people hear the word “radical” and for many reasons, have an immediately negative connotation with it. this is understandable, as many radical groups throughout the world perform inherently negative acts.
this has given radical feminism an undeserved bad name. a prime example of this is when, this morning, out of frustration from writing my feminism essay, i exclaimed “parents! what did the radical feminists do?!” what did my dad answer?:
"went around cutting people’s balls off"
incase you weren’t aware, this is incorrect. radical feminists are NOT superior womanists. there is a big difference.
i mostly align myself with the liberal feminist ideology, but i have to give credit to my past canadian radical feminists for the following reasons:
- the push for widely available birth control and getting the government out of your uteri? you can thank the radical feminists for that.
- the legalization of abortion everywhere in Canada in 1988? Made possible through acts of activism by the rad feminists, such as the Abortion Caravan (yes, there was a caravan that went across canada to spread knowledge about abortion) and organizing with other pro-choicers and healthcare professionals (yay for Dr. Morgentaler!)
- the group of people that initially addressed violence and rape against women? radical feminists. thank them for opening up rape crisis centres, women’s shelters, and other safe havens for women to turn to when no one else would help them.
If this isn’t enough to convince you that what radical feminists did in Canada was extremely valuable, then you’re missing a part of the picture for second wave feminism. think about it.
Please keep in mind this is specific to Canada.