Public Service Announcement: Feminism

Feminism, as a process, involves interrogating society, identifying structures which contribute to the oppression of women (or to gender inequality more generally), and acting in order to excise, or in some way modify these structures. Some of these structures are premised-upon deeply-nested cultural assumptions which have sat around unchecked for decades, or even centuries or millennia; more over, there are a great many vested interests (both male, and it should be noted, occasionally female) who benefit from the existing patriarchal power structure and therefore actively oppose the progress of feminism. As such, a major feature of the feminist project is that it is hard work.

This being the case, I feel I must point out that if you self-identify as a feminist, and you consider feminism to be easy, then you are probably doing it wrong.

Becoming a housewife and stay-at-home mother (at least in society as it is presently structured), does not magically become a feminist act if you say enough words about “choice.”

In order to become a successful business leader or politician, a woman certainly must take advantage of the progress of feminism, but doing so is not, of itself, a feminist act. Particularly when said woman remains steadfastly committed to defending the existing power structure, waging imperialist wars, and, in fact, taking reproductive rights away from other women.

And finally, and closest to my heart, if your only contribution to overthrowing the patriarchal power structure is to “stand up for the rights of females” by harassing members of a powerless and unpopular minority group of women, then you are not a feminist, no matter how many labryses, venuses of Willendorf, or clenched-fists-inside-the-female-symbol you have decorating your blog.


About thevenerablecorvex

I have the heart of a poet, the brain of a theoretical physicist, and the wingspan of an albatross. I am also notable for my humility.
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One Response to Public Service Announcement: Feminism

  1. vera says:

    Well, in my world, being a feminist is someone who supports women’s sisterhood wholeheartedly. As in, all women are sisters, however they choose to live their lives. T’hell with ideological divisiveness!

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