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Critique Essay History Humanities Nonfiction Social Sciences Theory

De-essentializing Anarchist Feminism: Lessons from the Transfeminist Movement

By J. Rogue, 2012

Transfeminism developed out of a critique of the mainstream and radical feminist movements. The feminist movement has a history of internal hierarchies. There are many examples of women of color, working class women, lesbians, and others speaking out against the tendency of the white, affluent-dominated women’s movement to silence them and overlook their needs. But generally, instead of acknowledging the issues these marginalized voices raised, the mainstream feminist movement has prioritized struggling for rights primarily in the interests of white afflu- ent women. While the feminist milieu as a whole has not resolved these hierarchal tendencies, various groups have continued to speak up regarding their own marginalization–in particular, transgender women. The process of developing a broader understanding of systems of oppression and how they interact has advanced feminism and is key to building on the theory of anarchist feminism. But first, we might take a quick look at the development of feminism–particularly during what is often referred to as its “Second Wave.”

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