In the comments, Leslyn said:
I don't give a flying fuck if it does. I care that it serves my individual "liberation." An outdated word. Young women (and men) are past the time of needing liberation. We have moved into empowerment.I found that sad and strange for reasons that Palladian expressed a bit later:
If that also serves commercial interests (which it does), that's a nice side-effect.
What a bunch of grim comments. We were given our incredibly brief, beautiful lives above the soil, and what have we done with them? Worried about careers and taxes and other meaningless nonsense.Let's think about liberation. What happened to that word over the years? Around 1970, everyone said "women's liberation" or "women's liberation movement," and then "liberation" was dropped. Why?
Tomorrow isn't promised to us. Death is eternal. What matters is love, and beauty, and survival.
I dream of this edifice of falsehood crashing to rubble at our happy feet.
Do what you need to survive, so that you can live in love and beauty as long as you can. Nothing else matters at all.
The Oxford English Dictionary has as its "1b" definition: "Freedom from restrictive or discriminatory social conventions and attitudes." The history of "liberation," used this way, goes back to 1798:
1798 Analyt. Rev. July 35 The consequences from the liberation of women reasonably to be expected, are, such as seldom fail to ensue, when any individuals, or societies, or classes of mankind are restored to their natural rights.Isn't it interesting that the quotes are all about women until 1971, when you get "black liberation"? Did women flee from the word when black people moved in? Did "liberation" begin to sound too radical? Did the OED 1b meaning, upon encountering race, merge uncomfortably with the 2a meaning — "The action of freeing a region or its people from an oppressor or enemy force; the result of this"?
1888 Rep. Internat. Council Women 441 You can obtain the complete liberation of women only by working for the liberation of humanity.
1911 A. G. Chater tr. E. Key Love & Marriage vi. 203 Real liberation for women is thus impossible; the only thing possible is a new division of the burdens.
1971 Black Scholar Jan. 58/1 Those in the struggle have to deal with black separatists because they stand today as a potent obstacle to full black liberation.
1976 Listener 8 Jan. 4/2 Sexual repression and totalitarianism, on one side, and sexual liberation and revolution, on the other.
1984 A. Maupin Babycakes ix. 40 It was no longer a question of butch vs. femme, liberation vs. oppression.
2001 Genre May 37/1 Gay activists in this country and around the world were using the pink triangle as a symbol of activism and liberation.
Did burgeoning sexual connotations undermine the word's usefulness? This isn't liberation in the sense of sexual liberation, the women's
[Betty] Friedan, and some other straight feminists as well, worried that the association [with lesbianism] would hamstring feminists' ability to achieve serious political change, and that stereotypes of "mannish" and "man-hating" lesbians would provide an easy way to dismiss the movement. Under her direction, NOW attempted to distance itself from lesbian causes – including omitting the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis from the list of sponsors of the First Congress to Unite Women in November 1969.Get the sex out... get the left-wing revolutionary connotations out. Let's not say "liberation" anymore. If you think the word is outdated, that in itself is significant. Why don't you want to talk about whether the individual is escaping from restrictive or discriminatory social conventions and attitudes? Don't be afraid. I want to talk about whether we are liberated or whether we've followed a path of enslavement — serving the interests of commerce.
As I said in yesterday's post: It was right when we were questioning devoting our lives to commerce — when "turn on, tune in, drop out" was fascinating — that a movement came along and injected women — half the population — with highly commercial ambition. That fed the gigantic engine of the economy for the next 4 decades. And now, the professional, highly organized, intensely busy woman is celebrated in our culture, and the hippie is a figure of fun. And yet... what matters is love, and beauty, and survival. Live in love and beauty as long as you can.
IN THE COMMENTS: Meade said:
Fear of flying fuck.