck that. I think “inclusive” needs to be tossed, with all it’s patronizing connotations. Solidarity seems to be a better approach, and something I’ve experienced among radical feminists on tumblr. Which doesn’t mean glossing over profound differences, especially differences in power, but having a real desire to unite against a shared lifelong oppression. It’s easier to wrap your head around this when you see females as an oppressed class, something liberal feminist seem to have an aversion to acknowledging. Which begs the question why call yourself a feminist at all, honestly. Because going on about being inclusive while denying commonality just comes off as disingenuous, like you’re trying to appear progressive more than anything else. I don’t know if I articulated myself very well, but I suppose I’d like to see more liberal feminists, the most visible feminists, stop trying to make what really only benefits the most privileged females, if any at all, more appealing to the less privileged ones, and focus on what could really benefit all of us. Though I suppose then, they wouldn’t really be liberal feminists.
The basic tenets of radical feminism (in my opinion)
Okay, so evenweirdos, i’d love to discuss this rationally with you. Here is what I believe radical feminism positions to be.
I believe that porn and prostitution are inherently harmful to women because they are both industries based on the coercion, abuse and sexual submission of women. Women are often manipulated and conditioned into prostitution and working as porn actresses through childhood abuse, “grooming” and low self-worth (or poverty issues). Men are trained to believe that all women have a price, be it a fancy dinner, a house or $30 for a quickie under a bridge. Men have hope that they will be able to pay a price to “own” a woman for a certain amount of time; prostitution is a way to do this. Prostitution is not about consent or mutual fulfillment; it is about a man owning a woman, feeling entitled to her body and her submission for a certain amount of time. It’s so they don’t have to go to the trouble of taking her out, asking her what she wants to do, caring about her pain, caring about anything about her. She is simply a toy to use. She is thoroughly dehumanised, and it has become acceptable in society to treat women this way, because all women are considered whores, and all women have a price. Prostitution is a way to avoid consent; it is a way to avoid treating a woman as a human and to exploit them in every way possible. Many exited-prostitution victims (stella marr, secretdiaryofadublincallgirl, shelley lubben) talk about how this exploitation turns the men on even more, and how ecstatic they get when they find out these girls are underaged and abused; men literally get off on the pain and humiliation of women. Women are conditioned socially to want this, to give into men’s desires no matter the cost, and their “choices” do not occur in a vacuum. Men/Johns get off on the pain, humiliation, subordination and dehumanisation of women. Women are taught to get off on the pain, humiliation, subordination and dehumanisation of women under male dominance and patriarchal supremacy. This brings me to BDSM. BDSM is designed on the dom/sub paradigm in which the dominant behaviour is based on a man’s “natural” behaviour, and the submissive behaviour is based on a woman’s “natural” behaviour, and although there are male and female doms and male and female subs, women are overwhelmingly the subs, and are satisfied after being conditioned to enjoy their own humiliation, that they are able to engage in such sex and be praised for it by other feminists. It’s liberating to them, to want something they’ve been conditioned into wanting. Women do not make their “choices” on their own, it is social conditioning— women are taught to hate themselves and to love men who want to dehumanise them.
2. On Patriarchy
I think the patriarchal structure is inherently the cause of all women’s problems in society. The patriarchy has created two classes of people: the female sex class, and the male oppressor class. Women are taught they are inferior, and must perform and give into men’s desires and wants before addressing their own needs. Women are kept in their position of submission through various intimidation and controlling tactics: rape, control of female bodies by males, fear, self-hatred and distrust of other females. The patriarchy uses rape and victim-blaming as its main tool. Women are always in fear that their bodies will be violated, rape is imminent, it is a giant fear in the mind of most, if not all, women. We are scared to walk down the street at night for fear that someone is going to rape us, we are scared to get in a car with a man for fear he might rape us, we are scared to get too close to a man for fear he might rape us, we are scared any rape may result in pregnancy. Women are kept in a constant state of fear of rape, and men are not reprimanded for this behaviour as a class; through this fear, our movement and freedom is strictly limited, and we must rely on men to “protect” us, even though these same men can often cause us a tremendous amount of harm. Women are taught that our bodies are disgusting and must be covered, that our rapes are our own fault, that we are always to blame for a man’s behaviour. This is the patriarchy’s influence to ensure men are always seen in a superior light. Not only are men taught to hate women and believe that they are inferior and have a price, we are taught that we as a class are mistrustful and disgusting. Women know very little about their own anatomy, their own pleasure and their own needs. Women are taught that men’s feelings are superior and everything a man does is more important than anything a woman does. We are taught to not trust ourselves, to rely on men for everything we need so that we are infantilised. We are taught to compete with other women for the approval of men, and to hate each other. We are terrible to one another, and we are taught the only thing we should do is fight for a man’s approval. Women’s bodies are always up for ownership; our reproductive rights are being compromised, little girls’ genitals are being mutilated to ensure they never feel pleasure during sex, and infanticide routinely wipes out millions of baby girls, all because the patriarchy suggests that women are inferior and must be controlled by men. For true equality and liberation, the patriarchy must be dismantled.
3. On Gender and why transgenderism oppresses females further
Gender is what the patriarchy uses to distinctly separate males and females. Females are given a subordinate, weak, and dependent role. Males are given a dominant, powerful and leading role. Boys are taught they are important, that are to be providers, that they are superior to their female counterparts. Females are taught their only role in life is to appease their male counterparts and raise their young. They are groomed in separate ways, and females as a sex are dehumanised, othered, and devalued routinely. Girls’ horrors begin before they leave the womb. Many are aborted the second their sex becomes evident, and their mothers are beaten and abused for having the audacity to bear female children. For the girls who are born, many are killed at birth by being thrown into pails or discarded in the trash, simply because of what’s between their legs. Girls are routinely fed less than their brothers, receive less medical care than their brothers, are conditioned into believing their supposed inferiority, are socialised to adhere by rules of feminine behaviour, for fear of being abused into submission. They are in constant fear of harm being done to their bodies, through rape or abuse, and the horrors of FGM, femicide, bride burnings, dowry deaths, honor killings and body mutilation are very real to them. Girls are reprimanded for behaving entitled or aggressive, they are led to believe they are delicate and weak and must always rely on a man and give into his demands. All of these things happen to women and girls because of their biological sex, and not their gender identity. When biological males decide to co-opt womanhood, they cannot ever comprehend what it was like growing up as a girl, to know what it was like to live in a perpetual state of fear and shame. Girls and women were abused because of their chromosomes, their uteri, their ovaries, their femaleness. Males cannot know what it feels like to be a female. Female doesn’t have a feeling. It is a biological sex. We only feel like women when we are dehumanised, when we are catcalled in the street, when a man asserts his dominance and alleged superiority, when a man suggests that he is owed our submission. It is a travesty and a horror to see biological males co-opt womanhood through dresses, hormones and surgery and vocal changes. A man can never know what it is to be a woman, in the same way a woman can never know what it is to be a man. It is horrifying to see males (transwomen) showing their entitlement and aggression by bombarding women with death and rape threats the second they try to set boundaries. There is a biological difference between males and females, one that cannot be overcome by thinking and feeling, and denying this is not a sane option. The transgender community has gained rights much faster than women, and this is due to male privilege. Trans women were raised and socialised as males, and thus have become accustomed to male privilege; it is clear through the way they assert themselves in our spaces (and try to shut them down) and act as if we must submit, or we are bigots. Transgenderism is a concept the works to reify gender roles and the patriarchy; it asserts that gender is in fact very real and cause bodily, painful dysphoria, and this is diametrically opposed to the teachings of radical feminism. We believe that men and women should be able to dress and act however they feel, and should not need to mutilate their bodies through hormones and surgery, but the patriarchy insists that if one does not fit their prescribed gender, they must switch and harm their bodies in the process (this is why the medical community is so supportive of it). We all feel dysphoria, but there is no defect with us, there is a defect with society— and GID is considered a mental illness under the revised DSM. We should treat it with counselling and therapy rather than telling children as young as seven to become females/males. Transgenderism harms women, and men, and reduces biological realities to ideas. We are not biological essentialists; having a vagina means you are capable of birthing, but it doesn’t mean you should have a certain role in life; transgenderism suggests if you don’t fit into certain gender stereotypes, you must change your body to fit in properly. It is reifying the gender binary. Reducing the struggles of the female sex to gender identity politics is a travesty. Transwomen repeatedly show their socialisation; they had no problem holding a MAAB only workshop to discuss the coercive rape of lesbian women, without bothering to include said lesbian women, yet protested violently to stop a peaceful conference run by females for females.
4. Compulsory PIV
Women are taught to see PIV as the be all end all for sex. Although it can cause a tonne of risks for women, and they often receive little benefit from it. Radical feminists believe in all sex that is beneficial for women, and at times it can be, but it should not be seen as the be all end all, and oral sex, manual sex and other forms of sex should be considered of equal importance.
5. Individualism/Third Wave and how it harms the cause
Not everything is empowering. Not everything is a choice that isn’t made in a vacuum. Feminism must have a goal and must work together to achieve it. Making feminism lose its meaning and allowing it to be whatever each person wants it to be makes it lose its clarity and power. This is why radical feminism has a set goal, and set beliefs. Radical feminism will be powerful and offensive because it is unflinching and unwavering; you change to fit it, it doesn’t change to fit you.
Radical feminism is a movement that fights for females of all races, religions, ability levels, classes and sexual orientations. Radfems, please add anything you wish to, I know i’ve missed something
For example, the cliche, “She lacks a sense of humor”—applied by men to every threatening woman—is one basic “electrode” embedded just deeply enough into the fearful foreground of women’s psyches to be able to conduct female energy against the Self while remaining disguised. The comment is urbane, insidious. It is boring and predictable if seen through, devastating if believed. The problem is that the victim who “sees through” this dirty trick on one level may “believe” the judgment literally on more vulnerable levels. It is perfectly consistent with patriarchal patterns that this device is used especially against the wittiest women, who are dismissed as “sharp-tongued.” The Godfather is the Father of Lies and favors the most blatant lies. Daly, Mary. Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism. p19.