Sixth Carnival of Radical Feminists is up at Laurelin’s and what a fine carnival it is!
I’d like to begin by saying a few words about what radical feminism is to me.
I have always appreciated the description of radical feminism as ‘feminism, unmodified’. It is not beholden to any other social theory, it does not put any other group or any other interests before those of women. It does not have to please, it does not seek to pacify those who are not really on our side (which is a feature I have found in some works of liberal feminism- the eagerness to keep liberal males happy), it recognises the conditions under which women live, and it will sacrifice no woman, or group of women. Radical feminism helps us all place those uneasy feelings we had as women, those aches telling us that there was something wrong with the world, the queasiness we were told was prudery or intolerance, the anger we felt at being whistled at or shouted at, the fear when walking alone. We know these feelings are the truth filtering through, and feminism teaches us that we are not alone in feeling uneasy in the world, that the feelings are real, as real as anything one can touch and that they are a reasonable response to injustice in the world. Radical feminism is the courage to question the received wisdom of the patriarchy, the courage to look at the function of things, of acts, of attitudes, of laws, of words, and to see what they do the vulnerable and powerless. It is in the refusal to accept ‘I didn’t intend that’ as an excuse for cruel words or acts, it is the demand that those who have privilege stop enforcing the silence of others with their good intentions and so-called ‘free speech’.