Recently I have had an interesting question put to me, first in terms of trying to understand the origins of feminism or an overlook of feminism, and now more specifically ‘why feminism?’ Bean offered the suggestion of a book called ‘Feminism is for Everybody’ by Bell Hooks, which I in turn offered to the young man questioning me. He has since directed this question at me, and I’m curious to hear others reactions and opinions to this question.
So besides the obvious answer of valuing equality as a societal virtue, what are some good solid answers for this question?
I picked up that book you said I should, Kim. I am on page 50. It is not answering my questions. It is discussing problems with the advancement of feminism, but it is not discussing why feminism is right.
Why not domination by men?
It’s true that not all societies have had this kind of domination, but in almost every society I have read about, including primitive hunter-gatherer ones, ones allegedly “egalitarian,” there tends to be greater access of men for power positions and the like. I’ve had feminist friends point this out. They despair of this. One friend said something like, “It’s like it’s human for men to dominate. It really makes me depressed.”
So why not domination? Why is feminism right in putting forth its agenda?
THAT is what I would like to understand. And if anyone can point me in the right direction of this, I would be grateful, but this book has done nothing to really grapple with a deeper philosophical problem. It said, “egalitarianism is good; feminism promotes egalitarianism.” But why is egalitarianism good? Why is it right? I need this question answered.
I am completely open-minded, but I am simply very skeptical. I really want to see all points of view, but I am having difficulty. This makes me think I am missing something. Feminism is one of the few political positions that I cannot personally identify with, and I want to change that. Not because I want to be a feminist, but I want to feel what it’s like to be a feminist. I hope this makes sense.