Radical feminism is a form of feminism which believes patriarchy needs to be dismantled, and that women cannot work inside its system to be free. Patriarchy is the system some men have put in place for the benefit of all men, and it includes the legal system, medical system, media, and religions.
Radical feminism does not believe patriarchy hurts men as much as it hurts women, just as racism didn’t hurt whites as much as blacks. That’s why it’s called bigotry- because it’s unfair. That’s the point. It’s not about achieving equality with men under the current system (which is patriarchy and is SET UP so men win). It’s about dismantling it and preserving the happiness of innocent people. This is why “equality” never works, because misogynistic men’s intent is not to rig the game to get more money, power, etc, and then they’ll be happy, but to attack women; the system is just a tool of that intent. “Equality” never works because it’s a war, not a race.
“I want to suggest to you that a commitment to sexual equality with males, that is, to uniform character as of motion or surface, is a commitment to becoming the rich instead of the poor, the rapist instead of the raped, the murderer instead of the murdered. I want to ask you to make a different commitment – a commitment to the abolition of poverty, rape and murder; that is, a commitment to ending the system of oppression called patriarchy; to ending the male sexual model itself.”
-Andrea Dworkin “Our Blood”.
In other words, neither men nor women should obey the system.
Radical feminism doesn’t believe bad men “don’t know better”, “suffer under” their own bigotry, or “need to be educated”. It believes misogynists know exactly what they’re doing when they hurt or discriminate against women and that they use our idiocy (our willingness to think they don’t know any better) to get away with it. Does a man who kicks his wife because she won’t have sex with him really need to be “educated”, or do you think he already knows kicking ANY person is wrong? Bullies in any corner of society know exactly what harm they’re doing, and this is why they do it. The point is to hurt.
Radical feminism doesn’t believe PIV (penis-inside-vagina) sex is the only way to have sex, or that it should be the default definition of “sex”. PIV sex is male centric, since during PIV the penis often gets more pleasure than the clitoris (though everyone is an individual and we all have differences among our bodies). PIV is not necessary for pregnancy, which can be caused by sperm swimming up the vagina from being deposited on the outside (and pregnancy is not the only reason for sex). The media, doctors, gynecologists, and art portray PIV as the most natural and normal type of sex because it is usually more pleasurable for men, and try to “fix” women who don’t like it (“vaginismus”, etc).
PIV can cause cervical cancer, dryness, soreness, and pain. It’s the kind of activity that is best done in moderation, if at all. PIV- the act itself- is more likely to cause pain for the woman than for the man. Patriarchy, therefore, supports PIV as the “normal” way to have sex, and theorizes that women are the “weaker” and more vulnerable sex because they can be more easily hurt by intercourse than men. But suppose a woman slammed her clitoris and labia against a man’s testicles- that would hurt. Yet we don’t hear society calling that act “normal” sex, because the man would be getting hurt in that case.
PIV is often used by domineering or misogynistic men to get women to bond with them- such close contact creates feelings, and if the intercourse is harsh enough, she may have a mild sort of “trauma bond” with the male. Since society and the media tell women giving men PIV is something that should “liberate” them, or that they should get used to if they want a “normal sex life”, society/the media acts like a sexual predator, coercing women into doing things they might otherwise not want to.
Sex-positivism is the idea that having more sex and more kinds of sex is the key to liberation, especially having more sex with men. It’s not. What’s liberating about having sex with men? We’re already expected to do that! What’s revolutionary about BDSM or sadomasochism? There’s always been an undercurrent of that in society (sometimes it becomes more mainstream than at other times), and isn’t sex the way masculinity and patriarchy conceive of it already painful and violent? “Liberating” events like SlutWalk make good points, such as women who are sexually active should not be judged more than men. But the movements fail to address whether sexual liberation is good for women or not. For example, surely a woman has as much right to cut herself on the arm as men do, and not be judged for it…but is it good for her to do so? No.
Liberal feminism thinks the way to free women is to teach them to act the way patriarchal or “masculine” men act. For example, to dominate others, to give up everyday life in search of happiness in the business world, to be less in tune with their bodies and minds, etc. It’s the equivalent of telling black people in 1840 that the key to being free is to enslave others and start their own plantation. We don’t want expedient, materialistic success; we want to be treated and thought of as human beings. Liberal feminism also has a “pick your battles” attitude about the women’s movement, often calling some issue “too small” or “non-issues”, which is a tactic the patriarchy uses to silence complaints. Who’s to decide which issues are “too small”? If someone’s bothered by something, it needs to be addressed!
Liberal feminism believes men who hate women truly don’t know what they’re doing and if we just pick up a textbook and a dictionary and educate them, they’ll say, “Oh, okay. I never realized that before! I’ll stop using women as sperm dumpsters.” Men already know women don’t like to be treated like shit, and that it’s wrong to treat someone a certain way because of something other than their personal characteristics. The horrible things they do to women are things they know are wrong to do to everybody, like lying, insulting, victim-blaming, and assaulting. We’re supposed to believe men know it’s wrong to do those things to 100% of people, then suddenly forget that it’s wrong to do them to some people five minutes later. Sorry. Not buying it.
The solution liberal feminists have to the patriarchy problem is for women to find individual happiness or escape from it as individuals- i.e., if a woman happens to be lucky enough to become a big CEO, then feminism is a success, even though her sisters are still suffering. “Individualism” is prized, instead of group politics, even though it is a group, as a group, that is suffering, not random individuals who just happen to be female.
We believe women should try to be as independent from men as possible, emotionally, financially, and otherwise. Though there are definitely some good men, the majority of men on the planet (counting third world countries and places like Saudi Arabia) are bigoted and even dangerous. Women should try to build up friendships and even romantic partnerships with other women as a precautionary measure, since men are taught to lie to and emotionally manipulate women to get what they want. Women should partner with men only if the particular man is suitable, and should not search specifically for a male partner, because bad men prey on this automatic assurance that women will bond with men as a group, because they’re men. We need to stop feeding the “a girl for every boy!” machine.
Forced monogamy is part of the problem. If heterosexual women had the choice of sharing the few good men instead of settling for the bad ones (so each and every man, no matter how horrible, got a wife) a lot of our problems would be solved. Why breed a bad man’s child? It would also be better if women were not expected to marry to get societal benefits.
We oppose the “who am I to judge” attitude about bad male behavior such as objectifying women and watching pornography, and we have put forth the radical idea that prostitution and pornography are not ways to liberate women. Current pornography, since it is 99% comprised of violence or domination against women, and since it is used as a manual to train young boys to hate and rape women, should be banned. Pornography is not “just a choice” for either the viewer or the person in the photos. Often, the girls used in the photos were coerced or were spied on, and the fact that they’re smiling means nothing, since they are only acting. Often, actual rapes are filmed, and passed off as “acting”. The user does not deserve any respect since they are viewing the other’s body as an object, and since they’re getting off from hatred and domination. Only in a healthy society can erotica (NOT pornography) or other sexualized arts exist, a society free from misogyny and domination as a mainstream form of sex.
Prostitution must be criminalized for customers and decriminalized for prostituted women. Prostitution is not just a job like any other. Most people in the profession want to leave, but are forced to stay because their pimps threaten them with violence, because they are poor and hungry, or because they were kidnapped and placed in the business against their will. The only difference between prostitution and rape is that the coercion part of it was done by the pimp or the woman’s circumstances, instead of by the man himself. Sweden has criminalized prostitution for customers (johns) instead of the prostitutes themselves and has had great success.
The cowardly “all-inclusiveness” in the feminist movement must end immediately. We include those who support our goals. We do not include those who oppose our goals. Such would be including a Hitler Youth organizer in a Jewish rights march. The reason we have a name for our movement is because we disagree with some beliefs and support others. We also are not obligated to respect views opposing ours. We do not respect Wahabbi Islam, religious right-wing nutjobs, the guy at the local Macy’s who calls women “bitches”, rapists who also happen to be good filmmakers, or the Pope.
Radical feminism is not afraid to fight the good fight, break some rules, and ruffle some feathers, because a few offended misogynists are worth our rights. We are not “good girls” and we’re not dedicated to wasting our time “talking it out” and “educating” people who are opposed to us anymore than we would try to reason with the aggressor in any other war. We will establish a world in which women are equal to men, in which men don’t prey on women, in which the media doesn’t make women feel ugly and inferior, and in which marriage and monogamy no longer trap women into men’s lives.
In other words, we will establish a world in which women are free from patriarchy and control by men.