What do Mary Daly, Margaret Sanger, Nellie McClung, Martha Griffiths, Gloria Steinem, Geraldine Ferraro, Julie Bendel, Robin Morgan, Germaine Greer, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Janice Raymond, Sheila Jeffreys, and Beth Elliott have in common?
You were going to tell me they’re feminist icons, weren’t you? Awww, how cute.
That’s actually the wrong answer.
All of these ‘leading lights’ of the feminist movement are contributors to a long and not very proud history of dragging -isms into the feminist movement. Racism. Ableism. Transmisogyny and transphobia. Classism. In celebrating the undoubted contributions of these women to rights for nondisabled, white, cis women, people conveniently erase their more problematic contributions to feminist thought and ideology.