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Sunday, August 26, 2012

It's not just 'feminists'

It's not just 'feminists' who "think" in the way described, but also most (incorrectly) self-identified conservatives -- Mark Richardson: How does an Oxford feminist decide moral issues?
I've often said that feminism is liberalism applied to the lives of women. And at the heart of liberalism is autonomy theory: the belief that autonomy is the overriding good that defines us as human. Therefore, feminism seeks to maximise the autonomy of women.

Sarah Pine is a young feminist at Oxford University. Her comments on two controversies at the university illustrate her commitment to autonomy theory.

The most recent one concerns a dating guide:
A Guide To Dating Posh Girls warns its readers of modest means that a partner from the upper echelons will have had so much sex she has ‘duly worked her way through the Eton rugby team’
Sarah Pine's response was this:
Treating women like objects that lack any autonomy in who they date or sleep with is outdated and boring.
So she isn't concerned to defend the reputation of the posh women being commented on; her focus instead is that there might be a negative connotation to the idea of promiscuity - a limitation on the autonomous choice of women to sleep with however many men they like. ...
Incorrectly self-identified conservatives (*) will *always* defend the "right" of "strong, independent" womyn (**) to behave as sluts against the right of the rest of us to honestly say what they are when they do.

(*) who are actually "liberals" (as that word is currently used in America), for they implicitly and uncritically subscribe to the premises of "liberalism"; they incorrectly imagine they are conservatives because they do not (yet) want to go to all the places that the logic of those "liberal" premises dictates they must. But, they will, in time.

(**) who are so "strong" and "independent" that they collapse like wet tissue paper when they encounter views they don't like to have expressed, much less when they encounter reality, and who need those "white knights" to defend them against trogs like me.

JMSmith makes a good comment to Mr Richardson's post:
Perhaps you should say that feminism is liberalism applied exclusively to the lives of women. In the comments of the lady philosopher, for instance, a young woman is free to "work her way through the Eaton rugby team," but the writer of the dating guide is not free to register the fact. Likewise, a female prostitute is free to exploit her customers, but her pimp is not free to exploit the female prostitute.

The first example is especially interesting. Whose autonomy is to be protected? That of the slut, or of the slut shammer? ...

Promiscuity does plenty of harm, and yet liberalism defends it. Censoriousness of promiscuity seeks to avert this harm, and liberalism condemns it
[the public disapproval of promiscuity and shaming of promiscuous persons]. Why is this?