Feminist Everything

Posted on January 8, 2015 by Richard Goulter

I came across this from website Dear Author which suggests that the Romance genre isn’t feminist. – On that note, while the author suggests that ‘feminism’ consists of many hats, the piece features almost exclusively the radical-left feminism as the recognised definition of feminism. (This is hardly groundbreaking, but still). It’d perhaps be more interesting to see Romance Novels through the lens of “feminism as pro woman’s ability to choose” (I reckon Maya Rodale writes something similar to this here). Also pertinent would be this blogpost from romancenovelsforfeminists. (Highlights: Qn 3., respondents: “over the top pro woman”, and “A woman with a chip on their shoulder who thinks men are out to get them and the world is unfair”).
– I’d also like to assure the Dear Author writer here that they needn’t worry: it’s not non-feminists who are tarnishing the reputation of feminists. (I understand the term to be ambivalent. Those who are fully-for, or fully-against are rarely mild-mannered in their opinion).

If I were to summarise the author: “Romance Novels: by women, for women, but really the patriarchy”; “Romance Novels might not be feminist and that’s okay, but not really.”.

Similarly, “8 Signs Your Boyfriend Is A Feminist… Also, Congrats On That”. (Disclosure: came across this link from a Romance Novelist’s twitter. Question to ponder is to what extent this’d apply to RN Heroes).
Highlight: “He watches porn that isn’t degrading”. (Because, really, 3rd-wave feminist analysis during sexual fantasy is exactly what you want in a sexual partner). Perhaps pertinent to this point: porn is fantasy, not the real world. Also, rape fantasies. This piece delightfully links to ‘How to get a feminist boyfriend’. (You know it’s going to be good when the author refers to the ‘gender wage gap’ in a way as if women are paid significantly less than men for simply being women).
– As you’d expect, both of these pick up the “what a REAL feminist is” argument.

While for modern, radical feminists the personal may be political; it strikes me as odd/amusing that what seems to be happening here is making sure everything personal has a “feminist” seal of approval on it.

What could be wrong with that?
At a glance, indeed it does look innocuous.

Unless you were to do something dumb, like, ask whether a programming language is feminist. Ugh. Which if you’re going to do seriously, it genuinely does invite the “C+=” thing. (Some of which is amusing).
– On that note, the Django repo on GitHub got an interesting issue: #22667 replaced occurrences of master/slave terminology with leader/follower. At the time of writing, there are 742 comments. Would you be at all surprised to hear that the issue discussing alternative architectures got nowhere near as much attention? Rather, while people are happy to chip in and discuss a couple of words, the attention is frivolous in comparison to more technical topics.

Moreover, even when folk do strive to be “feminist” and such, it’s still toxic territory. (Highlight: “Sisterhood is powerful. It kills. Mostly sisters.”).

– It seems I’ve not quite laid out my assumptions/experience, above. But you might forgive my caution as to the reliability of such analysis if this kind of feminism, ostensibly so in favour of women, can be so harmful to women.

I don’t see a zealous pursuit of making sure you have “feminist everything” will lead to good things.

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