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Third wave feminism

(113 Posts)
Tiredeyes89 Thu 15-Dec-16 16:18:52

Long time lurker here, this is my first post so please excuse if I'm not very coherent blush just wondering what the general consensus on third wave/intersectional feminists are? I ask because today I saw a post on a feminist Facebook page about the situation in Aleppo, and a woman had commented asking what kind of freedom did the civilians want,which was a bizarre question I though. When someone suggested she might want to do some research about the conflict in Syria she replied to the poster that as a black woman she didn't need to educate herself, and that people only care about the Syrian conflict and the staggering number of civilian deaths because they are white and she wanted to know if the Syrian civilians wanted freedom for " the black folk trans folk and genderqueer folk ". If not, then she wasn't particularly bothered. I was astounded by it all and anyone who disagreed with her was racist, and transphobic. I have this awful feeling third wave feminism is dragging us backwards, almost like it's come about to keep us busy fighting amongst ourselves rather than the patriarchy...any thoughts? (Sorry if I've ranted on abit!)blush

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Thu 15-Dec-16 16:24:51

I wonder why you thought her views were representative of third wave feminism? She is one person, surely.

DameDeDoubtance Thu 15-Dec-16 17:04:26

I think that any feminism that doesn't centre women isn't feminism at all and there is certainly a lot of that about nowadays.

TitaniasCloset Thu 15-Dec-16 17:48:49

What a stupid woman. I have no time for that, it infuriates me.

SallyInSweden Thu 15-Dec-16 18:34:57

I think the average Mumsnet (FWR) poster will be an ex-3rd wave, who has seen the light and realized that second wave is the only way to go

SallyInSweden Thu 15-Dec-16 18:37:02

I think Syrian people would be happy not to be bombed by three different forces.

When people say about a place "being bombed back to the Stone Age" this is what they mean.

quencher Thu 15-Dec-16 19:33:38

For a black woman you would think she would know better but she might be talking out of frustration. To call everyone who disagrees with her racist is a bit daft.

Did she say anything else? What sort of black people was she talking about and from where? Was it just a sweeping generalisation of all black people or is she relating it to wars in the sub Saharan Africa?

That has got nothing to do with waves of feminism but more about racism and how the world works really.

Feminist have always disagreed with each other.

Did she say what sort of feminist she is?

HermioneWeasley Thu 15-Dec-16 19:39:16

Third wave makes it sound legitimate.

It's not feminism - it includes centring men and putting their needs above women. It's total bullshit.

TeiTetua Thu 15-Dec-16 19:58:04

Is this "black woman" who she says she is? Is she "she" at all? I've got a nasty cynical mind about discussions on the internet, when people make claims about who they are. Me, I'm nobody special, not worth anyone's attention.

YetAnotherSpartacus Thu 15-Dec-16 20:36:36

I've never understood third wave feminism, nor felt the impetus to leave the second wave smile.

quencher Thu 15-Dec-16 21:54:08

For a black woman you would think she would know better but she might be talking out of frustration. To call everyone who disagrees with her racist is a bit daft. Actually, I have had a thought about it and am slightly going to change that statement. Technically, she is not daft and to some degree has a point. I think that women in Syrian are being helped more or talked about more because of their geography. It's more political and slightly racial bias. I don't know whether she was pointing it out in regards to women in Yemen. Most people don't even know that war in Yemen is probably worse than Syria. The weapons being used are British, we are friends with Saudi Arabia and there is more to gain in Syria. Those women will die without anyone of knowing and speaking for them. Where do you start? It's the media that gives people a voice and they are not getting one. They get a snippet in the news and it's the women. We are not seeing dead children, which means people won't care that much.

I could say the same thing in regards Eritrea and you can easily see the differences in reporting when it comes to the war and Calais or the refugees around Europe.

I have always thought that western feminism is selective and probably she meant in a similar way.

I can't actually comment on the other groups she mentioned.

YetAnotherSpartacus Fri 16-Dec-16 00:18:31

Quencher - everything about your post makes utter sense and I agree with you. However, I'm not sure how you extrapolated that from what the OP wrote about which was "as a black woman she didn't need to educate herself, and that people only care about the Syrian conflict and the staggering number of civilian deaths because they are white and she wanted to know if the Syrian civilians wanted freedom for " the black folk trans folk and genderqueer folk ". Obviously that is out of context and was paraphrased by the OP, but it makes far less sense than what you wrote.

Way back in the second wave I can remember a talk by a black woman from South Africa (during the Apartheid regime). Her focus was on the oppression of black people and when she was asked about the oppression of black and white women in SA, and about the oppression of black women by black men (both of which she mentioned briefly) her response was 'race is the primary oppression and I will work with my brothers first' (that was a paraphrase btw). I always wondered if I would have agreed with her if I was in her shoes.

Growing up very working class I mixed in socialist revolutionary circles as well as feminist circles. I never really found a home. The feminist circles were terribly middle-class and the socialist ones were openly sexist (come to think of it they were a tad middle-class too).

Interestingly, I've been pondering posting a similar post to the OP because this whole issue of intersectionality confuses me on a few levels. I've also noticed that it is something that seems to be mainly connected with feminism - as in there is more emphasis on feminism taking account of trans, disabled, race (etc.) oppressions than there is on other social movements / theories of oppression taking account of sex (women). That's been my experience anyway.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 16-Dec-16 00:31:55

I think that the people of Aleppo, all the people of Aleppo, wanted to be free to live until tomorrow. Anything beyond that, including equality for women/LGBT/those struggling in the rest of the world, probably look like a luxury when your home is destroyed and you fear for your life and that of your family 24/7.

I'm not sure what this woman's views have to with feminism, 3rd wave or otherwise.confused

Prawnofthepatriarchy Fri 16-Dec-16 10:26:46

I notice that it's pretty much only feminism that is under so much pressure to be intersectional. Gay rights activists don't seem to be expected to campaign for straight men. People tend to campaign on issues specific to their group. Of course police officers shouldn't gun down anyone who doesn't pose a threat but the Black Lives Matter campaigners focuses solely on African American victims.

Women are the mothers of the world. It is selfish to campaign for issues that affect only women. We must dilute our power and scurry around checking on the well-being of any group that isn't currently being mothered adequately.

Classic example of this is TERF, which is a slur. It also spectacularly misses the point. Feminists don't exclude transmen, and this is because transmen are female. Feminists (and plenty of women who don't think of themselves as feminists) exclude transwomen because transwomen are men. Demanding that we centre men's concerns is the very opposite of feminism.

Datun Fri 16-Dec-16 12:38:31

Ah SMERF - just realised what it means.

HermioneWeasley Fri 16-Dec-16 13:18:59

Applause for Prawn - incredibly articulate as always!

Leila78 Fri 16-Dec-16 15:45:22

I think there's a problem with anyone, of whatever ideological persuasion, who views the entire world through one lens.

Feminism, socialism or whatever else is all good and fine so long as their adherents are able to see things from different perspectives at the same time.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 16-Dec-16 16:11:15

I agree Leila. My experience is that feminists who dismiss or oppose intersectionality tend to be white, privileged and heterosexual. Women are intersectional, they find themselves oppressed not just because they are women, but also because of their colour, class, ethnicity, caste, race, religion and sexual identity/orientation.

quencher Fri 16-Dec-16 16:56:09

Yetanotherspartacus I have never thought of Syrians as white but I do see favouritism in reporting, help and intervention. She might see that as racism because they are a lighter shade to who she is. My reason for taking back that statement, not completely because I still think she is stupid to say she does not need to educate her self. (^No woman is an island regardless of race. When it comes to women there is a point when we all face similar struggles, however, some have^ it worse than others race and cultures becomes part of it).
The other stupid comment I thought she made was, "what did a woman in a war zone want"? If she had any common sense she would know that the people who are most affected by war are women and children. That includes sexual abuse. The people least likely to escape leaving them in danger.

At the bottom of my post I did state that I can't comment on her other points which are trans and gay/lesbians rights and whether feminist should fight for them.

I personally find it difficult to argue against trans. Mainly, because I feel already like an outsider trying to find my way in and be accepted. But at the same time I see the detrimental effect it will have on both my little girl and my life. It's something I think about and try to figure out how to deal with and I just can't seem to find the answer or compromise.

Re- the South African woman. That is a struggle that most black feminist face. As a black feminist, you are not just fighting for women but you are fighting racism. When you are fighting for equal pay to be both in line with men and white women. When fighting against sexual assault, you are fighting to believed because of your race (there was a time when rape on black women was never considered rape) and and you are a woman who has been raped.

For the South African woman, what she would have been fighting for is to be accepted as a human being on par with her white counter part to even consider whether the work place are going to treat her girls equally to the men.

I think most black feminist are not asking for white feminists to fight for them but to accept the issues when pointed out. Not block it because it's racial or cultural and does not affect them or because they don't understand it, or brush it of as something which does not exist because they have never encountered it. That is why I said above that probably she is talking about of frustration.

The point about putting the brothers first. For black activist, both men and women are below white women on average wage earning. I would also assume that black men in South Africa came below white Afrikaans. So, yes, I can easily see why she would have said that. This applies both in the uk and America too. Not that race comes first but being black and female puts you at the very bottom of the pecking order followed by your husband, son or brother then white women.
This is the reason why people like Alice walker thought that they cannot abandon their men. So they would rather call themselves womanist rather than feminist to appease the middle class white women who could afford to do so based on their socials standing.

I think that sometimes black women go too far in supporting black men and forgetting their own wellbeing. Would I be called names by black men for saying this. The most recent report is that the majority of women who dies at the hands of their partner, Highest average percentage per race is black women. I wonder what they will do about that. I will assume nothing. One, it's not news Worthy and two it has race involved and the group is black women. Black men rarely look inward to think of the women.
Op, maybe you should ask the female if she is saying the same thing about black men and their lack of support of black women. Racially, it's always news when it concerns the black men and women are expected to stand by them and fight the injustice.

Phew! Got that out of me. grin

quencher Fri 16-Dec-16 21:38:58

Prawn you do have good points but I will have to pull you up on these two.
Gay rights activists don't seem to be expected to campaign for straight men. What for? Patriarchy is designed to benefit men, especially, straight, and even better if white. Everyone else trying gain equality is either to equal men or white men, even better white middle class and above. The only people that are different to the equal rights fighters are trans (men to women). So, do you want gay men to fight for straight men to keep the status quo of inequality as it is at the moment in all sections of our society?
We could easily argue that for better mental health in straight men they have to become feminist to take way the stigma of being macho and act the stereotypical straight male. By being the provider and protecter and leaving all childcare and house work to women. Feminism in the long run will benefit gay men too. It's whether they accept that feminism is important for the well being of people in our society.

Of course police officers shouldn't gun down anyone who doesn't pose a threat but the Black Lives Matter campaigners focuses solely on African American victims. Their focus is not just police shooting even though it started of as that. I doubt many white women are man handled the same way it happens to black women. This would not only be a racial issue but a feminist one too.
So if black feminist were outraged by the way a black woman or young girl was being treated, how would that be different. Is it ok, for only BLM to care in this instance and not other women of different races because it does not affect them? Am only saying this because I have seen it happen and brushed off as race issue. Not only that, the media not taking notice because the person was not a black man being treated badly by a white man.
All lives should matter equally, that is why it's BLM.

Leila78 Fri 16-Dec-16 22:15:34

quencher: I am sure there are lots of straight white men with mental health problems who are feminist and/or don't 'leave all childcare and house work to women'.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 16-Dec-16 22:59:36

"Black men rarely look inward to think of the women."

I don't understand this statement quencher.confused What do you mean?

FruitCider Sat 17-Dec-16 06:03:23

Third wave and intersectional are not the same thing, not by a long shot.

I'm intersectional. When I look at peoples reaction to refugees in Europe, I note that most have more sympathy for Syrians, and wonder if that is because they have pale skin.

#BLM started in America but has very quickly been picked up in the UK. Yes I will support my black friends with this campaign, and acknowledge that black men in particular are more likely to be given longer prison sentences and detained under the MHA.

This does not mean that gaining women equal rights is not my priority, of course it is.

SallyInSweden Sat 17-Dec-16 06:15:07

But how do you feel about Prawns point that #BLM (whose aims I fully support and whose analysis I agree with) is not 'required' to be a feminist organization. Think about the reaction of people who say "All lives Matter"? We know that that is fundamentally racist because it is a willful distraction from the issue, and yet, if feminism was #womens lives matter, intersectionality aka #All Lives Matter is perfectly acceptable.

FruitCider Sat 17-Dec-16 06:47:39

Feminists are free to choose which campaigns they support. There is no right or wrong answer as far as I'm concerned.

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