➜ Aisling Phillipa; @lip_mag: Feminism is suffering from a public relations problem. The central problem with feminism is how it is currently perceived by the community external to the feminist movement. Apparently, being a feminist is the same as hating men, and wanting women to subjugate the opposite sex – ignoring the fact that gender exists on a spectrum. Not to mention the whole idea of behaving in a ‘politically-correct’ manner is actually a cover for wanting to control everyone’s thoughts (Because who doesn’t love faking public humiliation for a quick buck?). In-fighting is seen as disunity within the feminist movement, rather than active discussion and participation in shaping feminist thought. The perception of feminism has fostered a culture of ‘the other’. You are either a staunch feminist, or not. Nonetheless, the fact that feminism is suffering a PR problem ironically is a product of a system that privileges whiteness, wealth and the typical forms of masculinity – even in the process of acknowledging publicly one’s feminist leanings.
The problematic, and essential, part of feminism is that it effectively alienates the discursively powerful. This is paradoxical, for how are we to enact change without support from those who are seen to be powerful? In order for intersectional feminism to maintain its integrity, it must include ‘the straight, white, rich man’ in its conversations. This does not mean eliminating safe spaces for alternative dialogue, but engaging all forms of discussion from all people in order for the principles of feminism to be assumed into mainstream culture.