Queer Feminism’s Closeted Sexism?

LGBT-rights-India

Have the assumptions of masculinity, hypersexualisation and polyamory in queer circles created a false hierarchy between the ideal queer and the everyday realities of lived queer lives?

By Laura Brightwell

I had never thought much about asexuality until a couple of years ago when, for the first time in my adult life, I lost my sex drive. I mean, I didn’t actually lose it. It wasn’t hiding under the bed or anything, gathering dust with old shoes and mouldy peanuts. It just went on a holiday, to give me the time and space to sort some stuff out. Thank you, sex drive. That was very considerate of you.

Up until that point I had what I considered a very active libido. You know that old myth that men think about sex every seven seconds? Well, as a teenager I thought about sex so much that I didn’t doubt this myth was true. I just assumed it must extend to women, because I thought about sex all the time. This pretty rampant sex drive has followed me throughout most of my adult life, until, as I said, 2 years ago when I became depressed.

As well as being horny, I am a pretty radical person. I am what Caitlin Moran calls a ‘stringent feminist.’ The kind of woman who will make any dinner party awkward by calling out the conservative dude in the tie on his ha-ha, light-hearted jokes about women or race or the working classes. Oh, so funny! I am the stuff nightmare dinner parties are made of.

I am also queer, femme, into BDSM, curious about dating cis men, and all sorts of other interesting things. I consider myself sex positive and pretty non-judgmental when it comes to other people’s sexual adventures. I do my best to live by my feminist code of ethics. My feminism means that I believe we are all a little transphobic, sexist, homophobic, classist and racist because we live in a patriarchal society that is founded on these hierarchies.

We give men the upper hand by putting down women; we use racist theories to justify white supremacy, classism to explain a world-order in which most people starve while a few thrive, etc etc etc. My feminism means that I recognise I have all of these prejudices inside me and that I think it is my job to diminish them. This doesn’t mean that I am constantly beating myself up about what a horrible person I am, it’s more that I recognise my own flawed position. This is a pretty difficult attitude to take. Seeing some people behave in the most horrible ways and understanding the fucked-up logic behind their actions is exhausting. Dismissal is easy. Empathy is complicated.

Queer feminism has allowed me to embrace my kinky side and learn much about non-cis gender identities and LGBT history. But I also find massive flaws in the dynamics of the queer communities I know. There are three assumptions commonly made in queer circles, each of which creates a false hierarchy between an ideal of queer and the reality of many lived queer lives. These three assumptions are: hypersexualisation, the idea that everyone wants to have sex all of the time (and if you don’t you’re repressed); that polyamory is a natural desire and wanting to form monogamous relationships means you have jealousy issues; that masculinity is the hottest thing ever and being feminine, especially as a woman, means you are brainwashed. So, as someone who currently doesn’t want to have sex; prefers monogamous relationships and – shock horror – loves wearing dresses, I’m not being a very good queer at all, am I?

I didn’t come to this realisation out of virtue – I had never thought much about asexuality or people who choose not to or don’t want to have sex before – I came to it following a profound personal crisis. Having always had a pretty raging sex drive, the queer assumption that we all want to have sex all the time made sense to me. But losing my sex drive cut me out of the queer community. It meant that I saw no more reason to socialise in it.  How’s that saying go? Oh yeah: if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Sex positive feminism has done a lot of good. In a world which tells anyone assigned female at birth that all we want to do is find a heterosexual male partner and have babies, sex positivity has allowed us to carve the space in which to express our own sexual desires.

The celebration of polyamory, too, isn’t in itself a bad thing. The problem comes when polyamory is glorified as the ‘natural’ state of relationships, and if you’re monogamous you have jealousy issues and have been brainwashed. Erm, hasn’t gender theory taught us feminists anything? Since when did we start embracing words like ‘natural’ to describe our identities? Surely we have learnt to be hesitant about the monolithic meanings of such a word. As deconstructionists don’t we find claims that things are this way for everyone a little bit sketchy? No? Oh, OK. Moving on.

Now comes the moment for the trump card in this loving critique of queer feminism. Now it’s time to get the big skeleton out of the queer community’s closet. And that skeleton is -, sexism! What? Sexism? I hear you cry? How can queer feminism possibly be sexist? I mean, we queers have deconstructed the male/female binary and concluded that gender behaviours don’t go hand in hand with vague ideas about biology and evolution. How dare you accuse us of such a thing?

‘I can’t be sexist because I’m queer’.  We hear this quite often. Don’t we?

Queer Pride photo by Ramlath KavilWell, my friends, sad as it may be, it’s time to face up to the facts. Walk into a queer space and what do you see? A uniform of plain black hoodies, asymmetrical hair and caps. There’s not a dress to be seen. Not a hint of colour, lipstick, of long hair.

Despite all our lip service to multifarious gender identities, there is only one gender that we really celebrate in this queer community, and that is masculinity.

The boyish woman, the gender queer and the trans man are the epitomes of hotness in queer scenes. If you’re a feminine woman, cis or trans, then you are just not cool. Transmasculinities are at the top of the queer pile, pushing transfemininities down to the bottom.

Personally, I think this prejudice is unintentional. Talk to any good-meaning queer and they’ll be shocked when you mention things like sexism and femmephobia. But despite individual professions of innocence, we are all guilty. Any time I ignore a feminine woman in a queer bar because I assume she is straight, I am being just as sexist as the people who exclude me.

As Flavia Dzodan suggests in her recent article on sex positivism and race, the assumption that our desires are innate and not learnt, is worth questioning. How asocial and apolitical can our desires be? If no one professes to fancy femininity doesn’t that reflect our internalised misogyny? If we truly were free lovers, if we did express our natural desire and identities, then surely there would be a proliferation of varying desires and genders in our queer spaces. There wouldn’t be a uniform of jeans and t-shirts and strictly boi-on-boi action.

It’s true that not wanting to have sex or a lover has led me to feel alienated from the queer scene. Combine this feeling with my realisation that I prefer to date monogamously and have a very strong femme identity and I no longer feel included or appreciated in the community I have made my worldwide home for the past 6 years. And I am not the only one who feels this way. As responses to my first article on hypersexualisation prove, many people feel alienated from the queer community because their sexual desires don’t fit the queer bill. I’m not poly enough, not kinky enough, not thin enough, and not boyish enough. Not queer enough. As a friend said upon reading zines about being queer, it seems that we think of queer as something up here – she raised her palm above her head – and of ourselves as being down here – she pushed her palm towards the floor.

This notion of queer as an unattainable ideal is really messed up. What happened to queer as an umbrella term? What happened to the ever-expanding joyful list of people we love: LGBTTSIQQA (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Transsexual / Two-Spirited Intersex Queer Questioning Asexual)? Unlike slightly mad UK feminist Julie Bindel, I love the idyllic aspirations of queer. The way it wants to join all us freaks together. So it made me really sad, upon moving to Berlin, to realise just how much queer doesn’t want me.

What I want to see from queer communities worldwide, what I think would be truly queer, is a celebration of difference that leads to diversity in our relationships, our beds and on our dance floors. Maybe it is human nature to form group norms (safety in numbers) but I am a political optimist. I think we can do better. Let’s start to really celebrate differences, the freaks and the outcasts. It takes a lot of courage, but I think we can do it. Surely individuality is what is queer.

Laura Brightwell is a compulsive critic obsessed with gender and sexuality. You can either find her on her blog Diary of a Lipstick Terrorist or performing in burlesque shows around Berlin.

Original articles published on feministsindia.com can be reproduced but due acknowledgement to the website is obligatory

19 comments

  1. Ashley Tellis says:

    I share with you, Laura Brightwell, the love of sex and the depression that cut me off it. However, I think it is simply untenable to take your individual biography and make it a critique of a particular subculture without historicising both. You need to understand monogamy, femmeness and hypersexualisation as historical ideas and see where they come from. Monogamy is the foundation stone of the deeply oppressive institutions of marriage and family based on ideas of ownership, control, possession, paternity. Femininity is also a construct that is largely patriarchal and imposed on women which cannot be countered by simply claiming it as a queer or feminist choice.It is a deeply oppressive set of ideas involving violence on the body of women of many kinds, from depilation to chemicalisation.Hypersexualisation is a common accusation that straight people hurl at us whereas I think it is important to remember is hypersexualisation is also a refusal to link sex to privatisation, institutional prostitution (ie. marriage) and ownership and control. Your story, interesting as it is, does not amount to a critique of the queer movement at all. You need to examine your own investments in the opposite of the three things you distance yourself from as they are investments in the hegemonic and the heteronormative.

  2. Shev says:

    Wow, that’s really dismissive. Whatever happened to respecting lived experiences? Some people prefer monogamy because, time and energy being limited, they prefer to concentrate their emotional energy and time on one lover. Some people don’t have time for more, because, you know, people have other stuff going on in their lives. Some people are monogamous by default. Some people are monogamous because they’ve made an active choice. Some people are poly by default (because they move mainly in poly communities, for example). And some make an active choice. Many people are poly at some point, monogamous at others, because people are different, and situations are different, and essentialist theories about sexuality are stupid.

    As for femmeness – some of the key markers of femininity, or at least how femininity is coded in our society, is bright colours, painting one’s face, swishy, swirly fabrics (without wanting to reduce femmeness solely to its physical markers, as this is reductive and inaccurate, I don’t have time for a full deconstruction of ‘what femme means’ and why I should have to justify every aspect – the physical side is, after all, the first thing people see and base their initial judgements on). Enjoying these aspects of performative femininity doesn’t mean I have a false consciousness. It means I like bright colours, experimenting with sensual, tactile clothing, using my face as a canvas, and generally enjoying shiny things. I reject utterly the notion that this means I have failed to raise my consciousness sufficiently, and am frankly affronted at your suggestion that my gender expression exists solely as a patriarchally-constructed opposition to the masculine.

    As for the hypersexualisation – just as sex-positivity has allowed women to formulate and act on their own desires, celibacy or asexuality refutes the notion that a female-coded body must always be sexually available and ready. It places the ‘ownership and control’ (your words) of our bodies right where it belongs – in our own hands.

    I do not share all Laura’s experiences (being a different person and all), but I found this article thought-provoking and interesting. The personal is political after all, and the political is personal. Laura has used her own experiences in the community to draw out some wider critiques – this is completely valid, and your patronising assumption that she does not understand the historical contexts of monogamy, femmeness, or hypersexualisation comes off as, well, frankly rather sexist.

  3. Shalini Krishan says:

    I am disappointed to see that the first, and so far only*, attempt to engage with queer issues, notions of genderqueerness and queer women’s subcultures on this particular website for Indian feminists is an article that has the effect of painting all queer feminists everywhere as sexist, misogynist and judgemental in ways that tap into already existing phobia and sentiment against transmasculinity in Indian society, feminist and otherwise.

    People in the comments above have already pointed out that one person’s experience is not enough grounds to critique an entire movement, theoretical framework, politics etc. I would like to point out that apart from that, this article is even more problematic because this particular author’s experiences and contentions for the most part would not hold true at all in most Indian feminist circles. My own admittedly personal experience suggests the exact opposite: any degree of trans* or masculine behaviour often seems to be met with outright hostility and distrust within Indian feminist circles; and in fact the few tiny queer circles that explicitly work very hard to keep a space for transmasculinity are often viewed with some degree of suspicion by other feminists. This then begs the question: why was _this_ article chosen, posted and highlighted, out of the numerous others posted with some regularity across the web that actually address queer issues in more nuanced, intelligent ways and also happen to be relevant to an Indian context or at the very least cut across geographical boundaries? To me, this seems like a highly disingenuous attempt to engage with ideas of genderqueerness and genderfluidness, since it already demonizes them as the manifestations of sexism and misogyny. There is nothing new here, just an airing of the same old prejudices.

    *AFter clicking on all the tags to this post I found only one other article, which is a reaction to the brutal murder of Mariya earlier. There is no other attempt to contextualise, theorise or engage with queerness.

  4. eboi says:

    Laura Brightwell – while I agree with you that femme invisibility is a real issue in queer communities over the world, and that there does seem to be a hierarchy of “queerness” in which femmes/feminine folks (not always the same thing) are classified as less queer. That these are issues are rooted in sexism and often even internalized homophobia, is also something I acknowledge and something that is being discussed by many queer theorists and activists alike. But again, while your personal experiences might be an interesting read, they make for very faulty analysis, especially of gender-queer/transmasculine/butch folks and the people who love and desire them. Your allegation that a celebration/love/confidence in genderqueerness/transmasculinity is the queer community’s investment in (hegemonic) masculinity only reveals your own limited understanding of genderqueerness/transmasculinity, and frankly, your transphobia. Like a lot of other cisgendered feminists, you assume and imply that genderqueers’ and transmen’s expressions of masculinity are little more than a desire to imitate hegemonic masculinity. This betrays your own inability to imagine masculinities that might be different from the heteronormative, middle class, and upper-caste (white?) model of male masculinity. And it is as sexist a reading of female-masculinity as anything else you’ve outlined in your critique.
    Lastly, your piece also shows that you have no interest in the particularity of the politics and lived realities in the location to which most of your readers might belong – India. As an Indian butch/genderqueer currently living in the US, I am made to feel uncomfortable and unwanted in most feminist spaces, queer or otherwise, in India and the US.
    So no, I don’t feel like you appreciate the “difference” and ‘freakishness’ of gender/queerness, even as you badger us to.

  5. Sanjana says:

    This article is extremely thought provoking and challenges the reader to move beyond fundamentalist positions. I agree with Shev’s comments on monogamy and polyamory and refraining from taking essentialist positions on sexuality. Also if we were to invert it and look at the feminity displayed by many transgendered out of choice, would we say its because of ‘oppression’ that they choose to exhibit their feminine selves. We have very harsh ways of viewing being feminine and I think that too is oppressive! Besides, if a movement cannot take into account one person’s viewpoints within its fold, then is it really worth it? If we get to read politically articulate and crystallised conformist viewpoints only then why create an alternate media space like this. I think this site has constantly looked at pushing boundaries to think and one needs to engage with the same and I appreciate that.

  6. @eboi I disagree that my analysis is prejudiced against transmasculinities and transphobic. I, too, want to celebrate transmasculinities. My article does not say what transmasculinity is, or that it is inherently sexist. My criticism is not that transmasculinities are inhabited, or that they are loved, but that they are valued more than transfemininities in queer communities. The two operating are understood in a binary relationship to each other, which always ends up in a sexist critique of transfemininities. Maybe this needs to be said – I too love queer masculinities and I am a person who loves transmasculine folks. I think it is sad that you are made to feel unwanted as a butch/gender queer in feminist spaces in the US – maybe this is similar to how I feel as a femme in my local queer community?

    @Ashley and Shalini, I find it odd that you criticise me for coming from a personal perspective. How else are we to experience queer community and live queer theory if not in our own bodies and lives? I, like Shev, strongly believe that the personal is political and follow my intuition in my construction of queer theories. Just because my experience is my own, does not mean it is not valid and has important things to say.

    @Ashley, as for your understanding of monogamy, femininity and sexuality, I don’t know where to begin. I think it is important to learn that just because sexist constructs have been imposed upon our desires, upon femininities and sexualities, it doesn’t mean that they are not valid in themselves. Monogamy, femininity and sexualities all have existences independent of their meanings in patriarchy and they are all valid identities and expressions.

  7. Shev says:

    Sanjana, that was beautifully put. I’m glad you agree with me (because I respect your position), and you made an excellent point about appreciating different forms of femininity. eboi is right as well about trans-cending gender – transmasculinity is not a copy of, or aspiring to be, hegemonic masculinity, and it is every bit as worthy of admiration and love as trans/femininities. I’m deeply sorry that you’ve been ostracised in both the US and India for your gender (and, in the US, racial as well) presentation. I don’t think Laura was focusing on transmasculinities, but rather how masculinity in general tends to be prized over femininity.

    It’s true that the queer aesthetic varies from culture to culture – for example, in the UK in the 70s and 80s (and I realise that while this is an Indian site, my knowledge of queer history is mostly UK based), excessive femininity and definitely masculinity and trans genders were degraded in (parts of) lesbian feminist culture. This in turn was a reaction against the earlier culture of ‘butch/femme/nothing else’. I don’t mean that PEOPLE all fell uncomplicatedly into these categories – I mean that the culture at any given time promoted the ‘right’ way to perform deviant genders and sexualities (using deviant in the sociological sense rather than the judgemental sense). So, what gender expressions are prized depends on time and place.

    What I understood Laura to be saying was not that transmasculinities were oppressive in the same way as hegemonic masculinity *at all*, but that, in the queer community, we partially recognise each other by our deviance from our proscribed gender roles. So, it’s much easier to ‘spot’ a butch or androgynous female-bodied person, or a woman who wears masculine clothing as being queer, as being ‘one of us’, whereas a more conventionally feminine woman can be missed, assumed to be straight (unless making eye contact or actually talking). When this is coupled by the casual dismissal of ‘feminine’ in society (I’m so guilty of this, for example when I was younger, I denied liking pink, telling everyone that I’m not a ‘girly girl’, pretending I didn’t like things that I did like, or not liking things that I was supposed to, because they were patronising…), which we ALL grow up with, it’s easy to see how femmes can feel underappreciated sometimes. And I am conscious that we haven’t talk much about transmisogyny here, which is an enormous problem, and connected to both sexism and general transphobia in the culture; the obsession with (whether fetishising or pathologising, or worst, pitying) trans bodies.

    So, there’s a lot to unpack in this discussion, and I think that Laura provided a really thoughtful and interesting starting point.

  8. prasanna says:

    excellent article. it is lovely to read different opinions from other part of world

  9. Shalini Krishan says:

    Laura: I am not at all criticising the fact that you are speaking of your personal experience. My criticism is in fact that you are assuming that your personal experience applies _so_ universally that queer feminists in another country, with different ways of interacting, different histories and entirely different lived realities would also feel the same. This website is clearly marked as a site for Indian feminists, queer or otherwise, and frankly most of what you describe (seas of black hoodies, androgynous bodies, etc etc) simply do not exist here, either in mainstream or in queer feminist circles. As I pointed out in my earlier comment, femininity is highly privileged in the Indian feminist context, and any degree of genderqueerness is treated with a fair amount of suspicion (yes, including effiminacy in men). Even within queer circles, the majority of people are highly gender-conforming, and I have personally seen butchphobia and transphobia in action numerous times. Yes, this is also my personal experience, like your article is about your personal experience, but at least this particular personal experience is relevant to the Indian context within which one can assume that most of the readers of this site are operating.

    My MAIN criticism is actually not aimed at Laura, but at the moderators of the Feminists India website for a) not engaging substantially with queerness either here or on the feministsindia e-list and b) choosing to do so only by posting this particular article which only reiterates and solidifies the prejudices against queerness and gender variation that already exist in Indian society as a whole and very much within Indian feminist circles. The fact that the article itself is written in an entirely different context and by someone who is not herself identified as an Indian feminist only underlines exactly how disingenuous this is as an attempt to start a conversation about queerness.

    • Team FI says:

      Shalini Krishan, this article by queer artist/writer Laura Brightwell is explicitly about a particular space and not a comment on Indian queer spaces. FeministsIndia website is a feminist space for all and the attempt is not to create some definitive or even representative view. On this space we wish to engage with differing voices and those readers who would like to write for the website and share ideas are very welcome to do so. As far as our previous engagements with queer activists/ movement in India are concerned, our website is only few months old – Be patient with us and help us make this space more vibrant. We look forward to your contribution! FeministsIndia Team

  10. Safiya says:

    I feel you are getting personal Shalini. As an old feminist my opinion might not be interesting to some. When a lot of activists in India were treating feminism as an untouchable word these girls launched feministidnia group and did what they could to reclaim feminism. Now the website. They do some great work with no donors or funders assistance. How many of us would take money from own little pockets and give trainings to young girls or run websites or yahoo groups? We must appreciate these efforts.

  11. eboi says:

    Laura – perhaps I was too harsh the first time around. I do understand that your main argument is that masculinity is valued more than femininity in queer circles, though I would qualify that geographically (queermasculinity does seem to be valued more in certain “Queer” [not LGB] settings in the US and perhaps Europe as well, but not at all in India). I think I lost my cool because your descriptions of the seas of hoodies and the queer communities investment in an unvariegated “masculinity” seemed very reductive.
    As for Shalini’s point about the representational politics of Feminist India – I think I will have to agree that lack of funds, newness of the website etc have nothing to do with editorial priorities in this case. And let’s be honest here, when you name a website “FeministIndia” you cannot eschew accountability for your representational practices. The least the editors could have done (given that this is FeministIndia’s only engagement with queerness yet) was to feature a writer writing about the Indian context and something that is pertinent to its readership’s reality. That shouldn’t be too much to ask.

  12. Shalini Krishan says:

    Eboi has written exactly what I wanted to say in response to the Feminists India Team and Safiya in the comment above this. I only want to add that the onus cannot automatically be on the people pointing out that various forms of representation and engagement are problematic to then further educate/explain/soothe ruffled feathers etc. There really is no dearth of substantive and relevant writing about various facets of queerness in India even if one only looks online, that can be googled for and summarised or linked to by Team FI, in the same manner as many of the other topical articles here. Pointing this out isn’t exactly a personal attack and doesn’t merit one in response.

  13. Sanjana says:

    @Shalini while your levels of discomfort with the difference in opinions and perspectives is well taken. I see no reason for bulldozing the FI team like this. There is a trend on many public sites and e list-serves where a bulldozish attitude is taken on in destroying the space for expression itself which is condemnable. All kinds of fundamentalist censorial activities are suggested instead. And in my experience of queer spaces in India, I do know for a fact that they have stood strongly for creating spaces to allow for multiple voices and plurality in opinions to exist.

    You are okay with the writer but you have a problem with the FI team carrying the article. That is a bit confusing for me and I cannot help but ask which queer location in India these responses come from, they sound very intolerant and in my experience of queer spaces and heterogenous spaces these are exactly the obstacles the queer have fought against for years here in India. I actually think sometimes that the feminist and queer movements here in India keep holding mirrors up for each other in many ways. The feminists are not the enemy of the queer and neither are the queer the enemy of the feminists. I think the battle needs to be fought elsewhere with someone else. I think also a sense of acceptance is needed in realising that like a venn diagram there are overlaps.

    Let us not remember just one or two colours in the rainbow but all seven. India is a country of many diversities and am not sure any one among us can really take on the burden of a representative voice for others. India is diverse and may be represented by multiple voices this is precisely why we can listen and learn from those we connect with in other parts of the world as well.

  14. Dalit feminist says:

    Well you can’t dictate others what to write or what not to write. That’s just not done. This is one of the most thought provoking articles I have read on this website and I appreciate that they have stuck their neck out and published it. Don’t shoot the messenger.

  15. eboi says:

    Sanjana, Dalit Faminist et al: I love how any dissent or critique of Team FI is being framed by you as “fundamentalist”, “bulldozing”, “dictates” etc. It actually seems like you are far more prone to using strong language in order to bully someone or silence them, than Shalini is.
    I am happy for you that this article is enjoyable and thought-provoking for you. But for some of us who read and engage with queer communities AND queer writing every single day as a matter of survival, and are part of such representational contestations because our being and becoming is at stake – We (i’m sorry Shalini for co-opting you) find Team FI’s effort here a bit lacking. At least I hope that next time FI will make a bit more effort to engage the context of its Queer readers.
    oh and PS: As for framing queer and feminists as enemies – I can only take that as your inability to do a nuanced reading of what Shalini and I have tried to lay out here. If feminists and queers are not “enemies” (how absurd to suggest that even!) then we should all be open to critique from each other and really LISTEN – something you’re failing to do in your zeal to protect the good name of feminists. Peace.

  16. Shalini Krishan says:

    After reading Sanjana and Dalit feminist’s comments, I’m beginning to wonder if the comments I see under my name on the screen are the same as what everyone else is seeing. For the sake of clarity I am going to reiterate my argument in bullet points since I’m not sure that it’s getting through at all.

    * Feminists India is a website _mainly_ for feminists from/associated with India. Some of us are queer feminists. Some are various other varieties. Material here is meant to engage all of them.
    * this article does not engage with INDIAN QUEER feminist contexts. At all. It cannot even be extrapolated to Indian queer feminist contexts.
    * there are _many_ pieces of writing that do engage with Indian queer feminist contexts freely available.
    * I want to know why there is no mention of those on this website. In other words, I am not asking why this article is here, but where is the engagement with Indian queer feminists that one should see on such a site?
    * I point out that publishing ONLY this article has the effect of reinforcing certain already existing prejudices in the Indian context, both feminist and mainstream, and that Team FI should be aware of this.

    I’m at a loss here as to where I am dictating what to write, bulldozing, veering towards censorship, calling feminists enemies (and while on that topic, the fact that we are all talking under the rubric of “queer feminists” when it comes to this article should make it clear enough that I have a grasp of intersectionality and am not pitting queer against feminist!) or indeed, fighting a battle!

    Please reread my actual argument. I’ll be happy to engage with such comments as address it, but honestly, at this point I am not feeling like there is any attempt at dialogue here.

  17. Alexander Alvina says:

    I really-really-really loved the article!!!!!!!

    The only think I thought about was this: “My feminism means that I believe we are all a little transphobic, sexist, homophobic, classist and racist because we live in a patriarchal society that is founded on these hierarchies.” While I agree totally with the statement I also think that our own positions in these hierarchies are relevant to our understandings of these hierarchies. For example I have much more work to do with classism and racism than I do with transphobia, homophobia and sexism, since these are types of oppressions I don’t experience (which isn’t to say that I don’t have any internalized or externalized sexism, transphobia or homophobia issues to deal with etc.)

  18. Alexander Alvina says:

    And of course it is also important (as many of you in the comments state) to be clear that this is written about a North American and Western European context.

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