Ok. I am really, really confused here. As you, my imaginary audience, can ascertain, I am an avid reader of IBtP, Pandagon, Feministe, and the like. I too, am a radical feminist.
Radical feminism is all about overthrowing patriarchy. Patriarchy is the system which is keeping women, all women (which OF COURSE includes transwomen), along with gay men and transmen, subject to the dominant class of heterosexual males. Patriarchy is not only overt and violent, like FGM and "honor killings", but insidious and inherent to every culture in the world. Here in the West, it includes mandated femininity and sexism. Patriarchal domination has spawned a lot of nasty things. Right now, racism is inherent to the patriarchal system. Pretty much everywhere you go, the Aryan-er, the better.
Now what I just don't get. Brownfemipower. I remember a post of hers a while back accusing Twisty of being transphobic because in the hundreds of hundreds of comments each post of hers generates, she didn't read every single one and delete those that were transphobic. Besides the total lack of reason in that, what struck me was the label she had for that post. White feminism.
Normally, I'd say that was derisive and rude, but I know all too well about white privilege to complain about that. But I just do not understand the ideas expressed on brownfemipower's blog about radical feminism being a tool of racism, of radical feminists being the ones excluding and subjugating women of color. And I'm going to reveal a little bit of my youth here and say
HELLO?! Are you not GETTING IT?! If a white woman (or ANY woman) is racist, if she is classist, if she is homophobic, transphobic, then she is not a radical feminist. Ok?
She is against everything radical feminism stands for.
Another thing. I get the feeling that some of the transphobia attributed to radical feminism was due in part to those women-only space-thingies. Well, though I could not disagree more with the implication that transwomen aren't women, the idea behind those is (I presume) that women should be able to share their life experiences as women, including childhood experience. Most transwomen are brought up as men, and until they "come out", or start living as women, they have been (albeit unwilling) participants of a system that granted them privilege over their fellows. That gives them a significantly different life experience.
The oppressed is uncomfortable with sharing around the still/former opressor, and wants a "safe space" in which to do said sharing (I have issues with the exclusion of transwomen, but that's besides the point).
How is that any different with some internet community's racial policies? To wit, (and straight off Brownfemipower): "The voices of women of color will always be prioritized on this site both through the content of my posts as well as within the comments section."
How is it any different with any [insert ethnicity here]-only group's policies? Once again, any one person who embraces misogyny, racism, heteronormativity, trans and homophobia, xenophobia; is NOT a feminist.
This has been bugging me for quite some time. Because if patriarchy is ever going to be gutted, it's not going to be done by white women. Or women of color. Or transwomen. Or gay men. It has to be done by everyone, in conjunction. I mean, I'm not one for the whole touchy-feely unity thing. And I know that there are some resentments that go way back, not to mention the misogynistic women, self-hating gays, racist everybodies, and all that.
But hey, women? Yeah, we're all women. We're all oppressed Hey, gays? We're all oppressed too, look at that. And you know, most of us hate that oppression. So why the hate directed at each other?
I'd like to envision, if not a world rid of patriarchy, a world where all the oppressed can refuse/resist together.
And to continue on with my subversive little blurring of lines, what makes a woman of color? Because genetically, I'm probably a lot more "pure latina" than most women of color in the U.S. I speak Spanish fluently, better then most latinas in the U.S. But my skin is dead white. My mouth and nose are Caucasically nondescript. My cheeks are, to my dismay, rosy. And most people believe red is my natural hair color (now that it's more ginger). A good friend of mine would probably be rejected by Brownfemipower's standards. Despite her facial features and hair texture being Afro-Caribbean, her lineage 100% Afro-Hispanic, all that I'm guessing would be seen are her white skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair.
I don't want to stir the scheisse. When not irked by these matters, I really enjoy reading Brownfemipower. But damn. I guess I just had to get this off my chest.