Radical feminism as a progressive movement has spiraled out of control over the past few decades.
Feminism was once defined as the “belief in and advocacy of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes expressed especially through organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests”.
Now, we have what scholars call radical feminism. Radical feminism is an ideology that stresses the patriarchal foundations of male-female equality. Particularly, it hyper focuses on men’s societal dominance over women. Patriarchy, according to radical feminism, divides societal rights, advantages, and power largely in ways that lessens women’s rights.
This definition seems great in theory, but self-proclaimed feminists aren’t practicing it. What traditionally started out as a movement based in equality has quickly become a demoralizing subsection of society.
Concepts such as women’s rights to vote, closing the pay gap, women’s productive rights, and championing the #MeToo movement are all virtuous. Most people in the United States can easily see their plights, regardless of political affiliation.
However, the feminist movement is self-sabotaging in various ways. The hyper-analyzing of the female gender in every aspect of life has become negative and toxic. This is because they look to secure a victimhood around all the issues they say plague women.
It seems like their objectives are simply to move goalposts. Further, the way in which radical feminists speak about being a woman makes it sound like there is nothing enjoyable about being such. It’s becoming detrimental to the cause and is thwarting believers away.
Together with intersectionality and the LGBTQ+ community, radical feminism presents a united front to stop any critical thinking on how we approach these movements.
Each movement has put itself on a pedestal so far out of touch with reality that they believe their theories are always right, no discourse needed. Any discourse or request for common sense understanding is usually met with shaming others as sexist, bigots, or misogynists.
Ironically, the feminist community’s inability to rationally hold a debate over these concepts subverts their effort to secure equity for women. In our quest to build a fairer world, this gatekeeping is spiraling us into a hate war.
Radical feminists crusade a cultural warfare that divides men and women. This is especially true for heterosexual men, who some feminists act like are a plague. Sometimes it seems that radical feminists’ only interest is demonizing men, often for things out of their control.
Things have gone so far-left that groups of self-proclaimed misandrists have spawned from radical feminism. Misandry by definition is a hatred of men. As one psychologist put it, being a misandrist is rooted in having micro-aggressions against men.
One feminist called out the irony in a piece called ‘Ironic Misandry: Why Feminists Pretending to Hate Men Isn’t Funny’. In the article, she says,
“What feminists really hate is the patriarchy—the web of institutions that systematically oppress women. And to tear it down, we need as many allies as we can get. Telling half the population that we hate them, even in jest, is not the way to do that. Feminism is still very much engaged in the battle for hearts and minds; appealing to the sense of humor of a very small minority of the population can be a good way to alienate the rest.”
Radical feminists also shame, dehumanize, and become hostile toward any detractors in the name of radical feminism. They even resort to toxic femininity when conversations and debates do not go their way.
Toxic femininity is when women use their gender to obtain certain privileges. In many cases it’s the privilege to disparage others who don’t agree with their theories, unchecked, and without fear of rebuttal.
This happens more often than many radical feminists realize. Because many individuals are unaware that toxic femininity is an issue, toxic femininity is rarely discussed in feminism discussions. It’s easy to reject this concept for the few individuals who have heard of it. However, just as toxic masculinity may be harmful, toxic femininity may be too.
Even world-renowned Feminist and LGBTQ+ activist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie experienced a chance at the chopping block. In 2017 she was asked about her feelings regarding trans-woman in an interview. Adichie responded,
“When people talk about ‘Are trans women women?’ my feeling is trans women are trans women. I think the whole problem of gender in the world is about our experiences. It’s not about how we wear our hair or whether we have a vagina or a penis.”
She became the target of brutal backlash for refusing to cosign opinions she doesn’t 100% agree with. She received immediate criticism from the feminist and LBTQ communities on social media. These are the same communities that once celebrated her for advocating on their behalf. They now labelled her “transphobic” and likened her to an enemy more than an ally with a few differing opinions.
This further proves the point that these tactics are hostile and leave no room for discussing alternative opinions. Unless you totally subscribe to these ideologies you’ll be harassed. Adichie later clarified her comments, saying,
“From the very beginning, I think it’s been quite clear that there’s no way I could possibly say that trans women are not women. It’s the sort of thing to me that’s obvious, so I start from that obvious premise. Of course, they are women but in talking about feminism and gender and all of that, it’s important for us to acknowledge the differences in experience of gender. That’s really what my point is.”
She went on to say, “What’s interesting to me is this is in many ways about language and I think it also illustrates the less pleasant aspects of the American left, that there sometimes is a kind of language orthodoxy that you’re supposed to participate in, and when you don’t there’s a kind of backlash that gets very personal and very hostile and very closed to debate.”
This was the perfect explanation of what happens when you refuse to bow down to the mob’s group-think. It’s okay to not always be politically correct as long as we can engage in healthy and honest conversations.
Much of the rhetoric and concepts coming from radical feminist circles are far from the feminist movement’s original intent. While their original intent was admirable, we have forgotten the true essence of what makes being a woman beautiful.
It’s not taking shots at men every chance we get. Or blaming patriarchy for everything we don’t like in this world. It’s also not just a word on a t-shirt to show “solidarity” with other women.
It’s past time for us to put radical feminism under a microscope and really determine if this is how we want to operate in the battle for equality.
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