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Saturday, 18 January 2014

Not *All* Feminists Are Like *That*

By: Liberate Zealot

I've recently seen some posts on tumblr by feminists going on about how not all feminists are lesbians, or butch, or man haters.  And I get they're trying to dismantle the stereotypes around being a feminist, because I used to do this too.  However, intentions are not magic, and the results are straight feminists trying to validate themselves and feminism in the eyes of the kyriarchy (primarily straight men) by throwing lesbians and gender non-conformists under the bus.

And that's what the people who make the lesbian, hairy, man-hating feminist comments want.

  • They want feminists to be on the defensive. 
  • They want to divide us, and have the ones with more privilege (straight, gender-conforming) refusing to support our lesbian sisters. 
  • They want us to suggest there's such a thing as a good or bad feminist.
  • They want us to say, "no I'm not like *those* types of feminists, you should like *me* and side with *me*" because that means we're also saying "you have feminists permission to hate and mock and oppress *those women*."
Feminism is about liberating women, it is about ending oppression for women, it is about creating equality.  But the majority of feminists have various privileges which make us ignorant about, or down right prejudice against, other women who do not share our privileges.  This is the reality of the kyriarchal world we live in.  Which means being a feminist entails constantly policing your actions, thoughts, and mind to do our best to ensure our attempts at feminism don't involve harming our less privileged sisters.  It means admitting we can be wrong, and admitting and apologizing for those wrongs when they actually happen, and educating and changing ourselves so we do not commit those wrongs again. 

I used to respond to anti-feminist jokes and comments by expressing something about the idea that *I* wasn't *that type* of feminist, that most feminists weren't like *that*. 
I was wrong to do so.  
I hurt other women, the people I supposedly fought for and with. 
The feminists who make those kind of comments now are wrong and harmful. 
If you're one of them then do what a feminist is supposed to do.  Change yourself. Stand with *all* women against oppression.