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The bullshit about intersectional feminism

(18 Posts)
ALittleBitOfButter Wed 14-Jun-17 22:27:08

As a teacher I was worried and horrified about this post on peak trans a few days ago (Reddit gender critical). Are we going to be seeing this more and more?

"Several years ago my family moved temporarily from Iraq to Spain. (We are back in Iraq now.) My sisters and I went to a private English-speaking school mostly with British and American students and some Spanish too. We were the "different" family and I wouldn't say we were bullied but we were definitely condescended. I should note that my father is a PhD in biology and my mother is an MD so we are not poor even by Spanish standards and we are an educated family. We moved so my father could teach and my mother has worked my entire life. I have no brothers and my parents want to give me and my sisters the best lives they can.

Most of the students spent a lot of time on social media, etc and considered themselves progressive. In our world studies class (sixteen years old or so) we had a unit on sexism around the world. Of course since I am from Iraq I have a lot of ideas and a lot to say about issues facing women in the Middle East like forced marriage, honor killings, the dowry, forced coverings, FGM, trafficking, and the refugee situation.

First I was criticized for using the term "women" when describing these and then "female" by the other students. Then I was taken aside by the instructor and told my using terms like female genital mutilation made a "non-binary" person in the class (a male student) uncomfortable. Excuse me? How do you think it feels for the GIRLS who are victims? So I said fine, I will talk using different biological terms like clitoris and labia. No, that's not okay because it could make the trans students feel triggered since they do or don't have those parts. So...... we won't talk about FGM then? Seriously?

When I said I felt silenced I was told that it must be my language/culture and I'm not understanding how we describe sexism. Umm no. I speak English almost as well as a native speaker and I know what male and female is (my parents are biologists!) and I know we use men to describe adult human males and women to describe adult human females. And how dare you tell me I have backwards understand of what womanhood is! How can you police an Iraqi woman's description of sexism in Iraq? Using the word "women" isn't okay but orientalism is??

I felt so frustrated and could not explain properly why this was so dangerous. Then I found Magdalen Berns's YouTube channel and she put it into words (I'm paraphrasing):

When you take away words or redefine language so that "woman" does not really mean woman, you erase the factors of biological oppression and you take away our ability to talk about it and therefore to organize and fight against it.

I have lived through and faced the sex discrimination of the 2003 Iraq War. Would soldiers at checkpoints separate me and my sisters from our parents and sexually abuse us because we are "femme?" According to some trans activists "little girls are also kinky and devious" so we were probably just asking for it right?

I thought in Spain I would find more support but actually I was told I speak about these problems the wrong way because I don't deny the material reality of them. Then I realized how common this is and that it has NOTHING to do with my background or any language barrier. Any woman who speaks about our issues is silenced. If me speaking in a closed classroom about experiencing systemic abuse as an Iraqi woman is "literal violence" then what do you call what actually happens to women globally every single day? "Cis privilege" apparently.

EDIT: The "nonbinary" male in the class is a wealthy white man whose family is actually rich because they manufacture drones to kill people like Iraqi women and children. He is spending his summer according to the social media I can see traveling in Southeast Asia whereas I am in Baghdad afraid to go to my predominately Christian and Shia hangout spots because another ISIS attack is likely any day. But yes. Me talking about FGM definitely oppressed him."

SweetGrapes Wed 14-Jun-17 23:14:23

Fucking hell angry

DJBaggySmalls Wed 14-Jun-17 23:38:59

One way people can be marginalised or erased is by changing the use of language. The word 'intersectional' has been hijacked, it doesnt mean any of this bullshit, and I wont use it that way.

I'm sad its spread so far. I'd hoped it was mainly a US phenomenon.

ALittleBitOfButter Thu 15-Jun-17 00:42:27

Exactly DJ I keep thinking that rafical feminist analysis has been maligned and misrepresented massively as "only caring about white women". This 'centreing' of trans and wailing about trans exclusionary language is fucking marginalising EXACTLY those women who need feminist solidarity the most.

ALittleBitOfButter Thu 15-Jun-17 00:46:00

And what the fuck does sexism actually mean, anyway, under intersectional feminism? I think that in essence a radical feminist framework of class oppression is far more in line with Crenshaw's intentions.

IllBeBackMaybe Thu 15-Jun-17 00:56:34

I hope I don't get flamed for saying this as it is a bit stalkery but I think it's relevant.

Recently by complete chance a wikileaks link to a list of known bnp members came up in my search results on Google. I can't remember what I was searching for now but it was nothing bnp related! Anyway, I saw a friend's address on there but it wasn't her name (she house shares). So I Googled the name out of shock/curiosity and found the woman's (I think she identifies as non-binary or some such) twitter page which was full of pro-gender queer/trans/non-binary rights type stuff and I saw #intersectional on a few of her tweets. Yet she's a member of the bnp. The far right party who believe only white people should live in the UK. That pretty much sums up intersectional feminism in its current manifestation for me.

ladyballs Thu 15-Jun-17 07:08:28

That's terrible but not surprising. confused

Datun Thu 15-Jun-17 07:45:49

I am hoping that this linguistic erasure of women is confined to a few pockets of brain washed student activism. I'm hoping that the general population simply won't let it wash in the long term.

The emperors new clothes relied upon people not standing up, despite their disbelief. You would assume that it only takes a few before the rest come forward.

ALittleBitOfButter Thu 15-Jun-17 11:58:16

Hopefully, Datun, although I was instrumental in pushing for LGBT friendly policies at my school. I'm wondering now (am on maternity leave) what this has resulted in (throwing gays and lesbians under the bus). Even though most people probably think it's arrant nonsense, they can be easily intimidated into silence if 'transphobe'! is hurled at anyone who questions the doctrine even in a mild, bewildered way. Look at what the social services people are saying anonymously on here.

Also by the way for anyone reading this, there's a bullying-toned slogan doing the rounds called 'My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit'. Whichis obviously what I was referring to in the thread title. It's not just my potty mouth deriding intersectionality!

PoochSmooch Thu 15-Jun-17 12:00:18

That really is terrifying, littlebit. I don't even know what else to say, because the position the young woman was put in is just insane.

DJBaggySmalls Thu 15-Jun-17 12:04:38

IllBeBackMaybe That doesnt surprise me, I've been saying this for years; the Right have infiltrated the Left. It is a deliberate policy to destroy the Left from within. They will also make up and spread myths to cause dissent.
2 and 3 elections ago, there were people parroting myths such as 'We cant show the Flag/celebrate Xmas/celebrate Easter as it offends people from other cultures.
I suggested that what happened is a few agent provocateurs proposed the idea to nice, well meaning people and they spread the myths as fact.

We know that MRA's have jumped on the Trans bandwagon. They are using the same tactics as the Right, because they are sadly effective - if you dont have a coherant belief system, arent that assertive or curious, and just 'want to be nice'.

Datun Thu 15-Jun-17 12:17:18

IRL I haven't yet had a discussion with anyone who buys the trans-activism rhetoric. Mostly I just get blank looks from people wondering why it bothers me, with a vague sense that I might be being homophobic/transphobic.

I put this entirely down to the fact that they don't really know what the transactivists are saying. If someone listens to me long enough, they generally get it. But they are usually a little feminist-esque to start with.

I'd like to think that the more insane aspects would be refuted everywhere, but, unfortunately, that is not the way things look.

However, I still maintain that a public debate, with someone who knows what they are talking about, would shoot holes in the whole ideology.

ALittleBitOfButter Thu 15-Jun-17 12:26:21

Yes, I agree. It's all very niche. Sometimes i want to educate women about it but i worry that they'll get infected with a belief that they must believe it anyway, because it's 'progressive'.

Datun Thu 15-Jun-17 13:37:17

they'll get infected with a belief that they must believe it anyway, because it's 'progressive'.

God, I hope not. Anyone with an ounce of sense can see it isn't.

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Thu 15-Jun-17 16:47:28

I think intersectionality may be the one thing that shoots down transactivism - at least where I am far away from the "liberal bubble".

Because if it comes down to Terry who is Theresa on Thursdays and wants to go to the women's only swim sessions, and the massive Muslim population where women have only started engaging with exercise since the introduction of these sessions, then the women are going to win.

Also, having links to a relatively working class gay scene I can tell you that they are not about to let transactivism hijack their community. The gay men here see it as a sign of homophobia and the lesbians see it for the offensive parody of womanhood that it is.

ALittleBitOfButter Thu 15-Jun-17 23:15:38

Anyone with an ounce of sense can see it isn't

The problem is that if you're having the conversation on a public forum, someone who is 'non-binary' may come in and stridently shout about how they are DYSPHORIC and HOW DARE YOU make them feel like they don't belong and they are now feeling UNSAFE. Women trip over themselves to hastily agree because of the universality of 'triggering' rules nowadays. Most women have only seen triggering used in a patently sensible context, like a late miscarriage or something. Trans ideology is very good at coopting other movements' strategies or tendencies in order to shut down any debate.

ONeFlew I'm not sure if Muslims will be able to see off Terry at the swim sessions. The OP above shows that, and that children are being indoctrinated to put white arms industry boy child FEELS ahead of sickening abuse of women.

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Fri 16-Jun-17 09:18:08

I do see your point - but I remain hopeful that this is due to the educational setting where many people are more detached from reality.

In a real world setting, particularly away from people who've heard of the phrase post modernism, I cannot imagine the same thing happening. When that younger generation grows up there's two possibilities:
1. They enter the world of work and stop being so self obsessed
2. They bring their self obsession into the world of work and it gets worse

I'm hoping for scenario 1 but only time will tell.

PassiveAgressiveQueen Fri 16-Jun-17 11:32:20

My simple rebellion is to let adults know trans no longer means post op. The spa story is a good way in.
They were told no willies so couldn't go and are sulking.

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