Activist Feminism Quotes

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Those who are most sensitive about "politically incorrect" terminology are not the average black ghetto-dweller, Asian immigrant, abused woman or disabled person, but a minority of activists, many of whom do not even belong to any "oppressed" group but come from privileged strata of society.
Theodore J. Kaczynski (Industrial Society and Its Future)
I myself cried when I got angry, then became unable to explain why I was angry in the first place. Later I would discover this was endemic among female human beings. Anger is supposed to be "unfeminine" so we suppress it -until it overflows. I could see that not speaking up made my mother feel worse. This was my first hint of the truism that depression is anger turned inward; thus women are twice as likely to be depressed. My mother paid a high price for caring so much, yet being able to do so little about it. In this way, she led me toward am activist place where she herself could never go.
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
Sometimes, people call my way of speaking ranting. Why are you always ranting and screaming, they ask. But here’s the thing…the reason why I rant is because I am a voice for many women that cannot speak out to heads of state, UN officials, and those that influence systems of oppression. And so I rant. And I will not stop ranting until my mission of equality of all girls is achieved.
Leymah Gbowee
Antiabortion activists often make exceptions for rape and incest, which suggests that it is her desire for sex for which a woman must pay with her pain.
Naomi Klein
I became a feminist activist propelled in part by outrage and despair, and a stubborn determination to shape a life, and create a literature, that was not a lie.
Dorothy Allison (Skin: Talking About Sex, Class And Literature)
Part of activism is finding yourself in a new space of confusion, allowing yourself to step into new conceptual terrain. When you abandon commonly held oppressive beliefs, you might not exactly know what to do afterward, and that's where more activists need to be.
Aph Ko (Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters)
I am treacherous with old magic and the noon’s new fury with all your wide futures promised I am woman and not white.
Audre Lorde
We often fear that the Revolution needed is too big for what we can give. Too much change is required inside, outside. And we are too small. But all that is required is that you step into the truth of your life. And speak it, write it, paint it, dance it. That you shine your light on your truth, for the world to see. And as hundreds, then thousands, then millions do this – each sparking the courage of yet more – Suddenly we have a world alight with truth.
Lucy H. Pearce (Burning Woman)
But wouldn't [the Spice Girls] have shown a little bit more solidarity if they had at least called themselves feminists? The feminist activist Jennifer Pozner was more dismissive,writing that it was "probably a fair assumption to say that 'zigazig-ha' is not Spice shorthand for 'subvert the dominant paradigm.
Marisa Meltzer (Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music)
But radical feminist or not, Alesha Parkhurst loved British freedoms as much as Karen Andersen.
Louise Burfitt-Dons (The Missing Activist)
The scope of the transgender empire may be reaching its peak, as transcriticism is increasing at a fast pace both within activist feminism and from wives and regretters. There is an increasing groundswell of criticism of the concept and practice of transgenderism from a newly invigorated radical feminist movement. Moreover, the idea of transgenderism has become so vague and general that the category is in danger of being exploded.
Sheila Jeffreys
Women, even the most oppressed among us, do exercise power. These powers can be used to advance feminist struggle. Forms of power held by exploited and oppressed groups are described in Elizabeth Janeway's important work Powers of the Weak. One of the most significant forms of power held by the weak is "the refusal to accept the definition of oneself that is put forward by the powerful". Janeway call this the "ordered use of the power to disbelieve". She explains: It is true that one may not have a coherent self-definition to set against the status assigned by the established social mythology, and that is not necessary for dissent. By disbelieving, one will be led toward doubting prescribed codes of behaviour, and as one begins to act in ways that can deviate from the norm in any degree, it becomes clear that in fact there is not just one right way to handle or understand events. Women need to know that they can reject the powerful's definition of their reality --- that they can do so even if they are poor, exploited, or trapped in oppressive circumstances. They need to know that the exercise of this basic personal power is an act of resistance and strength. Many poor and exploited women, especially non-white women, would have been unable to develop positive self-concepts if they had not exercised their power to reject the powerful's definition of their reality. Much feminist thought reflects women's acceptance of the definition of femaleness put forth by the powerful. Even though women organizing and participating in feminist movement were in no way passive, unassertive, or unable to make decisions, they perpetuated the idea that these characteristics were typical female traits, a perspective that mirrored male supremacist interpretation of women's reality. They did not distinguish between the passive role many women assume in relation to male peers and/or male authority figures, and the assertive, even domineering, roles they assume in relation to one another, to children, or to those individuals, female or male, who have lower social status, who they see as inferiors, This is only one example of the way in which feminist activists did not break with the simplistic view of women's reality s it was defined by powerful me. If they had exercised the power to disbelieve, they would have insisted upon pointing out the complex nature of women's experience, deconstructing the notion that women are necessarily passive or unassertive.
bell hooks (Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center)
Challenging boundaries is not simply social rebellion. It is the catalyst of social evolution. When systems go unchallenged, they grow complacent and corrupt. Raising generation after generation of rule followers and conformists may be more convenient for society, but it inevitably leads to tyranny and, ultimately, revolution. Raising independent thinkers, conscious objectors, and peaceful activists creates a social balance that can endure. Peaceful parenting, then, by its very nature, is socially responsible because it creates the catalysts of social evolution that protect our society from the complacency and corruption that lead to tyranny and revolution.
L.R. Knost
We work side by side, and some of us imagine that because we are equal under the law, we are also the same. We are and should be equal under the law. But we are not the same - despite what some activists and politicians, journalists and academics would have us believe.
Heather E. Heying (A Hunter-Gatherer's Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life)
Hatred has engulfed the politics of the Left. Socialists hate the financially successful. LGBT activists hate fundamentalist Christians. Black Lives Matter hate police officers. Fat people hate skinny people, like me and Ann Coulter. But none of these groups hate with the PMS-fueled pettiness of feminism.
Milo Yiannopoulos (Dangerous)
The 1970s-80s social movement called U.S. third world feminism functioned as a central locus of possibility, an insurgent social movement that shattered the construction of any one ideology as the single most correct site where truth can be represented. Indeed, without making this kind of metamove, any 'liberation' or social movement eventually becomes destined to repeat the oppressive authoritarianism from which it is attempting to free itself, and become trapped inside a drive for truth that ends only in producing its own brand of dominations. What U.S. third world feminism thus demanded was a new subjectivity, a political revision that denied any one ideology as the final answer, while instead positing a tactical subjectivity with the capactiy to de- and recenter, given the forms of power to be moved. These dynamics are what were required in the shift from enacting a hegemonic oppositional theory and practice to engaging in the differential form of social movement, as performed by U.S. feminists of color during the post-World War II period of great social transformation. p. 58-59.
Chela Sandoval (Methodology of the Oppressed)
It was an accepted fact among black people that the leaders who were most revered and respected were men. Black activists defined freedom as gaining the right to participate as full citizens in American culture; they were not rejecting the value system of that culture. Consequently, they did not question the rightness of patriarchy.
bell hooks (Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism)
Any philosophical critiques that do sometimes (rarely) emerge – especially by non-trans academics – are regularly treated as equivalent to actual attacks on trans people rather than as critiques of views about trans people, or of trans activist commitments
Kathleen Stock (Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism)
Men's rights activists tend to make a series of valid observations from which they proceed to a single, 180-degree-wrong conclusion. They are correct to point out that, worldwide, suicide is the most common form of death for men under fifty. It's also true that men are more likely than women to have serious problems with alcohol, that men die younger, that the prison population is 95 per cent male and that the lack of support for our returning frontline soldiers is a national disgrace. So far, so regrettably true. They are incorrect, however, to lay any of this at the door of 'feminism', a term which they use almost interchangeably with 'women'. [...] No, sir. No, lads. No, Daddy. That won't help us and it won't help anyone else. Men in trouble are often in trouble precisely because they are trying to Get a Grip and Act Like a Man. We are at risk of suicide because the alternative is to ask for help, something we have been repeatedly told is unmanly. We are in prison because the traditional breadwinning expectation of manhood can't be met, or the pressure to conform is too great, or the option of violence has been frowned upon but implicitly sanctioned since we were children. [...] We die younger than women because, for one thing, we don't go to the doctor. We don't take ourselves too seriously. We don't want to be thought self-indulgent. The mark of a real man is being able to tolerate a chest infection for three months before laying off the smokes or asking for medicine.
Robert Webb (How Not To Be a Boy)
The Bloomsbury Group has been characterised as a liberal, pacifist, and at times libertine, intellectual enclave of Cambridge-based privilege. The Cambridge men of the group (Bell, Forster, Fry, Keynes, Strachey, Sydney-Turner) were members of the elite and secret society of Cambridge Apostles. Woolf’s aesthetic understanding, and broader philosophy, were in part shaped by, and at first primarily interpreted in terms of, (male) Bloomsbury’s dominant aesthetic and philosophical preoccupations, rooted in the work of G. E. Moore (a central influence on the Apostles), and culminating in Fry’s and Clive Bell’s differing brands of pioneering aesthetic formalism. ‘The main things which Moore instilled deep into our minds and characters,’ Leonard Woolf recalls, ‘were his peculiar passion for truth, for clarity and common sense, and a passionate belief in certain values.’ Increasing awareness of Woolf’s feminism, however, and of the influence on her work of other women artists, writers and thinkers has meant that these Moorean and male points of reference, though of importance, are no longer considered adequate in approaching Woolf’s work, and her intellectual development under the tutelage of women, together with her involvement with feminist thinkers and activists, is also now acknowledged.
Jane Goldman (The Cambridge Introduction to Virginia Woolf)
Anti-prostitution feminism is a place where men can participate in flinging slurs like "holes," "whores," "orifices," and "cum dumpsters" at sex workers– and call it feminist analysis. It's a place where men who consider themselves feminist-aligned can patronize and dismiss prostitute women, as men have done for centuries. It's a place where a police officer can rifle through the bathroom bin at a sex worker's flat, retrieve blood-soaked tampons, publish photographs of them in his memoir (with a touching dedication to sex workers he has met in his work: 'this is my attempt to describe your reality'), and still be treated like a feminist activist. As sex worker Charlotte Shane observes, anti-prostitution feminism makes it progressive for men to dwell incessantly on violent, coercive sex and abject bodies while at the same time enjoying praise and even Pulitzer Prizes.
Juno Mac & Molly Smith
If you can't tell from my rap lyrics already, yes I am a feminist. And when I'm saying "hoe" or "bitch" I am actually referring to men. ...That sounded bad, in someway. But at the end of the day, I'm sick of rappers using "bitches" and "hoes" as terms towards women. Feminists are NOT a hate group. Feminists are not all female. Nor has it got an anti-male agenda. It's about equality! I've had a weird, special bond with women since I was a kid. And it's just a shame really that I'm gay.
scott mcgoldrick
Making women into small business owners, factory workers, and heads of households, not participants & leaders of collective social movements or activists demanding more accountability of the World Trade Organization, the IMF or the World Bank, these institutions maintain control over the economic growth and development of these countries and provide access to cheap labor, mineral resources, and military bases for the global north while the women themselves remain at or below poverty level.
Ann Russo (Feminist Accountability: Disrupting Violence and Transforming Power)
Roxy was bi, and in my opinion she was—and still is—a total badass. Of all my childhood friends, this girl’s my bestie. Even when we were young, I knew deep down that Roxy was going to conquer the world. Her brilliance, coupled with her unwavering commitment to feminism and human rights, made her truly exceptional. And she cared, really cared, about animals and the pressing issues in our world. She wasn’t just one of these people that wore shirts and posted awareness videos online. She dedicated her weekends to protests and taking action. And I loved that she was hooking up with Amren, or whoever this girl was, if she made Roxy happy. I loved her. I loved all of her. Hopefully Amren would see how awesome Roxy was and make her feel special.
Kayla Cunningham
When feminist theorizing of prostitution frames the practice as ordinary work which enables women to express ‘choice’ and ‘agency’, and represents trafficked women in debt bondage as simply ‘migrating for labour’, it serves to normalize the industry and support its growth. It air brushes the harms that girls and women suffer in prostitution and makes it very difficult for feminist activists to oppose the construction of prostitution industries as an ordinary part of economic development, and demand dignified work for women. Such theorizing also supports the campaign by the prostitution industry, sex work organizations and some governments to legalize or decriminalize prostitution. For the industry to prosper, toleration is good, but legalization is better. Thus the approaches that feminist theorists choose to take have important implications. The growth of the industry multiplies the harms that are an integral part of prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation whether ‘legal’ or not. The sex industry cannot be quarantined, set apart from the rest of the society for men to abuse the women caught within the industry in seclusion.
Sheila Jeffreys (The Industrial Vagina: The Political Economy of the Global Sex Trade)
North American LGBT activists, wedded to epistemologies of the closet, often implicitly or explicitly equate this culture of semivisibility with the Global South’s lack of progress. In Sirena Selena, the Puerto Rican novelist Mayra Santos-Febres parodies the North’s conflation of “developing” nations’ electrical power outages and their lack of sexual enlightenment through the words of a Canadian tourist in Santo Domingo. He sighs, “I don’t want to criticize, you know — with all the problems these islands have, it’s understandable that they’re less evolved. . . . You can’t compare our problems with the atrocities a gay man has to face in these countries. . . . It’s all hanky-panky in the dark, like in the fifties in Canada.”5 But the “dark” or semivisibility of Caribbean same-sex sexuality can be something other than a blackout. It can also read as the “tender and beautiful” night that Ida Faubert imagines in “Tropical Night,” a space of alternative vision that nurtures both eroticism and resistance. The tactically obscured has been crucial to Caribbean and North American slave societies, in which dances, ceremonies, sexual encounters, abortions, and slave revolts all took place under the cover of night. Calling on this different understanding of the half seen, Édouard Glissant exhorts scholars engaging Caribbean cultures to leave behind desires for transparency and instead approach with respect for opacity: a mode of seeing in which the difference of the other is neither completely visible nor completely hidden, neither overexposed nor erased.6 The difference that Glissant asks us to (half ) look at is certainly not that of sexuality (since it is never mentioned) nor of gender (since he includes in his work a diatribe against feminism).
Omise'eke Natasha Tinsley (Thiefing Sugar: Eroticism between Women in Caribbean Literature (Perverse Modernities))
this reaction. This was on college campuses, exactly the kind of environment where I had expected curiosity, lively debate, and, yes, the thrill and energy of like-minded activists. Instead almost every campus audience I encountered bristled with anger and protest. I was accustomed to radical Muslim students from my experience as an activist and a politician in Holland. Any time I made a public speech, they would swarm to it in order to shout at me and rant in broken Dutch, in sentences so fractured you wondered how they qualified as students at all. On college campuses in the United States and Canada, by contrast, young and highly articulate people from the Muslim student associations would simply take over the debate. They would send e-mails of protest to the organizers beforehand, such as one (sent by a divinity student at Harvard) that protested that I did not “address anything of substance that actually affects Muslim women’s lives” and that I merely wanted to “trash” Islam. They would stick up posters and hand out pamphlets at the auditorium. Before I’d even stopped speaking they’d be lining up for the microphone, elbowing away all non-Muslims. They spoke in perfect English; they were mostly very well-mannered; and they appeared far better assimilated than their European immigrant counterparts. There were far fewer bearded young men in robes short enough to show their ankles, aping the tradition that says the Prophet’s companions dressed this way out of humility, and fewer girls in hideous black veils. In the United States a radical Muslim student might have a little goatee; a girl may wear a light, attractive headscarf. Their whole demeanor was far less threatening, but they were omnipresent. Some of them would begin by saying how sorry they were for all my terrible suffering, but they would then add that these so-called traumas of mine were aberrant, a “cultural thing,” nothing to do with Islam. In blaming Islam for the oppression of women, they said, I was vilifying them personally, as Muslims. I had failed to understand that Islam is a religion of peace, that the Prophet treated women very well. Several times I was informed that attacking Islam only serves the purpose of something called “colonial feminism,” which in itself was allegedly a pretext for the war on terror and the evil designs of the U.S. government. I was invited to one college to speak as part of a series of
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations)
The iron lady took you on a wild ride Filled with courage, ambition, and passion Her inner compass served as her guide So being classy became a timeless fashion “The Iron Lady” is dedicated to the 50,000 Bosniak women that were raped during the Bosnian Genocide. A special thank you to Bosnian activists Nusreta Sivac and Bakira Hasečić for inspiring me to be a fierce feminist.
Aida Mandic (On The Edge of Town)
I vividly recall one of my best friends in university (who was raped) telling me that she was incredibly disgusted by the thought of having a romantic relationship ever again. Rape survivors have complex PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). In fact, it has been medically proven that their trauma surpasses that of soldiers in intense war zones. My friend did not just have fear of men. She had fear of women. She became afraid of everyone. I was the only person she confided in because her mother did not have a close relationship with her. The level of isolation she felt was staggering. It’s heartbreaking beyond comprehension.
Aida Mandic (The News Presents Many Views)
Those feminist activists who refuse to accept men as comrades in struggle — who harbor irrational fears that if men benefit in any way from feminist politics women lose — have misguidedly helped the public view feminism with suspicion and disdain.
bell hooks (Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics)
In challenging traditional gender relations, many Chicana activists were accused of being lesbians, 'white identified,' narcissistic, and antifamily.
Cristina Beltrán (The Trouble with Unity: Latino Politics and the Creation of Identity)
In 1920, Mary McLeod Bethune, an American educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, womanist, and civil-rights activist traveled through her home state of Florida to encourage women to vote, facing tremendous obstacles at every step along the route. The night before Election Day in November 1920, white-robed Klansmen marched into Bethune’s girls’ school to intimidate the women who had gathered there to get ready to vote, aiming to prevent them from voting even though they had managed to get their names on the voter rolls. Newspapers in Wilmington, Delaware, reported that the numbers of Black women who wanted to register to vote were “unusually large,” but they were turned away for their alleged failure to “comply with Constitutional tests” without any specification of what these tests were. The Birmingham Black newspaper Voice of the People noted that only half a dozen Black women had been registered to vote because the state had applied the same restrictive rules for voting to colored women that they applied to colored men.
Rafia Zakaria (Against White Feminism: Notes on Disruption)
Nigerian human rights activist Obianuju Ekeocha casts a spotlight on the new colonialism and subjects it to searching critical scrutiny. She shows, for example, how in the name of “human rights” the basic right to life of the unborn child is being daily undermined by Western governments and by (often partially government-funded) “nongovernmental organizations”, such as International Planned Parenthood, who push abortion. Similarly, the pro-fertility and pro-marriage and family beliefs of vast numbers of Africans and others are undermined in the name of “human rights”, as that term is (mis)used by advocates of population control, sexual permissiveness, certain forms of self-styled feminism, and the redefinition of marriage to eliminate the norm of sexual complementarity.
Obianuju Ekeocha (Target Africa: Ideological Neocolonialism in the Twenty-First Century)
By the early 2000s, feminism had been almost completely subsumed by gender studies, which had adopted both the postmodern knowledge principle—that objective knowledge cannot be obtained—and the postmodern political principle—that society is structured into systems of power and privilege.
Helen Pluckrose (Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody)
Because liberal feminism works in accordance with modernist ideals of secular, liberal democracy, individual agency within a framework of universal human rights, and an Enlightenment focus on reason and science, it has been the explicit, central target of postmodernists.
Helen Pluckrose (Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody)
Liberal feminists generally believe society already provides almost all the opportunities required for women to succeed in life. They simply want the same access to those opportunities as men and advocate measures that allow and protect that access—educational opportunities, affordable childcare, flexible working hours, and so on. Liberal feminism does not automatically assume that differences in outcomes imply discrimination, however, and thus it eschews the equity-based approaches of intersectional feminism. The liberal focus on removing the social significance of identity categories—that is, the legal and social requirements to comply with gender, class, or race expectations—seeks to refine the legacies of the Enlightenment project and the civil rights movements, rather than overthrow them for socialist or postmodern ends. Consequently, many liberal feminists believed their work would be largely done once women gained legal equality with men and had control over their own reproductive choices and when societal expectations had changed so much that it was no longer surprising to see women in all fields of work.
Helen Pluckrose (Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody)
As many historians of feminism and women's studies have noted, feminism has long been interested in bridging theory with practice. Activists and scholars alike continue to explore the ways in which theory can inform political practice; conversely, feminists often theorize from practice, developing concepts and frameworks based on the strategies, conversations, conflicts, and achievements of feminist activists.
Alison Kafer (Feminist, Queer, Crip)
As developed by trans activists, standpoint epistemology says there are special forms of standpoint-related knowledge about trans experience available only to trans people, not cis people. For instance, only trans people can properly understand the pernicious effects of ‘cis privilege’, and how it intersects with other forms of oppression to produce certain kinds of lived experience. As with some versions of feminism and critical race theory, when transmuted through popular culture this has quickly become the idea that only trans people can legitimately say anything about their own nature and interests including on philosophical matters of gender identity. Cis people, including feminists and lesbians, have nothing useful to contribute here. Their assumption that they do have something useful to contribute is a further manifestation of their unmerited privilege.
Kathleen Stock (Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism)
Trans people are trans people. We should get over it. They deserve to be safe, to be visible throughout society without shame or stigma, and to have exactly the life opportunities non-trans people do. Their transness makes no difference to any of this. What trans people don’t deserve, however, is to be publicly misrepresented in philosophical terms that make no sense; nor to have their everyday struggles instrumentalised in the name of political initiatives most didn’t ask for, and which alienate other groups by rigidly encroaching on their hard-won rights. Nor do trans people deserve to be terrified by activist propaganda into thinking themselves more vulnerable to violence than they actually are.
Kathleen Stock (Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism)
The activist bell hooks famously noted that the absence of structural critique was very revealing: Sandberg’s definition of feminism begins and ends with the notion that it’s all about gender equality within the existing social system. From this perspective, the structures of imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy need not be challenged.… No matter their standpoint, anyone who advocates feminist politics needs to understand the work does not end with the fight for equality of opportunity within the existing patriarchal structure. We must understand that challenging and dismantling patriarchy is at the core of contemporary feminist struggle—this is essential and necessary if women and men are to be truly liberated from outmoded sexist thinking and actions.20
Koa Beck (White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind)
Interestingly, the "Zioness Movement" sprouted on the US activist scene with the explicit intention to counter feminists who were successfully denouncing Zionism. It chose the slogan, "Unabashedly progressive, unapologetically Zionist" in direct response to the growing, if belated, understanding among many Western feminists that Zionism is racism and has no place in progressive movements.
Sumaya Awad (Palestine: A Socialist Introduction)
Les feministes negres sempre han subratllat que la lluita no pot dirigir-se únicament contra el patriarcat, com diuen les feministes blanques. Tampoc poc centrar-se únicament en la lluita de classes, com diuen les socialistes. No pot abordar tan sols el racisme i l'imperialisme, com diuen les negres radicals. I tampoc pot combatre només l'ecocidi, com diuen les activistes ecologistes.
Minna Salami (Sensuous Knowledge: A Black Feminist Approach for Everyone)
The term ‘gender’ itself is problematic. It was first used in a sense that was not simply about grammar by sexologists – the scientists of sex such as John Money in the 1950s and 1960s – who were involved in normalising intersex infants.They used the term to mean the behavioural characteristics they considered most appropriate for persons of one or other biological sex. They applied the concept of gender when deciding upon the sex category into which those infants who did not have clear physical indications of one biological sex or another should be placed (Hausman, 1995).Their purpose was not progressive.These were conservative men who believed that there should be clear differences between the sexes and sought to create distinct sex categories through their projects of social engineering. Unfortunately, the term was adopted by some feminist theorists in the 1970s, and by the late 1970s was commonly used in academic feminism to indicate the difference between biological sex and those characteristics that derived from politics and not biology, which they called ‘gender’ (Haig, 2004). Before the term ‘gender’ was adopted, the term more usually used to describe these socially constructed characteristics was ‘sex roles’. The word ‘role’ connotes a social construction and was not susceptible to the degeneration that has a afflicted the term ‘gender’ and enabled it to be wielded so effectively by transgender activists. As the term ‘gender’ was adopted more extensively by feminists, its meaning was transformed to mean not just the socially constructed behaviour associated with biological sex, but the system of male power and women’s subordination itself, which became known as the ‘gender hierarchy’ or ‘gender order’ (Connell, 2005; Mackinnon, 1989). Gradually, older terms to describe this system, such as male domination, sex class and sex caste went out of fashion, with the effect that direct identification of the agents responsible for the subordination of women – men – could no longer be named. Gender, as a euphemism, disappeared men as agents in male violence against women, which is now commonly referred to as ‘gender violence’. Increasingly, the term ‘gender’ is used, in official forms and legislation, for instance, to stand in for the term ‘sex’ as if ‘gender’ itself is biological, and this usage has overwhelmed the feminist understanding of gender.
Sheila Jeffreys (Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism)
Many social justice activists--many feminists--continue to work against one form of oppression while feeding the flames of another, without noticing that the blow torch behind the flames must be tuned off before we can have any hope of putting out the resultant fires.
Lisa Kemmerer (Sister Species: Women, Animals and Social Justice)
The activist path is not easy, but it is the only reasonable path for those who desire change.
Lisa Kemmerer (Sister Species: Women, Animals and Social Justice)
Given Emily [Dickinson]'s unwillingness to function more actively in a social context, she doesn't seem to fit the stereotype of a feminist in action. You might wonder why she is included among the five empowered women in this book. It is important to remember that not all feminists are activists, and I am including Emily as an opportunity to expand what it means to be a feminist. In her daily life, she was shy to the point of being a recluse, while in her writing, she revealed herself with a level of honestly that took enormous bravery. Her life is an example of the richness that can be found when one follows one's deep inner voice rather than conforming to societal pressures. This is a quality that Emily shares with other feminists who stayed on their own path despite the pressures of the status quo. Her life and her words make a unique contribution to the chorus of women's voices. They remind us that there is room for all of us in our uniqueness. There is no one kind of feminist. There are times in life when we may withdraw or set firm boundaries to protect our inner life and experience. The purpose of this is often to gain the strength and knowledge we need to communicate on a deeper and more honest level.
Helen LaKelly Hunt (Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance)
Worker’s movements centre around waged workers and men’s rights activists insist more men die on the job because the occupational hazards of childbirth and marriage aren’t considered jobs.
Heather Marsh (Binding Chaos: Mass Collaboration on a Global Scale)
Now I think people today should envy any of us who lived through the early seventies. It was such a time of hope and possibility, and ferment, and progress, and change, and media attention, and brilliant activist women everywhere you turned.
Letty Cottin Pogrebin
many liberal feminists believed their work would be largely done once women gained legal equality with men and had control over their own reproductive choices and when societal expectations had changed so much that it was no longer surprising to see women in all fields of work. This liberal approach to feminism is angrily refuted and problematized by applied postmodernists, who desperately want to return social significance to certain identity categories, so they can apply identity politics and provide a meaning-making structure for (especially racial) minorities.
Helen Pluckrose (Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody)
These changes have been steadily eroding the barrier between scholarship and activism. It used to be considered a failure of teaching or scholarship to work from a particular ideological standpoint. The teacher or scholar was expected to set aside her own biases and beliefs in order to approach her subject as objectively as possible. Academics were incentivized to do so by knowing that other scholars could—and would—point out evidence of bias or motivated reasoning and counter it with evidence and argument. Teachers could consider their attempts at objectivity successful if their students did not know what their political or ideological positions were. This is not how Social Justice scholarship works or is applied to education. Teaching is now supposed to be a political act, and only one type of politics is acceptable—identity politics, as defined by Social Justice and Theory. In subjects ranging from gender studies to English literature, it is now perfectly acceptable to state a theoretical or ideological position and then use that lens to examine the material, without making any attempt to falsify one’s interpretation by including disconfirming evidence or alternative explanations. Now, scholars can openly declare themselves to be activists and teach activism in courses that require students to accept the ideological basis of Social Justice as true and produce work that supports it.38 One particularly infamous 2016 paper in Géneros: Multidisciplinary Journal of Gender Studies even favorably likened women’s studies to HIV and Ebola, advocating that it spread its version of feminism like an immune-suppressing virus, using students-turned-activists as carriers.39
Helen Pluckrose (Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody)
Feminist 'sisterhood' toward the purpose of increasing white range and amplified social, cultural, economic mobility, is an exercise in service of supremacy - for white women only. This is the ugly side of the movement: one where we acknowledge that while feminism is a challenge to power, not everyone has always been on the same page about who that power is for and how it should be used as a means of progress. Progress for whom? Thus, American abolitionist, women's right activist, and freed slave Sojourner Truth's question 'Ain't I a woman?' asked in 1851 continues to be painfully resonant even today, surfacing the ever-urgent reality of who is brought into the definition of womanhood and, via extension, who is truly recognized as being fully human.
Legacy Russell (Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto)
In the early stages of feminist movement we used the phrase “woman-identified woman” or “man-identified woman” to distinguish between those activists who did not choose lesbianism but who did choose to be woman-identified, meaning their ontological existence did not depend on male affirmation.
bell hooks (Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics)
Most of us are suffering from fake selective outrage . We choose to be angry at the people and not being angry at the problem. We choose to be angry at a person, because we hate the person. We don’t care about the problem they caused or crime they committed. If we love the person, then we choose to ignore the problem or crime they committed. Well, all the bad things you choose to ignore don’t go away. They will come back to you.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
The typical active feminist is neither a fiery demonstrator nor a brilliant public speaker: like most successful social activists, she makes innumerable telephone calls, writes innumerable memos, waits for hours in the antechambers of those in power, attends committee meetings night after night, and is always behind with her correspondence.
Maren Lockwood Carden (Feminism in the Mid-1970s: The Non-establishment, the Establishment & the Future)
Male" contraception is something novel for many people. There are still very few people using these methods, so they receive a lot of attention and a certain amount of approval among activist and feminist circles. The fact that you're seen as this cool guy, just because you're pushing up your family says a lot about the state of things, in terms of the contraceptive burden. All we're doing is trying to make things more equal. There's nothing heroic about's just natural.
Bobika (Le coeur des Zobs)
US trans activist Sam Dylan Finch lists 300+ "Unearned advantages" that cis people benefit from. These include being spared questions on how one has intercourse, being able to move freely around without being stared at, receiving competent healthcare, not being discriminated in the workplace, not being bombarded with articles about how many people of their gender are murdered, being allowed to wear clothes and uniforms which align with ones' gender, not being sexually objectified and potential partners knowing what their genitals look like and what to call them. Sound familiar? Finch has just described what most women go through on a daily basis. Receiving poorer healthcare due to ones' sex, being groped, subjected to sexual violence and inappropriate, probing questions, reading articles about how women are killed by their partners because they are women - this is unfortunately well known territory for us women. The text thus turns the very harassment and injustices the women's movement fought against into undeserved privileges. We should feel pleased that we are allowed to dress in alignment with our gender, despite us having done nothing to deserve it. We should be thankful that we are permitted to wear high heals and veils, since these 'align' with our gender. If we follow this analysis to its logical conclusion, even a girl who is genitally mutilated at nine and married off at twelve is a cis person and thereby privileged - her sexual partners know what they are to call her genitalia: CUNT! Similarly, a homosexual man in Saudi Arabia or Uganda would, according to this interpretation, be considered the 'normal, natural and healthy' - and privileged.
Kajsa Ekis Ekman (On the Meaning of Sex: Thoughts about the New Definition of Woman)