Critical Feminism

Big, important notice: I am a white, cis, privileged woman. So if I do something stupid, call me out on it. Please. I would sincerely rather get flamed the fuck out of a couple of times for being an oppressive dick than ignore all criticism and keep hurting people and things.

I almost stopped calling myself a feminist. Not because I'm sick of man-hating, hairy-legged, strident, tyrannical termagants - if you haven't worked it out yet, feminists are the ordinary people you pass on the street - but because I'm sick of something else; quite a lot of this something else, actually.

I'm sick of transphobia, cissexism, the throwing about of white privilege like a bouncy ball, the denial of intersectionality, white feminists comparing everything to slut shaming, the marginalisation of people of colour, the marginalisation of working-class women, that go back decades and are still around today despite claims that we live in an equal society. I'm sick of them and I cringe every time I see a feminist do these things - no, worse than cringe. I get angry that people oppress others when they should know better and when they want to do good.

Things like that are why I wanted to leave feminism, and it ties in with something else: the use of labels. I was talking to @WisdomsGrave (good person) a couple of days ago about why I label myself an atheist got me thinking. I'll still label myself an atheist because it's easy, describes me well and makes me more sure of myself, but were I unlabelled I would still be the same person. I don't need the label "atheist" to tell myself that I don't think deities exist. I don't need the label "secularist" to fight for secularism - and indeed I don't use that label much, if ever. Similarly, I don't need to label myself a feminist to be against misogyny, slut-shaming, objectification, attacks on my right to do whatever the fuck I want with my uterus and all the rest of it.

I'm not quite sure what to do yet, especially because I still think that for all the flaws of feminism, someone needs to stand up for the rights of women to be treated as people - that much has been made clear to me in my discussions. For the time being, I've chosen to call myself a critical feminist: I stand for the rights of women, yes, and I am prepared to be loud and vocal, but I refuse to ignore my own privilege and marginalise others. In other words, I refuse to be a dick.

And, since I am white, cis and unbelievably privileged, and since I've said all I've got to say, I think it is high time for me to shut up now.