A cursory glance at the ways in which a large number of people out there write about feminism would suffice to denote a worrying reality — to an awful lot of self-proclaimed feminists, ‘feminism’ continues to be a movement, a discourse and an analytical tool meant near-exclusively for cis, able-bodied and wealthy white women. It goes without saying that the many efforts to question, critique and deconstruct this approach to ‘feminism’ need to continue, with the utmost vigour and energy. If someone advocates for a feminism that only encompasses cis women, then it is a form of oppression that perpetuates a colonial, patronising and a very ‘white’ attitude, as this type of discourse strongly rests on, reinforces and reaffirms the gender binary. The gender binary is all but a thoroughly outdated, colonial Abrahamic, invasive, intrusive and brutally violent concept. It should have no decisive place in a progressive world. The extent of one’s commitment to the gender binary provides a fine measurement of their commitment to equality and justice to all. Coming from a non-Western sociocultural backdrop, I perceive the gender binary as a thoroughly colonial, patronising and deeply patriarchal concept, systematically deployed to discriminate against cis and trans women, colonised peoples, people of colour and gender-plural people. Through cycles of colonisation that perpetuated Abrahamic faiths in South and Southeast Asia, the original sociocultural traditions of the countries in the region were ruined, downgraded, and obliterated. This is what has led to societies that are extremely intolerant of any form of gender plurality, and gender presentations that challenge the Abrahamic gender binary.
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