I think there’s an interesting conversation to be had about online
feminism, and the changeable definitions of third-wave feminism. What is
third-wave feminism? Why is there such confusion over the term? How are
blogs and websites changing the way we discuss feminism? Do you feel
strongly about this particular debate? Does it worry you at all, this
Any other comments would be marvellous, thank you.
The questions about the identity of online feminists are more about working towards a kyriarchal approach to feminism and the discussions are about what is happening to marginalised voices within feminism, not about ‘are we third wave’ or ‘what are we going to call ourselves’.
When it comes to Double X, I think we’re just left with questions - is it feminist, or is it not feminist? Is it a feminist magazine, is it a women’s magazine? Why is it called Double X, which seems to immediately shut out trans women and intersex readers?
Why did it host a story blaming another woman for not reporting being raped?
Why did it begin by resurrecting the tired and frankly boring ‘debate’ over whether feminism is dead (or ‘road kill’ as one writer put it)? At a time when there are new feminist blogs popping up every day?
Hang on, here you go - I’ve put my thoughts in order:
1 What do ‘3rd wave’ feminists consider sexist?
2 Is there such a thing as a bad feminist? What is it?
We all mess up - we’ve all been raised in a sexist, racist, transphobic, heteronormative society, and guess what, that affects our behaviour. We all also differ in terms of what feminism means to us.
3 Why has the Jezebel site hit a cultural nerve? And what, if anything, can
it tell us about the state of young women’s lives?
It tells us that women of all ages are affected by sexism, which we already knew. It tells us there’s a hunger for more than ‘women’s magazines’ are offering - one of the things Jezebel does really well is actually to critique women’s magazine culture. Their series of posts on photoshopping of women appearing in magazines, their series adding up how much you’d have to spend to buy everything in magazines, their posts making fun of the coverlines of these magazines - they’re clearly tapping into a growing frustration with media austensibly ‘for’ women, but which focus on undermining women and setting beauty and ‘lifestyle’ standard.
4 MEGAN from Jezebel said: “I have seen misogyny and, most of the time, it
looks a lot like the ideology Hirshman has the audacity to call
“feminism”.” Does she mean 20th-century feminism was misogynistic? If so,
lots of detail wanted!!
What she was saying was it’s extremely problematic to call out another woman for not reporting being raped, aged (please check, but as far as I remember) 17. I suspect it’s fairly uncontroversial that berating any survivor for this decision, which we know can be extremely difficult, is not on. Don’t I remember a piece in your sister newspaper, where Julie Bindel said she wouldn’t report it if she was raped?!
6 How would you describe the “state of feminism” today?
7 Are these disagreements between young women today about what feminism
means healthy or concerning?
8 What do you think are the most troubling problems with feminism today?
*How is today’s feminism different from that of one, two - five years ago?
Why is it changing so quickly? What is good and what is unhelpful about
that speed - is it partly why today’s, 3rd-wave feminists disagree with
each other so profoundly?
*Feminism was a liberation movement but has it gone too far - can female
sexual promiscuity go too far (what is ‘too far’ and who makes that
Seriously, in that context, you’re asking whether women having a consensual sex life is ‘going too far’?!
*Is there such a thing as perfect egalitarian sexual freedom?
*Is doing what feels good to you is the only standard that is allowed - is
this what has become of the 20th century feminist mantra: the personal is
I just think that’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation. What do you think the criticism of Double X for posting the piece about the Jezebel journalist not reporting rape is about?! That’s about standards. I think this post says it really well:
The blogger says:
Stop policing women’s sexual choices. No. No exceptions, no ifs, buts or maybes. Just stop it.
No. My decision to have sex does not constitute ‘risky behaviour’. Dancing on train tracks constitutes risky behaviour.
Rape is not caused by my decision to have sex. It is caused by the decision of a rapist to rape me.
Rape is not caused by my skirt, my t-shirt, my halter-top, my lycra jumpsuit, my boots, my grandfather’s hand-me-down cardigan, or my goddamn see-through bra with the plastic goldfish inside. It is caused by the decision of a rapist to rape me.
Rape is not caused by my presence at a party, on a street, at a nightclub, in my car, in my home, in a park, or in a hotel room full of football players. It is caused by the decision of a rapist, or multiple rapists, to rape me.
Rape is not caused by any of my previous decisions to have sex. It is caused by the decision of a rapist to rape me.
Rape is not caused by my decision to have sex with more than one person at a time. It is caused by the decision of a rapist to rape me.
Future acts of rape are not caused by my choice to report or not report my rape. They are caused by the decision of a rapist to continue raping.
Stop trying to draw a causal link between what a woman can control, and the decision of a rapist to rape. There isn’t one. There has never been one. There will never be one.
Rape happens because rapists decide it will happen. Policing women’s sexual choices is bullshit, and a misdirection of your energy. Stop doing it.