It wasn't an easy decision to make, but a necessary one for a simple reason: feminism that excludes women who do not comply with a narrow vision of what feminism should be isn't a feminism that is for women, by women. It is an ideology that allows other interest groups use women's rights to advocate for their own rights and by doing so causes real women who are being discriminated against solely because they are women feel they have no right to speak.
It's an ideology that silences women.
As human beings we must be aware that every kind of discrimination that is based on an inherent trait in humans, be it gender, color, or ethnicity, is a crime against human rights. But to demand women must advocate for every other discrimination before they are allowed to speak against sexism is equivalent to demanding labor unions must advocate for animal rights as part of their collective bargaining negotiations. It's the equivalent of saying peace talks between two countries must include all other conflicts around the world. It's the same as saying organisations that advocate for the rights of those who are blind must also include those who have a disability of any kind.
The absurdity of the position is clearly evident, but it cannot be mentioned in feminist circles without the objector being pummeled with accusations of racism and bigotry, followed by a hefty dose of vitriol, because a "real" feminist knows how to include every other discrimination a woman may experience into the discussion about women's rights.
It's the same demand society has always placed on women: the impossible standard of perfection. Men get a pass, women don't. And because of this simple reason feminism is no longer about women's rights. It's about demanding women do more than men to fix the ills in the world, and as such it is a sexist proposition.
No woman should be willing to play the game of perfection patriarchy demands women must participate in to be accepted. We have the right to be heard. And because I believe women have the right to be heard, I will continue to advocate for women's rights. But I won't do so as a feminist any longer, because I cannot condone a feminism that demands women become exactly that which they are fighting against. I cannot condone a feminism that demands women fight against patriarchy by adopting the same attitude that makes patriarchy thrive in the first place. Women's rights have suffered huge setbacks lately and the reason for it is women attempting to be perfect in a way that isn't attainable in a real world. You cannot fight when you're worried what other people think of you rather than being worried about your rights as a woman.
I believe women's rights matter and this is the reason I say goodbye to feminism. And who knows, perhaps I'll find feminism again in the future when women's rights and feminism have become compatible again.
Until then, thanks for the journey.