Why were feminists always hated until now? We are witnessing a strange new phenomena, an age where even men seem keen to don the label feminist.
It might seem good on the surface right, like finally men have grown some empathy or something?
Just what we women always hoped for eh?
Unfortunately, this is far from the case.
Feminism used to be a dirty word, because feminism used to challenge the patriarchal system of dominance.
Now feminism has been blunted, in the guise of liberal feminism, it poses no threat to the male system of dominance over women aka patriarchy.
So of course it’s not a dirty word anymore, in fact it’s a useful word, as it conditions women into thinking they aren’t oppressed anymore because everyone, everything, is feminist now.
Now, feminism is the progressive buzz word on everyone’s lips in the West, political parties are keen to champion the cause, celebrities of both sexes regularly claim to be feminists, and the term is constantly bandied about in popular media.
You’d think, with all this apparent newfound enthusiasm for all things feminist that the centuries old system of patriarchy would be done with by now wouldn’t you?
Scratch ever so lightly the glossy surface of the utopia liberal feminism imagines every women to be living in though, and the inequities and injustices are glaringly obvious.
Once women see the truth of their own oppression through the lens of radical feminism, they can’t deny it.
Liberal feminism masks women’s oppression but because it does this, it’s extremely vulnerable to reality.
Even something as simple as asking a liberal feminist conditioned woman if she really believes she’s treated with the same respect as her male colleague, husband, or brother, can create a powerful triggering effect that forces her to confront a reality, she’s long suspected existed, but that her liberal feminist ideology forced her to suppress.
Other great questions to ask a liberal feminist or any woman who has bought into the liberal lie of equality…
Why are high acheiving women still regularly paid 20% less than their male counterparts?
Why, is there a 5.7% prosecution rate of all rape cases committed upon females in England and Wales?
Why is it a human rights violation for a biological male to be denied the right to define themselves as a woman but absolutely fine for women to be told they cannot talk about the basic facts of their biology?
And if we really are all equal now, why are women’s appearances constantly scrutinized while men’s largely left alone, no matter how they appear?
Gay men have more cultural visibility now, including feminine gay men, but where is the Butch lesbian? Where, even is the lesbian at all?
And why is it considered taboo to ask a gay man to consider a relationship with a biological woman, or a straight man to consider a relationship or sexual encounter with a male, but expected that lesbian’s at least consider accomodating biological men aka trans women in their beds?
Could it be that for all the hyperbole liberal feminism is not really feminism at all?
Could it be women still have a need, a very great need for actual feminism, radical feminism, real feminism? The kind of feminism that gives women the solution to their actual problem – male cultural domination.
Feminism used to have fangs, which was why men didn’t like it very much.
Why would they? Feminist philosophy challenged the unequal slave caste system they had built for themselves on every level.
Radical feminists dismantled the social untruths men had been peddling for centuries, such as women weren’t equipped to be engineers, mechanics, or math professors, providing men with reams of evidence to the contrary, women excelling in these and all of the other fields we’d previously been barred from entering.
We did this by raising consciousness in females, awakening them to their own oppression, and offering them a healthier alternative than the patriarchal system that limited their lives.
We did this by pressuring the patriarchal system to allow women access to opportunities, education, and jobs previously denied to us.
Thanks to the Second Wave of feminist activity in the 70’s, we forced the doors open to so many areas of life we had been previously excluded from.
We also challenged the rigid sex stereotypes that dictated women should always be feminine.
This was important and went way beyond mere superficial appearances because by first dubbing feminine inferior, then forcing women to be feminine, and dictating to us what feminine looks like, men had successfully subordinated us to the role they like women in best – servile and passive.
So we rejected the sex stereotyping that told us we must wear make up, wax the hair from our bodies, and don painful stilettos that cripple our feet and cause us injury. We did this because not all of us were feminine, some of us were masculine, and certainly none of us were feminine in the way men wanted us to be.
We redefined what the feminine actually is, which looks nothing like the patriarchal construct of femininity, and we also asserted that women can have masculine traits, behaviours, appearances, manners of speech, ways of sitting, and styles of dress, and that this is totally normal and natural.
We did this because in all our glorious diversity as females, whether we were a masculine expressing female or a feminine expressing one, we wanted to be ourselves.
Previously, before the Second Wave,only men were allowed to be themselves and we weren’t having that anymore.
We wanted to be truckers and oil rig workers, mechanics, and math professors, CEOs and bankers, we wanted to wear pants and cut our hair, we wanted to go make up free, and yes, of course some of us didn’t want those things but that was fine too.
Because not all men want to be truckers and CEOs and bankers and mechanics either. Not all men want to wear pants, some of them want to wear dresses, some of them are much more comfortable staying home and looking after the kids than holding down a 9-5 and being the main breadwinner.
That never held back the men that did want those things though. Why should it, when people are naturally diverse, why should people be limited?
Except of course, women were not considered people back before the Second Wave occurred.
And liberal feminism is working overtime to ensure any progress we have made to liberation is being eroded, indeed we are currently undergoing a big backlash against the idea that women are people in our own right.
Limiting women by enforcing the rigid sex role system ensures patriarchy can continue.
We tried to change that, and we were making progress, but then came the backlash.
We knew men would try to resist women’s newfound emancipation but I don’t think even we could anticipate the multitude of sneaky and devious ways the patriarchy would double down to cling on to an unequal status quo.
So how, after we’d made so much progress, how did society circle back on itself to the point where the idea of what a woman is, is once again all about the constructed stereotype of femininity. The woman box is narrow once again, and according to society comes with liking pink, having long hair, speaking softly, being feminine, and wearing dresses and make-up.
How did we go backward?
And how the hell did we get to the mess we’re currently in where feminism itself has been co-opted and subverted to uphold patriarchy?
Stay tuned for the next part of how the patriarchy lashed back at the Second wave gains feminists had made coming in my next blog post…and stay radical my sisters;)