Thursday, January 24, 2008

Separatist Feminism

B. Michels
Post #1- 1/24/08

Separatist feminism is a form of feminism that does not support heterosexual relationships. This belief is because they feel that sexual adversities between the two sexes are insolvable. Generally, separatist feminists do not feel that that men can be successful in helping with the feminist movement and will work only with other women to gain political and social feminist strides. These women try to live and work with and for only other women.

Author Marilyn Frye describes separatist feminism as "separation of various sorts or modes from men and from institutions, relationships, roles and activities that are male-defined, male-dominated, and operating for the benefit of males and the maintenance of male privilege — this separation being initiated or maintained, at will, by women."

There are only a few advocates of this feminist movement. Of these women, most are usually celibate or lesbian.

This type of feminism differs from other types by not allowing male support in the movement. While other types open their arms to men so that they can influence others from a different perspective, separatist feminists do not.

Disparities between the two sexes being insolvable and not having men be a part of the feminist movement are two values of this type of feminism that I do not believe in. To me, there is no "equality" goal to this type of feminism. You can not fight for equality by eliminating a group from the finding of it. In order to truly equality in the world, all groups, genders, nationalities, religions, etc. must be involved. Without this, there will never be complete success in the movement. Also, it would be a plus to work and live with men in order to show them our abilities. If you shun them, they will continue to think that we are not worthy to work and live side-by-side with them without domination.


B. Michels

1 comment:

artemix said...

I believe much separatism came from the knowledge that much female oppression comes from being defined and confined to roles devised by men to serve them. By roles that require women spent their lives pleasing men so they will be rewarded by getting married or getting promoted. There is also a reaction to the idea that god is always male and as Daly said therefore male is god.

It made all the sense in the world for women to seek a space with each other to self define and I believe the work these women did benefitted all women.

How do we know what women are when they are not defined, confined and proscribed and prescribed for by men?

Lesbian separatists were the ones who tried to imagine a female centered sexuality, to imagine what life was like when there was a universal immanent goddess and not an avenging misogynist father god. These questions matter even if you are an atheist because they so influence culture.

This was brave and important work and little since has matched it in my opinion.