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.
KRITIQ - don't go, the debate here can be somewhat more, erm, vigorous that on other parts of MN (who would have believed it!), but the intention is always (well, mostly) to understand and engage, not to shut down or shout down. Don't feel criticised.
Look KRITIQ, don't feel the need to leave the thread because of me. I have seen your posts on feminism in MN for quite a long time now and I really don't understand why they are so often about telling other white women that they are racist/don't understand intersectionality/need to get with the programme. It is pretty insulting stuff BTW (although you are perhaps not aware of that - I'm not saying you do it intentionally). But it is.
I don't get it. My resolve cracked and I commented on it. I commented on it because I think there is a serious issue of women being made to feel that we can't concentrate on ourselves and that we must solve all the world's problems before we can be allowed to do anything much for women (i.e. never). And I care about that and I thought it was what the thread was about.
Sorry Annie for the derail although I personally feel it is relevant to the discussion.
kri, please don't leave. I just want to understand what you're getting at.
I've been very carefully noting that a lot of what I say about other people's views are just anecdotes and I can't speak for them. I don't know why you reminded me that one person can't 'genuinely say' they know a belief to be shared in a group? It was me who was insisting we don't generalize about these terms, explaining that some people I know don't like 'queer' while others do.
I am not quite clear what my age has to do with it. Yes, some people my age like the term 'queer', and yes, I do think it is probably more common for younger feminists to be interested in queer theory. But other people my age don't use those terms - just like any age group, there are differences and to suggest if you don't use the terms you don't understand seems unfair to me.
I'm not following the bit about young people being 'selfish' or 'disengaged' - are you saying that if we don't use terms like 'queer' and accept queer theory is more important than feminism, either we're old and out of touch or young and selfish? Because it felt like that and I did feel a bit (or a lot) got at. Not sure I saw what beach saw but then, I was concentrating on other things in your posts.
Your posts are usually great and wise but I can't tell if you actually meant to say what I've understood here?
AnnieLobeseder, you may already have read it, but if not, "Unpacking Queer Politics: A Lesbian Feminist Perspective" by Sheila Jeffreys is very good on the subject of why feminist interests are incompatible with queer theory. It is also interesting to see the parallel drawn between the fight for gay liberation and women's liberation.
With regards to genderqueer, it's only a label I have seen assign to themselves, it is definitely not on to dish out that identity to someone who hasn't chosen it for themselves and if someone is doing that, you should call them out on it.
What is interesting in the comments, is people feeling that "queer" has become a trendy label and who exactly is queer.
Back to the topic in hand, I do think that certain areas of online feminism can have a very narrow focus. Something that pains me, is the concept that being pro-choice, just means discussing abortion rights and when any discussion of motherhood is raised, the discourse becomes full of fail and how hard it is to be child free. Some of the most heated topics, I've encountered have been around SAHM-ing, children in public spaces and so on.
Also, you will get people discussing things not so much to benefit people, but to show how right-on and marvellous they are.
I think there will always be issues within any movement as to what work gets done first and I think you always need to look at who is in a movement and what the power biases are (for want of a better term).
How we overcome this is a topic of massive debate. For some it becomes a concept of "Feminisms" that different people may partake in, in different ways. For others, it's about "one school" of feminism with very clear ideas of what feminists should do.