Wow. Meghan Murphy simply and clearly posits what Feminism is about. Check out her blog here.
“There are various ways the divide between “feminisms” is articulated: liberal vs radical, third wave vs second wave, sex-positive vs sex-negative, but none of those have ever seemed wholly accurate to me. (In particular, challenging male-centred or coercive sex does not make one, “sex-negative,” so…) A feminist is someone who supports and/or is active in the fight to end patriarchy. The feminist movement is a political movement that fights towards women’s collective liberation and towards an end to male violence against women. That is to say, if you don’t support those goals, what you are doing is not feminism, no matter how many times you claim otherwise.
We cannot have both objectification and liberation, because being a sexualised object does not allow one to be a full human. We cannot both celebrate sexualised violence and have freedom from sexualised violence because sexualising violence, er… sexualises violence. We cannot normalise male entitlement by saying “men need access to sex and therefore we, as a society, must maintain a class of women who are available to satisfy men’s desires” and also expect to build a society wherein men don’t feel entitled to sexual access to women. We cannot say “women are more than pretty things to look at” but also tell young women that desirability will empower them. We cannot frame “choice” as political while simultaneously depoliticising and decontextualising the choices women make, in a capitalist patriarchy. We cannot confront rape culture while normalising the very ideas that found it: male entitlement, sexualised violence, and gender roles that are rooted in domination and subordination (i.e. masculinity and femininity).
While, the arguments I’m articulating here do, effectively, constitute “radical feminism,” in that it is a kind of feminism that “gets at the root,” I am defining something even more straightforward than that: Feminism – a real and definable thing that holds meaning!
“Join us or don’t – that really is your choice. But redefining a political movement that aims to protect real women’s lives and humanity in order to make the world more comfortable is not.”