reflections on my feminism, as inspired by the recent hugo schwyzer bullshit

My feminism is not about Being A Feminist; my feminism is not about the importance of maintaining a feminist identity. My feminism is about gender as a lens through which to look at the political sphere. One lens of many. My feminism is about taking action inspired by a deep, embodied understanding of the importance of women, women’s contributions, women’s histories, etc.

My feminism is not about redemption; it is not about “atoning” for past misdeeds, or about helping others atone. My feminism is about prioritizing survivors over predators in a world that most often does the opposite. My feminism is not about reformation, it is about accountability.

My feminism is not about “breaking the silence” by positioning my personal narratives as being revolutionary and unique in and of themselves. My feminism is about creating and maintaining bonds of solidarity with other survivors, creating spaces and times where we can learn from each other, valuing all the ways in which we share and do not share our experiences with each other and the world.

My feminism is not a religion. It does not provide absolution. It does not guarantee a path to the promised land. It does not confer sainthood on anyone. You cannot be condemned or saved by “converting” to my feminism. My feminism is a weapon and a tool. One of many. It can be used to defend and build, or to attack and break down. The morality, validity, etc of these actions is not guaranteed simply by virtue of them being done with feminism. That is the responsibility of the person or people wielding it.

My feminism is not about being a hero, or saving people. My feminism is not about how other people see me. My feminism is about looking at myself and others with honesty and clear-eyed compassion and criticism. My feminism is about maintaining a balance between trusting my instincts as a woman and a survivor, and challenging myself as a person raised in a white supremacist, transphobic, etc society.

My feminism is not about building a career. My feminism is about building a life, which is part of building a community, which is part of building a society, which is part of building a world.