Given that both patriarchy and queerphobia are premised upon essentialist ideas about gender and sexuality, it would follow that feminism and queer activism would be profoundly interlinked and co-operative. However, this is not always the case. Indeed, queer people have often been marginalised in the women’s movement, and women have also been marginalised in the queer movement. Some of the queer identifying members of women’s collective have put together a manifesto of sorts that outlines ways in which queer activists can change their behaviour to create a more inclusive space for women. It is as follows:
- Don’t assume it’s okay to touch women without their consent because “you aren’t attracted to them”.
- Never justify making a joke about assaulting me by saying: “I’m gay, how could I rape you, haha?’’
- Don’t think that because you’re a gay man it means you can’t be a misogynist.
- Don’t assume your oppression gives you an understanding of mine.
- Please stop saying vaginas are gross.
- Don’t tell femmes that they ‘aren’t really queer’.
- Don’t question my identity just because I’m currently dating a man.
- Do not assume heterosexuality because someone doesn’t embody camp/butch/femme/queer culture stereotypes.
- Don’t assume people of colour can’t be queer.
- Having your own breasts/butt doesn’t entitle you to touch mine.
- Don’t label bisexuality as ‘less queer’ or ‘transitional’.
- Don’t ask us how we fuck.
- Don’t assume someone’s sex, sexuality, or gender identity on appearance/behaviour.
- Respectfully ask for preferred pronouns.
- Do not enforce queer stereotypes by assuming people’s sexuality with your ‘gaydar’.
- Do not regard polyamorous relationships as less serious/important/intense as monoamorous ones.
- Don’t brag about ‘turning’ me.
- Don’t make assumptions about my genitalia.
- Our movements can only be strengthened through co-operation and open discourses, so let’s start respecting each other.