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I just attended a question time webinar by WHRC and Sheila Jeffreys talked about rebuilding a women's liberation movement. It launched a surge of passion within me, but it has me thinking... How can we effectively organise and come together as women and feminists in order to have our causes recognised and create change?

I think there is a major issue with the misrepresentation of radical feminism that needs to be addressed. I know all of us can recognise it and we see it everywhere. But how can we come together to get people to understand and listen to what we actually stand for? No more associating us with right-wingers, calling us gender essentialists, or suggesting that we are violent. So many people associate radical feminists with things that tend to be in complete opposition to our arguments. How has this misinformation come to be so widely accepted, even by other women who consider themselves feminist? How can we work to remove this misunderstanding?

I also wonder how we can effectively organise in the face of such aggressive opposition from TRAs and liberal feminists? Especially when being open about our radical feminist stances in our real, personal lives can put us at risk of being fired from our jobs, outcasted from family and friends, and in some cases, put in danger (especially bisexual & lesbian feminists who may not be accepted for their sexuality). How can we organise events around an entire movement effectively when so many of us have to keep our views to ourselves, or only share them within certain groups? Of course, I am not suggesting that we have to ignore our personal risks in the name of raising awareness for a greater cause. I also understand that people react to radfems in the way that they do because it causes people to challenge a lot of what they have come to believe and be comfortable with. But I wonder how you all would suggest this issue could be navigated?

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts!

I just attended a question time webinar by WHRC and Sheila Jeffreys talked about rebuilding a women's liberation movement. It launched a surge of passion within me, but it has me thinking... How can we effectively organise and come together as women and feminists in order to have our causes recognised and create change? I think there is a major issue with the misrepresentation of radical feminism that needs to be addressed. I know all of us can recognise it and we see it everywhere. But how can we come together to get people to understand and listen to what we actually stand for? No more associating us with right-wingers, calling us gender essentialists, or suggesting that we are violent. So many people associate radical feminists with things that tend to be in complete opposition to our arguments. How has this misinformation come to be so widely accepted, even by other women who consider themselves feminist? How can we work to remove this misunderstanding? I also wonder how we can effectively organise in the face of such aggressive opposition from TRAs and liberal feminists? Especially when being open about our radical feminist stances in our real, personal lives can put us at risk of being fired from our jobs, outcasted from family and friends, and in some cases, put in danger (especially bisexual & lesbian feminists who may not be accepted for their sexuality). How can we organise events around an entire movement effectively when so many of us have to keep our views to ourselves, or only share them within certain groups? Of course, I am not suggesting that we have to ignore our personal risks in the name of raising awareness for a greater cause. I also understand that people react to radfems in the way that they do because it causes people to challenge a lot of what they have come to believe and be comfortable with. But I wonder how you all would suggest this issue could be navigated? I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts!

17 comments

[–] error 3 points (+3|-0)

The biggest venture will be maintaining an established means of communication both within primary groups and other secondary groups aiding in the same struggle.

Ideally resources in more affluent and less restrictive countries and jurisdictions would flow to less afluent and more oppressed to help those on the lower end of the spectrum raising the lowest bar as it were to at least a minimum standard and allowing for lines of resources both material, idealogical, and financial to be established and allow like minded activists to make separate bastions away from markets and hostile regimes.

In short making those you want to help have readily available access to things their peer groups and governments can't or won't provide this will help in separating distictions between hate groups and other parties.

As far as organizing goes the internet and the advent of instantaneous communications coupled with encryption allow for safe communications and organizing when implemented correctly (see my previous posts on ovarit and spinster for examples)

[–] MsAnneThrope 3 points (+3|-0)

I think we need to show our numbers first. If we had a letter that women could sign onto that said companies must use the word Woman. Simple. Clear objective. But many things flow from this. So if we can get a large number of signatures, send that to companies and politicians saying the signatories will refuse to spend their money or vote for a politician, etc. if they do not recognize and use the word Woman. We don't have the money of the trans movement, but we have the numbers. It needs to be in black and white so there is no confusion. It doesn't need to be political left/right. It can just be something as simple as that.

[–] stern-as-steel 2 points (+2|-0)

WHRC’s Declaration on Women’s Sex Based Rights exists and can show our numbers.

[–] queenmo 4 points (+4|-0)

I think that's an amazing idea! . The only thing that really gets attention is money. So if there's a legitimate threat of boycotts maybe organisations will take heed. A single letter that can apply to lots of different organisations, MPs etc. They need to know we are not a fractured fringe group, we are a united force with numbers.

[–] [Deleted] 3 points (+3|-0) Edited

I just go with what I know, talking to people who are on the fence and expressing my point of view if they seem receptive to it.

There are a lot of women who would be sympathetic to radical feminism on the right, as long as it's sold under a different name. In fact the most headway I've made is with conservative or traditional libertarian types. Surprisingly and potentially only in my experience, I've found leftist women are getting more and more misogynistic in their beliefs over the past four years.

*American perspective.

[+] [Deleted] -6 points (+1|-7)
[–] queenmo 15 points (+15|-0)

Personally, I subscribe to all related charities and organisations and ensure that I sign any relevant petitions, donate money to legal cases and respond to relevant calls for information from the government. I write to my MPs a lot.

HOWEVER there is so much more to be done. I would really like to engage with other women to bolster these actions. I feel like there are a lot of areas that a cohesive campaign would benefit from. I'd like to co-ordinate a means of mass responses to the hugely biased news reporting we are seeing at the moment. I want publications to know that people are dissatisfied with the ridiculous way that reporting on women's groups / trans issues are being reported on right now. I would also like to see a coordinated campaign on saving women's spaces in general. Mass letter writing to MPs maybe. I feel the narrative at the moment is that most people are happy with removal of women's rights in the name of 'inclusivity'. This is not the case. We just need to demonstrate it and speak up.

[–] sanriodyke [OP] 9 points (+9|-0)

Yes, that's a good point. I should have mentioned in the post about doing our own work to support charities, organisations and individuals. However, I also wish there could be some sort of organised, mass action. Something to declare who we are and what we stand for. Participating in things like marches, strikes (e.g. work strikes due to pay gaps, etc.), and of course, mass letter writing and other individual activism which can make huge differences if done by many women.

[–] queenmo 8 points (+8|-0)

Yes, I completely agree! I think there is massive scope right now to do mass letter writing whilst we are in lockdown with a view to expanding it to the streets when the outside is no longer a biohazard! I really feel there needs to be mass movement on changing the narrative before it's too late.

[–] sanriodyke [OP] 6 points (+7|-1)

Exactly, I think now is such a great time to create more of an active, cohesive and organised movement! Especially if you consider the issue of women's rights and protections being dismissed and overtaken by transwomen since all of that is starting to become a really prominent issue within politics and law-making lately.

[–] finn-again 9 points (+9|-0)

In many ways, the Civil Rights Movement, and the anti-Vietnam War Movement, were the grounds for the Second Wave. Most of the leaders (NYC, D.C., Chicago) came out of these two political uprisings. They were political to the core, and were experienced organizers. These few women both attacked the left's sexism and got the whole WLM off the ground. The rest is history. New kinds of radical feminist leaders, thinkers, and activists arose, and in just a few years the movement was everywhere-- in the US (smallest towns) and international.

But it was the First Wave (referring to the west) that was, in the end, the biggest motivation for the Second. It provided the patterns, the history, many of the issues, the model activists, and the mixed radical and liberal politics which also taught and plagued the Second Wave. So, if the real Third one day happens, it will no doubt be soundly located in the First and Second no matter what other events arise to bring it into existence, and ongoing battle for radical feminism as the only feminism will continue in the Third Wave.

[–] Elizabelch 16 points (+16|-0)

This is a good question that deserves better answers than I have.

Being seen doing things that help women, making arguments that help women, joining existing radfem/women's liberation groups and working to help out there, supporting women's causes, I think all of that helps, but it's subtle.

There are some people and some groups who will never let go of their misconceptions because those misconceptions serve them and their agenda.

[–] thedarkhorse 4 points (+4|-0)

I donate towards the gender critical court cases in the UK and some of the other groups. I have subscribed to some women on Patreon. I am hoping to go to some Women's Place meetings when this plague is over.