This Is What MY Feminism Looks Like

Here’s the deal – there are all sorts of myths when it comes to what feminism is or who feminists are.

Feminists hate men.

Feminists burn their bras.

Feminists are all lesbians.

Feminists don’t shave or wear make up or high heels or fancy dresses or…

And, that’s all a bunch of bullshit, right?


Instead of talking about what my feminism isn’t, let me fill you in on what my feminism is:

My feminism provides spaces for all sorts of people – those who want to fight against patriarchal infrastructure and influence on any level. My feminism welcomes and encourages diversity. It’s inclusive. It is also intersectional, and I fight alongside people whose identities differ from mine.

Why is it so important to detail all of that? Because there are people out there who call themselves feminists and yet they are exclusive, leaving out groups of people, groups of women, from their folds and from their fights. Worse yet, some actively attack, dismiss, diminish, or tear down others.

And it’s important for those who believe in intersectional feminism to speak up and speak out. One way I am speaking out is by signing on to the Feminists Fighting Transphobia website. Transgender women and  men have had their voices erased, silenced, and ignored. They have been attacked for who they are. My feminism does not stand for that.

I am a trans-inclusive feminist. 

There are very real consequences when feminism and transphobia meet:

When feminists exclude trans* women from women’s shelters, trans* women are left vulnerable to the worst kinds of violent, abusive misogyny, whether in men’s shelters, on the streets, or in abusive homes.  When feminists demand that trans* women be excluded from women’s bathrooms and that genderqueer people choose a binary-marked bathroom, they make participation in the public sphere near-impossible, collaborate with a rigidity of gender identities that feminism has historically fought against, and erect yet another barrier to employment.  When feminists teach transphobia, they drive trans* students away from education and the opportunities it provides.

You can read the entire Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism & Womanism and sign on to support them at their site. So far many feminists, writers, activists, and more have signed on in support of trans-inclusive feminism & womanism. And why wouldn’t they? As a feminist, we fight for equality and a seat at the table. Why would we limit who else gets to join us there?



21 thoughts on “This Is What MY Feminism Looks Like

    • Thank you so much for sharing! We need more folks sharing about their feminism – demystify it and all. I hope you join me in signing on to the trans-inclusive feminist site!

      On Tue, Sep 17, 2013 at 1:20 PM, The Mamafesto

  1. Incredibly well put. I think it’s easy for people to call themselves feminist or liberal without truly assessing what those ideologies mean and how to uphold them. it’s important for all of us feminists to conitnue the feminist dialogue, making sure the aims of feminism grow as our society does.

  2. Totally agree. It doesn’t make sense to forbid someone who identifies as female from using a women’s restroom, locker room, or dressing room. Same goes for someone identifying as male in men’s locations. It’s ridiculous to follow such strict boundaries when the world is full of gray areas.

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  4. As I remember my history, the Women’s Suffrage movement lost a lot of supporters during a split with the Civil Rights Leaders with whom they had once identified. I remember this as being decided at a big meeting in New York City, with Frederick Douglas being involved. Anyway, I do know that the conservative suffragists did NOT push the envelope far enough, and Alice Paul’s radicalism and willingness to work with all kinds of people with whom she was not supposed to associate, according to propriety.

    I don’t think the feminist cause gains anything by hesitating to support the freedom of any other group. We can’t afford hesitation when it comes to any human’s rights.

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  8. I have a concern: I strongly believe that every individual should have the freedom to express their gender and sexuality in the way they please without being chastised for it – which is why I support many tenets of feminism. However, I notice a lot of feminist bloggers and scholars bring up issues of inequality more than they celebrate successes of equality, and as a result perpetuate the patriarchal system they are trying to eliminate. One example is always making a point to praise “woman” authors, businesswoman, etc. The result is we are still segregating women from men.

    For every male chauvinist, I know many guys who respect the women in their lives for their intelligence and personalities, and don’t even think to doubt them just because they are female. My female and male supervisors/ professors have been equally supportive to me in my academic career (I did science research in college.) My concern is that by having excessive tunnel vision, we focus too much on the negative and not celebrate the positive – which is what we should be doing if we really want to realize gender equality.

    I’m sorry for the long post but wanted to see where others stood on this issue. Thanks!

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