In the feminist community, there is this inexplicable idea that you can’t police people’s identity as feminists. Sure, I can’t keep them from saying they’re feminists, but just because you call yourself a feminist, it doesn’t mean you are one, or that you’re a good one.
For my own judgmental opinion, good is supporting the destruction of kyriarchy, with emphasis on the ways in which it affects women. Bad is choosing bits and pieces of that to support.
Anti-choice. You cannot say that you support women without giving them bodily autonomy. You cannot privilege a zygote over a living person with a uterus; it fundamentally says “I believe you are less human, and have fewer rights, than this non-person.” If you do believe a fetus is a person, you are giving something unborn more rights than someone living and breathing. You go straight from bad feminist to not a feminist.
Transphobia. For a group of people who believe that gender is socially constructed, feminists say some truly horrible things about trans* people. Women are women if they so identify. This isn’t like feminism with an ideology. It is exclusively an identity. Bad feminists say trans* women are not women. This is one of my issues with radical feminism. I have had a radical feminist say to me, with agreement from other radfems, that trans* men are just women trying to take gender privilege for themselves, and trans* women are just men trying to oppress women by stealing their gender. Horrible bigotry is bad feminism.
Not considering intersectionality. This is my primary issue with radfeminism. Gender oppression intersects with other oppression, and none of these can be picked apart in an individual person to determine the way in which they are being oppressed. This is why we have stereotypes of women of different races and ethnicities: their gender is so linked to their race. Dismissing other forms of oppression as not being of feminist concern is something only people with immense privilege can do, because everyone else has to live intersectionality every day, and puts gender above all else, which it most certainly is not. Because of this, it is bad feminism. Patriarchy is not our only problem. This is why I favor fighting kyriarchy over patriarchy. (For potential clarification: feminism is primarily about women’s concerns. Given the default lack of gender privilege, this can be used as a baseline, with other forms of privilege intersecting)
Privileging male voices in feminism over women’s voices. Like they don’t have enough privilege already, that they need to be heard over women in a movement that centers around women’s oppression. I believe in man feminists. I do not believe that good man feminists want to speak over women. Women who privilege man feminists are also bad feminists.
These are four of the most common ways in which I am supremely irritated by people calling themselves feminists.
Check your privilege!