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LibFems aren't Feminists--they're Femininists

(22 Posts)
Durgasarrow Wed 12-Aug-20 00:35:16

Just this, really. There are those of us who are feminists--people who believe that female people deserve equality and justice in society, and who have faced oppression on the basis of their bodies. Those people are called FEMINISTS. And there are those who think that both males who identify with femininity--the gender form of female-- are linked to most females through their GENDER IDENTITY, and are oppressed because of it (although at the same time females are cisprivileged).I believe these people should be called FEMININISTS, This is a new movement and should be distinguished from the one which has spent so many years working for the rights of female people, aka women.

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SetYourselfOnFire Wed 12-Aug-20 05:00:45

This was Serano's argument. That femininity is oppressed, not females. Apparently it resonated with some women because "Whipping Girl" gets read as a 'feminist' text now.

NotTerfNorCis Wed 12-Aug-20 06:39:15

Serano argued that feminists should centre femininity in their campaigning. It did seem a strange argument as femininity (to me) means self sacrifice, attractiveness to men, docility, nurturing... Not characteristics associated with increased social and political power, which is what feminism is trying to achieve for women. The odd thing was that Serano themselves admitted to not being very feminine, and you can see that in Serano's videos. The argument cuts out women who don't fulfil feminine stereotypes from feminism.

Siameasy Wed 12-Aug-20 07:49:35

Femininity is encouraged in women but oppressed in men. Women who don’t buy into femininity are “breaking the rules” and punished by both men and other women.

highame Wed 12-Aug-20 08:27:15

As soon as I see 'cis' in any text my hackles rise. Thanks but no thanks, any complication of language excludes large numbers of the population but maybe that's the point

NotTerfNorCis Wed 12-Aug-20 08:44:14

I don't know if it's just my perception, but 'cis' always carries a sneer. Yesterday I read a comment on Twitter about 'two cis girls refusing to compete against a trans athlete'. The phrase 'cis girls' to me instantly summoned up an impression of arrogant, cold-hearted and above all undeserved privilege. Which was the point of it. To be accurate, the passage should have read 'two girls refusing to compete against a male athlete'.

FloralBunting Wed 12-Aug-20 08:56:24

thecritic.co.uk/issues/january-2020/sissy-porn-and-trans-dirty-laundry/

This is an excellent piece, a review of Andrea Long Chu's book 'Females'. Chu is an interesting writer because they are quite open about a lot of the aspect of the desire to transition that we're not allowed to talk about on FWR. They acknowledge many of the things about the trans movement's view of women that are uncomfortable for the evangelical TRAs to say. 'Female' is wholly designated as 'feminine'.

And yes, a lot of it is rooted firmly in the kind of PopFem superficial 'feminism' that is nothing of the sort.

BaronEssoStation Wed 12-Aug-20 09:13:42

..** '*two girls refusing to compete against a male athlete'.*..

Excellent! I've always advocated this but I've not heard of it actually happening.

Do you have a link to this story please?

AntsInPenzance Wed 12-Aug-20 09:16:59

Durgasarrow

Just this, really. There are those of us who are feminists--people who believe that female people deserve equality and justice in society, and who have faced oppression on the basis of their bodies. Those people are called FEMINISTS. And there are those who think that both males who identify with femininity--the gender form of female-- are linked to most females through their GENDER IDENTITY, and are oppressed because of it (although at the same time females are cisprivileged).I believe these people should be called FEMININISTS, This is a new movement and should be distinguished from the one which has spent so many years working for the rights of female people, aka women.

The risk with going down the 'feminists who believe TWAW aren't real feminists' route, is that you'll find yourself arguing that noted radical feminists like Catherine McKinnon aren't actually feminists.

BaronEssoStation Wed 12-Aug-20 09:27:04

Not sure if you are a libfem?

Take this easy test:

Does your "feminism" please men?

NotTerfNorCis Wed 12-Aug-20 09:53:55

Hi Baron I was paraphrasing, but here is the tweet: twitter.com/KirstiMiller30/status/1292972160986648577

The actual quote was The two cis girls claiming trans athlete Eastwood has an unfair advantage

NotTerfNorCis Wed 12-Aug-20 09:57:05

I see Mumsnet Monitor Joss Prior has picked up on this thread already and is pretending that we're claiming femininity is evil: twitter.com/joss_prior/status/1293465197924044801

making femininity your evil, is pretty blatant misogyny at it's core.

Good to see Joss making the best use of Joss's life.

Doyoumind Wed 12-Aug-20 10:04:02

Yeah, we're all such misogynists here hmm

I don't care what JP thinks and if they have nothing better to do. It isn't relevant.

I just don't get the libfem view. It makes no sense to me.

DianasLasso Wed 12-Aug-20 10:04:54

Misogyny - hatred of women, aka adult human females

Femininity - set of socially constructed roles, costumes, behaviours and modifications of appearance deemed appropriate by a given culture for members of the female sex to aspire to/be constrained by.

Could it be that some people are struggling to distinguish being female from performing femininity?

Misogyny is about hating people for being female.

Critiquing the forces that coerce women into performing femininity often to their detriment is... Well feminism is the traditional name for that.

thinkingaboutLangCleg Wed 12-Aug-20 10:20:47

Feminism is pro-women. That’s all. Not anti-men, because it’s not about men. It’s about women.

Serano argued that feminists should centre femininity in their campaigning.
Well, of course Serano would want that! I expect the car industry would like environmentalists to campaign for motorways.

Femininity means acting out the worn-out old sex-stereotype that the gender identity movement relies on. As a feminist, I’m not interested in it.

‘Femininist’ as Durgasarrow proposes, sounds right to me, for those who call themselves feminist but centre on pleasing men.

FloralBunting Wed 12-Aug-20 10:41:45

Femininist is not going to catch on as a term, though. I mean, yes, I agree with the premise, but it reads like a typo and it sounds like a stutter.

I've seen Femenist used, which gets across the male-focus, but not the reifying of femininity as the goal of this purported 'feminism'. 'Liberal Feminism' is a term which speaks to me of a laissez faire attitude towards women's rights. We sometimes say 'choosey choice' but I think there's a sort of careless shrug implied in the whole ethos.

I tend to use PopFem these days, because Popular Feminism is never the kind that asks the hard questions, genuinely challenges the assumptions of femininity or the reach of the patriarchal mindset.

I'm aware that I'm sounding a bit technical and possibly a bit negative here. But I do think this is an important issue you've raised, OP, and I'd like it to gain some traction, and avoid obvious pitfalls like demonising feminine women and falling into the exact gendered traps we are trying to critique.

Durgasarrow Fri 14-Aug-20 01:22:02

I agree that there is nothing wrong with women who display so-called feminine traits. It pisses me off when people think the only women who are worth paying attention to are so-called tomboys. Of course all people are a mixture of traits that are commonly labeled masculine and feminine. I believe it is a mistake to label those traits as second class. I think some men feel so uncomfortable with traits they associate with being "feminine," such as vulnerability, gentleness and receptiveness, keep their inner male hidden and invulnerable, protected by their public new woman identity. PLEASE NOTE: I am not claiming that this is gender dysphoria or what motivates trans people. I just think there are certain MEN who have psychic breaks of this type. I believe Carl Jung would support this assessment.

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Durgasarrow Fri 14-Aug-20 03:37:45

I, for the record, do not think that femininity is not the source of women's oppression. I do think that a number of qualities ascribed to women are put down, for two reasons. 1. is that some of these qualities are problematic. These can be qualities that are flip sides of qualities men ascribe to themselves--saying we are weak, unambitious, trivial, jealous, o, etc. 2. Another side of femininity is about the pressures to perform femininity, as another poster noted--to dress properly, to cook and entertain, to smooth things over, to Be Kind.

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Delphinium20 Fri 14-Aug-20 04:01:38

I think when you start throwing the word femininity into the conversation you always need to define it, and different people, cultures, time periods will exalt a different flavor of it. Feminism is a constant and immutable idea because it centers the rights of girls and women.

Scout2016 Fri 14-Aug-20 11:09:20

@FloralBunting that review was interesting, thank you. I hadn't seen anything that (reportedly, according to the reviewer) is quite so blatant about the sexual motivation of desiring transition to female, or the perceived appeal of "becoming" female. I fully appreciate this is just an aspect of Chu's motivation, not every trans woman's. But Chu seems to be readily admitting to being attracted to a very superficial and hyper sexualised "feminity" more suited to a lazy music video than the supermarket or office. The sort of fetishised obsession with Solanas is rather troubling too.
I wonder how Chu will feel in 20 years time, and wherever overt sexuality, sex in general and concern with appearance will be such driving forces.
Sometimes I wonder how books like this get published. Is it a bit like the "misery memoirs" genre that sprung up some years back, or the never ending market for books on serial killers? A sort of voueristic readership who are intrigued by those who are "other" and dress it up as having some merit from a social or psychological view? Certainly I am guilty if reading some books in those categories but I don't think I can bring myself to read this.
I remember reading a review of Tracy Emin's autobiography saying it could have done with being edited by someone who loved her, and when I read the book I saw what they meant. Doesn't sound like a bad policy, especially in this age of over-sharing.

Durgasarrow Fri 14-Aug-20 13:49:46

I love how, on that Joss Prior thread on Twitter, they keep missing the point: Donna è mobile
"*@Donna*_Beeeee
Replying to
@joss_prior
Feminine just denotes the characteristics we associate with women.
Rad fems hate femininity.
Therefore, rad fems hate women."
Um, no... "just denotes the characteristics we associate with women."
Questions that never get answered:
1. WHY DO WE ASSOCIATE THOSE QUALITIES WITH WOMEN
and the money question:
2. WHAT IS A WOMAN?
If a woman is nothing but feminine social behaviors, then it's 100 percent women's fault if feminine social behaviors don't lead to success in a society that only value patriarchal values. Women can change their behaviors, their appearances, and other aspects of themselves and be successful in all fields, including athletics. Just ask those trans girls in Connecticut who won all the track meets and said the female contestants should have tried harder. This is one way that I would say FEMININISM disadvantages women and advantages males.

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Durgasarrow Fri 14-Aug-20 14:00:35

The fact that Joss Prior, who is ridiculing my idea, calls theyself "femme-flavoured" pretty much proves my point also.

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