I’m really glad to see the RadFems have already moved on to another target.
They are kind of inclusive in their hatred and bigotry.
They are sort of the spiritual descendants of people like Torquemada and Cotton Mather. Rigid ideologues and dogmatic assholes.
Movement killers. Sort of like how Progressive Labor Party invaded Students For a Democratic Society and tried to impose a bunch of Stalinistic puritanical rules.
No wonder the anarchistic types formed Weatherman in reaction.
The dirty secret about the destruction of Second Wave Feminism is that it was killed from within by the RadFems.
First they came for the Transsexuals.
Well actually no.
First they came for the left wing hippie women and demanded they foreswear any affinity to the counter culture we were building, quit the anti-war movement, the ecology movement, the anti-racism movement, devote all our energy to feminism. Because all women were of the same class, never mind those pesky intersects of oppression like race and class.
We forget how popular feminism was during the early part of the 1970s. Not just the humorless puritanical hard core radfem variety but ordinary equity feminism.
In December 1972, Helen Reddy’s song “I am Woman” was number one on the Billboard charts.
Topless dancers were playing it during their sets and a friend of mine was stripping to it.
The Venus with the clenched fist pendant had replaced the peace symbol on buttons and pendants.
Women were opening restaurants, businesses, learning new skills and breaking down doors.
Then the puritans started saying things like. You can’t wear make-up and be a feminist. Long-hair is part of patriarchal oppression. Never mind how skirts are cooler in the summer than jeans, wearing a skirt or dress is oppressive.
Every new rule for political correct behavior was a rule that would be enforced by those claiming radical purity and every rule drove women away from the movement.
Never mind that some of the books that were being held up as paragons of “radical feminist” thinking seemed to have been written by women who were seriously mentally disturbed.
Then being in a relationship with a man began to be questioned. This went over big with the majority of women who weren’t looking to reject heterosexuality but rather to reform the way relationships between men and women were conducted. Heterosexual women started say stuff like, “I am not a feminist, but I believe in equality of the sexes.
Then the radfems turned on femme lesbians. They turned on B/D/S/M lesbians. They turned on sex positive lesbians. They attacked sex workers.
They turned feminism into a dirty word most women didn’t want to be associated with.
NOW, Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List and other mainstream feminist organizations didn’t suffer as much because they didn’t chug the radfem Kool-Aid.
But things like women’s bookstores suffered.
Ironically the radfems came to be associated with lesbians and yet many lesbians considered themselves partners with gay men in the gay and lesbian movement. Many if not most detested the Stalinistic tactics of the radfems.
Lesbians kept those LGBT/T Centers functioning during the worst of the plague years during the 1980s when gay men were dying left and right.
Then in the 1990s feminist groups like Guerrilla Girls (a fun feminist artist group that attacks sexism in the arts) gave birth to Riot Grrls and Third Wave Feminism, which saw the dead end of the puritanical radical feminism that seemed really reactionary and hateful rather than positive and sustaining.
The Slut Walks of the last few years as well as the recognition of the intersectionality of oppression, the willingness to be sex positive and defend sex workers is all part the Third Wave.
The Third Wave has been really supportive of TS/TG people to the benefit of all because TS/TG people bring their own take on matters like gender to the table.
The radfems have stuck a number of slurs on Third Wave feminists. They have labeled Third Wave Feminists: “Do me Feminists!” and “Fun Feminists.”
One of the louder radfem voices of bigotry, Julie Bindel shows how she thinks as little of Third Wave Feminism as she thinks of TS/TG folks in this article from the New Statesman: Why “fun feminism” should be consigned to the rubbish bin
In the 1980s women in the New Wave music scene were taking pot shots at the radfem crap while the academics were treating it seriously.
I lived in San Francisco at the time, even took a song writing workshop from Bonnie Hayes. Saw The Waitresses and Cindi Lauper along with a bunch of other Grrl Groups that had more positive influence over women than the folk music of the Women of Olivia ever did.
Rather than spending all their time whining about the patriarchy these women were going out and creating and in doing so they were breaking down doors and making it possible for more women to enter the male dominated music industry.