The DWR Feminist Quote of the Day – Meghan Murphy – On Feminism for Females
“Suzannah Weiss writes, “A large part of feminism is obtaining equal treatment for women, so understandably, a lot of feminist efforts and rhetoric focus on women.”
Crazy, right! And, apparently, a really big problem. It seems the biggest problem with feminism today, according to third wave feminists, is women! Damn, ladies — haven’t we learned how to stay out of all this yet?
Weiss goes on to explain that the way women talk about women’s subordination under patriarchy (also known as the reason feminism exists) can “unintentionally erase trans and non-binary people.” It’s a funny way of framing things… Similar to saying, for example, that Black Lives Matter “unintentionally erases” white people. Or that the labour movement’s focus on the working class “unintentionally erases” the upper class. Does the animal rights movement “unintentionally erase” non-animals? Do Indigenous rights activists “unintentionally erase” other groups marginalized by white supremacy and colonialism?
See what I’m getting at? It’s ok for political movements to have particular aims. We do not need to talk about everything all at once. Indeed, all movements, in that sense, are “exclusionary.” But for some reason, it is only the women’s movement that is expected to accommodate everyone, and to ensure no one feels bad or left out. Odd!
In fact, this is not odd at all. It is sexist. As long as patriarchy has existed, women have been expected to put everyone else‘s needs before their own. They are meant to think about the feelings of others first — to speak up about their own needs and desires is framed as selfish.
None of this is to say that the feelings and rights of people who identify as trans or “non-binary” don’t matter, it is only to say that the purpose of the women’s movement is to liberate the class of women, who are oppressed, as females, under patriarchy. (In other words, if you are female and you also identify as trans or “non-binary,” yes, this is still about you.) This should not be a controversial statement for anyone who claims interest in the feminist project, but nonetheless countless do-gooders have taken it upon themselves to condescendingly explain to women that they need to sit down and shut up about their own material reality, within their own movement.
Your identity is your own choice, but that doesn’t change the fact that patriarchy exists as a means to legitimize male power over females (i.e. the class of people capable of giving birth). The notion that we should degender conversations about feminism suggests we pretend not to know who is oppressing whom, and why — a mindfuck if there ever was one. (Is it just folks vs. folks? Who are the folks? Why are some folks raping other folks?! It’s a mystery…)”
Catch the whole article on the Feminist Current, Canada’s premier radical feminist site.