Such strength in title and language usage should not marginalize the transgender community, but should maintain inclusivity of transgender people, especially transgender women. Extreme Feminism, or Feminist Extremism, would be a more accurate term for a sect of feminism that promotes marginality.
I look to the women in my life, my grandmother and all of the maternal feminists I know, for the hard work and hardships they have endured so I can live the radical feminist life I do: without adhering to hetero-normative gender roles; for the ability to be gender fluid, not gender defined; to be sexually liberated and independent in personal nature.
Why wouldn't feminists, or the straight "gayborhoods" for that matter, not include the transgender community? What is the point of making gains in a cause if, once liberated in one aspect or another, those successes are not then utilized to the benefit and safety of those who remain oppressed?
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED), print edition 1971, defines the word radical thus: "n. Politics. An advocate of 'radical reform' [thorough reform]; one who holds advanced views of political reform...." Wouldn't it be "thorough" to be inclusive of the transgender community? Would not this then be an "advanced view" of feminism, rather than a regressive one?
The word is also defined by its scientific nature, synonymous with "root", which I believe to be the origin of "self-defined radical feminists" hijacking it for the purposes of staunch righteousness. According to The New Yorker article, radical feminists go as far as to "insist on regarding transgender women as men, who should not be allowed to use women's facilities, such as public rest rooms, or to participate in events organized exclusively for women (24)." To me, this is just as patronizing and misogynist as men imposing rules/definitives on cis-gender women, such as: lower wages, housewife, bad driver, bitch, etc. How can restriction ever liberate?
Coincidentally, the advent of "radical feminism" began in the 1970's during second wave feminism, rendering the term even more outdated in 2014.
Radical feminism deserves and demands a change, politically as well as linguistically. One definition of radicalism I especially enjoy, also from OED 1971 print edition: "Of qualities : inherent in the nature or essence of a thing or person." A definition that echos language in the Constitution of the United States, one of unalienable rights, one that might be too extreme for these "radical feminists" to amend:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness..."
Why not fight for this?
|Rest Room Sign, Hampshire College 2013|