Edited to add: Or put more bluntly, to call anti-trans women “radical feminist” is to suggest they are somehow more feminist than those of us who accept transwomen into the fold. I refuse to agree to that, utterly and completely.
This keeps coming up and up and up, so I’m going to write a quick blog post to clarify this because it’s always being fought out on Twitter, where brevity definitely eclipses meaning.
There is no such thing as a “radical feminist” anymore.
Don’t get me wrong! There was. In the 60s and 70s, there were radical feminists who were distinguishing themselves from liberal feminists. Radical feminists agreed with liberal feminists that we should change the laws to recognize women’s equality, but they also believed that we needed to change the culture. It was not enough to pass the ERA or legalize abortion, they believed, but we should also talk about cultural issues, such as misogyny, objectification, rape, and domestic violence.
In other words, what was once “radical” feminism is now mainstream feminism.
I realize there are anti-trans, anti-sex feminists out there who call themselves radical feminists, but I, simply put, don’t agree. What’s radical about them? They are to the right of the mainstream feminist movement. They often have more in common with the conservatives decrying mainstream feminism as “radical” than they do the original radical feminists who had consciousness-raising groups and abortion speak outs and who started Ms Magazine.
I don’t call anti-trans feminists “radical”. I call them reactionary. I don’t even really think of them as feminists, because feminism is about breaking down rigid gender ideology. They want to uphold rigid gender ideology, even if they differ from the patriarchy on what should go into the buckets we label “man” and “woman”.
Hope that clarifies things.