I have battle fatigue. After decades of fighting for women’s liberation, we show every sign of going backwards (in feminist analysis/practice at least). Things that I thought were sorted (as far as feminist theory goes) are re-written into bullshit.
Radical feminism—’Radical’ meaning going to the root of the problem. The problem, effectively gets defined as ‘male domination (as a class) over females (as a class)’. Then identifying, or analysing all the ways this is carried out. The goal being to liberate ALL women out from under male domination.
Unfortunately, there are feminists who call themselves radical feminists (because it sounds really cool, doesn’t it?) but who turn out to be bog standard libfems. Or worse, not even feminists at all. Because they spend most of their time blaming this group of women or that group of women for all their problems. They go further, naming this other group of women ‘as their oppressors’. Way to miss The Problem (male domination, remember?)
Liberal feminists are misguided, and wasting their time. They desperately try to negotiate with men (as a class) to improve things a bit for women, but leaving the boot on the neck of Class Woman firmly in place. So-called ‘sex positive feminism’ is an example of that: “Hey guys, you can have your whores, or we could be your whore, but could you pretty please stop raping, and maybe give us equal pay?” Or the worse version: “Hey guys, we’ll let you have a group of women as your whores to rape, but leave us nice women alone, ok?” I am here to say, no, not ok. You do not sacrifice one group of women just so you personally can have it a bit easier. It’s just not feminism. Not even remotely like it.
What has bugged me of late though, are some women, (looking from the outside in) to another group of women, who seemingly do have privilege, more than yourselves. Rich, or upper middle class women frequently being cited. Or white women generally. While yes, their lives are ones seemingly of privilege, there can be a hidden cost. I have written about Family Annihilators many times before, and in the UK and Australia, the majority of family annihilators are from the upper middle class or wealthy. Kim Hunt and her three children lived a life of privilege, not enough to save them all being killed by the family patriarch. Same too, for Jill Foster and daughter Kirstie, along with all their dogs and horses (same link). Or, Olga Edwards, who died by her own hand, but only after her ex-husband had murdered her two children. All ‘privileged’ lives, but all still subject to male violence and domination, snuffed out like an Egyptian Pharaoh demanding that his slaves be entombed alive with him. The privilege was conditional, had a price tag.
Or always-lesbians, citing the privilege of later-lesbians. Even though, the ‘unwritten rule’ within patriarchy, is once you defect from patriarchy, you forfeit everything, sometimes even your life, the life of your new partner, and sometimes your children.
We are not here to rank women in a hierarchy (patriarchy does that!) or even a reverse-hierarchy such as the Oppression Olympics, which boils down to “I think I’ve had it worse, so I deserve more of the crumbs from the table”. Stop that shit, you have lost the plot. The men are still pulling all the strings, and rationing out the crumbs that fall from that table. Overturn their damned table, stop fighting over crumbs!
While there are women who put their lot in with men, who defend men, even when they have done the most henious things to women and children, these women defenders (whom I often unceremoniously call ‘sex traitors’) won’t necessarily be protected forever by the ill effects of patriarchy. Same too, with the legions of women who have bought into male-think with regards to the female victims of rape or domestic violence (“what did she expect, wearing that?” or “why didn’t she just leave if it was that bad?” or “why wait X-number of years before reporting it?” None of that selling-out of other women will necessarily protect them, the female sex class, within patriarchy. Pauline Hanson, a rather dreadful female politician, does her damnedest to uphold white male supremacy, but it does not protect her from (largely misogynist) ‘criticism’. Frankly, she can be criticised on all her views without the misogyny, there’s more than enough material to criticise!
I get that we were all raised within a patriarchy. It is difficult to shake off those absorbed values, but we must find a way forward out of this. And the way forward, is for women to band together, put aside petty* differences and squabbles and jealousy, and ‘dismantle’ or overthrow male domination. Scary shit, but nothing really will change until we do. Patriarchy continually evolves, so that when we manage to get gains in one area, suddenly some other area is under attack. Because the system, the cancer, remains in place. We have to get rid of that system, or we will just be battling spot fires everywhere and every time they break out.
*Petty differences do not include political philosophies—I am talking about having the same goals, and to not obscure the true problems, eg, I am most definitely not working with those promoting porn and prostitution, because that undermines the liberation of all women, so is counterproductive, and not a petty difference.
I realise as I get to the end of writing this, it would appear that I am doing the opposite by criticising libfems and their bargaining strategy. But the difference here, I am not naming them as a group of ‘my oppressors’, I am calling them ineffectual as far as the goals of feminism. No woman is ‘my oppressor’, not even the deluded Hanson. Sex-traitor yes, oppressor no. At the end of the day, no amount of appeasing the oppressor or working for the oppressor, will necessarily save you, as a woman. The idea is to overthrow the oppressors. Then the sex-traitors are basically out of a job. Diddums.
I am battle fatigued. I am sick of trying to remind other women, feminists, what the end goal is, who is pulling the strings behind the curtain, and to stop blaming other women for your position in this world (ie ‘as your oppressors’; it is petty jealousy, and not terribly adult). And to ignore the odd sex-traitor, the odd Gina Rinehart, these are more exceptions, not the rule, and it is clear that their motivations are self-serving ones.
Is anyone with me on this?