Tuesday, 15 October 2013

On the strangeness of inclusivity being radical.

My mother and I had another one of our lovely chats recently. I'm not being facetious, although I can understand if you've read my blog before why you might think so. I'm not always in a foul mood, I promise!

Anyway, she told me she'd recommended my blog to my uncle but warned him that it was a little radical. Though I know exactly what she meant it made me think. Is it really so radical to want a feminism that is completely and 100% inclusive? An equality and liberation that is not just for the privileged few?

The white mainstream feminism that we see so much of in the media is accepted because it sits very nicely within patriarchy. It's quietly asking men for a piece of their pie rather than just taking it and then throwing it in their face for not giving it to us outright. It challenges nothing but is instead just a different version of the Status Quo. It holds no place for you if you're not middle class, cis gendered, white or even straight. It's not accepted that you can shave the hair around your vagina and still consider yourself a feminist. Nor could you possible want to work as a stripper or a sex worker and still care about unionisation and equal rights for all workers. I find this utterly bizarre. 

Of course women are portrayed problematically within the media, we are naked more than men this is true. The only thing that ever bothers me about nudity of any sex or gender is when that person is reduced to only their nudity and not the person as a whole. However being naked isn't unfeminist but telling women how they should be and what choices they make is in my opinion deeply unfeminist. Women are nuanced and want different things and all of this must be taken into account.

I've talked about this at length before but what I really haven't made clear is that there just wasn't a place for me within mainstream feminism. I like pink sparkly things, Hello Kitty and porn. I wasn't allowed to be a part of that ideology, called a traitor for shaving my pubes off and wearing make up. Intersectional feminism makes a space for all women because it views all women, every damn one of them as people who should be treated equally. It also sees that some women already have it better than some men. Mainstream feminism says that all women are oppressed equally within patriarchy and that just isn't true.

Flavia Dzodan coined the call to arms "My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit". If that's radical well hey I hope one day we'll all be that radical.

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