Monday, May 4, 2015

Feminism Isn't About Choice, #1

Via the reliably loony Anita Sarkeesian, we learn that feminism isn't about choice, per Meagan Tyler:
First of all, the choice arguments are fundamentally flawed because they assume a level of unmitigated freedom for women that simply doesn’t exist. Yes, we make choices, but these are shaped and constrained by the unequal conditions in which we live. It would only make sense to uncritically celebrate choice in a post-patriarchal world.

Second, the idea that more choices automatically equate to more freedom is a falsehood. This is essentially just selling neo-liberalism with a feminist twist. Yes, women can now work or stay at home if they have children, for example, but this “choice” is fairly hollow when child-rearing continues to be constructed as “women’s work”, there is insufficient state support for childcare, and childless women are decried as selfish.

Third, the focus on women’s choices as the be-all and end-all of feminism has resulted in in a perverse kind of victim-blaming and a distraction from the real problems women still face. If you’re not happy with the way things are, don’t blame misogyny and sexism, the pay gap, entrenched gender roles, women’s lack of representation on boards or in parliament, or an epidemic of violence against women. Blame yourself. You obviously made the wrong choice.
Well of course, responsibility for the outcome of one's own life and choices therein are pretty certainly not the sort of thing gender feminists wish to examine; that would "effectively [undermine] calls for collective action", because who needs to actually learn things an employer might find useful?

Speaking of the hunt for money, Tyler has a website, Feminist Current, which might end up in my Slings and Arrows section on the sidebar if it can provide enough suitably wacky fodder; trying to rehabilitate Andrea Dworkin's misandrist reputation possibly qualifies. (If you think she hated men, ipso facto you are a misogynist, maleness is learned, and all the other standard-issue cant.)  Just below the mast, a pitch for more funding in the scrolling image bar. 'Twas ever thus; "what can I do for you?" is not a question such creatures ask themselves, and getting paid for good intentions should be enough.

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