Re: rational feminism

Brian Manning Delaney (
Fri, 17 Sep 1999 13:22:00 -0700 wrote:

> In view of Lee Daniel's pronouncements
> on the irrationality of feminism, I
> suppose the following question is
> in order: How is feminism irrational?


> The logic of feminism in its original form: The
> fact that 50% of the population is cut off of
> economic and cultural resources has no
> rational basis, but is, rather, based in
> religious dogmas and cultural superstitions.

Feminism is most certainly not irrational.

The heart of the political issue is how to redress imbalances. That's where things get tricky: equal access or _forced_ access? Well, not that tricky -- the issues get interestingly tricky when one tries to define "equal" and "forced" in ways that show that they are actually distinct. Not as easy as one might think. (I am not a liberal.)

Another complicated issue involves measurements of success of attempts at redressing imbalances. Here's where biology tends to get tossed into the mix: if women are more likely to be away from work because of pregnancy, then they are more likely to have made less money, ergo stats showing that women make less money are partly just reflecting the fact that they are more likely to have been away from work than men, because of this simple fact of biology. So we have to define success as "women making 90% of what men make" -- so this simplistic line of reason goes.

There are obvious feminist rejoinders to this, of course. (For one, it is by no means "a simple fact of biology.")

Anyway, things get heated, for men, because of reverse discrimination anxiety. As a white male, I feel the pain of while men who have been dicked over (or "dicklessed over," to be a vulgar Freudian). In graduate school, applying for fellowships, it always annoyed me that there weren't Person of Other categories for me to check off. But so what? My sister was told growing up that she couldn't do math. That's an unquestionable disadvantage. Let her have a box to check off. I can get the fellowships anyway.

(Persons of other defined by race raise far more interesting issues.)


Brian Manning Delaney
(No need to CC replies to me.)