The greatest Casualty of the Feminist Revolution may be the Feminist Vision Itself
Putting lipstick on a feminist is not the same as a vision.
Feminist Utopias have become personal spaces – spaces for lipstick or not; high heels or not; glamour; children, and dreams small enough to be accomplished by shopping, exercising or getting the right man or the right sperm.
According to Ellie The Noughtie Girls Guide to Feminism, “In the past, you had to subscribe to a whole set of beliefs to be a feminist, including how you should look and behave. But Noughties women have made it their own. It’s like a pick and mix feminism, where you can choose what you care about yourself.”
Ahh, the pleasure of the power of choice in a cafeteria of issue feminism where one works on what makes one happy – issues that are “relevant” to her. But the question remains: To what end do we empower ourselves and others? And, if, indeed, we have any “power as a woman,” what exactly is that to be used for? …
What is feminism and what is the feminist vision?
At the very least, any feminist vision depends on critical judgments of oneself and society. It means the creation of a collectively-imagined country, if you will, that we all want to land on — one in which immigration is not limited to those in high heels. If, in this Utopia, all discrimination against women is abolished, we might be forced to think of the good of the whole instead of the one, and accept the reality that power will change hands, minimizing or abolishing altogether male privilege and entitlements.
But we need visionaries who must hold us to those higher standards and take the longer view than what is immediately available or possible. We must learn to want to do the impossible. The visionary is one who dreams of the world that “should be,” mapping the landscapes and focusing our sights. We also may make a crash landing — but we have to get off the ground first.
Extract from an article in the winter issue of “On The Issues Magazine” which also includes:
From the Publisher: Revolution Lite – by Merle Hoffman
– Putting lipstick on a feminist is not the same as a vision.
Wanted: A Revolution in Critical Thinking – by Susan Jacoby
– Junk thought is an equal-opportunity affliction that endangers our future.
Beyond politics and one god – by Frances Kissling
– Women need a religious revolution that ends anti-women mythology.
Twisted Treaty Shafts U.S. Women – by Janet Benshoof
– Americans should demand gender equality and reject a watered-down CEDAW.
End Torture, End Domestic Violence – by Rhonda Copelon
– Stop the degradation of domestic abuse by declaring the truth: it’s torture.
Female Avatars Hail ‘Second Life’ – by Sharon Collingwood
-A raft of possibilities exist for women to organize for change in virtual worlds.
Ending the Male Patina in Biology – by Mahin Hassibi
– From Darwin to DNA, men have colored biology. This should change.
Ramping Up Democracy in the U.S. – by Pam Wilmot
– A national popular vote is needed to end the Electoral College, born in slavery and anti-female sentiment.
The Greatest Casualty of the Feminist Revolution May be the Feminist Vision Itself the Art Perspective – Curated by Linda Stein
– Art Editor Linda Stein features artist and pacifist, Joyce Kozloff, an originating figure of the Pattern and Decorative movement.
The Poet’s Eye – From Poetry Co-Editor Judith Arcana
– Four poets imagine escapes to better worlds; works by Diane Lockward, Lois Rosen, Marge Piercy and Annie Finch. • Art by Stephanie Brody-Lederman
MILK and Recruiting for Rights – by Eleanor J. Bader
– Harvey Milk didn’t shrink from seeking power to secure change.
Theater Arts: A Menace to Society by Alexis Greene
– With the controversial Bill Baird as a subject, dramatists put birth control down center.
Our Architecture Ourselves – by Leslie Kanes Weisman
– Better environments mix feminist values with bricks and mortar.
Putting Money Where Our Causes Are – by Marion Banzhaf
– In a crashing economy, radical activists need help.
An Animal Lawyer Makes a Manifesto – by Barbara J. Gislason
– A pioneering lawyer ponders the role of animals and the pursuit of justice.
Health Care ‘Reform’ Is Not Enough – by Susan Yanow
– Five ways to lock in health services for all women.
• Art by Barbara Rachko