Welcome to the 23rd Carnival of Radical Feminists. Thanks so much to everyone who participated. As someone relatively new to the movement, it’s been an honor to play host to such a talented group, and to do my part in presenting various aspects of the radical feminist mindset.
This carnival focuses on the basic issues of radical feminism, from separatism and solidarity to prostitution and pornography. Since this blog is focused on the experience of discovering radical feminism, I hope that one of these submissions will be the gateway for a new member of the fold.
My own intro to radical feminism was less than direct; a largely disconnected series of writings on liberal feminist blogs ignited a spark of self-evaluation of my views, on both gender and race. Further investigation led eventually to interest in the radfem ideology, and my learning began in earnest then.
Radical feminist theory is not easy to find if you are not looking for it, and I think many more women would be open to our views if given a chance. This Carnival obviously is not the end-all and be-all of radical feminism, but I hope women will be able to find some exposure to radical views both on this site and through the links within.
Again, I thank everyone for their contributions, and for their part in easing the way to radical feminism.
I had found, for the first time, a politics that genuinely wanted complete revolution and social change. As I read the painful stories of so many women and girls that were written in radical feminist books, I felt pained but I also felt heard, echoed. It was reassuring: I was not the only one these things were happening to.
Young blogger Maggie at Supporter of Women’s Liberation details her entry into Radical Feminism: Rad Fem.
Maggie also gives instructions for how to argue with porn supporters, including detailed arguments refuting every point they may make. The Porn Apologist Bullshit Arguments List and How to Respond with Confidence.
A woman does not usually approach me with the arrogant, SEXUAL PRESUMPTION that men do. She is not lasciviously undressing me with her eyes before she is granted some invitation or hint of sexual reciprocity. She’ s not trying to push and violate my social boundaries, aggressively seeking my willing subordination to substantiate her virility.
Undercover Punk, a 30-year-old lesbian separatist who just started her blog this February, writes about the importance of putting other women first in her post on Solidarity and being a woman-identified woman in her post Lesbian.
I have yet to see any rationalization of being “moderate” on abortion that does not involve, either subtly or overtly, disgust with the concept that women who are sexually mature actually have sex.
Must read! Amananta from Screaming into the Void writes about why feminists must never compromise on abortion rights, and the flaws in the left’s position that abortions should be “safe, legal and rare.” Radically Pro-Choice.
In all the anti-censorship arguments, I have yet to hear anyone explain the social value of sexually explicit materials. I’m not saying there isn’t any; I’m saying I’ve never heard anyone discuss what positive effects “erotica” has, except of course as an aid to masturbation. I’m not a liberal, so I’m not going to accept that something should exist because it does exist, or because people like it, or because of “free speech.” And it seems to me that as feminists, we ought to place a premium on understanding whether any phenomenon under discussion contributes to ending women’s oppression. I’m drawing a blank about how “erotica” gets women free.
Amy at Feminist-Reprise questions whether “erotica”is substantially different from pornography, and why some women find the hypothetical existence of feminist erotica so important. Good Porn vs. Bad Porn.
What’s important to keep in mind in discussions of separatism is the radical, revolutionary potential of lesbianism–that is, the potential for love and solidarity between women to undermine male supremacy–even if that potential is not acted upon by very many lesbians.
Amy also gives an introductory explanation of Lesbian Separatism, and how it strengthens the bonds between women. Some Perspectives on Lesbian Separatism.
… I Am Your Sister is not just a collection of Lorde’s seminal work, but a celebration, an honoring, and a thoughtful presentation of who Lorde was—a black lesbian feminist activist and writer.
Chelsea at Feminist Review discusses radical feminist Audre Lorde’s book, “I Am Your Sister.” I Am Your Sister: Collected and Unpublished Writings of Audre Lorde.
2. Reading Andrea Dworkin makes you enraged. But not at Andrea Dworkin.
Radical feminists are not “anti-sex”. They oppose a capitalistic, patriarchally-defined sexuality based on objectification and a dynamic of domination and submission. … Men and the patriarchal institutions of prostitution, marriage, compulsory heterosexuality should not have the power to define what we call “sex” in our society. For radical feminists “sex” is not “natural” or self-evident but inherently political.
Allecto at Gorgon Poisons started a bit of a spat with sex-positive feminists with her post, Sheila IS My Sister about her support of anti-prostitution writer and activist Sheila Jeffreys. Redmegaera writes her response: The Sheila Jeffreys Debate: My Two Cents.