Facebook feminist groups and LGBT

(87 Posts)

I would like to run something by you folks.

I am aware that a good few feminists are lesbian. But is it normal for feminism to be intricately entwined with LGBT theory and activism to the exclusion of almost anything else?

I follow a few feminist pages on Facebook, and it seems that they post way more stuff on LGBT theory than feminist theory. Loads of posts and outrage about trans women being forced to use male restrooms and loads on equal marriage rights, but very little about FGM, the millions of lost women in India and China, the very rare post about women being lashed/stoned for extramarital sex after being raped in the Middle East.

Of course I understand there are some overlaps between the groups, but surely feminism is first and foremost about issues that are peculiar to women?

At risk of a flaming, to focus on trans and gay issues to the exclusion of women suffering horribly at the hands of men, particularly in the developing world, just smacks of first world privilege and frustrates me.

This Mumsnet topic/group seems to be focussed first and foremost on women, which is why I'm asking here. Have any of you noticed similar on Facebook? Are there any feminist groups I've missed which keep women front and centre? As a straight feminist, I just don't feel like I belong on some of the groups I follow.

FucktidiaBollockberry Mon 01-Apr-13 23:15:21

There are a few woman-centred FB groups:

Wipeout Misogyny
Rabid feminism
Organising for Women's Liberation (OWL)
Feminists United
A Girl's Guide to Taking Over the World

Can't think of any more at present.

I think that's definitely true, pretzel.

FucktidiaBollockberry Mon 01-Apr-13 23:33:36

PT I think that's totally what it's all about.

It's always been much more socially acceptable for women to work for other's interests, not their own.

Hence lots of women coming to feminism later, when they have the confidence and are just a bit blardy sick of fighting for everyone else's rights and no fucker is fighting for their's.

Tortington Mon 01-Apr-13 23:38:22

in answer to the op - turning it on it's head slightly. i am a member of quite a few LGBT FB pages and I don't see much feminist theory ( can't think of any TBH)

FucktidiaBollockberry - thanks for the list. It was Rabid Feminist who banned me, I'm on GGTTOtW (though they seem to have been very quiet lately). I will check out the others....

FucktidiaBollockberry Tue 02-Apr-13 10:31:31

LOL, really?

What did you say?

Would love to know simply so I know whether to cull them from my list - have been thinking that I'm subscribing to far too many groups who clutter up my FB and twitter feed and would like to empty it out a bit.

FucktidiaBollockberry Tue 02-Apr-13 10:33:53

I remembered another one btw - Being Feminist, but I think that's on my "to cull" list.

I always get them all mixed up and signed up to loads on the basis that I didn't want to miss out on anythign good, but get an awful lot of crap tbh.

And the good stuff tends to make it into all the groups anyway, so you get something posted 6 times.

Must get a less virtual life. grin

Branleuse Tue 02-Apr-13 10:40:41

you could say the same thing about all sorts of things. You have your pet priorities that you want to be concentrated on, but its important to understand that other people have different priorities, and nothing is stopping you starting up your own group. Its also possibly something to do with supporting issues they see as closer to home. LGBT and feminist issues that affect people in the UK, as we dont really have much chance in this country of inducing cultural change in the middle east,india and somalia etc

FucktidiaBollockberry - I explained what happens with Rabid Feminist upthread. They didn't like me disagreeing with them posting a triggering image.

It's Being Feminist that I'm currently having issues with, though to be fair, last night and today they're been posting about far more general feminist issues with less queer theory. I will give them another chance.

I did check out your suggestions and have joined Wipeout Misogyny
and Feminists United. OWL seemed a little to Rad Fem for my tastes.

Branleuse - I don't want them to concentrate on any one issue but instead to cover a broad range of Feminist topics. If the group is mainly about feminism and queer theory, well, that's fine and up to them, but they should be clear about that in their group description.

I wish I had time to run my own group!! grin

I do find it kind of telling ... the OP says she is wondering why these feminist groups exclude the topic, and two people so far have told her it's unreasonable for her to expect them only to discuss feminism. I'm not picking up on this to be nit-picky, it's just it does seem frustrate me.

It seems to be such a common attitude whenever you discuss feminism. You want to have an occasional space for women only? 'Oh my god, you want to ban men totally from everything ever!!'

I know people are putting it more gently here, but why would you read the OP where she says that everything other than these topics is excluded, and immediately assume the situation is the reverse of what she says? confused

TeiTetua Tue 02-Apr-13 13:18:27

There's also We Blame The Patriarchy, inspired by Twisty Faster's former blog. Pretty radical, though some people are probably just putting it on for the occasion. That board has a rule against discussion of transsexuals, on the grounds that the topic gets vicious very quickly.

msrisotto Tue 02-Apr-13 13:31:01

Wow, thanks for all the names of feminist groups on FB! I have now cluttered up my feed with them.

deadlift Tue 02-Apr-13 13:32:24

I'm a lesbian and a feminist and find that at my own university's feminist society most women would either identify as queer or sometimes as both lesbian and queer. Personally I don't like to use the term queer both because the term lesbian seems more accurate and queer feels a bit like you're trying really hard to be cool and also because if I use the term queer then people seem to automatically assume that I also want to use the term genderqueer, which I definately don't.

There does seem a trend at my university to focus on gay and trans (although primarily trans) issues at the expense of women's issues which is both frustrating and difficult to question without starting a riot. I think I'd agree with the idea that it's because it's seen as more acceptable for women to care about other causes but not themselves.

PretzelTime Tue 02-Apr-13 14:19:07

There does seem a trend at my university to focus on gay and trans (although primarily trans) issues at the expense of women's issues

I find this very strange. No offense to trans people, but they are a tiny minority. Women are half the population - shouldn't our issues get the majority of the focus?

deadlift Tue 02-Apr-13 14:31:51

I agree entirely with you. I really don't understand why it's like this. It seems like although they are a tiny majority they shout the loudest and so they are discussed the most. I'm not sure if it's the same at other universities but it's definately an issue here. It does detract from focussing on women's issues with I agree should surely get more focus.

Beachcomber Tue 02-Apr-13 15:22:11

AnnieLobeseder - I have encountered this too.

I do think it is increasingly difficult for feminism to remain woman centric. Of course huge parts of feminist culture/analysis/writings have lesbian roots. But that is something rather different to queer theory/LGBT.

Some of the lesbian feminists I know feel they have very little to do with LGBT politics which are very focused on, well, men (and/or genderqueering).

I think it is a combination of society at large's resistance to feminism and women doing anything for themselves plus the appeal of 'queerness' to young people. Of course there are lots of interesting and important issues in there but there is no reason for feminism to be swallowed up by them. And I don't think feminists should feel the need to take on the genderqueer battle saying as many of us reject gender entirely as a vehicle for the oppression of women....

Very glad to hear it's not just me missing some giant point of feminism!!

PretzelTime Tue 02-Apr-13 15:33:29

No, Annie. I thought feminism = women's rights. Isn't it? (Like the name of this board)

Disclaimer:Of course women can belong to other oppressed groups too, as well as care about other's issues.

dead - whew, I'm so glad you said that, I have got this same impression from women I know but had an uncomfortable feeling I didn't want to report their views and have everyone think 'nah, never seen that', and I'd feel I'd misrepresented something.

I think it makes a lot of sense though, doesn't it, in that gender queer, or gay men's politics, can be quite different from issues that affect both lesbians and straight women (not always, obv., but sometimes).

I hate the idea that all the different groups have to be competing for focus and energy. The fact we are competing is the fault of the patriarchy, which gives a disproportionate amount of screentime to straight, white, rich, Western (etc. etc.) men. But despite that I do feel irritated when women get silenced for wanting to talk about feminism even in a feminist group (or, erm, even on FWR which, let us all remember from the ever-repeated gospel according to SM, is not a space for feminist-friendly discussion but for constant derailing).

It probably doesn't need saying, but the concept of being 'genderqueer' is surely just as incompatible with radical feminism as the idea of a gender identity, so it shouldn't come as a shock to feminist societies that some women won't find it a flattering, inclusive term (which is how I think it's often intended).

That women belong to some group which is "other" than heterosexual males under the label of "genderqueer", to me, is totally against the basic tenant of feminism, which is that women are NOT "other", but the absolute norm and should be treated as such. So yes, LRD, I completely agree with you.

deadlift Tue 02-Apr-13 17:45:39

Sadly I think it probably would come as a shock to the majority of the members of my university's feminist society that some people would find the idea of being 'genderqueer' unflattering. I do think that it's just another way of othering women- if you're a masculine women they won't see you as a masculine women but a genderqueer person. Because a woman couldn't possibly want to be like that, they must not really be a woman. angry

I think even mentioning the words 'radical feminism' would probably not go down very well and I would imagine that if anyone actually admitted they agreed with some aspects of radical feminism they probably wouldn't get a very warm reception.

PretzelTime Tue 02-Apr-13 18:13:19

What is 'genderqueer'? Is it when you don't act and look the way the sex you belong to should, according to gender roles? Because that's most people isn't it.

PretzelTime Tue 02-Apr-13 18:16:25

Urbandictionary.com -

Genderqueer is most commonly used to describe a person who feels that his/her gender identity does not fit into the socially constructed "norms" associated with his/her biological sex.
Genderqueer is an identity that falls anywhere between man/boy/male and woman/girl/female on the spectrum of gender identities.
Mary doesn't feel that s/he fits the mold of any one particular gender; therefore, Mary identifies as genderqueer."

Why do they have to invent such weird words for simply being normal and not a stereotype?

Beachcomber Tue 02-Apr-13 18:31:57

That's cos radical feminism is well known for having a well honed bullshit detector.

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