abilouise: (Default)
[personal profile] abilouise
When people ask me what feminism means (why is this still something that happens?), I feel like the standard answer of how women and men should live in equality just LACKS SOMETHING. It's too obvious and lacks some of the scholarship and depth that a lot of women worked hard to put out there, and it doesn't connect any dots for me.

Tonight I'm in bed with my sweetheart reading Joanna Russ's book _What Are We Fighting For_, which is excellent and funny and smart and I'm learning a lot of things I haven't learned before, when I see this paragraph, which to me, is a very good summary early feminist thought that still stands true today:

"I mean the ideas that men and women constitute sex-classes (the term is Dworkin's), that the interests of these sex-classes are often opposed, that the "personal" is in large part produced by the "political", that the division between private and public life is a social construct, imposed by propaganda and force, that relegating women's experience of oppression to the "private" realm is itself oppressive and mystifying, that gender is a social construct, that the father-headed family is a social institution that functions to exploit and oppress women, that the social construction of "femininity" produces large benefits for somebody, that the work women do *as women* is unrecognized and unpaid, that such work is not "natural" but socially arranged, that male priviledge, just like skin priviledge and class priviledge, exists whether or not individual men want it to, that such a state of affairs, although it hurts men, hurts women more, and that feminist opposition to women's oppression is not based on altruism or the love of abstract justice but on our own anger and our own healthily selfish desires for a more happy life."

I want to bullet-point this list and put it in a pamphlet to hand to people.
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abilouise

August 2012

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