Excellent Article by (Former) Radical Feminist

August 9th, 2012 by Pelle Billing

What is your emotional world like if you are a radical feminist? I found this brave and interesting article where a (former) radical feminist describes her transition from a place of hate, to a more loving approach towards gender issues.

First, she describes what her emotional life was like:

When I was younger, maybe 10 or 12 or 15, I used to say I hated men. I probably did. My feminism was born from anger—at them and at a world in which they seemed too powerful and too happy to take advantage of other people’s powerlessness. Second in line for my feminist wrath was women who seemingly made it harder on other women by giving in to men, using their looks and sex appeal to gain a piece of that power.

This is a terrible place to be in. You’re constantly fighting and hating men – as well as women who “give in to men”.

However, this particular radical feminist had a breakthrough, while reading a book by black feminist bell hooks:

There was a line towards the end of the introduction where she wrote about subconsciously waiting for men to die in order to feel like women could live a free life. The line took my breath away. I just started sobbing. I had spent so much time and energy reinforcing this idea in my head that men were my enemy, and it had made me so bitter and mistrusting of them and any woman that I felt was “on their side.” I had so much pain wrapped up in my politics. I knew I couldn’t continue like this any longer.

Waiting for men to die sounds insane. But I fully believe her. The only acceptable solution if you believe in hardcore radical feminism is that men disappear. Because as long as they are around they will intrinsically oppress women.

I commend this particular woman (Jessica Hopper) for her honesty and I’m truly happy that she has left her hate behind. At the same time, it’s important to realize that she is not an isolated example. Radical feminism is fairly widespread, and important features of its ideology are part of mainstream feminism.

This means that chronic anger towards men is part of the sphere of gender politics. Obviously this is terrible for men, but as Jessica Hopper demonstrates it’s also a bad place to be in for the person harboring these emotions.

The solution is to embrace a new view of gender issues. A view that includes men’s issues as well as women’s issues, and that demonstrates that both gender roles have their drawbacks – not only the female gender role.

5 Responses to “Excellent Article by (Former) Radical Feminist”

  1. Eagle34 Says:

    Sorry, Pelle, but even though she’s left her hate behind there’s still this glaring problem:

    “In some ways I still believe that, though mainly I believe that feminism is an act of resisting a world that tells me women are shit (as are children, the poor, anyone who isn’t white and American, etc.).”

    Nowhere does she include men in that list. Therefore, there’s still aspects of gynocrentism only painted with a smile and clear concious.

    Also, she fails to realize (and maybe it’s too early to tell, who knows. She might come to this stage soon) that her anger has been instrumental in creating a culture where men are denied the supports they need when they’re in serious trouble (domestic violence and sexual abuse from a woman comes to mind).

    Until she reaches this stage of her own accord, then all I can offer is a pat on the shoulder and a complimentary “good work”. But I won’t trust her because I’ve encountered feminists like her who denied my traumatic experiences at the hands of women and girls or invalidated them.

  2. Eagle34 Says:

    Plus the commentators, some of them make me want to vomit. Seriously, I felt sick reading some of them as a survivor of female abuse.

  3. Pelle Billing Says:

    Eagle,

    I agree that there are still some serious flaws in her reasoning. But now that she has dropped her hate and can feel some empathy for men, I think this can change over time.

    Even if nothing more changes, it’s still a big step in the right direction. She won’t be your go-to-person for male issues or even a balanced view of gender issues. But every radical feminist who can move towards love and inclusion is still something positive.

    So I take it for what it is. A radical feminist who is coming from a different place. That’s a good transition, but still not someone who has a balanced view.

  4. Eagle34 Says:

    That’s what I mean when I offer a complimentary pat on the shoulder and “Good Work”. Yes, it’s a step in the right direction and I acknowledge her empathy. But I still don’t trust her and her commentators reek of the usual gynocentric crap. Would you believe there is one who actually reads the SCUM Manifesto for enjoyment?

    Seriously? This commentator puts Valerie Sonas, a mentally unstable nutcase who nearly KILLED A MAN up there as a stress reliever?

    You’ll find the comment in there, Pelle. I don’t even want to venture in that place to pull it up. Eugh!

  5. Byron Says:

    Eagle,

    Yes, I agree – I’m glad to hear her soften her stance a little but I’m not sure it makes much difference in what she’s doing in the world & the hate movement she’s supporting.

    By the way, Valerie Solanas attempted to kill not one but THREE men, WITHIN A YEAR of writing The SCUM Manifesto.

    ‘A satirical work’, according to feminists.


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