With feminism hitting the mainstream, everyone seems to be pushing an image of easy-peasy female liberation down our throats.
Yes, it’s super great that brands are championing body-positivity. Yes, no-one can deny that the casting in H&M’s latest ad campaign was killer (Hari Nef is QUEEN). Yes, it’s definitely positive that no-one is shying away from the f-word and celebrities no longer hesitate to label themselves as feminist. HOWEVER: while publicity and representation are good, how politically invested is all this ‘feminist’ hype? And to what extent does it really affect positive change?
Currently, it feels a lot like the label is being embraced en-masse without a thorough understanding of what it all means. On the one hand, being a feminist is about feeling yourself and about equal pay and about putting an end to street harassment and about a hundred other things but, above all, it’s about crushing the patriarchy.
Because we’ve got your back, we’ve come up with a handy list on how to do this in 2017!
Ways to crush the patriarchy in 2017
Acknowledge that if your feminism doesn’t have an intersectional focus then your feminism is only surface-deep. It’s pretty common that people bristle at the mention of ‘privilege’ but it’s basically common sense. The first step to understanding how privilege works is to overcome the notion that your personal experience is universal and to listen to different perspectives. Once there, you can see the ways in which you have had a harder time than others or vice versa. Intersectionality is about understanding that society makes it easier for the people who adhere to certain criteria and harder for those who don’t. More than anything, intersectional feminism is about fighting for your rights and the rights of other feminists, specifically those who are POC, LGBTQI+ and different-abled.
Acknowledge that trans-exclusionary feminism is not okay. Trans women are women. Trans men are men, yes, but like all men they should have the option to be included in feminism if they wish.
Give queer feminism a chance. A glaring problem with feminism as it stands is an over-reliance upon a binaristic definition of ‘man’ v. ‘woman’. There is a possible solution to this in the form of queer feminism – a feminism which incorporates queer theory to open up definitions of gender and examine the ways in which heteronormativity, sexism, misogyny, cisnormativity, transphobia and homophobia interact and intersect. One example of this is looking at how the restrictive gender roles imposed by the patriarchy are not only negative for cis women but lead to cisnormativity and transphobia.
If you want to read more about queer feminism then SPECTRUM would recommend:
- Feminism is Queer: the intimate connection between feminism and queer theory by Mimi Marinucci more info here
- Sam Dylan’s Finch FANTASTIC blog ‘Let’s Queer Things Up’ here
- queerfeminism.com : an online queer feminism resource here
Happy 2017 from the SPECTRUM team xox