We really need a new radical feminism that understands gender but avoids the pitfalls of naive "gender critical" and steers far clear of being coopted by the authoritarians and right that creates TERFs.

At the same time, we need a queer inclusive feminist theory based in moral philosophy and not just in phenomenology.

What we are left with without this is ways of being left as an assortment in the neoliberal fashion: marketing segments and "free choice" with no acknowledgement of social relations, their power structures hidden and embedded and shielded from critique, or bald appeals to 'innate nature'. We are reduced to labels, our movements cast aside. None of these will free us.

We have, as a culture, abandoned morality and the discussion of it as the domain of religion, rather than realizing it is the core of any just society.

Perhaps this is because to talk about it is to admit the evil around us in the world: the greed, the disdain, the avarice, the callousness and usury.

Keeping out movements from being coopted by the adaptability of patriarchy and capitalism is an unending task. It requires us to be clever, to be aware, and I keep finding, the ability to reject the frame provided. It fundamentally requires changing every conversation we enter, to set new terms of engagement.

White trans feminists have done only a mediocre job of understanding gender at best. There is a strong compulsion not to question gender at the same time we question our own. So many of our takes are capitulations to patriarchy, not deeper truths. They are survival tactics and some incoherent theories.

So, too, non-binary so often means 'not like other girls' or 'not like other men' or 'my womanhood is so often questioned it hurts less to let it go'.

And in more serious ways we've done poorly in modern feminism is the thing we dropped from the second wave feminists: there is oppression based in reproduction. Whether or not that is called 'woman', that oppression exists. We cannot will it away by changing labels. And, yes, my non-binary sisters, women participate in that oppression.

Some of this is divide and conquer by patriarchy. The language of feminism has been coopted. We can keep inventing it anew, of course, but we can also resist this reframing.

@aredridel i am mildly confused…

isn't feminism rooted in Marxism?
and should as such be deeply socialist?
where did all the individualism stuff come from?

@meena Is it?

Some feminisms are. Certainly not all, and much of this gets into 'no true Scotsman' sorts of conversation. Marxists are quick to claim feminism, but I am uncertain feminism should be quick to claim Marxism.

Some get bogged down in utilitarianism, some get attached to economic theories, some to justice. Some—many—have had difficult intersections with freedom and autonomy. And some are dismantled into easily sold 'wokeness' and themselves support patriarchy.

@meena Where _does_ the individualism come from? Some of this is a particularly neoliberal affliction. Some of this is a genuine fight against authoritarianism. I think those are the rock and the hard place, the two poles with singularities around them, both willing to distort everything around them.

@aredridel Feminists of colour are working on this and have been for some time, is my impression. Though I’m woefully behind in my reading.

@ghost_bird Indeed. Much of this should be the radicalism we elevate.

Prison abolition. Complete reform of so-called justice. Immigrant movements and movements to abolish borders.

@ghost_bird At the same time, much of this feminism hand-waves over concrete theories of gender. And, I increasingly find, gender and racialization must be evaluated together. Both need abolition of the sort that allows us to have our differences, both subject to homogenizing forces and to forces that reduce our differences to fashion and mere 'identity'.

@aredridel I do regret the loss of a lot of second wave ideas about gender and patriarchy, even as I can see how the TERFs (and, to be honest, regular old generational conflict) make it necessary to concentrate on other areas.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Anarchism Space

A mastodon instance for anarchists and libertarian socialists.