1. Female people are a distinct social class with unique experiences, and members of that class experience specific forms of oppression under male supremacy based on the fact that we are female.
2. Gender is an inherently oppressive caste system that serves to facilitate and maintain the exploitation of female people under male supremacy.
In the last year, my experiences have made it clear to me that these two ideas are tantamount to Orwellian thoughtcrime in our current political climate around gender. And my question – yet again – is why. What is it about these two ideas that justifies the level of threats, backlash, and silencing that we receive just for daring to speak them out loud?
With each of these, I want to talk about their significance to feminism – the reasons that I think it’s important that we state them out loud despite the consequences – and I also want to honestly address some of the criticisms that I’ve heard directed at them.
Of course, most of radical feminism’s detractors don’t even bother to engage with this discussion. It’s a lot easier to threaten women, to make us afraid, than to actually have a constructive adult conversation. It’s a lot easier to dismiss radical feminism as outdated, a relic from an earlier time, as many choose to, than to acknowledge and engage with our points. This argument, if it can even be called an argument, falls completely flat for me and so many radical feminists of my generation. We’re not clinging to relics, we’re reaching for a politics that actually addresses the scope of the misogyny and male supremacy that we are forced to live within.
Read more: This is what I said at Radfems Respond