The first in a series of four installments from the Feminist Press, here are the essentials for getting your grounding on what feminism is for different writers, theorists, and activists; and why. All books are linked to their publisher’s purchase page, not Amazon. Most are published by independent presses.
FEMINIST THEORY 101
- Still Brave: The Evolution of Black Women’s Studies- Edited by Stanlie M. James, Frances Smith Foster & Beverly Guy-Sheftall, this is the up-to-date and definitive collection of race and gender writings today.
- Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza- By Gloria Andaluza, this essay/poem/lyric/confessional challenges how we even concieve of theory and identity; one of the most groundbreaking Chicana Feminist works.
- WSQ: Trans- -Edited by Paisley Currah, Lisa Jean Moore & Susan Stryker, a pioneer in the field of trans* studies.
- Separate Roads to Feminism: Black, Chicana, and White Feminist Movements in America’s Second Wave- by Benita Roth, an excellent survey on different feminist ideas in different feminist groups, why these movements emerged seperately.
- On Shifting Ground- Edited by Fereshteh Nouraie-Simone and revised for the post-Arab Spring world, this essential essay collection challenges sterotypes and reveals a variety of feminist prespectives from Muslim women.
- Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism- by bell hooks; a poet and stylistic genius writing a sweeping analysis of oppression within different and marginalized communities.
- The Beauty Myth- Naomi Wolff’s criticism was considered the beginning of the Third Wave, and it speaks to the secret worries we all have: Am I superficial for worrying about my appearence? Are women’s magazines frivolous? In case there’s a doubt, the answer is FUCK NO, and let her tell you about the economic and political industry behind it.
- New Black Feminist Criticism, 1985-2000- by the complete badass Barbara Christian, she innovates the field of black feminist criticism while challenging how academics centralize on inaccessible postmodern critiques.
- Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches- Audre Lorde, a black lesbian feminist poet, was an artist. Her writing is a joy to read, even when it tears you apart. This is her essential collection of essays and speaches (but be sure to read some of her poetry too).
- The Feminist Porn Book- What the fuck is this sex positivity/pro-porn/anti porn debate raging on tumblr? Can I see some primary sources and fucking citations? Read the first collection of writings from feminist adult entertainers and feminist porn scholars (Ed. by Tristan Taormino, Constance Penley, Celine Parrenas Shimizu & Mireille Miller-Young)
- Simians, Cyborgs, and Women- If you’ve ever wondered about Janelle Monae’s android fixation, read Donna Haraway’s cyborg theory to have your mind blown. Haraway says: we are all cyborgs(!!!!!), we should break down traditional boundaries of how we study “fact,” there are so many possibilities on how we identify sex/gender.
- Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity by Chandra Talpade Mohanty addresses internationalist and third world feminist concerns in a voice that is unforgettable.
- King Kong Theory- Controversial filmmaker and former prostitute Virginia Despentes writes a memoir and theoretical expansion of the constraints and possibilities of sex and power today, written from the perspective ”as an ugly one for the ugly ones.”
so in the middle of snapchatting as Liza, AAA came to fix my car…
• a transphobic woman is not a feminist
• a racist woman is not a feminist
• a homophobic woman is not a feminist
• exclusionary feminism is not feminism
A bigoted feminist is a feminist, just a shitty feminist that needs to be called out. Don’t you dare write off the bigotry within our own movement as “not real feminism” and therefore “not our problem”, it needs to be rooted out just as much as it does from the rest of society.
Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practised no cruelties.
Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centres, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.
If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”
This is why I love him
I think Kelly Whatsherface who thinks that female comics creators should just “get by on talent” and that “modern feminism” is so awful definitely fits on this chart.
Feminism continues to fail trans women again and again, so why don’t we take the above suggestion and use it instead of pretending that cis feminists seem to want to sweep their own abusive history under the rug?
You want to know who has agreed with TERFs publicly? Gloria Steinem. When feminism can answer for that, when they make space for trans women in everything they do and every resource they provide? Then we can dismiss claims of transmisogyny. Until then, this chart will continue to invalidate the concerns of trans women and thus perpetuate transmisogyny in feminism.
friends let’s talk about a little thing called transmisogyny. This brand of it we are looking at is covered in “biological essentialism”, which tells us that certain body parts define certain aspects of identity. this is actually NOT TRUE. Adding a penis to a female dentist, architect or lawyer does not actually raise the amount of money a person makes because despite what transmisogynistic feminists want you to believe, the penis is not the source of power. I’ll repeat that: penises are not a source of power. Having a dick does not magically give you male privilege.
There are women with penises. There are women with penises. There are women with penises. And they are actually less likely to hold jobs that make a significant amount of money, because they are less likely to be hired. Because they experience both misogyny and transmisogyny.
Also, while we are on the topic of intersectionalism, are we talking starting salaries for white women only? Averages of women across the board? Because white women make a significant amount more money than women of color, particularly Black and Hispanic women.
Intersectionality matters. Your feminism fails unless it includes ALL women, including those who have penises.
I do too but the second he acts like he owns me or I’m less than him. Then it’s game on.
So far of the commentary I’ve seen added to this picture this is my favorite. I enjoy the ideas of traditional gender roles as long as it’s not to an extreme. I would love to be a stay at home mom, cooking, baking, and cleaning, taking care of my son, and having everything nice and ready for when my husband comes home from work. It would just need to be acknowledged that, yeah I was home all day, but I was busy, and it wasn’t easy, and I would like respect and appreciation for my efforts. That I am choosing to do. Because yeah, it’s awesome that today that’s not a women’s only option, because it’s not for every women, and they feel more fulfilled being in a workplace with a successful career, and good for them.
Though if it makes me happy to choose to be a SAHM, and cater to my husband, and families needs first I want respect for that, because it’s not my only option, it’s my choice. I could easy get a job, and pay for daycare, but I would rather it be me who takes care of my son. I could easily hire a house keeper to come in every once in a while because I’m working and I need an extra hand cleaning, but I would rather be home and do it all myself.
So despite all the arguing that has gone on because of this imagine.
There is no shame in wanting a lifestyle that reinforces traditional gender roles.
There is no shame in wanting a lifestyle that is more modern and progressive.
The only shame is when you shame another person for choosing to live their life in a way that suits their personal preferences.
In these situations I like to quote Family Guy:
Gloria: Well I’m sorry you’re so hostile towards someone’s who’s fighting so a woman like you can become more than just a housewife.
Lois: …just a housewife? Look. I’m all for equality but if you ask me, feminism is about choice. I choose to be a wife and mother and now I’m choosing to end this conversation.
Yep. Feminism isn’t about keeping women out of the kitchen. It’s about us having the choice to be in there if we want, and for everyone else to be able to go in as well if that’s what they want.
we should also note that the “traditional gender role” presented is really only available to women in certain contexts ie women who can afford to be that stay-at-home mom. sometimes “breaking traditional gender roles” has absolutely nothing to do with fighting the patriarchy and absolutely everything to do with keeping your family alive and fed
wow oops except feminism repeatedly asserts certain issues as “women’s issues”; that mainstream feminists almost never go out of their way to include trans women’s experiences and struggles in things feminism deals with; that like it or not, the people who actively work against trans women include big names within the feminist movement.
there are legitimate criticisms of feminism; its transphobia is actually a legitimate criticism of feminism, and one I will continue to make until feminists everywhere work to correct themselves and their movement as a whole. The fact that this list has transphobia speaks deeply to the continued failure of feminists to take the concerns of trans folk seriously.
(I will however take this list as evidence that perhaps those who compiled it actually acknowledge other legitimate criticisms having to do with race, class, and ability, which is a step in the right direction.)