QotD: “There’s a problem with the equality definition of feminism”

There’s a [problem] with the equality definition [of feminism.] Even if we could figure out which men are the ones to whom women should be equal, that way of putting it suggests that the point of feminism is somehow to get women to measure up to what (at least some) men already are. Men remain the point of reference; theirs are the lives that women would naturally want. If the first problem with the equality definition is “Equal to which men?” the second problem could be put as “Why equal to any men?” Reforming a system in which men are the points of reference by allowing women to perform as equals “forces women to focus on men and address men’s conceptions of women rather than creating and developing women’s values about themselves,” as Sarah Lucia Hoagland puts it in Lesbian Ethics (1988, 57.) For that reason, Hoagland and other feminists believe that feminism is first and foremost about women.

Hilde Lindemann, “What is Feminist Ethics?” from An Invitation to Feminist Ethics (2004)

(Found at Next Years Girl)

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4 responses

  1. You are kicking major ass over here. Great quotes.

  2. Yes, this is a very good one.

  3. […] There’s a [problem] with the equality definition. Even if we could figure out which men are the ones to whom women should be equal, that way of putting it suggests that the point of feminism is somehow to get women to measure up to what (at least some) men already are. Men remain the point of reference; theirs are the lives that women would naturally want. If the first problem with the equality definition is “Equal to which men?” the second problem could be put as “Why equal to any men?” […]

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