Haven’t we already achieved equality?
Why “radical” feminism? Isn’t moderation the way to go?
‘Radical’ literally means ‘root’, so a radical is someone who wants to get to the root of a problem (as opposed to making minor reforms within a broken system). It doesn’t mean that you’re an extremist who wants to blow up buildings – at least, radical feminists certainly don’t want to do that.
Instead, we want to radically change society and culture so as to abolish gender roles, end violence against women, and replace relationships based on hierarchy with relationships based on mutuality and reciprocity.
For more info, check out this podcast.
What is “patriarchy”?
Male-supremacy, or male-dominance.
Patriarchy can take on different characteristics in different times and cultures. In more traditional cultures, women are usually the property of their fathers and husbands. In “modern”, Westernized societies, women are valued as sex objects.
Despite the variations, all patriarchal societies have certain things in common:
- Men as a group have political, economic, and social privilege and power over women;
- Women’s bodies are turned into objects for men – either as baby-making machines or as sex objects (or some combination of the two);
- Violence against women is socially normalized and even sanctioned (see rape culture 101);
- Men and male interests are given greater weight and importance than women and female interests. Women are culturally marginalized.
Can men be victims of sexism?
Sexism isn’t about random people being mean to each because of their genitals – it’s about a system of institutionalized values and practices that devalue women and girls. That means that male power is protected in various ways throughout society (socially, legally, politically, and economically). Not all individual men benefit from all of the privileges enjoyed by men as a group (poor men do not benefit very much from economic privilege), but all men benefit in at least a few ways.
Men can be victimized in other ways (racism, poverty, personal misfortune), but they cannot be persecuted for being male in a male-supremacist society.