Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Histamine Reaction To Choice

Meagan Tyler gripes about "choice feminism" because it doesn't comport with her vision of what feminism is or ought to be, and then:
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.
Since the religious tenet of "patriarchy" cannot be measured, it also cannot be dispelled or dispatched.
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.
The idea that women might choose to be mothers and homemakers is apparently lost on her, but it is evident in the Swedish labor market, where women — with enormous paid maternity benefits — nevertheless elect to remove themselves from higher-paying positions in favor of jobs with more schedule flexibility. And if she's waiting for everyone to agree with her choices, guess what: that's not gonna happen, either, just as she disagrees with a lot of other women's choices. (But apparently it's okay when she does it.) It turns out her big problem with "choice feminism" is that it's not Marxist enough:
It doesn’t demand significant social change, and it effectively undermines calls for collective action. Basically, it asks nothing of you and delivers nothing in return.
The first sentence is true, the second false. Collective action won't address women who don't go into STEM careers, who decide to become mothers and drop out of the labor market, thus pulling down overall female wages earned and contributing to the bogus "wage gap". "Social change" in this context demands special treatment for women, and only women; choice feminism says women need to be grownups and own their lives and the choices made therein. Blaming "society" for every bad thing infantilizes women, claiming they can't change anything unless everyone agrees to their utopian worldview. Imagine, for instance, Nellie Bly or Amelia Earhart subscribing to that nonsense; it's impossible. Ayn Rand said, “The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.” The modern feminist says, "I can't, because all these people might stop me."

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