Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Is feminism dead?

Yes, says Susannah Breslin in one of the first posts on the new "women's" blog, XX Factor:

[I]sn't it intellectually reductive and culturally retarded to imply that the only site for women worth doing is one that follows an abstract set of political rules upon which no one can agree? ... I want to be more than a victim of the patriarchy, go farther than the feminist movement ever did, spend less time reading about women who are wondering if their supposed sisters are doing "the right thing" in terms of antiquated political concepts, and get the hell on with doing it already.
I'm inclined to agree -- if we're assuming that North America and Europe are the only continents in the world.

If other places in the world are also in the picture, I do think feminism can be useful, but it needs to be directed outside the country Breslin and I happen to live in.

As I've said,
I basically agree with most feminists' goals, but I think they too often exemplify William Hazlitt's aphorism, "It is essential for the triumph of reform that it shall never succeed."
I'm hard-pressed to think of a domestic political issue in the United States that requires feminism now, in 2009.

A gap in men and women's pay would be a very important issue, but I'm not convinced there is a real gap.

Abortion and domestic violence are important issues that profoundly affect women, but even with those issue, isn't it more productive to have a non-gendered debate? Upper-echelon Democrats have evidently realized that passionately feminist rhetoric on abortion ("Keep your laws off my body!") is self-defeating. This is a democracy -- you have to appeal to people with different values than yours if you want your side to win.

As for domestic violence and rape, I think most people understand what's so bad about them by now without needing lessons in feminist theory.

Am I missing something?

There's a theme today!

RELATED: Penelope Trunk says: "Take Your Child to Work Day should be cancelled."


Jason (the commenter) said...

Twenty years after the fact, someone on the left notices.