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What is feminism?


It occurs to me that I’ve written a few posts in this blog that many would consider to be critical of feminism.

But I would beg to differ.

I think I’ve written posts critical of greed, bigotry and naked self-interest masquerading as feminism.

I would like to state at this point that I don’t consider myself a feminist.
I don’t consider any men to be feminists.
Women liberating women is feminism.
Men liberating women is paternalism.

I consider myself a supporter of feminism, not a feminist.

So what sort of feminism do I support?

Well, unfortunately I can see very little in contemporary Western so-called ‘feminism’ to support.

I think the baton of feminism was passed to the third world several decades ago and by and large if you want to see contemporary feminism in action you have to look to Asia, Africa and Latin America where women are coming together to free themselves from cultural and institutional oppression without sacrificing the autonomy of their whole society to neo-colonialism dressed up in a first world feminist power suit (are you listening Hillary?).

As a man, I would not presume to try to define feminism.
I leave that to the feminists.
And here are a couple of definitions I really like.

“Being an anarchist feminist means becoming conscious of all struggles for liberation, not letting the struggle for women’s liberation become the struggle for white, middle-class, able-bodied, straight heterosexual women’s equality under capitalism.
While as feminists we are aware of male privilege, we need to be aware of our own. The eternal difficulty with feminism, and all politics/activism, is that it tends to be exclusive. It is more likely to be the educated, the white, the middle-class, the able-bodied, the non-marginalized, the young, the straight, the child-free, the cis-gendered, the settled, that get to participate in these groups.”

“Anarcha-feminism is diy,
anti-capitalist, anti-racist, anti-sexist,
sex-positive, antihomophobic,
trans-positive, queer, anti-ageist,
pro-woman, pro-kid, powerful,
anti-police, anti-prison, revolutionary, trans-
formative, lots of cake, lots of fun, direct
action, confrontational, personal, political,
collective, zine-loving, free, grass-roots…”

from “What the fuck is anarcha-feminism anyway?

About the only thing I’d add to the above is that I think true feminism seeks to support sex workers, not suppress them. While that support should include the provision of employment options other than sex work, it should not mean trying to push women out of sex work who do not want to leave it, whether by targeting them directly or indirectly through their clients (i.e. ‘the Swedish model‘).

I think the Scarlet Alliance is one of the few effective feminist organisations left in this country.

From → gender, narcissism, rant

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