Controversial Ideas 2023, 3(2), 6; doi: 10.35995/jci03020006
Feminist Separatism Revisited
1 RMIT University, School of Global, Urban, and Social Studies, Melbourne, Australia
2 University of Melbourne, Department of Philosophy, Melbourne, Australia
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Received: 23 Nov 2022 / Revised: 15 Apr 2023 / Accepted: 12 Oct 2023 / Published: 31 Oct 2023
Conflict over who belongs in women-only spaces is now part of mainstream political debate. Some think women-only spaces should exclude on the basis of sex, and others think they should exclude on the basis of a person’s self-determined gender identity. Many who take the latter view appear to believe that the only reason for taking the former view could be antipathy towards men who identify as women. In this paper, we’ll revisit the second-wave feminist literature on separatism, in order to uncover the reasons for women-only spaces as feminists originally conceived them. Once these reasons are understood, those participating in debates over women-only spaces will be in a better position to adjudicate on whether shifting from sex to gender identity puts any significant interests at stake.
Keywords: feminism; separatism; radical feminism; lesbian separatism; second-wave; women-only spaces; women’s interests; women’s liberation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
Phelan, K.M.; Lawford-Smith, H. Feminist Separatism Revisited. Controversial_Ideas 2023, 3, 6.
Phelan KM, Lawford-Smith H. Feminist Separatism Revisited. Journal of Controversial Ideas. 2023; 3(2):6.
Phelan, Kate M.; Lawford-Smith, Holly. 2023. "Feminist Separatism Revisited." Controversial_Ideas 3, no. 2: 6.