I was a radical feminist until I faced the truth that modern feminist motivations were not based on justice & equal rights for women, but on unresolved personal issues. Once I began to look deeper into my own sinful nature & accepted personal responsibility, everything changed. After having been a liberal Democrat for decades, I’m now a Christian who eventually became a political conservative. We’re all in a spiritual battle.
I like to talk about the trajectory of the re-empowerment of 'marginalized groups', and I often use feminism as a great example. They nearly all start with great reasons and good intentions, and most of them have made great strides to improve the world. But, there's a line they nearly always cross--when they go from 'oppressed' to 'oppressors'. Why does this happen?
In my view, it's a natural process--corrosive, for sure, but it's understandable. In order to initiate change--start a political movement, you almost surely have to embrace some anger--you have to be a little outraged. It's the motivation needed to move from reasonable, but passive dissenter to fully engaged activist. The first wave changes from feminism are good changes. Women changed the world in a positive way (with some negative consequences, but that's another topic). But, these things aren't 3 month, talking-point campaigns. The people involved literally have to transform their old identities into new action identities (warriors), and they redefine the lenses through which they view the world. Everything becomes about the fight, and the fight's going to last a long time.
So, you've redefined yourself into this warrior for a good, reasonable cause, and you settle in for a long battle. And, the battle is long--really long. At some point, your warrior identity isn't a role you created to serve a purpose. You've been doing it so long, it's who you are. The person you were is gone, and the warrior is all that's left.
Now, you've fought this long battle, you've won for the most part. You've achieved really terrific things. It's time to hang up the axes and start living in a better world you helped create. How do you do that? How does the warrior who's been fighting across decades stop being the warrior? What even is a normal person or normal life? Who am I without this battle--without the anger and outrage? Did I pay too big a price for this cause? Has it been worth it?
These questions are so fundamentally terrifying I can't possibly stop. I don't know who else to be or how else to be. So, I go on fighting. Only the thing I was fighting for isn't there in the same way it was at the beginning. It's harder and harder to find the injustices that were once everywhere. And now, because of my need to maintain myself--this person I created to do battle, I find myself making comments like, 'it's okay that little boys are paying this price, because the world is patriarchal, and men should have to feel what it's like to be oppressed.' Now, I'm forced to ignore data that exposes the truth that I won the war, because accepting the data pushes me to that place I have to consider who I am in a post-war world--something literally unbearable to think about.
It's an ugly and tragic--NATURAL--cycle.
And, this is oversimplified. There are a lot of factors involved, and a lot of interesting connecting topics. But, I think this captures what generally happens in the 'lifespan' of a first or second wave activist.
In your case, I love the way you solved the problem. I wonder how people who can't find a religious solution solve the problem of reinventing themselves.
Other possible topics (for me, and I may expand it as I think about it more): The Rise of the Blame Culture, and it's role in activism, Women's role in patriarchy, Is patriarchy the result of an orchestrated plan, Personal responsibility and accountability, Impact of not defining a clear outcome--what does it look like when we've won? What signs should we look for?...
Radical feminists, racial minorities and other groups have all turned into leftist hate groups that have gone way beyond their original complaints. Now female athletes are being forced to compete with transgender males etc. Everyone's afraid to step up and say this is wrong for fear of mass public shaming attacks etc. It's getting 'nutty' out there.
I decided at 12 I would never have children and calmly braved the storm of outrage from other girls all my teenage years. I also said I wanted to be a nun and enraged the boys for 6 years! My mother supported me all the way re: not having children and it was eventually discovered that 7 out of the 9 of us were bi-polar. 4 of the girls opted for tubal ligation and only one of my 4 brothers have ever dated so there are no grandchildren. Former adversaries now say we all did the right thing.
So I very selfishly lived my life for myself, have never married but have been with my old college boyfriend since I was 40 (we're 65 now). No one ever asked me if I was a feminist and if they had I don't know what I would have answered. To me feminism meant the freedom to live as I pleased, go with men as I pleased, equal opportunities, equal rights before the law, a wage commensurate with education and abilities (something I never really achieved) and the right not to be raped or sexually harassed (both happened).
I've never really believed it's possible to be a feminist and have children because of the great restriction on personal liberty. I now think motherhood is the holiest profession on earth, but I'm glad for birth control and voluntary sterilization for those who believe it is just not for them.
So am I a feminist and what personal issues would make a woman become a feminist? What is a radical feminist? BTW, I'm a born-again Christian and have been half liberal and half conservative (in Canada) but I am becoming more and more conservative the more socialist the liberals become.
Also, I only partly read "The Feminine Mystique" and "The Female Eunuch" in Cosmopolitan when I was 17. There was no way I could get my hands on the books since there were no bookstores in my community but I remember feeling less alone and "weird" standing up for my personal freedom. I really should read them to see if they would have made much of a difference in my life. Do they espouse radical feminism?
That's an amazing story, X-lib. Welcome to this forum. I would love to know about the moment that you realized you were on the wrong path...Anyway, I follow an ex-SJW on Youtube. She, too, was a radical feminist, white-guilt peddler, etc. until she realized she was going in the wrong direction. Keri Smith is a reformed ex-liberal like you!
Here's her Youtube channel: Deprogrammed: Unsafe Space