An Open Letter Regarding A Radical Profeminist and Other Would-Be Helpers”

This is an open letter about men who claim to be feminist and to the women who believe them. This letter is directed at women who — without any analysis or criteria — believe men who claim to be feminist. This letter is not directed at anybody else, so please ensure that you are indeed a member of the intended audience before replying. This letter has been written with the cooperation of 28 radical feminists, all of whom should be familiar to those who frequent radical feminist spaces. We are rather serious today, about a rather serious harm being committed with impunity.

First, you need to know why we have a valid reason for being concerned about the behavior of self-identified feminist men within feminist spaces, and our answer is simple: We have identified the subtle mechanisms utilized by pro-feminist men to “divide and conquer”, to erase the commonality from all women within feminist spaces and whose cumulative effect results in a gross marginalization of the radical feminist position. Nor are we are the only women to notice a problem. Megan Milanese brilliantly describes most of the tactics here — yet that list does not go far enough to analyze the extent of the problem.

So why should an erasure of the commonality inherent to all women matter to anyone besides radical feminists? Lucky Nickel makes the relevant connection for us:

Self-naming and self-identified labels mean nothing. There must be substance to the label they identify with and substance to who they claim to be. Otherwise folks can insist on calling a mouse a giraffe or claim rape is really love.

What I do think important to note is that liberals, lesbian separatists and radical feminists are all flying the radfem flag these days. The problem being, they are 3 separate and distinct political groups and ideologies, 2 of whom are inappropriately waving the radfem flag. It can get a bit tricky tho with lesbian separatists as radical feminists can also be lesbian separatists. But not all lesbians are radfems and not all radfems are lesbian separatists, or even lesbian for that matter. But in Julian Real’s case, that would be irrelevant. The dude is not a lesbian or radical feminist.

What the dude is, is liberal. And what he is attempting to do is appropriate the radical feminist label in order to inject liberal ideology. Equality politics are liberal politics, not radical feminist politics. Radical feminists seek liberation from men and their system, not equality. Liberals focus on differences between women. Radical feminists focus on the commonality of women. Needless to say, these 2 different ideologies conflict and clash. Which delights men like Julian Real to no end. Cuz if he keeps liberal women pitted against radical feminist women, it keeps women from unifying, which in turn keeps the heat off of pricks like him and men in general. Slick, no?

In talking to each other privately, we have decided to collectively communicate the following message regarding Julian Real, Hugo Schwyzer, and other men like them who claim to be feminist allies. These men do not speak for women as well as we can speak for ourselves and we ask that you give radical feminist bloggers the respect of reading our words, joining the discussion in comments on our blogs, and contributing to our own community rather than giving energy to men like Julian & Hugo who seek to divide us on points which all feminists have in common. Men exhibiting these behaviors have inserted themselves into discussions among women when their participation was insidiously harmful in nature, and we ask that you not support that behavior nor make excuses for it.

About smash
Women's liberationist.

6 Responses to An Open Letter Regarding A Radical Profeminist and Other Would-Be Helpers”

  1. Hecuba says:

    Well said because it needs repeating over and over and over until finally women recognise that when men claim ‘I am a pro-feminist’ it is overwhelmingly meaningless. Divide and conquer continues to be the male supremacist mantra and who better to enact this mantra than those pseudo pro-feminist males.

  2. Pingback: Morons & Oxymorons: On Male Feminists | twanzphobic since forever

  3. Pingback: Morons & Oxymorons: On Male Feminists « Radfem Groundhog Day

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  5. Jennie says:

    Men will do anything and say anything to be in “women only” spaces. “I am different” they claim. The obvious truth is that they are male, and they enjoy male privileges. I assume one big one is that they feel they can be present in women’s meetings, etc. A “certain” organization I am a member of allows men to attend our meetings and this makes my blood boil. We don’t see women making sure they are allowed in strictly men’s meetings! They would not have it! No questions asked. Men must think we are real suckers to allow them into our meetings. I am currently looking to join organizations that do NOT allow men to be present. I guess some “feminists” need to be woken up!

  6. druidwinter says:

    I am looking for groups that are all-female to join too, I don’t fit in alot of places but have the values.

    The life I lead- I had no choice, there were really other things I wanted and tried to get, but being female gets you typecast into acceptable female roles, if you wish to not be destitute. I would not have access to modern life, nor would I met other feminists that would get me to think about the female experience- if I did not do what I had to.

    There is really something wrong when the humans that give birth to the other humans are treated as worthless. That makes all humanity useless. It is like the system has been pushed to the point, we are forever stuck apologizing to men that humanity is born from us, and they are like children that need constant reassurance they are important too.

    . I already attended all-female groups in the 1990s, and the dynamics are different. In India, they would boot the guys out. The woman who ran medical operations- [no, it was not a ‘womens’ group about women, It was animal rescue]. According to her- You can’t get anything done if there is a man there- demanding his male attention -needs are met in a group of women. They end up not respecting any solely female decisions that are without male acceptance and challenge to control everything..[she was straight.] They just slow down women’s projects, if they care so much, have them donate $$ to support your cause, but, let them get their foot in the door, and they will steal your project and turn it into something else..I can see this happening in modern-feminism.

    Liberation vs equality: I thought this was two mechanisms of the same process. :/ or at least one leads to the other, but

    under a liberal system, the allowances are accepted as not equal being a normal state and denies that women are not treated equal on the surface & ignores every violation that sustains inequality calling it traditional, conservative, family etiquette, religion, etc.. In Tunisia, the women believe they already achieved equality, but you can see as an outsider, this is not the case.

    Maybe by demanding equality, men assume that we demand that the majority of men have it as bad as we do, when in fact- we want women to have an equal chance in the world we are shut out of; this is a circular argument that prevents liberation.

    I should be asking for liberation and have and give solidarity from other feminists. Liberation is not domination, it is freedom from a subservient role existence imposed at birth. Most equality campaigns, end up- trying to cater to men’s feelings about our equality while they are having a tantrum while they are trying to do everything to stop it and scream at us like children- that our equality hurts them…

    When you ask men for equality, they assume that they are naturally favored and they will never be as low as ‘equal’ with a fu*k bucket.

    This is the day I correct myself and ask for liberation instead of equality..,thank for posting.

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