sunflowerp: (Default)
[personal profile] sunflowerp
I stopped in the middle of reading my f'list, to make this post.

[ profile] elorie has an excellent post up. The bit of it that made me stop reading and start writing was this:
"Not only is it possible to be a feminist and disagree with feminists, if you've ever actually followed what goes on in feminist organizations, it's almost a necessary condition."

Too often, women are deterred from identifying as feminists because they've encountered the idea that feminism requires strict adherence to some or another ideological orthodoxy. This isn't just some straw feminist that antifeminists have constructed out of hot air and blown out their arses. Feminists who use "Not a Real FeministTM" to shame and bully those who disagree with them into silence, alas, really do exist; the antifeminists didn't have to invent them. Though silencing is explicitly something we're fighting, and the tactic could be considered directly unfeminist, I'm not going to turn that one around; those who use that tactic may very well be, in other respects, quite legitimately feminist, and even valuable assets to the movement.

They are, however, assholes (I'm onside with Belledame here: I Blame The Assholes). They may be no less "real" as feminists than I am, but they're also no more real; no one died and appointed them Goddess, they aren't the arbiters of Feminist Orthodoxy, they don't have the authority to speak for all feminists or all women.

Personally, I think it's great that feminists disagree, that it's more accurate to speak of "feminisms" in the plural. I learn a lot more from intelligent and civil disagreement - which can sometimes be quite heated; "civil" doesn't mean "in soothing tones" - than from everyone nodding and smiling and going along with whatever the Orthodoxy of the Day is, and I believe the movement as a whole, a grand, diverse, lively, fractious whole, can learn more that way too.

The bit I quoted from Elorie, I believe, is vitally important; it should be said, as often as necessary and as loudly as necessary, until it displaces the idea that being a feminist means agreeing with other feminists. I commented just that, on her LJ, and then the implications of it struck me - so I stopped reading, and started writing.
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November 2009


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