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It's a little bit late for International Women's Day, but it slipped my mind that I'd planned to replace this post then. But I guess it's always International Women's Day at Ovarit!

We've all got a Peak Trans story, but this thread is more of a 'Peak Patriarchy' - a place to share your journey into feminism.

I'm particularly interested in answers to questions like:

  • What drew you towards feminism?
  • What have been your experiences the feminist movement?
  • How did you first encounter feminist thought? Books or blogs, youtubers or conversatisions with feminst friends?
  • Has your feminism changed over your life? For instance, were you a liberal feminist who radicalised?
  • What changes has becoming a feminist made to your life, your perspectives, your activism, your relationships, etc?
  • What are your priorities as a feminist?

(This is not a questionnaire or a test - these are just prompts to get you thinking.)

Looking forward to reading everyone's responses!

Earlier threads: [1], [2]

It's a little bit late for International Women's Day, but it slipped my mind that I'd planned to replace this post then. But I guess it's always International Women's Day at Ovarit! We've all got a [Peak Trans](https://www.ovarit.com/o/GenderCritical/13499/peak-trans-reprise-iii-tell-your-story-here) story, but this thread is more of a 'Peak Patriarchy' - a place to share your journey into feminism. I'm particularly interested in answers to questions like: - What drew you towards feminism? - What have been your experiences the feminist movement? - How did you first encounter feminist thought? Books or blogs, youtubers or conversatisions with feminst friends? - Has your feminism changed over your life? For instance, were you a liberal feminist who radicalised? - What changes has becoming a feminist made to your life, your perspectives, your activism, your relationships, etc? - What are your priorities as a feminist? (This is not a questionnaire or a test - these are just prompts to get you thinking.) Looking forward to reading everyone's responses! Earlier threads: [[1](https://www.ovarit.com/o/WomensLiberation/2493/how-did-you-become-a-feminist-tell-your-story)], [[2](https://www.ovarit.com/o/WomensLiberation/10146/how-did-you-become-a-feminist-tell-your-story-part-2)]

36 comments

[–] KollontaiPankhurst SocFem 1 points Edited

What drew you towards feminism?

In short, a lifetime of experience as a woman.

Longer version: I didn't really notice sexism as a little kid, but as soon as I hit puberty, the reality hit me. Catcalls form truckers and construction workers. Boys in school sending sexually explicit messages asking for things (why oh why did I have everyone I knew on facebook?!). My first college bf had a porn collection and didn't understand my problem with it. All of this and more eventually coalesced into my realization: something was fundamentally wrong, and feminism seemed to give me the answer I was looking for ever since puberty hit.

What have been your experiences in the feminist movement?

I find a lot of women I talk to, when I start getting into socialist feminism, become very very excited. I think a lot of women are initially attracted to liberal feminism, but find it a bit void of answers. I usually end up giving out book recommendations, and my hope is they follow suit!

How did you first encounter feminist thought? Books or blogs, youtubers or conversatisions with feminst friends?

Initially, tumblr to be honest. I was a young college activist, and I just straight up went into the feminist tag. It initially seemed I had two options: Liberal feminism or radical feminism. As I branched out into wikipedia, and then books, podcasts, etc. I found way more approaches historically and contemporarily.

Has your feminism changed over your life? For instance, were you a liberal feminist who radicalised?

I was initially kind of on the fence between liberal and radical. I liked some of liberal feminism's goals of putting women in positions of power and changing laws for equality. They had the basic groundwork it seemed. But they were too pro sex industry - and the sex industry was the last straw that drove me to feminism in the first place - so radical feminism, which was blatantly against the sex industry and pro Nordic model, attracted me more. Then I became a radical feminist, and over time, I became a socialist feminist as I began to include a marxist lens. Now I include multiple perspectives, postcolonial feminism and ecofeminism included, but I generally consider myself a socialist feminist first and foremost.

What changes has becoming a feminist made to your life, your perspectives, your activism, your relationships, etc?

being a feminist has led me to question everything, and probably helped hurdle me towards socialism to be honest, as I began to question authority, hierarchy, everything that I was supposed to just accept. It's also made me prioritize women in my life, and never compromise on this matter.

What are your priorities as a feminist?

Liberation of global women from the global economic dependence on men

Abolishing fast fashion, which primarily employs women in the third world under shitty conditions to enrich primarily male shareholders

Abolishing capitalism and the profit motive which keeps workers in poverty and exploits the earth causing climate change

Ensuring that health care and pension is separate from jobs, and universal basic income or other safety nets exist, in particular to enable women to actually choose whether they want to work and put their child in day-care (which needs to be widely available), or spend time with their child (this is a particular concern for me in reference to indigenous and linguistic minority women, who may not share the dominant culture, as economic factors forcing her into poverty to preserve culture or go back to work and potentially have the child be assimilated as very much an issue to me).

Changing the societal attitudes to view prostitution, pornography, and stripping to be misogynistic economic exploitation, including implementing the Nordic model. Honestly, I appreciate Iceland's efforts in this regard, and wish more countries would implement it.

What drew you towards feminism?

I've always been drawn to the idea of making the world a better place, and while looking into why the world is the way it is, and listening to those suffering the most I became aware of just how poorly women are treated on the whole.

How did you first encounter feminist thought?

TED Talks were what got me going. I went through a phase of listening obsessively to TED Talks all day while I had time alone at home, and when I found the lists of talks by women I hopped right on there and what I found broke my heart. Women advocating for victims of FGM, women escaping child marriage then going back to save girls from that fate, and many more. I would watch and listen and just cry and cry.

Has your feminism changed over your life? For instance, were you a liberal feminist who radicalised?

I was radical before I knew what radical was. I never for one second bought into liberal feminism or what I like to call "pop feminism". It astounded me that websites that we're supposedly pro-woman would post articles about BDSM or anal sex. I just didn't believe that those things were good for women. I have gotten angrier and angrier the more I have learned, but now I am at an emotional plateau finally.

What changes has becoming a feminist made to your life, your perspectives, your activism, your relationships, etc?

Since finding radical feminism and having a feminist awakening as a result (mixed with an emotional breakdown around the first covid lockdown) my relationship with my husband has strangely improved. I was able to identify the places I was holding myself back and the behaviours I was falling into in my relationship that were bad for me. I reevaluated where I had landed, and was able to settle into my decisions more strongly. I was lucky that I had picked a good partner to begin with, and that my success and happiness has always been important to him. The other thing is that I have started to pay more attention to the women who are in my life and build those friendships up, as well as make a point to be more friendly to other women in general. I don't stand by anymore when women are being talked about badly behind their backs, I stand up for them.

What are your priorities as a feminist?

  1. Build community with other women
  2. Rise into power together
  3. Make the world a better place

I go into detail on here quite often about my goals, but this sums it up nicely. 😁

What drew you towards feminism?

I was raised catholic, my mother was very conservative and her views on women bothered me from an early age. She had quiverfull cult books on her shelf as well as anti-choice books that painted Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood as evil incarnate. She would listen to Dr. Laura Schlessinger on the way to school, and despite that being terrible I also felt no representation in the opposite - the Howard Stern Show. Both these things made me feel uncomfortable.

As I grew I became an accomplished female student athlete. My mother would rail against me being immodest in class when I would be able to wear the same clothes while competing. I noticed how boys and men were often incompetant then wondered why I as a girl was supposed to submit myself to them because god said so. I think the final straw really for me was the right to abortion. I very early on understood that it could not be murder, despite arguing with my mother about it many times. Its self defense!! Murder is not possible when your life is in danger! So I guess the final straw for me leaving the catholic church at 16, and becoming feminist, was the right to aboriton.

What have been your experiences the feminist movement?

Our Bodies, Ourselves was a lifesaver for me, however by the time I was in high school feminism had fully gone to the side of "empowered sluts" which I felt no connection to whatsoever. I have not really had much experience with feminist movements that really serve me its like they were all underground by the time I graduated college.

How did you first encounter feminist thought? Books or blogs, youtubers or conversatisions with feminst friends?

Actually my first encounter with feminist thought was my best friend in junior high. She planted all the seeds of questioning my indotrination, and the rights of women, and she gave me the period talk I never got from my own mother.

Has your feminism changed over your life? For instance, were you a liberal feminist who radicalised?

Yes I was a liberal-ish feminist who radicalized. But truth be told it was always underneath. I had a fundamental discomfort with the "empowered porn star" narrative of feminism from the 90s especially all the explicit music that dehumanized and scandalized women and women's bodie. Woodstock 99 was a major shock to me as I thought for sure it could have been me (one of the hundreds of girls assaulted and raped), and nobody in the media really bothered to address at all the way it harms girls. The Monica Lewinsky thing also deeply hurt me (it happened to me in junior high), again I knew deep down she didn't deserve the hate she got, yet I couldn't articulate to anyone what that was until I later learned outside of school what patriarchal rape culture means. Same with Brittany Spears. Why did she get so much vile hate? She was talented, beautiful and kind.

I graduated school right at the beginning of a major teenage self-harm/anorexia era which continues to this day. Deep down I knew it was all wrong. Especially as an athlete, who had every reason to love her own body.

I have only become more aware of how horrible it all is. Part of me kind of thought that sex work could be liberating, but since I've done it myself now, I know for a fact it isn't. Next, ofc, the whole TWAW thing was something that I honestly sympathized with but never fully believed and didn't think they expected you to fully believe. The level that they take it has only made me absolutely disgusted with how much men hate women.

What changes has becoming a feminist made to your life, your perspectives, your activism, your relationships, etc?

I was always a feminist from an early age. My own mother disowned me because of me leaving her belief system. I have not made friends, lets just say, because I have my views. I am daily shocked at how much our society caters to men and their fragile masculinity. Even other women do it!!

What are your priorities as a feminist?

Good question. I have to think on it. There's so many issues. Education would be my main priority. We have to prepare our younger generations to stand up for themselves and know what truth is.

I have always been more rad leaning. I am not sure if I agree with radfems on everything

I think being somewhat feminist as a lesbian is inevitable. Reading more stuff on patriarchy from a friend also helped immensely

I never thought of myself as "a girl" or "a woman", I was always just ME, a very complex being, everything I ever had to perceive and interpret the world, my conscience... You know, there are not even words to describe what "being oneself" means, because you were never anything else. But it was definitely not related to any concept of "masculine" or "feminine". I thought it was perfectly normal to want to read novels or see maps or make experiments in the kitchen instead of playing with dolls, because why not? The concept of "girlish" or "boyish" didn't exist in my world.

That changed when I realized that I lived in a world where "the boys" and "the men" were a distinct category that was placed directly above mine, which was called "girls" and later "women". There were also a set of behaviors and hobbies ascribed to each category. This is when I came to understand that my father's violence didn't exist in a vacuum, and that the lack of consequences for his near-homicidal treatment of my mother was directly related to this power dynamic.

I took a long time to discover feminism because liberal feminism is all I knew, and I thought it was shallow and empty. What the hell do I care about empowering myself through sex work? I thought. Not that I didn't have my flirtations with it: female socialization did do its number on me, and I found myself in all sorts of disgusting situations where I degraded and lowered myself. I "had sex" (more like laid down while men masturbated inside me) with people who I thought saw me as a human being, but they just saw me as a fleshlight. A girl.

I never thought much of the trans thing, but this year I read an article somewhere that talked smack about GC and Ovarit and I discovered the whole radical feminism world, of which I was only vaguely aware before. I started thinking about the trans subject deeply for the first time, and I realized that it was absolutely nonsensical.

The feminist movement here in Argentina is mostly libfem. Supposedly anti-imperialist people chew this propaganda which comes directly from US universities, and roughly came from French philosophy beforehand. Y'know, two of the most powerful countries in the history of the world. But they have no coherence. They say that the Europeans created the categories of "male" and "female", and stuff like that, in the name of the indigenous peoples. You talk about sex trafficking and they call you whorephobic. That sort of thing. Not surprisingly, I don't have feminist friends in real life, and not online either because of the whole fear of doxxing. That's how powerful real feminism is; we're afraid to "come out" as real feminists!

To be honest, I really don't give a damn about what "being a woman" intrinsecally means, if it does mean anything. I am this person, this brain, this baggage of feelings and experience. That is all. I don't think human beings experience "being a gender" in a more significant way that they experience "having two legs". How is that meaningful? I only know that it feels strange and upsetting to be considered subhuman by the other half of the species just because "I am a woman", and I hate it. I read mysoginistic stuff online and it makes my blood boil. It's the same with any other kind of hate for characteristics that you can't control and that don't define you. Other than that, I don't really care about "being feminine" or whatever - I just am a woman, biologically speaking, which is as important to me as my blood type, and it's not something I really think about. Outsiders, however, do think about that when they see me and act accordingly. That is why radical feminism is so important.

If I was a dumb person, I'd have the exact same thoughts and consider myself non-binary. However, I recognize the trick. I acknowledge that, except for these sick transtrenders, nobody "feels" gender. I understand that gender is a social construct, just like race, that still hinders my experience of life. I know that my sex does affect me and I know that my womb has a prize tag.

Due to lockdown I'm not really engaging in any activism outdoors. I just post here as much as possible and keep educating myself through readings of Andrea Dworkin, Sheila Jeffreys, Mary Wollstonecraft... (By the way, I was always an Anglophile and I taught myself English, so it's extra lovely to know that you're referred to as "TERF Island"!)

My priority is to keep learning and to eventually meet rad fems in real life. I'm also a law student and it would be ideal to engage in work that benefits women worldwide. That's really my main goal in life.

I think I've always had a natural inclination towards feminism but I wasn't aware of it. I grew up with a single mother as my sexist misogynist father didn't really care to look after me. Was rather gender nonconforming, fond of the girl scouts and the few relationships I had with men were always lead by me as this was natural and I luckely had no example of men pursuing women. I experienced severe stigma in my small town for being "too promiscious". As I am also attracted to women I've always found it easier to support equality and I loved female politicans and doctors and butches since I was a teenager. I became a gender critical feminist after a meetup with my biofather and his relatives in 2016 made me depressed as they objectified me so much and gave me so much sexism. It made me more aware of such issues and now I want to oppose it as an openly feminist woman. I going to buy a feminist flag when I move out as I approach 24 next year :) and I will be living alone as a single, independent woman due to feminism!

Growing up, I did not have any strong female role models. I was raised in a very traditional environment. My father likes to brag about how modern/progressive he is when in reality he does not allow my mom to make any major decisions and regularly ridicule her as stupid (even though she worked full-time and contributed to half the household expenses) while giving outsiders the impression of him as a mild-manner hen-pecked husband. My older brother had a violent temper and I was absolutely terrified of him but my parents looked the other way for his behavior because Only Male Child. My mother constantly berated me for not being feminine enough (not smiling enough, not being cheerful, being "selfish"/need to think about others first, being too "uppity, being too cold/unemotional, etc etc etc) while my brother got complete freedom to live his life as he wanted.

In college I ended up in a relationship with a very abusive man who constantly used gaslighting to get his way but coming from my sheltered background I had no idea that was a thing (they teach you about physical abuse in school but verbal/psychological is rarely mentioned). I put up with it for too many years because I was socialized to believe that I needed to be in a relationship, I shouldn't be so picky/have standards and that I needed to compromise for a successful relationship (when in reality I was doing all the compromising...). After that dumpsterfire of a relationship finally ended I took a really good look at the past events to fully understand how toxic the whole thing was and how easily it was to be victimized by a male who claimed to be marginalized/mistreated by society. (people who grew up in abusive households tend to normalize that behavior so they don't notice it in their later relationships)

My first exposure to feminist concepts was the book Failing At Fairness: How Our Schools Cheat Girls (Myra and David Sadker). It was quite an eyeopener and I think anyone going into the field of education should read it to ensure they are treating their students equally.

I don't have any major world-changing goals as a feminist. I primarily try to give my support to family and friends, especially those that seek advice and encourage them to seek happiness and not feel obligated to stay in unhappy/unhealthy relationships because of societal expectations of women. We are not required to start relationships with men just because they approached us. We do not have to start a family when the dating pool is so infested with trash. We do not owe men anything.

The older I get the more aware/intolerant I am of male entitlement that infects our society.

[–] Vanya 0 points Edited

I was raised in a very conservative environment and while I was never super girly those roles were forced on me from a young age. I started encountering mainstream feminism in high school, but I was never deep into liberal feminism. I started noticing a change in the kind of feminist content that I was engaging with when I was about 18, which is when I started seeing more radical content as opposed to "choice feminism". Most of my exposure to feminism has been through social media, but I try to read feminist theory in my free time and I plan on participating in more feminist groups like possibly starting a feminist book club when I graduate college and attending women's festivals and female-only events.

I never really wore makeup or styled my hair outside of braids or a bit of lipstick, but now I own no makeup and keep my hair pretty short (I'm actually thinking of shaving my head this summer but I'm scared of backlash). I wear comfortable clothes including no heels and usually no bras. I want to center women in my life more but the pandemic makes it hard to make connections, which is part of why I'm going to try and be more active on here and I want to join some in-person groups once covid restrictions are lifted.

I'm in STEM and my dream is to work in an all-female lab, although I'm not sure how realistic that is. I'd love to connect with more women in STEM since my classes are primarily mixed and I don't have as many female role models as I used to have.

edit: I never really questioned the patriarchy when I was a kid but I always had a knot in my stomach when grown men would hit on me as a child or I felt self-conscious about my looks. Beauty standards and other gender roles always seemed unattainable but I felt like it was my fault and not a systemic thing.

I mentioned this under a post lambasting a handmaiden-ass TRA take by Jessica Valenti; her. When I was 12 years old at Barnes & Noble I saw her book, got curious, and got it. I went over the major events in a video I made about my journey lol.

I was born one and my thoughts were all confirmed on the realisation

whenever males form gangs, drug gangs, mafia style gangs, military even,

they automatically turn all there attention towards females and look to exploit them sexually and force them into prostitution.

Men are the real gold diggers, especially when they become pimps and what women are to such men, are a push over, an easy source of revenue for them..

and this is the big thing about males.. whenever they join forces in the name of their manhood they will automatically in a pattern of male behaviour that never alters turn all there focus onto women and girls and hunt them down to rape and torture them and for a fee, provide the rest of their male population an outlet for all their pent up male frustrations by allowing them to abuse their female captives to.

We don't asses men individually we assess them as a group for good reason because our very lives depend on it

[–] [Deleted] 0 points Edited

We don't asses men individually we assess them as a group for good reason because our very lives depend on it

fact

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