Sunday, 19 December 2010

Radical Feminism

Radical Feminism is a Marxist perspective? This couldn’t be more wrong. Heavens – is this the way things have been twisted for a later generation?

Radical Feminism simply asserts that I as a woman need to explore putting my own needs first – as a woman.
That’s it. Plain and simple.
It arose out of a rejection of Socialist Feminism ...
which at the time (1970s) was being trapped in the male trade unions’ demand that women “wait until after the revolution.” Some of us decided this was going to be a very long wait. We didn’t want to go on licking envelopes and certaiun parts of male activist bodies as our part in activism.
So we said No! we are going to put women’s issues at the top of the queue if we want.

Note Radical Feminism does not say that men’s needs do not matter, nor am I required to always put my needs, women’s needs first. I am just required to CONSIDER my needs/ women’s needs to see if it is my decision to put them first.

In fact I personally found that after several years of Radical Feminism, once I found my strength as a woman, it came naturally to recognise that men deserved equal consideration. But it was impossible to see that when I was weakened and up against a very patriarchal society as a young girl. In that condition all I saw was males blocking me or trying to use me on every side. I had to learn to be able to put myself first before I could support men as well.
Again Radical Feminism is about learning that women can, and often should, come first. Not every time, not unthinkingly, but as a very very important point to check.

I agree with those who say Radical Feminism is not “into fairness.” It is a medicinal antidote against the balance being set against us as women. The way to correct it is to push hard the other way.
I also agree with critics who say this is dangerous. If Radical Feminists do not truly access strength but instead get stuck in resentment and complaining then they are a pain to themselves and to others. Manhating is perfectly logical – so many men behave atrociously. But to get stuck in it poisons the woman and obviously is unfair to decent men.

As Radical Feminists our desire is power. With power comes a greater sense of safety and control. That in turn brings greater fairness and compassion to our thinking.

Radical Feminists never ignored biological issues. The opposite.
To us biology is extremely important. So much so that to me it is impossible for women and men to be completely equal – we are too different. In many situations yes it is equal, but when being female/ male – it is females that get pregnant, have abortions, give birth, breastfeed. These differences change our needs on each side.

With such very different needs we have inevitable conflict. We need to learn the other side, and try to balance the needs. In some cases though there is no real compromise e.g. abortion, which cannot be ‘fair’ to both.


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