Saturday, December 19, 2009

What feminists sign on to

I wish I could show this post to every woman who decides that they are feminist.

Because I don't think many young women realize the meaning of feminism.

And I know what critics are going to say: that feminism is so diverse that it compasses a lot of contradictory opinions, etc etc.

In practice, feminism does boil down to treating female reproduction as a hindrance, and their own will as a form of absolutism.

Whatever streams of feminism that diverge from that point of view are marginal.

I don't care about marginal feminism.

I care about that mainstream of the movement that pushes wrong-headed ideas.

There's no pope in feminism to define what is orthodox, but there's a preponderance of thought that points to the idea that a woman's ability to have babies is a hindrance to her will.

Mark Richardson sums it up in a post in Oz Conservative:

De Beauvoir is concerned that the female body continues to matter, even though we make ourselves who we are, because it is potentially a "limiting factor for our projects" - and these projects require us to "grasp" the world with a strength of will.

Women are to be vital, independent, project pursuers. They are to be considered equal in their human stature when they exert the same "grasp" over the world as men. The female body, femininity, female sexuality and motherhood are all hindrances to this aim, which de Beauvoir thinks can be overcome in their effects by social engineering.

So existentialism effectively undermines the worth of a distinctive womanhood. In effect, women have to transcend their own femaleness, including their own female biology. What we usually think of as one of the most important sources of meaning in a woman's life - motherhood - becomes an impediment to meaning for an existentialist.

And I know that not all feminists are existentialists, etc. That doesn't mean the core idea isn't there in the mainstream of feminism:

In order for you to be truly fulfilled, truly free, truly equal, you must be able to control your reproduction and possibly even kill your unborn child. If you cannot, then you are a slave to your own biology and therefore, not equal.

That's why abortion is the supreme issue for the feminist, sometimes even to the detriment of others. In the mind of the feminism, if you don't have abortion, you don't have anything. There is no point in discussing pay equity, domestic violence, human trafficking, pornography, relations between men and women, etc etc, unless abortion is secured.

Because that's the first right. Everything else depends on it.