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Reply #31: I have problems with Feminism = Humanism [View All]

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shockra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-05 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #19
31. I have problems with Feminism = Humanism
As long as some people are considered more human than others, it's primarily going to advance the agenda of those considered most human. Since it's a manmade language humanity is defined in a patriarchal manner.

Take corporate "personhood," for the most depraved example. The "person" that a corporation is is most certainly a rich, white, heterosexual male. Could we even, for a moment, see it as a black, a woman, a poor person? That which is considered the most human reaps all the benefits and privileges that entails.

Seeing all people as equal can be a way of avoiding and respecting difference. Like when Tom Cruise mentioned to Oprah that he'd never talked about racism with his black son, because to him "all people are the same. I don't see color." I've certainly heard African-American feminists complain about this perspective as a cop-out. In order to understand another's reality, you have to see color (or whatever the difference is) in order to appreciate the other's humanity. Just saying "we're all the same" doesn't absolve anyone from the responsibility of learning about how they may contribute to many types of oppression. In fact, it's a benefit of privilege that you can say something like that and have it considered admirable. Privilege doesn't see the ways in which it's privileged, because it doesn't have to.

Liberal feminism depends on individuals to effect change and be responsible for themselves. That's a necessary step, but not enough. Radical feminism sees the context in which everything is happening (patriarchy), and how appealing to individuals's sense of fairness can only advance society so far. That's why I became a radical feminist. Liberal feminism doesn't seek to change the status quo, but rather have women be more equal to men in a system developed around males as the norm in every area.

Probably the best feminist book I've ever read is The Gender Knot by Allan Johnson, in large part because he describes the male role in feminism wonderfully. I posted about it a couple times this year in GD, as well as an excerpt.
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