Repudiations of trans-exclusionary radical feminism often take the form of a call to strip from TERFs the name feminist. TERFism, it is often argued, is not “real feminism,” and in this same vein it is sometimes argued that lesbian exponents of transmisogyny are not a “real” part of queer history. Asa Seresin and Sophie Lewis—both of us transplants from “TERF Island,” living in the United States—here advance a different approach. In this critical dialogue, we suggest that, if some feminisms are patriarchal, and some lesbianisms are invested in whiteness, then queer feminists must become comfortable positioning some feminists—even queer ones—as their enemies. With reference to minoritarian sections of the archive of early twentieth-century British lesbian suffragism and, equally, of 1970s US lesbian separatism (both of whose contemporary heirs we locate in the “gender critical” movement), the discussion attends to fascisant themes within Anglophone feminism past and present, such as...
Fascist Feminism: A Dialogue
Sophie Lewis is a writer living in Philadelphia, teaching courses on feminism, utopian theory, and antiwork politics at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. Her first book was Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism against Family (2019), and her second, published in October 2022, is Abolish the Family: A Manifesto for Care and Liberation. Sophie's essays—on subjects ranging from “mothering against motherhood” to octopus eros—have been published in academic journals such as Signs and Feminist Theory as well as nonacademic ones such as Boston Review, the New York Times, n + 1, Dissent, the Baffler, Harper's, and the London Review of Books. Sophie studied English literature (BA) and subsequently environmental policy (MSc) at Oxford University, followed by politics (MA) at the New School for Social Research and Human Geography (for her PhD) at the University of Manchester. She is now informally a visiting scholar at the Alice Paul Center for Research in Feminist, Queer and Transgender Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, subsists thanks to a Patreon, and tweets at @reproutopia.
Asa Seresin is a writer and PhD student in English at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is also pursuing a certificate in gender, sexuality, and women's studies. His research primarily focuses on heterosexuality and cultures of heteronegativity. He holds a BA in comparative literature from Harvard and an MPhil in English from Cambridge and lives between Philadelphia and London.
Sophie Lewis, Asa Seresin; Fascist Feminism: A Dialogue. TSQ 1 August 2022; 9 (3): 463–479. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/23289252-9836120
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