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Can we talk about liberal feminism?

(529 Posts)
JigglyTuff Sat 26-Aug-17 23:20:41

It's late and I've had wine and so this is probably a bit disjointed. BUT liberal feminism seems like a complete clusterfuck to me. It's all about 'reflecting on things' and apologising. God, so much apologising. I don't think white heterosexual lefty men spend their lives saying 'mea culpa' do they? But white het women seem to be on a mission to self-abase. It's really fucking odd and quite disturbing.

Is anyone else seeing this or do I need to start wearing a tinfoil hat or something?

RochelleGoyle Sat 26-Aug-17 23:29:14

I agree with you and this is especially evident where it comes to trans issues.

JigglyTuff Sat 26-Aug-17 23:33:08

Yes! And there are posts about women only spaces and everyone goes 'yes, yes, so important!' and then someone says 'but what about the transwomen' and then they all beat themselves with the stick of transmisogyny.

There's a weird masochistic element to it which I think is really unhealthy

SylviaPoe Sat 26-Aug-17 23:54:17

I assume it is some kind of cultural residue from religion.

DJBaggySmalls Sun 27-Aug-17 00:02:04

What have libfems done for us?
Fought to allow men into womens spaces.
Told lesbians they have to accept female penis.
Invited Janet Mock to speak at the women's march.
Oppose women who fight prostitution.

Radfems did this;
Just keep in mind, when he beats you, radical feminists made the first domestic violence shelters.
When he kills you in an argument, or lines you up against a wall and shoots you for going to school, radical feminists are the ones who drafted legislation against it, and attend the funerals afterwards.
If you make equal pay, radfems got you that in 1963.
Haven House, the first woman’s shelter, 1964.
No-Fault divorce, 1969.
Oxford University opens to women, 1972.
Need an abortion–we secured your right to one in Roe v Wade, 1973.
Definition of “sexual harassment” codified into law, 1973.
Take Back The Night March founded in 1975 after the murder of a woman walking home alone.
Domestic Violence Act becomes law in Britain, 1976.
First rape crisis shelter opened in London, England, in 1977.
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms securing women’s access to social services and anti-discrimination policies on basis of sex, 1982.
So, you go sit with those men over there, and hope to god they don’t fuck you, or fuck you up, or fucking bury you.
I’ll go stand with the radfems and actually get shit done.

Radical feminists revolutionised psychiatry.
''When radical feminist women such as Phyllis Chesler entered the field of psychiatry, they were horrified at what they found. And at what they didn’t find. After taking advanced degrees in the subject, Chesler realized that she had learned nothing about how to ease a person’s suffering. Over the course of the past thirty years women have painstakingly overhauled the entire profession.''

The Case for the Sanity of Women

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 27-Aug-17 00:29:45

None of the liberal feminists I know who work in Women's Aid or midwifery or Sure Start centres or MH are all about "reflecting on things or apologising".hmm

This Lib Feminist will leave you rad fems to your bitching thread about other women. Sure that's what feminism is about, right?

JigglyTuff Sun 27-Aug-17 00:31:11

Thanks Dione. Really constructive hmm

SylviaPoe Sun 27-Aug-17 00:37:44

I'm not a radical feminist. I can still recognise the trends being discussed on this thread.

SpaghettiAndMeatballs Sun 27-Aug-17 06:19:30

<whispers> did this thread get 'not all lib feminists'ed?

Do we have to say that we're talking about Liberal Feminism as a class and our personal experiences of it, not individual lib fems?

RochelleGoyle Sun 27-Aug-17 07:54:14

I don't consider myself a radical feminist either, particularly not in the traditional sense. But it seems that anyone with the balls to challenge male dominated transactivism (and I am referring to toxic transactivism, not trans people in general) is now considered 'radical'. It's like we've come full circle and many lib fems don't seem to be able to see the wood for the trees.

BertrandRussell Sun 27-Aug-17 07:58:45

Please will someone who identifies as a liberal feminist define it?

morningrunner Sun 27-Aug-17 08:30:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SurreyLanes Sun 27-Aug-17 08:40:54

Surely, OP, first on your list should be Wollstonecraft's contribution?

Moussemoose Sun 27-Aug-17 09:01:01


In relation to definitions there is really quiet a lot of information on the internet if you want to find out. Below is a brief quote and a link to help.

The kind of things that liberal feminists will fight for, then, tend to centre around law and policy change, such as: equal education, voting, reproductive rights, abortion rights, protection against sexual harassment and domestic violence, and equal opportunities in the work place

Liberal feminists fight for legal and political rights. The utter, utter bitches. They want to change laws and political structures. Totally unreasonable.

I agree with @DioneTheDiabolist I will leave you ladies alone to your open minded and genuinely curious discussion.

BertrandRussell Sun 27-Aug-17 09:04:46


In relation to definitions there is really quiet a lot of information on the internet if you want to find out"

I was wondering how liberal feminists percieved themselves. And in what ways they feel different to any other sort of feminist. I was hoping for a personal view.

BertrandRussell Sun 27-Aug-17 09:06:21

"Liberal feminists fight for legal and political rights. The utter, utter bitches. They want to change laws and political structures. Totally unreasonable."

So what do they think radical feminists want that is different to this?

JigglyTuff Sun 27-Aug-17 09:31:01

The women I'm talking about are not fighting for legal and political rights.

They are apologising for their cis privilege and for asking other people to do emotional labour. Men don't do this. Leftist men don't apologise for being white and heterosexual even though they have the most privilege in our society. Why do women do it?

DJBaggySmalls Sun 27-Aug-17 09:35:19

Young girl posting on Twitter earlier that as a sex worker she was offered condoms and lube by support workers, but not an exit from prostitution.

DJBaggySmalls Sun 27-Aug-17 09:37:34

From the link posted earlier;

''Changing the basic structures of society itself is not the issue: it is more about changing the laws that block women’s liberation. If this is done, women can change themselves and prove themselves to be equal.''

Can you not see the inherent contradiction there?

Women claiming to be Socialists, saying that society is not the problem, individual laws are and all we have to do is tackle them one by one.
Women can change themselves but not society.

BertrandRussell Sun 27-Aug-17 09:41:15

My problem with liberal feminism is what I believe to be their position on porn and prostitution. That's why I asked if anyone so identifying could outline their views.

Obviously nobody could have any problem at all with the definition in Mousse's post - but that could apply equally to radical feminism. Where is the difference.

JigglyTuff Sun 27-Aug-17 09:48:36

Sorry - didn't read that earlier DJBaggy - that's a good article. The women I'm talking about do recognise structural oppression I'd say but I think they put sex at the bottom of the pile rather than prioritising it as I do

YetAnotherSpartacus Sun 27-Aug-17 13:36:34

Both radical and liberal feminism have changed in significant ways from the days of the second wave. In those days there were more alternatives too.

BorisTrumpsHair Sun 27-Aug-17 13:51:24

Liberal feminists are fighting for equality.

Radical feminists are fighting for liberation.

I don't want to be equal in the world patriarchy built. I want to be liberated from the patriarchy and rebuild a new world not based on the oppression of women (or any other marginalised group).

stitchglitched Sun 27-Aug-17 13:55:15

Liberal feminism these days seems to actually just be 'man friendly' feminism. It is not for me at all.

BorisTrumpsHair Sun 27-Aug-17 14:03:37

YY this is a lot of "inclusion" in liberal feminism - they don't seem to see how caring for the needs of absolutely everyone is a fools game (insofar as activisim and changes goes), means they can't prioritizs womens issue and therefore make change.

Feminists are often accused of not taking up trans issues - TERFS trans-exclusionary radical feminists!! Yes, well it makes sense that feminists wouldn't prioritise men in their activism. That is the point. So TERF is hardly an insult - more a statement of fact.

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