Feminism should challenge structural oppression

My forever bitch Laura Pate asked me for my thoughts on ‘Corporate feminism’ oppresses women. Here’s how.

If capitalism plays a key role in sustaining gender inequality in all of these ways, it follows that a focus on women in corporate leadership may not just be naive and ultimately useless, but in fact a completely false flag. It’s a mantra that feminism is about nothing more than equality with men, but at its logical conclusion this suggests that the appearance of women in any space currently dominated by men is a success in and of itself.

In fact, big corporations and structural inequality are entangled in a symbiotic relationship that will never be addressed by individual women filling the moulds of the men before them. Feminism should challenge this inequality at its roots, rather than simply change its figureheads.

There are two good points in this piece. The first is that women in the boardroom won’t necessarily mean good things for the women overrepresented in poverty and on public assistance. It won’t necessarily mean fewer trans women raped and arrested by police. Trickle-down feminism is called out with the phrase “white feminism.” Intersectional feminism is the answer to white feminism.

However, getting women into positions of power matters. The idea that we can implement women-friendly policies in business or government without women seems absurd to me. So while fighting for equal representation in government and business isn’t enough, it is important.

I also agree that feminism should challenge structural oppression (though not necessarily inequality) at its roots, rather than simply change its figureheads.

The thing is, feminists might not like money and power, but money and power are pretty powerful defenses against oppression. So it’s really important that women have access to money and power. Right now the state keeps women from money and power in innumerable ways. They include a tax code that punishes women for working, licensure requirements that make it difficult to get started in a career, laws against sex work, abortion restrictions, a discriminatory justice system, etc. Hell, if you let your kids walk themselves to McDonalds so you can squeeze in 20 more minutes of work you might get arrested.

So, yeah. My feminism is interested in killing the roots of oppression, not just becoming the new faces of it. Which is why my feminism is anti-state.

Stupefied: How organisations enshrine collective stupidity and employees are rewarded for checking their brains at the office door.


“According to official figures, around 1,000 legal abortions are performed in Poland every year. However, it is estimated that a considerably higher number also take place illegally, with up to 150,000 women each year performing abortions on themselves often with pills bought online.”

This is so fucked. I stand with the women of Poland.

I thought it would be a transparent, authentic way to share how things were going at the time and the journey we had ahead. Unfortunately, it didn’t go over that way and I received a lot of concerned feedback, in particular from Matt Brown and Sarah Bird, that the tone was too negative, too harsh, and, while it might be representative of my truth, wasn’t representative of reality. The depression was playing a part in that, but I didn’t understand it, yet. That “Loop” that was playing in my head over and over every night, costing me sleep, eating at my happiness and resolve, was also warping reality. I couldn’t see the forest or the trees – just the swamp.

A good look at how business and depression intersect from @randfish.

One Comment

  1. Vanessa

    Sad to see that you had to include issues some males face in this piece. Even pieces of writing about feminism often mention transwomen. Women can’t even be discussed without including men (who happen to identify as women).

    If transwomen are women, what is a woman?

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