Thursday, July 12, 2018

Feminism, An Autopsy

". . . most obstacles for women have been removed by now. Women are allowed to go to college, to work in traditionally masculine fields, to speak in public, to run for office, to do whatever they want. The actual obstacles and inequalities that women face are mostly obstacles only for the poor - middle-class women and above can now buy their access to power and equality. The issues most pressing for lower income women, like affordable abortions, childcare, health insurance and health care, public housing, and so on, have slipped off the feminist radar. . . . Women are now judges and lawyers who put innocent men and women in jail, who exploit the poor, who support institutionalized racism. Women are now politicians who are rewarding the mega-rich with even more money at the expense of the poor. 

"When an industry has gone off the rails, like Wall Street or Silicon Valley, you hear this a lot:  'They just need more women. Women have more common sense, more empathy. It's just a boy's club run wild.' This is illogical. It's humans, not men, who are the problem here. 

"Now that women are raised with access to power, we will not see a more egalitarian world, but the same world, just with more women in it.

" . . . that feminism has been guilty throughout its history or rampant racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other failures of empathy, shows that the mainstream goal was always participation in the system, rather than its destruction." 

"When feminists decided to fight for the right to work, what they meant was the right to become doctors, lawyers, and so on. . . . Right from the beginning the assumption was that work was a good thing, a fulfilling thing, that we were missing out on. Not a soul and body-destroying thing that can kill you off young or make you wish it would.

"A true radical response is a lonely road, but it's super hip these days to think of yourself as a radical without doing anything to deserve it. To think that if you buy this special bag of tortilla chips with a pink ribbon on it, you are helping to cure cancer. That if you buy this album and wear a leather jacket, you are a true punk. And if you simply call yourself a feminist, you are a feminist. 

 "What there really should be is a discussion of how women less advantaged than us (or living in different countries or cultures) are oppressed by the things we think of as empowering."

-----Jessa Crispin, Why I Am Not a Feminist, A Feminist Manifesto

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