Nice to have a clear definition, no?  Notice not a word about equality or making choices because both those strains of feminism are functionally equivalent to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.  Neither foster the systemic change necessary to challenge patriarchy and change society.


The word “radical” literally means “root,” so radical feminism is the feminism that gets to the root of women’s oppression, which is the system of patriarchy. Radical feminism is an entire well-developed political theory, but here’s a pretty good simplified summary from Radfem Collective:

“Radical Feminist theory analyses the structures of power which oppress the female sex. Its central tenet is that women as a biological class are globally oppressed by men as a biological class. We believe that male power is constructed and maintained through institutional and cultural practices that aim to bolster male superiority through the reinforcement of female inferiority. One such manifestation of the patriarchy is gender, which we believe to be a socially constructed hierarchy which functions to repress female autonomy and has no basis in biology. Radical Feminists also critique all religions and their institutions, and other practices that promote violence against women such as prostitution, pornography and FGM. The subjugation of women is a social process that has no basis in biology or any other pretext, and thus can and should be challenged and dismantled.

Radical Feminists see that our oppression as females is closely linked to and bound up in our roles as the bearers of new life and male hatred of our female reproductive power. Radical Feminists take an unequivocal stance on the right to female reproductive justice.

Radical Feminism increasingly recognizes that females from different oppressed groups experience a combination of oppressions. Class, race and disability have systematic structural impacts on different women’s lives in different toxic combinations.

Radical Feminists believe in an autonomous women’s movement as the path to women’s liberation. We believe in the importance of female only spaces where theory and action is developed from the lived reality of females who have been socialised into womanhood.”