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A Radical Look at Feminism Today


The film The Social Network (2010) is an ode to Mark Zuckerberg and the new class power - its sheer arrogance, ruthlessness and technical genius. Hats off to male loners who can celebrate their nerdy white Harvard selves. The new global citizen will be ruthless and singular. Forget that people need one another or might want an interesting life. Life is a lottery and a very few win and they win big. 

Hillary, Sheryl and other females in power are in part new cover for old systems. This orchestrates a newer more modern and gender friendly misogyny. But horrific rape remains a scourge across this globe; and the unrelenting assault on legal abortion rights that are constitutional remains at a fever pitch. Hurray for the gains and reforms and the improvements but we need to watch all of our backs here. Yes to the rights of marriage equality for gays, but revolutionary reform still needs to mobilise a radical assault on misogynist heterosexism.  

Radically inventive anti-imperial, anti-racist anti-heterosexist feminisms need to become boisterously loud. Hillary is not really the issue here. We are. Pressures resonate from the outside-in. There needs to be a politics outside - when it is too unclear anyway where the "inside" begins - to risk ourselves with simply demanding entry. Women are entering education on all levels across the globe just at the point in time when it is not exactly clear how education will connect to the newest cyber-related jobs of the globe. Women have become the presidents of elite universities just as these very universities are being downsized. Women have entered law and medicine just as these professions are losing their place. 

Is it just possible that by the time the exclusivity of a location is made more inclusive or that something is given to women, or anyone for that matter, that what has been withheld and is then given, is no longer power-filled as it once was? I am wondering that in these changing times whether exclusive sites of power open to once excluded groups because the power is shifting elsewhere. Then inclusion of women may not mean what it once did, if it ever did. 

Newest audacious feminisms 

The varieties of how women can see themselves and their "rights" - from afar or up close - is more necessary than ever as the globe shifts and changes. The imperial forms of feminisms that can hurt any and all women anywhere is more complex and nuanced because of the mixed identities of time and place. 

Reform and revolution need reinvention because of the intersectionality and multiplicity of power. Let us revolutionise reforms rather than reform revolutionary commitments. The West is not simply the old "West" - it is filled with complexity and variations. 

Despair is too easy and allows the powerful their power. Female corporatism, female militarism, female nationalism does not work because each is deeply embedded in patriarchal and misogynist and racist practices. Let them not re-habilitate, resuscitate, hijack, coopt or feminise the imperial, colonising, oppressive forms. 

Women have been excluded from spheres of power throughout history. The particular spheres may shift and change, but exclusion is part of the systematic and systemic oppression of women. But simple inclusion does not change the structural problem sufficiently. It may loosen the grip of discrimination but it does not dissolve it. So I remain cautious of simply reforming the exclusivity of misogyny.  

It is important that feminists of all sorts - beyond the biological body - remember the wounds that imperial feminism has caused. They should also forgive them. A forgotten wounding cannot be healed. Instead it is left to fester. But without forgiving there is no movement. This is true of differences themselves - if they are ignored they remain problematic - and when they are remembered and embraced - they become a wonderful cacophony of feminist voices that maybe just can save the planet. So let us remember the wounds of imperial "rights" and re-make them, radically true and real.

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