Saturday, January 28, 2012

Feminism at its core

Pay attention, because this point is fundamental.

Oz Conservative on Feminism:

Feminism is liberalism applied to the lives of women. And the key principle of liberalism is autonomy - the aim of a self-determining, independent life.

Equality is a secondary principle. If you think that you, or the group you belong to, is disadvantaged in achieving an independent, autonomous life, then you will call for equality (or for an end to discrimination, or for social justice etc). In other words, when feminists demand equality what they are really asking for is a greater degree of autonomy/independence/self-determination, which they believe has been denied them by privileged men.


What really needs to happen is for that liberal first principle - that autonomy is always the highest, overriding good - to be challenged openly. That's what would open up moral and political debate in the West.

Feminists think that every woman's primary aim in life should be autonomy.

Here's the problem: who's autonomous, exactly? I'm a stay-at-home mom. Am I autonomous? I'm a Catholic. Am I autonomous? I am profoundly anti-feminist. Am I autonomous? And if I am autonomous, notwithstanding my position in life, then who isn't?