This particular example of the ignorance, incompetence, dishonesty, deceit, and assorted general rather anti-feminist aspects of a TERF is not, in fact, going to involve trans stuff, but I personally am rather tired of seeing this same old boring bullshit from the children, so we are going to explore an aspect of feminism in general.
Now, I am taking this out of context, so it is important that I point out that I think, based on the tags and an earlier post, that the above is a commentary on this post, which I have not read.
Now, moving on…
First off, the predicate a false comparison. This particular comparison is one of their favorites — the “choosey-choice” argument that they hurl at people they label “libfems” despite it being based in a very specific concept of radical feminism. They do this because they do not know the history of feminism, they do not understand the nature of radical feminism, and they generally just prefer to police other women’s behavior while remaining blissfully aware of how they are actually trying to set up something worse than the existing system.
Not to mention how their actions reinforce the existing system.
The whole concept of choice is predicated on the fact that women do not get to make choices. Now, one could argue that women do get to make choices today, though they didn’t used to do so, and while that’s a decent argument, it ignores the kinds of choices that are being referenced here.
Women who choose to do something like wear makeup and heels and the assorted other social expectations that are thrust on women in order for them to achieve the goals laid out for them in soceity may or may not be doing so as a feminist statement.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t doing it as such,. IF they have critically analyzed the basis for those expectations, it is entirely possible for them to subvert those ideas, and embrace it as an assertion of the power that women are usually denied and as an aspect of their subversion of the power that men have over them.
The argument of choosing to make a cup of tea, then, is a false comparison, intended to deride and defame women who engage in such by making a comparison to a particular act in the US that is not gendered to an act in the US that is gendered. Apply that same rule in a different culture — I’m sure you can think of a culture where the act of making tea is highly ritualized and that women have very proscribed roles regarding — and suddenly making a cup of tea can be an incredibly subversive act, dependent on the context and place and how one does it.
The act of a stripper putting on makeup may not be a feminist act, but the act of a black woman putting on makeup that accents her blackness and that meets the particulars of her skin color can, in fact be both a feminist act and an anti—racist act, because women are expected to meet very specific appearance standards, and those appearance standards are even more restrictive for black women because of both their womanhood and their blackness and the way that the standards are structured around a white idealization in the US culture.
They also say all of this with only the barest understanding of the role that make up plays or why make up even exists. IN the division of labor within the Western culture, the role of attraction has fallen to women. That is, women are supposed to be objects of desire, and sought out, since they are commodified. Men are the ones who are supposed to be seeking them. In order to highlight aspects of desirability, women engage in actions and such that draw attention. Like makeup, which serves to highlight and improve, etc. Like dressing in a manner that draws attention to parts.
This basis is part of why there is rape culture arguments and all the rest of the crap and they know that part.
What they don’t realize is that a woman doing when not seeking to attract, and in order to improve her own situation, is not inherently doing so for the benefit of others, and may, in fact, be a way for her to subvert the expectations, and, through wielding the power of that expectation against those who enforce it, enable her to claim some sense of power in a situation that otherwise would be blocked to her (because a woman without makeup isn’t going to be have nearly as much social power and cache as a woman who does, since *that* is the problem here, not the decision to wear it, and she is, then, engaging in victim blaming).
Which is the subtext of all this kind of policing — you are at fault for not doing enough to make my life (and the lives of all women) better.
This is why this kind of policing is also misogyny.
In any case, they fail to understand the concept of the Patriarchal bargain, and it is not a concept one sees in the juvenile discourse often practiced by these tumblr based feminists (such as evilfeminist).
Nearly all of this stems from the sex-negative approach, and it looks at sex positivism as being somehow silly and reinforcing the patriarchy, without realizing that women have been told they are not allowed to have control over their sexuality (and, more often, that they are not even allowed to have one) which makes asserting your own sense of style and especially your own ideas about sex and sexuality in relation to your womanhood so important (as much as I loather her, Mary Daly, who’s teachings they have corrupted) was one of the major proponents of sex positive outlooks, and when the split came in the mid 80’s, she was tossed out because she was too nuanced).
SO now you can see how it is that the way she hurls “libem” is really just an excuse to pretend that she understands feminist discourse, and to seem, in a space like tumblr, like she does, when, in fact and truth, she has little idea about the broadness of and history around feminism, and why the approach used isn’t bad.
Instead, she chooses to buy into the idea that women are without Agency, which is, still and always, the central failure of TERFs and similar types in their uninformed approach to feminism.