Social Justice

FAQ: Isn’t "the Patriarchy" just some conspiracy theory that blames all men, even decent men, for women’s woes?

Patriarchy: one of the most misunderstood critical-theory concepts ever, often wilfully misunderstood. Patriarchy is one form of social stratification via a power/dominance hierarchy – an ancient and ongoing social system based on traditions of elitism (a ranking of inferiorities) and its privileges. Societies can be (and usually are) patriarchal, oligarchal and plutocratic all at the same time, complicated by current and/or legacy features of sectarianism, imperialism and colonialism, so the gender hierarchy is only one source of social disparity. Because of the limited capacity of the word “patriarchy” to describe the full operation of intersecting oppressions, some now prefer to use the word “kyriarchy” instead, but it is not yet in common use.

FAQ: Can men be feminists?

(Updated with extra clarification in the clarifying concepts section)Many men are entirely comfortable with calling themselves feminists, and many feminist women are very happy to accept them as fellow feminists working for the end of sexist oppression. However, there are also men and women who are ideologically uncomfortable with men calling themselves feminists, because it […]

Saturday Retrospective: early feminist writings

Please feel free to leave comments quoting your favourite excerpts from these and why they speak to you. A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) by Mary WollestonecraftWith Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects It would be an endless task to trace the variety of meannesses, cares, and sorrows, into which women are plunged […]

FAQ: What can feminism do for me?

You will find that you are not alone in thinking something is disturbing and unjust with the way that society deals with gender. my first encounter with feminist writing reassured me that i wasn’t insane, and that amongst other things, it was in fact normal to be bothered by violence and misogyny. [m. (sthreeling): 5 […]

FAQ: What is male privilege?

Before discussing “male privilege” it is first important to define what privilege means in an anti-oppression setting. Privilege, at its core, is the advantages that people benefit from based solely on their social status. It is a status that is conferred by society to certain groups, not seized by individuals, which is why it can […]

FAQ: Isn’t feminism just "victim" politics?

updated 01May07 No. Women as a class are subjected to real hardship and oppression just because they are women. This is unjust. Pointing out that women are disproportionately victimised is accurate analysis, not “playing victim”. Witchy-Woo on the “will you women just stop whining” subtext: I think that those who would rather avoid acknowledging the […]

FAQ: Why are there so many fights between feminists?

Quoting from Sage’s FAQ: 1. Why do feminists all disagree? Feminism isn’t a movement, it’s an argument! We all want to raise the status of women to the level of men, to feel safe and respected, and to have a fair and equal chance for all our opinions to be heard. Since the movement is […]

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