On The Abuse Of “The Personal Is Political”

October 15, 2008 at 10:32 am (frightening things)

My latest post at Revolutionary Act just went up. A taste:

This post almost made me lose faith in humanity.

I don’t want to be too harsh — it’s a thoughtful post and I agree with its conclusions, and I have a good deal in common with its author — but my heart was half-broken by just the title.

Can I Be a Feminist and a Bottom in Bed?

Uh oh.

Now, let me make this clear, in case I didn’t already: I agree with the conclusions of this post. I’m just really, really sad that we’re still asking this question.

The post continues:

One unfortunate consequence of feminism’s emphasis on the personal as political is that it becomes too easy to discriminate against people for not being “feminist enough.”

This is the opposite of what “the personal is political” is supposed to mean. “The personal is political” is not an excuse to bash other women or take away someone’s feminist membership card. It’s the idea that our ostensibly “personal” problems — like rape, domestic violence, and sexual harassment — are actually part of large-scale systems of oppression. Many personal hardships are the result of political injustices.

Keep reading.

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1 Comment

  1. bitterbetty said,

    INDEED!
    Hear Hear!

    This is the most Creepy Thing I have Read This Week:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1042702/Time-Warp-Wives-Meet-women-really-live-past.html

    What is happening out there?

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