Liberal Feminism: A Death Cult?

Words: Faith Thurnwald
Photos: Faith Thurnwald
Models: Louise Nilsson, Saskia Anderson, Ellie Craig
How do we establish and negotiate an authentic identity as women, in a world where we are bought and sold. It’s no secret that we are a commodity, but in commodifying ourselves are we really grabbing the reigns and taking back control, or have we let go entirely?

I remember being a feminist in 2015. Feminism had become a buss world, a hot topic, and a trend for women to either climb on or ditch entirely, because they ‘loved their boyfriend’. It was a turbulent time, mainly due to complete utter ignorance and idiocy, but also because I was 16. The previous few years I’d been discovering my political conscience, and I was finally able to articulate and identify with the feminist ideology; because all we were asking for was equality, right? Unfortunately the particular brand of feminism that was available to me at the time, and which I think still defines many young ‘feminists’ today, was a liberally white-washed carcass. The mainstream feminism movement today is arguably in its fourth, potentially even fifth wave. However the ‘feminism’ I see  today is decidedly lacking. I can’t imagine the women of the first and second wave would applaud our efforts today; as we dance to WAP and sell ourselves on the internet, under the guise of ‘my body, my choice’ and ‘sex work, is work’. I agree with these slogans, and I dance to WAP, hell I even have one, but I cannot ignore the tension between fighting for our rights, and simply justifying any choices we make under the guise of feminism.

In a world where TikTok has reduced our attention spans, to that of a goldfish we attempt to draw people in by any means possible. Our lips are bigger, our skin is tighter, our morals looser, but what about our IQs?

This is beginning to sound like a pure rant, wherein I shit on anyone with lip filler and an OnlyFans. I am still a firm believer in the ‘my body, my choice’ movement, and I think people can do whatever the fuck they want with theirs. I also avidly believe that ‘sex work, is work’, of course it is, we all sell our labor and therefore our bodies. However! I do not enjoy when we use feminism as an excuse, it should not be a means, a quick catch phrase to justify our actions, and label them morally acceptable.

Feminism is dead. It’s sitting six feet under, weighed down by influencers who use it to commodify themselves. It’s lying under ground with Taylor Swift’s $20 ‘fuck the patriarchy’ keychain, a marketing move sure to make millions. I’m sick of asking for equality when what we need is equity and the yassification of feminism dressed up in pink sparkles and neoliberalism sickens me.