I got in an argument with a Facebook friend today about Feminism. She put up some meme about how Feminism was about protecting rights for all people or something like that. The usual: Feminism is for Everyone! Feminism is for men, transwomen, everyone who could ever be hurt by the patriarchy! Because patriarchy is so tough on the male gender.
I commented that no, Feminism was about Women’s rights & Women’s issues. Not that men don’t have their own civil rights issues (I guess) & that trans-women do have civil rights issues to fight for, as do homosexuals & many other people but that’s not Feminism. Feminism is about Women.
She answered, “… that’s a really warped way of twisting feminism. I have never seen it defined that way. I’m aware of some fringe groups who have expressed ignorance towards trans people but I have never accepted their statements as a part of what the majority of feminists believe or strive for. There were feminists who didn’t want to include women of color or lesbian women and the movement certainly evolved beyond that and continues to evolve as we all learn more and come to appreciate new identities and new ways of being.”
OK, I’ve been reading books & articles about Feminism since 1970 (at least) & I took classes about Feminism at the State University of New York at Buffalo’s Women’s Study College – renamed the Gender Studies College in 1984 & currently called the Global Gender Studies Program – which gave me a firm foundation not only in Feminist Theory but also Marxist-Leninist collectivist theory, cultural gender studies, the politics of white supremacy & the beauty of lesbian love. I also read women writers – many that I had heard of & many more that I was new to & grew to love.
I also said that there is no such thing as a “lady brain” & a “man brain” & to think along those lines is perpetuating the very patriarchal thinking that Feminism is trying to eradicate & has been trying to FOR YEARS & YEARS.
This Facebook friend – who is no longer a friend, since debates on Facebook always seem to end that way! – is about 30 years younger than me. I always find it interesting that younger women seem to think that they invented Feminism – or they’ve reinvented it -because we older women don’t know what it is or should be. & I also find it interesting that they think that trans-people never existed before the 21st century. I mean, give me a break! She – & another friend who joined in to school me on what I should be reading & how I should be thinking – seemed to think that I had stopped learning in 1980 or something. & that I was just some old fuddy-duddy who didn’t know anything.
She also said, “Feminism needs to evolve & grow beyond the binary of male & female.” I disagree. Feminism doesn’t need to evolve & grow at all. Feminism is fine working to promote the rights & issues of women & women alone. & honestly – there is no other binary except male & female. Women have XX chromosomes & men have XY chromosomes & that’s the way it works. You can change your hair, your breasts, your voice, your clothing – but you’re not going to be able to change those chromosomes. & there’s other things you can’t change as well – which I’m not getting into here. You can say all you like that there are other genders – that there are 4 or 5 or 6 or how many you want – but again – that’s a cultural construct – that’s not sex. When it comes to sex – we’re talking biology. Not gender. There is no such thing as a “lady brain” or a “man brain”. We’re not color-coded pink or blue.
Why do so many women feel the need to include men in feminism? Is it because they are in a relationship with men? Because they think the transgender ideology is groovy & cool & they want to be part of the in crowd? I don’t know. But being a crone, I don’t care. I am at the age where I just end the conversation & move along.
Because I AM a feminist. Since I was 10 years old.