Saturday, January 07, 2006

Radical feminist or just plain feminist?

One of the blogs I like to frequent Capitalism Bad, Tree Pretty. had this definition come up and I thought that it would be as good as any to sort of introduce myself, as I am called and sometimes self-defined as a radical feminist.

"Radical Feminists: Believe women are the first and most important group to ever be oppressed. Hate men, and sex. Like hippy women-only events that will never change anything."

As someone who gets labeled a radical feminist (and sometimes uses the descriptor) I have to disagree with this definition. All the "radical" feminists that I know (and there are plenty...I seem to attract them, YAY!) see the connections between all types of oppression. That actually is why I differentiate them from other feminists as radical, because I see them (us) attacking the root of the problem: dominance and hierarchy of one group over another. If you think of those as the roots it's easy to see how they are responsible for all oppressions. The foundations of various oppressions are so thick and hard to pin down, but I think that it can be boiled down to these two compulsions.

I believe that I shouldn't have to use the qualifier radical because my definition of feminism is one which means that I am fighting against all dominance and hierarchy, I just tend to focus on misogyny more then the others. (I also like to use the word feminist by itself because I refuse to let others sully a good word, but alas they have and so I have to qualify it. *sigh*) Also I get labeled radical b/c I'm not willing to compromise on equality. My views may come across as harsh, but really I don't want baby steps I want an overhaul of the system.

I really don't think hippy women only events are the way to go (could you imagine me there! ha!) especially ones like the Michigan's Womyn's Music Festival which has the completely absurd and anti-feminist policy of women born women only. (I would be across the street at Camp Trans even though I am a woman born woman. Fuck that bullshit.)

I also happen to be a Wobbly (Industrial Worker of the World), a tree-sitter, and a general pain in the ass for whatever government/corporation I happen to be concentrating on at the time. (Although to think that I cause problems for the US government is a little silly and presupposes that I am more effective then I actually believe that I am. I do try, and I am actively trying to land a coveted spot on Bill O'Reilly's enemies list.)

And I love sex. Funny, most people use the above definition to describe me and I know that they are overlooking so much, but it makes it much easier to shove someone you don't agree with into a box, and especially for an outspoken, no compromises on equality and freedom feminist like me it must be so much easier to call me a man and sex hating woman. Fuck that shit.

8 comments:

Maia said...

Just to clarify - that wasn't supposed to be a definition of radical feminism, more a spoof of the sorts of definitions that get offered up in politics text books

But thanks for the props and post more often - you're blog name rocks.

lost clown said...

oops...sorry I forgot to make the distinction.

Thank you-it's the first thing that came to my mind. (and I'll try to keep up on this posting thing)

Cruella said...

If anything pisses me off actually (and lots of stuff does) it's people who think that the battle against racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia somehow justifies misogyny. You know in the UK they had an anti-racism campaign using this guy Peter Stringfelow who is famous solely for running a big strip club and being three times the age of any woman he ever dates asking "would I be as irresistible if I was black?". Ditto the whole "it's part of their culture to force their women to wear headscarves, have no education, walk behind them in the street, not be allowed to drive"... I'm fighting all kinds of prejudice, and anyone who doesn't support any one of those things is in my black-list, regardless of how much they campaign against the others.

lost clown said...

Ugh. *pukes*
Exactly. I dropped out of the radical leftist/anarchist scene after one to many men told me that we can deal with sexism "after the revolution." WTF! We'll take care of poverty and coporations, etc. but not anything that would effect our priviledge i.e. sexism and racism I've noticed that it saddens me when I work with men of coloour and they're the exact same way as the morons who call themselves anarchists. I find myself screaming "IT'S ALL CONNECTED" argh. Because it is. It all needs to go. *sigh*

I hate the "it's their culture" argument as well. So we should accept their misogyny because it's culturally sanctioned? Anything that's been changed has done so fighting the culture it's in. They would all be singing a different tune if it effected men in the same way.

Sarah said...

Your blog is awesome!!!!! I admire your strong, vibrant, passionate writing on feminist issues. I invite you to read my own blog, which is woman-centered, feminist-based titled "Sarah's Blog Space" It is located at http://sarahsblogspace.blogspot.com I welcome you and all your readers to view mine. I too have a lot to say! Please leave me a comment and I promise to write you back. Thanks! Sarah

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plump said...

I dont like cruelty so i have been supporting some Indian ladies for 3 years who suffer leprosy, aids, homeless and left to die in the streets and one of them deliberatly blinded. I have empathy with them as i suffer from aspergers syndrome and i also have had to go thru life without friends and no relationships, only my Teddybears which i would never be without. I do not consider myself to be an accepted member of the human race as i think people are basically evil.

A feminist open to criticism said...

hello, I am very interested in your blog.

I have a somewhat (societal inflicted) negative view of radical feminists. So I would like you to challenge me on these beliefs and perhaps we can come to an agreement.

Please read my blog also, to enable two way communication.

http://afeministopentocriticism.blogspot.com/

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