3 votes
Dec 29, 2015

Feminism is the best liberatory framework we presently have to achieve justice in the field of gender.

Like any movement, feminism as actually realized rather than imagined has several flaws. Feminists often struggle to deal with issues of race, class and political oppression, even as they try (with real efforts for improvement) to be more intersectional. Feminism can sometimes appear misandrist, and individual feminists can be misled by anger (however understandable) or tactical miscalculation into saying things that appear to attack men.

Men and women are different on average. But the idea that this difference should translate into better treatment for one or the other group, more power or more remuneration or what not, simply does not follow from the mere fact of the difference. Perhaps men are intrinsically slightly more competitive and women intrinsically slightly more cooperative. But both are valuable traits in the right situations, so a good balance throughout society of these two traits would be ideal.

And far more differences between men and women are manufactured by patriarchal mythology and institutions. Consider that, until very recently, women had shorter lifespans than men, largely due to being around the hearth so much and dealing with serious burns and other health issues from a very limited domestic life. Genes didn't change, but society created more options and opportunities. That has made it so that, today, the difference goes the other way. An approach that tries to find "intrinsic" differences, as if that were a meaningful idea, would have said some time ago that women must just not be as hearty. What so often looks like biology is actually sociology in disguise.

We should be striving to keep expanding those options and opportunities. There is, at present, no framework to do so aside from feminism, and the barrier to those options and opportunities in the arena of gender and kinship is patriarchy.

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