Monday, September 22, 2008

Female Bonding Isn't Feminism

Ellen Goodman wrote last week that some conservatives are calling liberal women out because they won't support Sarah Palin for Vice President. Aside from the fact that you can't do that without voting for McCain as President, the charges of hypocrisy ring all hollow.

Feminism is not, and never was, an attempt to replace the Good Old Boys with the Good Old Girls. Feminism is an analysis of how power works and how to end oppression.

From the 1960's to now, step by step, feminists have pointed out:

*Prejudice: the mental image of women as inferior.

*Discrimination: actions that keep women in an inferior position (whether the acts are based on prejudice, or on male self-interest, or inertia, or just plain obliviousness).

*Woman-hatred, as expressed in degrading images of women and degrading language about women.

*Rape and sexual violence.

*Institutionalized discrimination: where seemingly neutral standards, like long hours and no provision of child care for men or women, actually hurt women more.

Who would do more to oppose these strategies of domination? Good Old Girl Sarah Palin, who doesn't even recognize they exist? John McCain, who verbally abuses his wife in public? Or Michelle Obama's husband?

No comments: