Feminism’s cul-de-sac

Good article <here> by Mary Harrington. So balanced, so distilled.

Some often-missed themes there – such as modern Feminism’s un-thought, hook, line and sinker swallowing of dismal right-wing atomised individualism (ironically, a traditionally male viewpoint) and how that bleeds into Feminism’s ingrained outrage about the inconvenient reproductive realities of the female body:

But we need to understand that what we’re fighting is not feminism, properly understood, but something I’ve characterised elsewhere as bio-libertarianism. A worldview that for fifty years now has claimed to act in women’s interests but is increasingly obviously at odds with those interests. It’s a worldview that believes human freedom necessitates radical unmooring from the givens of our bodies.”

As she notes:

The pursuit of freedom is not just delivering diminishing returns. It has long since turned against women. It is now turning against life itself.”

I’ve always considered that women like my late Mum – strong, earthy, rural women – had more agency than any bourgeois white urban Feminist woman of today:

“… what we think of as ‘feminism’ today is mainly driven by bourgeois white American women, and serves their class interests.”

Paglia is good on this also, see this <quote > from her from 2017:

One of the themes running through my book is the excessively bourgeois or white middle-class assumptions of so much feminist thought today. For example, I find Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg insufferably smug and entitled. I thought her bestselling book, Lean In, was utterly dishonest in failing to acknowledge how the affluent lifestyle of women executives like herself requires a rotating squad of servants and nannies, whom she has carefully kept invisible. I argue that country women of the agrarian era were physically and mentally stronger than today’s high-profile, feminism-spouting women careerists, doing their Pilates and spinning routines at the pricey gym. Country women had big voices and big attitudes ….”   

Mostly, I skim articles, nodding along to pious, trammeled – and often wrong – left wing / liberal platitudes, or sneering at earnest displays of simplistic, sloganeering, right wing emotion.

That is, contemptuous of both those I agree with, and those I disagree with.  I’m in a prison of ineluctable condescension, a condition that I can only leaven with whimsy.  I’m living proof that the Zeigarnik effect does not apply to any perusal of popular, er, thinking …

By contrast, I’m going to read <Harrington’s article> several more times. Some of its nicely-turned sentences are springboards to complementary insights.

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