Radical Feminist Wish List 2019

[Posted to Medium 7th June 2019].

About a week ago, I started wondering: what would a list of demands for women look like, if contemporary feminism wasn’t so thoroughly co-opted by the idea that it must include everyone and fight every struggle? I put an initial list (incorporating 10 items from a thread by Alessandra Asteriti) out on Twitter and in some Facebook groups I’m in, and added more items and made some revisions based on women’s feedback. This is the result. I don’t pretend that it is final; it’s a work in progress and we all have to do that work in our own activist groups. But perhaps this will be one of several useful places to start (another is the Woman’s Place UK manifesto).

I. Male violence against women and girls

1) An end to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

2) An end to female infanticide

3) An end to child brides

4) An end to forced marriage

5) An end to rape and other forms of sexual violence

6) An end to domestic violence

7) Criminalization of intimate partner strangulation as a separate offence

8) No ‘sex games gone wrong’ defence for men’s killing of female sexual partners

9) Criminalization of the purchase of sex (the Nordic Model)

10) Criminalization of the making of professional pornography

11) Freedom from violence for female intersex people

12) Freedom from sexual violence for women with disabilities

13) Freedom from sexual violence for women living in refugee camps

14) Recognition of torture and slavery as domestic (non-state) offences

15) Criminalization of all forms of paid surrogacy

16) And end to all forms of male violence against women and girls

II. Contributors to male violence against women and girls

17) An end to the sexual objectification of women in advertising

18) Portrayal of women as whole persons in film and television

19) An end to the hypersexualisation of black women

20) Education on the tactics used by domestic abusers, to aid in the prevention of women and girls becoming victims of domestic violence

21) An end to all enforced modesty of women and girls

22) Legal reform to enable police to bring domestic family violence and sexual offence criminal charges without complainants, to alleviate pressure on survivors

III. Women’s health & bodily autonomy

23) Adequate healthcare to prevent deaths in childbirth

24) An end to period poverty

25) Increased funding for research into women’s health

26) A call for all new pharmaceuticals and medical devices to have their effects on women evaluated

27) An end to the ‘default male’ assumption in healthcare research

28) Support for the health and safety of prostituted and exited women

29) Full reproductive rights for all women, including free and accessible abortions

30) Reassertion of the importance of female-only spaces (bathrooms, changing rooms, prisons, etc.)

31) Free, accessible vaccination for women and girls against HPV strains 16 & 17 (which cause the bulk of cervical cancer)

32) Reassertion of the right of women and girls to request female doctors and healthcare professionals for all intimate examinations and procedures

33) More research into the causes of the rise in teenage girls reporting to gender clinics

34) In order to avoid creating a market for women’s organs, zero funding for research into womb transplants into male bodies

35) Support for female survivors of male violence, in particular in housing and mental health services

36) Access to midwives for high quality maternity care

37) Intrapartum and post partum healthcare to prevent post partum depression, post partum psychosis, PTSD, and maternal suicide

38) An end to obstetric violence

IV. Women’s freedom of conscience and freedom of thought

39) Women-only shortlists to secure the increased participation of women in politics

40) Demand for women’s equal participation in politics

41) Rejection of male people acting as women’s officers for any party (regardless of their gender identity)

42) Reassertion of the importance of female-only spaces (political groups, women’s festivals, etc.)

43) A reassertion of the importance of language that refers to female people and articulates political problems affecting female people, including the terms “woman”, “female”, “lesbian”, “mother”, and “wife”

44) Acceptance of the political choice some women make to refuse to extend female pronouns (she/her/hers) to male people, particularly in cases where those people have engaged in or threatened violence against women and girls, or exemplified toxic masculinity

45) Reaffirmation of the sex/gender distinction

46) Rejection of concept creep from ‘misgendering’ to ‘accurately referring to sex’

47) A rejection of all forms of misogyny perpetrated in the name of religion, in particular against Muslim women

48) Reassertion of women’s right to organize politically to pursue their interests

49) Rejection of all pressure on women to include other causes in their feminism or to prioritize male interests in their feminism

50) Education on patriarchal domination, and rejection of all social conditioning that tells women and girls to put boys’ and men’s needs before their own

51) In order to avoid violations of women’s bodily autonomy (specifically their reproductive choices) premised on poor science understanding, universal education on pregnancy and the process of gestation

V. Women’s access to & full participation in public life

52) An end to pregnancy discrimination

53) An end to breastfeeding discrimination

54) Reassertion of the importance of women’s sex-based rights

55) Protection from discrimination for lesbian and bisexual women

56) Protection from discrimination for gender non-conforming women

57) Protection from discrimination for transmen

58) Increased incentives for women to enter STEM

59) A living wage for all women in all industries

60) Generous paid parental leave and affordable childcare

61) Generous welfare support for parents who wish to care full-time for children with special needs

62) Women’s equal pay for equal work

63) An end to the ‘default male’ assumption in product design

64) Better education about sexual orientation in teenage years, in particular lesbian and bisexual orientations

65) Better support for women’s pursuit of criminal proceedings against fathers who fail to pay child maintenance

66) Flexible work and paid leave for women in the workplace going through menopause, difficult pregnancies, and painful menstruation

67) Protection of female sporting categories, particularly against male people identifying as women

68) Increased recognition and respect for professions dominated by women

69) Respect for women’s human rights

70) Consultation with women on all matters that affect them, including reform to laws for who will be housed in the female prison estate, and reform of laws determining who may access single-sex services more generally

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