A full run-down of the recent radical feminist convention is coming soon. I just now recovered even somewhat from the emotional exhaustion and general feeling of disappointment surrounding it.
(Which is why I haven’t been on here to edit, or to respond to or moderate comments, in a long time. I’ll get to it soon, I promise, and it’s nothing personal in the meantime.)
For now, however, I will say take this: I’m not a radical feminist after all. I’m a revolutionary feminist.
I came to feminism from radicalism. Other “radical” movements are not even nominally feminist, and thus they are not truly radical; however, I am a radical in the anticapitalist, environmental, and feminist senses (among others), so I suppose I’ve been naive in thinking “radical” feminism meant what it says on the tin.
I also understand why “radical” feminists seek to distance themselves from other radical movements — the fact that these movements are often as woman-hating as the society they criticize and wish to overthrow.
Many radical feminists say, “Well, I’m a radical, but it just means ‘root'” — but RADICAL in every other sense is not a dirty word. We cannot enact positive change, if any change, by working within the system.
I’m seeking to bring “revolutionary feminist” (a la Sheila Jeffreys) back into usage. We can call it “revolutionary radical feminist” if everyone would prefer, to distinguish us from the anarchist women who think feminism is either “an overreaction” or something to do with consent/BDSM/sex with men/feminist symbols/whatever.
As long as we live in this existing system, we need people working within it to improve the lives of women. I recognize this; “the raddies and the revvies can be friends.” But no amount of legal reform, no amount of safe and legal picketing, or even private (often secret) consciousness-raising will improve them lives of women and girls whose lives have already been ruined.
Women and girls who have been trafficked and are being trafficked RIGHT NOW.
Women and girls who have been raped, abused, molested, and are being raped, abused, molested RIGHT NOW.
Women and girls whose senses of selves have been broken by this abusive, grooming world we live in, and whose senses of selves are being broken RIGHT NOW.
And those women and girls are more important to me than anybody my ideals (or hairy legs, or overt anger) might alienate. I’m a revolutionary and I want to talk about action.