Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Win-win for Feminism!!

When I was writing my post the other day on the grand reunification of the feminist movement, I was kind of wondering what it looks like from the other side's perspective. And I think this piece by Amanda Marcotte "There Is No Such Thing as Radical Feminism Anymore" perhaps captures it.

It's very short, so go read it and come back.

I agree essentially with Marcotte's points. I take issue with her refusal to call the anti-trans radical feminists by their chosen name. They still exist, and they still call themselves radical feminists -- they were recently profiled in the New Yorker. And, more to the point, they really are one modern splinter of the radical feminist movement of the 60's and 70's. To deny them that name is a little like saying that the FLDS have no business calling themselves Mormon.

On the other hand, Marcotte is totally right that those radical feminists are not anywhere near the mainstream of the feminist movement. One can certainly argue that they aren't the true intellectual heirs of the earlier radical feminists. Marcotte is also totally right that the original radical feminists brought us a lot of fantastic ideas that are now completely mainstream, at the heart of current feminist thought:
It was not enough to pass the ERA or legalize abortion, they believed, but we should also talk about cultural issues, such as misogyny, objectification, rape, and domestic violence.

Personally, I can't help but feel like "Yay, my team won!!" As I wrote the other day, on the issues I cared about, my position won the mainstream, and sex-positive feminism succeeded in making itself irrelevant.

But the other side won, too. Their bad ideas, like trans-women not deserving to be seen as women, plus the items I mentioned the other day, have been stripped off and shunted to the margins, and their good ideas have won the mainstream of feminist thought. They also succeeded in making themselves irrelevant as a separate movement.

It's the textbook example of a win-win situation.

1 comment:

The Sinister Porpoise said...

I've found out more about transgender exclusionary radical feminists in the past few months than is probably good for me to know. (The woman commented upon here is one of my favorites:

I've also followed another debate over someone named Anita Sarkeesian. In that case, Sarkeesian is wrong, but her critics failed to make themselves look good. (Their reaction proved that gamers need to grow up.)

And of course, there's a lot of other fun things I've discovered in the past few years: the importance of bra elastic, why you should wear one while exercising, the fun of cat calls, and old men who feel the need to get really close to me at my day job. All of these items are things you discovered during your teenage years, I'm sure.