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What is Feminist Counselling?

Updated: Nov 24, 2019

In case anyone was worried, I have no interest in turning women into man-haters. That sounds like a very witchy power, and as much as I think witches are cool, I don't believe in magic.

What I want is for women to like themselves better. To give themselves a break for once. To stop feeling like impostors. To interrupt a mansplainer. To keep fighting for what they believe in at work. To ask for a raise. To leave abusers. To heal from the impacts of violence. To dress how they want and do what they want. To stop blaming themselves and to look outwards to the ways that they do or don't have access to power and privilege.

For me feminism simply seeks equity between men and women. I believe that due to patriarchy, misogyny and sexism, women and femmes experience economic disadvantage, are unfairly burdened by emotional and domestic labour, and live through violence that is about punishing and dominating them. Thus I come from the assumption that patriarchy (and our resistance to it) impacts our personal development and mental health as women and femmes.

My feminism is not about helping white women get what white cis men have. I want a feminism for everyone. It is important to me that I attend to the ways in which race, class, ability, sexuality and other social locations shape our experience of our gender. I practice intersectional feminism, believing that oppressive systems pile burdens upon people who occupy multiple social locations while also erasing their identities. (Please see the brilliant work of Kimberlé Crenshaw for more on intersectional feminism).

Feminism is a movement and philosophy that not only critiques current systems of privilege and oppression, but seeks to disrupt those systems and to nurture new ways of relating. In counselling, this translates to helping individuals imagine something totally different for themselves, while healing old wounds and accounting for the limitations placed on us by oppressive systems.

A woman's silhouette in front of a sunset

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