[…] There are more insidious and less obvious threats. These dangers hide in plain sight, and come partly in the form of a version of feminism known as “choice feminism”. This term is used to refer to a common phenomenon, whereby the language of liberation, taken from feminist political theory, is turned on its head and used against women. Choice feminism can be found particularly in media representations of what feminism is and what women’s empowerment might look like. There is an attempt, unfortunately fairly successful, to reduce feminism to simply being the right for women to make choices. Not choices about whether to stand for parliament, or instigate pay transparency in the office or lead an unemployed worker’s union, or form a women-only consciousness-raising group in their town; far from it.
Finn Mackay - The biggest threat to feminism? It’s not just the patriarchy (guardian)
Finn Mackay discuss liberal (choice-feminism) and faux-empowerment as the biggest threat to feminism:
Feminism is one of the oldest and most powerful social movements in history; it is a revolutionary movement, and that means change. There is so much wrong with the present system that we can’t just tinker round the edges, we need to start again; our end point cannot be equality in an unequal world. This is also the reason why feminism is not struggling to simply reverse the present power relationship and put women in charge instead of men (though this is a common myth about feminist politics). Feminism is about change, not a changing of the guard.
If we are to correct our unbalanced world, then we need to get rid of patriarchy as a system of social governance. By patriarchy, I mean male supremacy; I mean a society where every avenue of power – especially mainstream institutions of power – is overwhelmingly dominated by men. You don’t have to go far to find this, and it isn’t a preserve of foreign countries or dictatorial regimes; the UK is patriarchal, just like the rest of the globe. It may look different and take different forms, but it’s the same old male supremacy.
Westminster politics, for example, is nearly 80% male, and overwhelmingly white; we are still waiting for a government that looks like the people it dares to govern. Business leaders, the judiciary, senior police, management in education and the media: wherever you look you will find that power is in male hands. This is sexism, base, raw and simple. It means that our society is shaped by one half of the population alone; that it reflects, aggrandises and normalises its group perspectives and its image of power.
But this power structure is cracked, it always has been; that’s why it has to be constantly propped up through force, violence and the threat of violence. This ancient imbalance has brought us to the brink of planetary crisis, it has ripped out chasms between countries and people. The situation is not natural; we cannot possibly look at things as they are and say so it was meant to be. We should try to change it however we can, and that’s where feminism comes in.
Rest The Guardian.
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