A post about “sex positive feminism” at the New Statesman.
Time was when the very word “feminist” was transgressive. These day people rarely object to it. There’s a bitter irony to the fact that “but I’m a feminist” has become one of those phrases by which male dominance can be positively reinforced. “But I’m a feminist and I don’t mind objectification / unpaid work / sexual harassment / being called a cunt!” The implication is that we’ve come full circle. Feminism has worked through all of its issues and realised that the grown-ups were right all along. All that stuff we used to call oppression? We’re totes cool with it now.
It’s certainly not true that “these days people rarely object to” the word “feminism.” Hah! If only. And usually the people who make a big show of not minding sexual harassment or being called a cunt are not people who self-identify as feminists. But other than that, yes; there’s a real point there; not a new point, but a real one. There’s a surprisingly large amount of hipster sexism out there, of people who think it’s just so last century to pay any attention to things like sexist epithets or sexual harassment, who think the only right response to such concerns is “lighten up” or “shut the fuck up, cunt.”