El Borak has this to say about my last posting, in which I reject the dictionary for a broader view of the term "feminism:"
Insisting that one need know what subspecies of feminist is being 'invoked' is like demanding that before you can do anything about the ants in your kitchen, you must determine which of the 12,000 species you are having trouble with. The truth is that it doesn't matter which: once you note that what is crawling across your counter is an ant, it's not necessary to wiki before you reach for the Raid.El Borak's right in that I wouldn't look up the type of ant before reaching for the Raid. But luckily, feminists aren't ants.
I find it necessary to alert El Borak, before he stamps out all feminisms equally, that he may want to take a closer look at Difference Feminism. The dictionary might say something different, but Difference Feminism, per Wikipedia,
is a branch of feminism that stresses that men and women are essentially very different beings, instead of past feminisms of equality that stress a fundamental sameness between men and women in some way.Difference Feminisms include New Feminism, a branch that holds dear John Paul II's The Theology of the Body, and whose followers celebrate motherhood and are primarily pro-life. Of course, these gals also believe that women should be considered equal to men--different but equal, but still equal. Since I know from his previous post on the matter that El Borak finds that equality deal troublesome, I might ask him to look at cultural feminism,
the theory that there are fundamental personality differences between men and women, and that women's differences are special and should be celebrated. This theory of feminism supports the notion that there are biological differences between men and women.Again, though, I can imagine El Borak might protest, not only because I'm still using Wikipedia, but because these gals celebrate that certain special something about women without so much as even baking a little cake for men (at least so far as I can tell from Wikipedia) .
But maybe El Borak is tired of Wikipedia. So how about this blurb on Moderate Feminism from Feminist Utopia:
This branch of feminism tends to be populated mostly by younger women or women who have not directly experienced discrimination. They tend to question the need for further effort, and think that feminism is no longer viable.They think that feminism is no longer viable? But they're called feminists? And wait--there are feminists like the New Feminists that follow religious teachings? And still others who agree that men and women are different? Well, now, these seem like women that El Borak might be able to start talking to--they share a few (thought not all) beliefs with El Borak, which is always a good place to start a conversation. I might also point out to El Borak that an important difference between ants and feminists is that he wouldn't reason with an ant before exterminating the ant. No matter now many times you tell an ant that it does not belong in your kitchen, the ant is still going to come back. Feminists, though, are a sub-group of women, part of the larger species known as human beings. Human beings have the power of reason, and so I have a hunch that E Borak could, were he to view feminism as a continuum and not some hard and fast rule, sit down and reason with some feminists. I've even got a hunch that he could change a few of their minds, if he fancied a discussion.
But if that argument isn't enough to convince El Borak that I should just submit myself to the dictionary, let's head over to this Fox News article about Christian Feminism:
"Feminism" is more than just a word, and we need more than just a dictionary definition to understand its compexity.
Feminism can be defined as the belief that women should be liberated as individuals and equal to men. It is only natural for there to be disagreement over what a personal ideal like "liberation" means and how a basic concept like "equality" should be defined. Indeed, it would be amazing if every woman who cared about liberation and equality came to exactly the same conclusions.
For example, what does equality mean? Does it refer to "equality under just law" -- under laws that protect person and property? Is it "socio-economic equality" that requires legal privileges for the disadvantaged and government control of the marketplace? Perhaps it is the cultural equality in which attitudes and social expression need to be controlled and "politically corrected?"
Disagreement on complex political terms and social issues is not only inevitable, it is healthy because it fuels open, honest discussion.