Should we #CancelRich?
Here, we each present our take on if Rich’s poetry is still pushing for societal progress or if it is leaving people behind.
I think that Adrienne Rich’s work should be canceled. Back in her period, she was highly influential in the women’s rights movement, and her work had a lot of impact on society, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it still carries the same weight today. We’re now in the 21st century, where women have been granted many more rights and are now in a new era of issues to fight for. One of these issues is regarding transgender women and their rights in society- the right to transition, the right to live, and the right to be seen and respected as women. their existence simply didn’t fit Rich’s ideas of feminism. Rich was a refuser of ‘male energy’- she felt as though male energy and patriarchy were unnecessary and even counteractive to the feminist movement (Soules, 21). Unfortunately, she extended this view to trans people, and believed that trans women were “deviant men who use female bodies to enter female spaces” (Mukhopadhyay, par. 2). In today’s society, this falls into something called TERF rhetoric- trans-exclusionary radical feminism. This is the belief that trans people are not ‘real’ and harm feminist ideals. This harmful notion that Rich had is the reason I want to cancel her. While she was important in her time, her views are outdated and highly harmful to trans women and the new feminist movement. 🙂