via Womanhood: On Sex, Gender Roles, and Self-Identification

From a radical lesbian feminist of color:

There is a persistent thread of misogyny running through queer politics, from the inception of queer to its present incarnation. Queer was the product of gay men’s activism, concerned primarily with sexual freedom and transgression: as such, queer did not represent the interests of lesbian women when it came into being during the 1980s and does not represent the interests of lesbian women now (Jeffreys, 2003). Queer is less about collectively challenging structural inequalities at their root than an individualised subversion of social norms

Right now, queer theory has not only been mainstreamed but also deified, with feminism being viewed as overly academic and out of touch – despite the fact that queer theory is nothing BUT theory while feminism is based on observed structural inequality. I have been told that my feminist analysis is overly “academic” while transgenderism and queerness was an “identity” – nevermind that my feminist analysis is based on thoughtful conclusions regarding observed structural inequality versus philosophical, abstract subjective identities. The thing is, back when I was in women’s studies, gender critical thought was not considered radical feminism – IT WAS THE BUILDING BLOCK OF FEMINISM! Queer theory was taught in a different department and was not viewed as particularly relevant to feminist studies. Now, however, not only is feminism viewed through a queer lens, but to question queer theory brings accusations of not just transphobia but also of racism, as if queer theory was something that grew out of the black power movements of  the 60s and 70s. This is why I highlight that Sister Outrider is a WoC – there seems to be a belief that only white women are radical feminists and gender critical, when this is simply not true, and manages to erase the voices of radical feminists of color. I love this essay and believe it is a crying shame that it wasn’t published as it was supposed to.