Christ, this insistence that feminism…

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A Twitter thread by @WTFoucault

Christ, this insistence that feminism act as unpaid carer to all other activist movements – and sacrifices, without complaint, its own interests in doing so – is precisely why feminism exists.

No other movement is required to consider – let alone centre – the concerns or experiences of any other group; can you fucking imagine?

Feminism is not interchangeable with other movements. Very often the interests of women are in tension, at the very least, with those of other groups.

It should be obvious that not all disempowered groups are harmed in the same manner, on the same grounds, or to the same degree, by those who have power.

It’s quite possible to be marginalised or discriminated against without being subject to structural oppression; for example, the system does not depend on the subjugation and exploitation of trans people to sustain itself, as it does with sex (and race, and class).

As individuals, some/many/most feminists might stand in solidarity with some/many/most of these marginalised groups – but not because their feminism requires it, or because those other struggles are intrinsically a feminist concern, or of any concern at all to feminism.

It certainly does not follow that feminists should give up their ability to define the group whose interests they defend, or their right to assert that women are uniquely oppressed *because of and through their bodies* .

Women’s bodies are objectified, raped, mutilated, prostituted, forced into marriage; it is women’s bodies – their capacity for birth, their vulnerability to rape, the likelihood that they will be physically overpowered – that are both the source and the means of their oppression.

Feminism can’t defend women if it cannot speak this truth, or is forced to speak for those who do not share this experience. However marginalised they might be, their reality is not women’s reality, because women’s reality, their oppression, is the consequence of their biology.

This is doubly, trebly true if those who demand that feminism redefine itself to include male bodies are the same old structural oppressors (underneath the woke, Guardian bros, you are still the fucking patriarchy) or are borrowing their methods of control (“Be nice, bitch!”)

There is another thread which discusses why many young feminists do not yet believe that they are oppressed through and by their biological sex (a fact), and not through their gender (a feeling). 

But tbh, it doesn’t matter if you agree with the theoretical position that biological sex is everything. If you consider yourself any kind of feminist or feminist ally, every fibre should rebel at the thought of women being told what they are and are not.

Every fibre should rebel at the sight of women being coerced into accommodating within their refuge – both literal, and figurative – the male bodies which have so damaged and oppressed their own.

The right to self-define is axiomatic for both liberals and progressives. If you think this doesn’t apply to women, you are not a feminist.