Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
110Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Why Feminism and Feminist Study Should Be Gender-Inclusive

Why Feminism and Feminist Study Should Be Gender-Inclusive

Ratings: (0)|Views: 3,963|Likes:
Published by Ashley Wilde
Why Feminism and Feminist Study Should Be Gender-Inclusive by Clark A. Pomerleau
Why Feminism and Feminist Study Should Be Gender-Inclusive by Clark A. Pomerleau

More info:

Published by: Ashley Wilde on Nov 22, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

06/15/2013

pdf

text

original

 
 1
Why Feminism and Feminist Study Should Be Gender-Inclusive
Clark A. Pomerleau
As recent print media and film document the existence of transpeople, troublesome questionsarise about transpeople’s feminist loyalties. On the first page of a “Transgender 101” section in
Curve
, executive editor Diane Anderson-Minshall admitsthat lesbians sometimes feel at odds with transgender people; we demand male-to-femaletranssexuals prove themselves worthy of entry to our club, and endlessly question just howfeminist female-to-male transsexuals can be if they’ve rejected female-hood.
1
 Likewise, in
 Boy I Am
, a 2006 movie about transmen from the lesbian community and feminism,nontrans feminist women ask why the transmen are giving up the feminist fight.
2
Even the
 New York Times
reproduces lesbian perspectives on transmen. Paul Vitello’s lead article in the “Fashion andStyle” section treats transition as a fad overlapping with “The L Word” television show and quotes aformer Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival producer opining, “There are many people who look atwhat these young women are doing, and say to themselves, ‘Hey, by turning yourselves into men,don’t you realize you’re going over to the other side?’”
3
 Questions about who can be feminist are more enduring than current popular culture. Theyentered feminism early and persist in feminist studies programs when self-identified feminist womenask men how they can be feminist, marginalize men in Women’s Studies courses, and perpetuatetransphobia by questioning trans and genderqueer feminists’ assertions of their gender identities and
1
 
Curve
devoted fifteen articles to explaining “Transgender 101” (52-62). Diane Anderson-Minshall, “Gender 101,”
Curve: The Best-selling Lesbian Magazine
16.7 (September 2006): 52.
2
Sam Feder and Julie Hollar,
 Boy I Am
(film, 2006). Transmen is one term for female-to-male transsexual men or men labeled female at birth regardless of their use of medical technologies like surgery and hormones.
3
Paul Vitello, “The Trouble When Jane Becomes Jack,”
The New York Times
, Fashion & Style (Sunday, August 20,2006): 1. Part of the problem with all of these representations is that lesbians stand in as experts on feminism andappropriate opinions about transition. The current representations of transmen portray them as formerly lesbian andso young that they might casually succumb to faddish pressure. This plays on fears that butch lesbians will cease toexist despite a resurgence of butch identification among younger lesbians since the late 1980s and the fact that
 
 2
their commitment to feminism. Given stereotypes of trans as potentially anti-feminist and feminismas anti-male, there is a need to reevaluate who and what are the subjects of feminism.
4
Resistance tomale-identified people and narrow definitions of “woman” seem to continue due to ways ideologiesget passed along within feminism.Anti-male sentiment and transphobia against self-identified feminists shows limitedunderstanding of feminism by selecting early experience-based, essentialist, separatist concepts at theexpense of more productive constructionist views and coalition work. Such a position not only harmsfeminists who do not fit narrow definitions of “woman,” it weakens feminist activism andscholarship as a whole. This essay explains the development of gender-inclusive and exclusivestrains of feminism, the contribution of poststructuralism/postmodernism, addresses some anti-male,anti-trans remarks feminist women-born-labeled-female pose, and ends with ways the term Women’sStudies leaves academic feminists vulnerable.It may seem strange that anyone today who professes to be seriously committed to andknowledgeable about feminism would assert that only women can be feminists and that only womenshould dedicate themselves to the feminist study at the heart of Women’s Studies programs. After all,the upsurge in U.S. feminism commonly called the Second Wave was predicated on the idea that
biology is not destiny
and that members of a materially and institutionally oppressed gender identitylabeled “woman” should not be confined to subordinating social roles. In 1966 both women and menfounded the largest and most enduring U.S. feminist organization, National Organization for Women,which initially focused on feminist action rather than personal experience as women.
5
During the late
 people are transitioning across a range of ages and sexual orientations. There is little productive discussion in popular culture about the diversity of transmen’s sexual orientations, communities of origin, and gender identities.
4
Thanks to Ben Woodard for this phrase.
5
“We, men and women who hereby constitute ourselves as the National Organization for Women, believe that thetime has come for a new movement toward true equality for all women in America, and toward a full equal partnership of the sexes, as part of the world-wide revolution of human rights now taking place within and beyondour national borders.” “NOW Statement of Purpose” reproduced in Robert Griffith and Paula Baker, eds.,
Major  Problems in American History Since 1945
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2001), 371-373. NOW officers initiallyfought adopting (woman-only) group analysis based on experience called consciousness-raising because leaders
 
 3
1960s through 1980s feminists had to expand their social justice movement’s focus from working“for women” to a more complex understanding of how identities combine to subject people tomultiple oppressions. Early white Second Wave feminists often had experience working in CivilRights activism, President Johnson’s Great Society programs to fight poverty and racism, and—infewer but vocal numbers—Gay and Lesbian Liberation. Feminists of color, poor feminists, and GayLib. leaders with feminist positions challenged white, middle-class, heterosexual, feminist women.Black feminists and Chicana feminists created autonomous movements from the late 1960s on andrecognized simultaneity of oppressions based on their racial/ethnic communities’ experiences withracial and economic discrimination.
6
Poor women like Johnnie Tillmon integrated their work for welfare reform with feminism.
7
Some Gay Lib. advocates incorporated feminism into their censureof heteropatriarchy.
8
The most productively intricate feminist critiques of society analyze variedways patriarchy harms all people of different genders, highlighting everyone’s stake in creating agender-equitable society.At its inception the white-dominated Second Wave movement held conflicting theories aboutgender. Feminists sought to break free from confining gender roles by asserting that there wasnothing inherently female or male and nothing biologically inferior about being born labeled female.
feared feminist energies would be diverted away from action. Flora Davis,
Moving the Mountain: The Women’sMovement in America since 1960
(New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991) 87.
6
Benita Roth,
Separate Roads to Feminism: Black, Chicana, and White Feminist Movements in America’s Second Wave
(New York: Cambridge UP, 2004). Winifred Breines,
The Trouble Between Us: An Uneasy History of Whiteand Black Women in the Feminist Movement 
(New York: Oxford U.P., 2006).
7
Tillmon identified herself as a victim of what would later be called simultaneous oppression and drew specificconnections between misogyny and state treatment of welfare mothers. Johnnie Tillmon is discussed in FeliciaKornbluh, “A Human Right to Welfare?: Social Protest among Women Welfare Recipients after World War II,” inLinda K. Kerber and Jane Sherron De Hart, eds.,
Women’s America: Refocusing the Past 
, 5
th
ed. (New York: OxfordUniversity Press, 2000), 523-531. Deborah Gray White,
Too Heavy a Load: Black Women in Defense of Themselves,1894-1994
(New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1999), 212-256. Premilla Nadasen,
 
Welfare Warriors: The Welfare Rights Movement in the United States
 
(New York: Routledge, 2005).
8
Carl Whitman is an early example of a gay liberationist who integrated feminist principles. He characterized male-dominated society as having “warped both men and women” and called on gay men “to purge male chauvinism, both in behavior and in thought among us.” Whitman claimed common cause with women’s liberation in a sharedchallenge to “the roles, the exploitation of minorities by capitalism, the arrogant smugness of straight white malemiddle-class Amerika.” Carl Whitman, “A Gay Manifesto” 1969-1970 reprinted along with other feminist Gay and

Activity (110)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
1 thousand reads
sana_14 liked this
Kitty Barber added this note
I have never read such an eloquent, studied, well-written LOAD OF LIES and B.S. in my entire life. Clearly, this author either has no real understanding of what separatism was/is for--for either Blacks nor women--or merely aims to infuse his ridiculous argument with some sort of "truthi-ness," but either way, the entire basis for this paper is based on a giant LIE.
PemaWangchuk added this note
it is one individual right once he/she born in this universe. However, one has to respect law of eve and adam!
123giovan added this note
sentir pensa creer hace parte de nuestra vida y nuestro gran vivir seamos amables y veremos grandes frutos en nuestros mas recientes años
borys_hendro liked this
Freeway222 liked this
marxdoc liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->