March 24, 2006

who's the feminist

This is a partial comment in response to a post at Ilyka's. It's not perfect and I don't have time to complete it, but I'm preserving it here as a more thorough, if still incomplete, version of what I said there:

I guess what I'm missing out on here is a definition of feminism as a political force. If feminism simply means "Live your own life/don't let the patriarchy get you down", then great, count me in. The problem is that there's a whole range of people out there operating under the banner of feminism that, I would say, take it a bit farther than that.

I've always had one problem with the "Strawfeminist" thing, that there really are people that self-identify as feminists pushing the exact sort of ideas that Ilyka proscribes to the strawfeminist. I actually liked the term "Feminzai" or "Radical feminist" to delineate between people, like me, that 100% support equal pay, fighting subjugation, punishing abusers and the like; vs. the nutters that use the name feminisim to push a radical agenda. I've always used the term "Feminist" to describe "Women are people too", but that isn't the same thing as "Under patriarchy, every woman's son is her betrayer and also the inevitable rapist or exploiter of another woman" or the old chestnut "All sex is rape" (that one isn't a canard, click the link before jumping down my throat).

It's the same reason I don't generally call myself an "Environmentalist": I think trees are great, but I don't want to be associated with people that blow up factories.

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