Tag Archive | privilege

Feminism Friday: When women who advocate for women’s rights reject the label “feminist”

2nd May 2008: This post has been updated in light of the recent flare-ups in the rounds of discussion about how mainstream feminism remains inadequate in engaging with matters of race. See footnote. There are many critics who view “feminism” (and the progressive movement generally) as focussing too much on the West, and too much […]

Feminism Friday: Humour as a tool for shaming and silencing

Last week’s Feminism Friday post was on why Rape Jokes Just Aren’t Funny, based on a series from Melissa McEwan of Shakesville, and at the crosspost on Hoyden About Town Bernice made a telling comment. Humour – the final frontier of colonialisation. You really now you’ve co-opted someone into the frame of dominance from which […]

FAQ: what do you mean by “Not my Nigel”? (feminist abbreviations/jargon)

[2013-01-10 Update: some broken links fixed to point to revised URLs - thanks to the reader who reported!] Like any other field of debate and controversy, a lot of issues and positions in feminism end up being discussed so often that they are abbreviated for convenience into acronyms, initialisms and shorthand phrases that make up […]

FAQ: Why "feminism" and not just "humanism"? Or "equalism"? Isn’t saying you’re a feminist exclusionary?

This question implies that one must be either one or the other. People and philosophies are far more complicated than that. A feminist may also be both a humanist and an equalist. There’s no law that says only one box can be ticked here, and it’s hugely important not to get sucked into thinking that […]

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.


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