I was going to write this for a blogger’s event for the celebration, but I had no idea if I would actually have time and didn’t sign up. I ended up changing my mind after checking out her social media, but I still wanted to try the deadline. So even though I’m not writing for a new audience, I still felt I needed to share some info.
I am not an expert or even someone who has read a lot about the subject, but in such a heavy moment that’s involving young women, there should be more examination and clarification. Simplistic catchphrases are cute on your tote bag or coffee mug, but they shouldn’t be used as an understanding and in some cases dismissal of an entire historical movement. It seems that everyone wants the aesthetic but not the active part of learning, questioning and dismantling. They want to celebrate Malala Yousafzai (supports socialism) and IWD (created by socialists) but chant along with fascists that declare the US will never be socialist.
Feminism is not about equality. But it isn’t about “matriarchy” or special treatment. I’m not a big fan of the “choice” slogan either. These buzzwords may work for specific issues under feminism, but I have no desire to be equal to oppressors. That is not a goal or victory for women (just as patriarchy is not even working for men).
Privileged Western women can choose to join their militaries or become wealthy CEOs, but it doesn’t seem very “girl power” to invade, bomb, destabilize or otherwise create conditions where impoverished black and brown women are raped, murdered and/or forced into slavery. Or if the business owner doesn’t provide safe working conditions for women or pays them pennies. Or if a politician runs on and creates racist, xenophobic, homophobic, or anti-poor legislation which surprise! impact women with those identities.
“Equality” and “choice” may work as slogans for gay marriage and reproductive rights, but they’re very individual and divorce feminism as a notion of being for women collectively. I haven’t dwelt on this too much, but opponents are probably able to utilize them easier. There’s probably a very knee-jerk reaction of questioning what’s “for women” then. This is why I’m much more in favor of ideas like liberation (from oppression, perhaps you could throw in a patriarchal). This expresses that, should even a woman be a scumbag (lmao), she should not be discriminated against on the basis of her gender. Obviously, if she were a racist or championed laws like “right to work” or charter schools, she should be egged for being an asshole to poor women (as should a man, the only thing that should be equal, lol).
Additionally, while women may come to be included in positions traditionally for men, they most definitely are not treated as equal, so it’s just not true. Another point is that these boxed in phrases restrict our imagination! Some regard sex work as an empowering choice, but others aren’t in such a position. Shouldn’t we be free from that? If you are wronged does corporal punishment (which could possibly kill an innocent person) help? Wouldn’t you want what would allow you to thrive— health service, mental support, a home, some tangible proof that not just one person would be prevented from doing one crime but that we as a society were addressing that issue?
In short, it doesn’t fucking matter if you, personally, use face masks or like dresses. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t care for example, if a woman is president if they’re just going to take the “equal” route and exploit feminism to probably get rich off wars that kill foreign women, traumatize the soldiers and leave them both to fend for themselves. We must look at power and how systems and institutions impact the most vulnerable (women) and create a world that not includes women in oppressive roles but frees us from those positions.