April 15, 2012

Is "liberation" an outdated word?

Yesterday, I wrote "Wouldn't it be a kick in the head if it turned out feminism served, above all, the interests of commerce and not individual liberation?"

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 An outdated word.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.

If that also serves commercial interests (which it does), that's a nice side-effect.
I found that sad and strange for reasons that Palladian expressed a bit later:
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.

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.
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?

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.

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. 
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"?

Did burgeoning sexual connotations undermine the word's usefulness? This isn't liberation in the sense of sexual liberation, the women's liberation movement wanted men to know: This isn't about sex (you're not getting more); this is about money (we're getting more). Was it something about gay people moving into the feminist territory and the women needing to draw a distinction? Women's movement leaders openly fought off what they called "the lavender menace":
[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.

112 comments:

Holmes said...

"...that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God." Romans 8:21. Happy Sunday!

rhhardin said...

And yet... what matters is love, and beauty, and survival.

And math.

Michael said...

Frankly, this is one of the things that floored me about the Occupy movement. So far as I could tell, they were angry that they hadn't been handed Organization Man jobs straight out of college and been assured of 40 years of tedium leading to a pension. When hippies decided they wanted money, they started making goat cheese or something, not dreaming of life at the DMV or processing bills for a massive insurer.

That said, laying on the beach is highly overrated. Truly satisfying work is the greatest satisfaction of this life. Die in harness, rage against the dying of the light by making and doing till your fingers grow cold, not just by appreciating beauty.

rhhardin said...

On the precipice-brink of a fatal question mark, the mind wonders how mathematics happen to contain so much commanding importance and so much incontestable truth, while comparison between mathematics and man only uncovers the latter's false pride and mendacity.

- Lautreamont

rhhardin said...

Liberation meant women not wearing bras at work.

There was a confusion of use and mention from that.

Pogo said...

"Liberation" was dropped when they discovered it meant liberty from the State, for instead they were advancing Leviathan as the Great and Final Solution.

The State knows nothing of love and beauty, only survival.
But not your survival.
For you, there's death and taxes. If you can't pay taxes, well, you figure it out.

I agree that careers are, in the end, meaningless. I discovered early on how fleeting were the names of 'giants' at work, finding their bound research papers for sale at a thrift store for mere pennies. Forgotten.

That I may live on by raising children to think freely is anathema to the State because it liberates them. They are radicals in every society who do so.

rhhardin said...

A particularly liberated woman, some days, would leave the cafeteria at breakfast carrying coffee in a see-through blouse with no bra, and once got a spontaneous round of applause from the engineers starting the day with eggs and bacon.

A nearby engineer, who worked with her, said to me, "God, she's going to be impossible to work with today."

Those were heady days.

A backward, foot-dragging and still modest woman remarked on her attire, "You can see her nipples."

All these women were at work, though mostly perhaps in hopes of finding a husband, or not yet pregnant if they had one.

If you got pregnant, you had to leave at some month point, still.

MayBee said...

I suspect "liberation" got dropped because that had happened, and simply being free to make choices was no longer the goal. The goal became gaining benefits for being a woman.

It is sad that either "liberation" or "empowerment" has turned into making sure everyone is always working and the government steps in to help raise the kids. And I agree with you and Palladian - my breath is just taken away by people who say "what would the non-working spouse do with his or her time?". There is a lot to be said about a partnership focused in making like nice for each other.

rhhardin said...

On household breadwinners, whatever works.

It's doing to depend.

There's an instability, though, that women tend to be unsatisfied in any condition, as part of the dynamic with males and quest-sending.

The male is going to be the one to fix it, whatever other role he has.

EDH said...

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.

That sums it up, doesn't it?

Women may have been "liberated" from societal convention and the men in their lives, but because of the two-income "tax trap" they are now more than ever subservient to the state.

Hence, rather than the "outdated word" liberation connoting individual freedom being the brass ring, you now have the term "empowerment", which increasingly means mastering the levers of that much larger and more controlling state to your advantage over others.

MayBee said...

**focused on making life nice for each other**

Lucien said...

Properly understood, liberation, like freedom, is good in and of itself, and does not ultimately serve any interest.
Feminism, in the sense of being the radical idea that women are human beings, is inextricably intertwined with liberation and freedom. (And the pursuit of happiness thing, too.)

Pogo said...

What a pathetic word, 'empowerment'.

" To me it's just a made up word. A politician's word, so young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie, and have a job."

As a buzz word, it has begun to fade from use. Just one more lefty bullshit word joining the heap of stupid slogans discarded and forgotten.

Empowerment has only ever meant another state program to dole out to, and hence control, another faction of its subjects.

edutcher said...

For me, liberation always went with Commie stuff like national wars of liberation, liberation theology, etc.

No one in this country needed "liberation" 40 or 50 years ago, with the exception of blacks in the South - feminism has always been the womyn's auxiliary of the Lefties.

As for "empowerment", it's another Lefty term. Usually through use of the Full Court Alinsky.

Sorry, but these words are just catchphrases used by the Left - through "community organizers" - on the gullible to get them to do things they otherwise felt no need to do.

And, yeah, what Pogo said.

Michael said...

"Feminism, in the sense of being the radical idea that women are human beings, is inextricably intertwined with liberation and freedom. (And the pursuit of happiness thing, too.)"

Hence the well-known happiness radiated by people in departments of women's studies.

Meade said...

Fear of flying fuck.

Pogo said...

"Fear of flying fuck."

True.
Liberation also meant the the zipless fuck, which didn't turned out that great for women, being a male objective in the first place.

leslyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Liberation from what? And to what end?

White American women have always had freedom. That freedom was constrained by both tradition and law (especially the absence of the right to vote). But women were always free to challenge the tradition and get the law changed. As a group they exercised their freedom to do so, very effectively.

Now the legal constraints are gone and the old traditions do not hang very heavily. The freedom is commonplace, if the individual woman choses to exercise it.

But freedom is a tricky thing. It can make you fearful, and you manufacture your own constraints. It can make you giddy and stupid, like college kids apart from their parents the first time.

"Oh, I'm free." But what am I free from? What is my freedom's purpose? Easy questions to duck. We do it all the time.

leslyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tank said...

What Pogo said, except lefties still talk empowerment.

I'm actually sypathetic to the love and art and beauty thing. I've passed up lots of opportunities to work harder longer hours for more money, and my wife stayed home with the kids until they went to Kindergarden (we didn't think about this much, it did not occur to us to have kids then send them to someone else to raise) costing us money we could have had.

On the other hand, no one owes you a life a beauty, art and love. First, you earn enough to not depend on others to support you. Then you're free to do what you love with your life, and I like spending plenty of time on that. I only have so much (time).

Don't empower yourself on the backs of others. That is not empowerment.

David said...

"The State knows nothing of love and beauty, only survival.
But not your survival. "

Pogo, did you make that up? Very well put.

leslyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil 3:14 said...

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love

AllieOop said...

Ann, if liberation only got women to the point in which her income is needed to maintain a certain level of heightened materialism, then no indeed it wasn't liberating and has enslaved her to the notion that bigger is better, owning more, earning more, being more is the end all, to be all.

We live in times in which our worth is measured by success, by wealth, by power, it hasn't made us better human beings overall.

I do however consider myself someone who treasures liberty, but it may mean so many different things to us.

I agree that love, companionship, and a deep understanding outweigh these.

Pogo said...

@David
Google doesn't recognize it, so who knows?

Pogo said...

Isn't freedom just another word for nothing left to lose?

Quayle said...

Just to try to expand on a number of good posts:

the real question in the 'liberation' movement that nobody ever seemed to have thought through was, 'what is the best or worst thing to be chained to?'

It is very possible to liberate yourself from the frying pan and be thereafter chained to the fire.

Or liberate yourself from 'outdated' sexual mores and become chained to an STD or a life with your kids living in another house.

Or liberate yourself from the drudgery of housework and become chained to the drudgery of a 9 - 5 job.

Lots of people never considered that mayby - just maybe - the established mores of society (or God's laws for that matter) were not designed to restrain fun, but only restrained short-term fun that had a high probability or risk of long-term, unsolvable heartache.

Or as Paul said in Romans, Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey...?

And regarding the feminist movement in general, it was always hard to argue a good ROI from forgoing an investment of time and energy into children for an investment of time and energy into some company and its product or service.

The children can given endless creation and production.

All products have a lifespan and will eventually die.

(At least teaching lives on through the lives of the students.)

Hypothetically speaking, was it in hindsight a good investment to forgo having three or four children in order to help lead a company that made, for example, compact disc players?

To mitigate the seeming harshness of this line of thinking: I believe we're all learning in life and we all have regrets and none of us should condemn the choices anyone makes.

But we've got to get over this demand we have that all short term things be easy and without bother or hassle or insult, and look more to the long term.

Lem said...

Eddie Morra: [at a party] ... Well sure, you'd get a short-term spike, but wouldn't that rapid expansion devalue the stock completely in two years?
Kevin Doyle: No, 'cause there are safeguards!
Eddie Morra: Against aggressive overexpansion? There aren't because there are no safeguards in human nature. We're wired to overreach. Look at history, all the countries that have ever ruled the world - Portugal, with its big, massive navy... All they've got now are salt cods and cheap condoms.
[crowd laughs]
Eddie Morra: And Brits? Now they're just sitting in their dank little island, fussing over their suits. No one's stopping and thinking, 'Hey, we're doing pretty well. We got France, we got Poland, we got a big Swiss bank account... You know what? Let's not invade Russia in the winter, let's go home, let's pop a beer and let's live off the interest.'


Quote from Limitless (2011)

We behave socially the same as we behave in the stock market.

Liberation has been a series of bubbles and now we are reaping disappointment aptly told in the Rollin Stones song.. You Cant Always Get What You Want

Each verse captures the essence of the initial optimism and eventual disillusion, followed by the resigned pragmatism in the chorus.

As in..

But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need
...

David said...

"Eric Jong?"

Eric Jong
had a dong.
Not with that
There's anything wrong.

David said...

You know,
Pogo.

leslyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

AllieOop said...
We live in times in which our worth is measured by success, by wealth, by power, it hasn't made us better human beings overall.

Is that before or after taxes?

roesch/voltaire said...

Why is this constructed as a either or argument? We both have engaging and creative careers that give us each a sense of independence while eliminating worries about basic survival, and we find time to appreciate the beauty in life as well as a strong bond of love between us. Did liberation play a role in my wife's life, I suspect so given the struggle she went through to make a place for herself.

Tim said...

"Is "liberation" an outdated word?"

No, of course it isn't.

There are many people who need liberation from oppression, and many more still whose liberty is infringed, in both cases most usually from governments.

That the liberal left drummed any real meaning and utility from the word is not the least bit surprising.

That is, if you think.

leslyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wyo sis said...

Liberation was the wrong word from the beginning. Using that word for what women wanted did the word a disservice. Women wanted to act like/be men and that is not liberation at all. It's denial of self. Self-loathing is more bondage.

Tim said...

So much of this is a "first world problem."

Within that context, the first and most important place to liberate is your own mind.

Too few do.

And then take responsibility for yourself.

Fewer still do that.

AllieOop said...

R/V,
Maybe because sometimes a woman's career means sacrificing other aspects of her life she also holds dear. Some women aren't able to have it all, career and family.

Women are only human after all and some women just can't find that perfect balance of happiness in career outside the home and the one inside. To the women who do find that perfect balance, more power to them.

Happiness is what counts. I won't judge a woman who wasn't able have it all. Society shouldn't judge her on her career choices either.

Pogo said...

@David

Oh, I wrote it. Not plagiarized from anywhere. Condensed from several thoughts.

I have no doubt it's been said better already though.

Meade said...

Leslyn said:
"I don't give a flying fuck if it does."

Leslyn, we hear your roar. Really we do.

But aren't you still an embryo... with a long, long way to go?

LordSomber said...

They stopped calling it "liberation" when it turned into something they can't say by name: Entitlement.

pm317 said...

There was a movement that drew attention to a latent energy and now that it has dissipated having done its job, nobody wants to give it its due recognition -- the younger generation who don't know history think they did it all by themselves and the politics of it runs along the two party system with one party owning it and the other disowning it. Feminism and liberation have become dirty words. I think truth lies somewhere in the middle. The society and women have benefited by the movement but since the movement was predominantly adopted by one political party, the other side refuses to give it recognition even after having benefited from it.

David R. Graham said...

"Isn't freedom just another word for nothing left to lose?"

cf. Chesterton on St. Francis of Assisi.

"Lefty bullshit words" are good and proper words turned by misanthropes to sour and dour purpose, specifically, overbearing.

Liberation and empowerment are such words. Both express experiences essential to life in start, go and end. Liberation is the absence of attachment. Empowerment is the absence of fear.

All happy conditions are negative in nature. They arise from an absence of something. All unhappy conditions are positive in nature. They arise from a presence of something.

John Lynch said...

I want my liberation and screw everyone else.

Meade said...

At least, until you can make your brother understand.

Bender said...

Young women (and men) are past the time of needing liberation. We have moved into empowerment.

Let me say from the start that I am not about to go read that entire comment string to read this in context.

That said, the truth is, it never was about liberty. It never was about freedom or freeing people. It was always about POWER. The acquisition of power, the accumulation of power, the consolidation of power.

And, as such, it was always anti-liberation. In its explicit acquisition and use of power, in its explicit "us vs. them," class-based mindset, it seeks to impose on the liberties of others.

It is not about peace and living in harmony with others. It is and always has been about POWER.

Lem said...

The word is not outdated.. the word has only lost currency among liberals (who would rather be called progressives) because liberation also covers those oppressed by despots like Chavez, Castro, Communist China..

Liberation is too indiscriminate.. it doesn't help fit people into neat categories.. so they can pin them one against the other.

Men vs Women.. Pogo listed them in another tread.

leslyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paco Wové said...

"All happy conditions are negative in nature. They arise from an absence of something."

I find the presence of my spouse a happy condition. What is being negated there?

Bender said...

The use of "liberation" as applied to certain distinct groups or classes has been used for over 3000 years, at least.

Most famously, it is used to describe bringing a certain people out of bondage, delivering them from slavery, so that they might be free to be the people they were meant to be and and live to the fullest of their potential, to do what it right and good, and prosper in a land of milk and honey.

But the history of mankind shows, as illustrated here, that all too often, people prefer to be in bondage, they allow their liberation to be hijacked by self-interested parties and prefer bowing down to false things, and they end up wandering in the desert for generations.

Bender said...

This liberation from 3000 years ago is symbolic and representative of what true liberation entails -- freedom from false things, freedom from ignorance, freedom from being enslaved to passion and want, and deliverance to what is true and right and good.

But people prefer their chains, especially the enslavement of bodily passions, having them control us, rather than we be masters of them. And experience shows that such does not make us happier, it does not empower us. It only causes us to wander about in darkness, never getting to where we really should want to be.

Norris said...

Dont forget that in th 70s the People's Liberation Army was robbing banks and the Palistinian Liberation Organization was killing Jews. Both were frequently featured in news reports and newspapers. Yes, "liberation" was seen as radical.

Canuck said...

Liberation.

Liberation from what? You mentioned discrimination. I believe feminists called that "Patriarchy." Perhaps women no longer feel oppressed by "the man" or "Patriarchy."

You also mentioned commercialism/industry. Do you mean liberation from "Capitalism?" Is the implication that people much live outside of the capitalistic system to feel free? Perhaps women enjoy living within the economic system and do not want to live apart from it.

The word may be outdated for this time because women in North America do not feel oppressed as women.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Can Palladian clarify for me how he prefers his quote to be attributed if I were to repeat it publicly? I really like it.

roesch/voltaire said...

Allie can you tell me any aspect of living that doesn't involve some sacrifice? A more equal world for both men and women allows one the room to decide, in some cases, which sacrifices one wants to make vs not having the choice.

Bender said...

The whole of modern human sexuality is about "liberation from biology" -- liberating women from their ovaries, liberating men from exclusinve physical joinder of their procreative organs with the procreative organs of women in order to join with the digestive tracts of men, liberating men and women from their genitalia and having artificial ones surgically constructed. In short, it is all about liberation from truth.

No, it is not outdated. This counterfeit liberation continues to seek to impose itself every day.

AllieOop said...

R/V, I agree that choice is what makes a more equal world and if choice is what came out of the women's liberation movement, which I think it did, then it was worth it.

Conversely if the only thing that came out of the movement was the notion by women that materialism and the accumulation of wealth was the goal, then, no it wasnt wort it.

Perhaps we are now finding the balance of empowerment and fulfillment. Nothing good ever happens without some growing pains.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Oh Jeezus Christ, Bender. The true retrograde agenda, a revolt against all forms of medicine (I guess not just health care) and technology, reveals itself. What's next? A diatribe leveled at the perfidious, society-changing effects of artificial knee replacements and antibiotics?

What I'm hearing here, is that if technology or social norms can allow women to make more choices regarding reproduction, then y'all are flummoxed and upset about it. Get a life. Even the Palins are over that.

leslyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Canuck said...

""Wouldn't it be a kick in the head if it turned out feminism served, above all, the interests of commerce and not individual liberation?""

These are not mutually exclusive.

The interests of commerce can also be the interest of the individual. In fact, the freedom to participate in commerce is central to individual liberation.

The spouse at home is not separated from the commercial system. That spouse's labor helps the economic system - coupon hunting, gardening, growing chickens, sewing & knitting clothing. That individual is not removed from the economic system, but is a full participant in that system.

That said - the stay-at-home spouse might get screwed if their spouse dies young, for obvious reasons. But the fact that her labor is unpaid does not mean that her labor does not contribute to the economy and the commercial system.

wyo sis said...

Bender your post is reasoned and logical. I guess that's why O Ritmo finds it so frightening.

cubanbob said...

AllieOop said...
We live in times in which our worth is measured by success, by wealth, by power, it hasn't made us better human beings overall.

Allie my wife, an immigrant who had a hard time when she first arrived in the US (missed more than a few meals) has a practical view on liberation: to her being liberated means being being able to go to the grocery store and be able to buy whatever you want and not have to worry about paying for it. For her once you have the basics covered without being forced to choose between one or the other, the rest is just icing on the cake. My wife is a wise woman.

I don't know you personally and I don't know your story and I don't mean to say what I am about to say with malice. But more than likely as a American born and raised here you probably never really missed a meal, never been without a roof over your head or clothes on your back and never had lost it all and had to move countries and continents to get by. Those who have, have a different perspective of the importance of wealth and it's liberating effect on one's life.

Unknown said...

"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.

If that also serves commercial interests (which it does), that's a nice side-effect.'

I found that sad and strange..."

What I find sad and strange is that anyone, today, finds someone being economically rational sad and strange.

There's a global debt crisis. The world has run out of greater fools. We can't afford—literally do not have the wealth to sustain—the hippy-dippy "la, la, la, la, live for today" bullshit that got peddled in the 1960s and into the 1970s on the back of American bubble "wealth" that only existed because the Allies blew the living hell out of much of the rest of the world's productive capacity in WWII. Feel free to "Turn on, tune in, drop out" just as soon as you can do so without becoming an adult baby to your family or a de facto ward of the State.

There is no meaningful liberation that exists apart from economic liberation. The poor can't afford lobbyists with which to exert soft power or guns with which to exert hard power.

what matters is love, and beauty, and survival. Live in love and beauty as long as you can.

Absolutely. But to have the leisure to appreciate love and beauty, you first need sufficient wealth, and casting aspersions upon those who are still in the early stages of achieving that, whether a young person or a relatively newly "in" group, is perverse.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

It is irrational, illogical bull-puckey released from a bubble closed off to the reality of medical technology and impervious to such realities as tissue engineering, endocrinology and the workings progress of a pharmaceutical industry that has done infinitely more good than harm over the last hundred years.

Your ignorant and rightly unpopular opinions are much more aggravating than frightening.

AllieOop said...

Canuck, excellent point. The freedom to persue a career instead of being pushed into marriage as was the norm before the women's movement did enable women, such as myself, who lost her spouse young with four children, to support myself and my family.

leslyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wyo sis said...

re leslyn "Feminism insists that I can make it despite gender, adversity and disability. I wouldn't trade it."

Being competent and working hard gets you the same thing without demanding fealty. "Feminism" will come to collect some day and you might not like the price.

AllieOop said...

Cubanbob, no you don't know me. My family came to this country as immigrants from war torn Europe after WW2. My parents both worked, my mother as a housekeeper for one of Milwaukee's first families. She stressed hard work and education, this from someone who never went past 6th grade and was put into service as a domestic at 12 years old in Europe.

Tim said...

"Feminism insists that I can make it despite gender, adversity and disability. I wouldn't trade it."

Bullshit.

Past tense - maybe.

Present tense, "Feminism" insists you vote Liberal Democrat, and it won't allow you to trade that.

MayBee said...

I don't think anyone is arguing that getting to the point where women have equality of opportunity was a bad thing, are they?

Isn't this more about what came next? After equality, what the expectations became?

ricpic said...

Living "in love and beauty" can only be done in short spurts, pun intended. No one escapes the grey hours. In fact a case could be made for drudgery and tedium and yes, taxes, as the ground from which we springboard into love and beauty. And as the inescapable ground we return to too. Am I making that case? Sort of.

wyo sis said...

@O Citing medical progress to defend moral retrogradism is, at least, amusing. Carry on.

leslyn said...
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Craig said...

It's done in the missionary position. Except for the physical junction of organs the man's entire weight is supported by his hands at hip level with the pelvis resting on the back of the elbows, creating a rocking motion with the back arched and the legs together and fully extended, toes pointed. Serious six pack abs are a prerequisite.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Equating social change with evil is pointless. Equating social stasis/stagnation (especially when contingent upon a lack of technology) with moral virtue is stupid and sad.

wyo sis said...

Ah! Better to be amusing.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Than stupid, sad and pointless? You bet!

Thanks for your unintended compliment. ;-)

wyo sis said...

You obviously didn't get it. More amusing still.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

No, I didn't get how your mind would have misconstrued a simple dialogue. But the meaning of the words were clear, and reflected well to me.

I am grateful that Antonin Scalia has impressed upon me the importance of reading words, rather than their interpolated meaning.

wyo sis said...

Score!!!!!!

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I am glad that your own exercise in meaninglessness excites you so.

leslyn said...
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MayBee said...

leslyn- are you in a partnership? I haven't seen you address Althouse's original point about partnerships being driven by feminism into being dual income/both working, and that a single income partnership can actually be a very nice, beneficial thing.

There's no argument that women should be able to work if they wish, or that girls and boys should equally pursue their career dreams.

wyo sis said...

re:"If that's the price that feminism will come to collect, I'm not worried. My bill is paid."
that isn't the price, you might not recognize it when the bill comes due. Sadly, many others will.

I Callahan said...

They stopped calling it "liberation" when it turned into something they can't say by name: Entitlement.

There are many intelligent comments in this thread, but with this one, LordSomber wins the thread.

leslyn said...
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Canuck said...

"The freedom to persue a career instead of being pushed into marriage as was the norm before the women's movement did enable women, such as myself, who lost her spouse young with four children, to support myself and my family."

yes - choice is power.

yeah - it's much less common now in North America, but some teenage girls were pressured into arranged marriages by their families. Marriage choice is a good example of how girls/women are more empowered to make their own choices.

And the opportunity to support children if a spouse dies. That is another important choice.

cubanbob said...

AllieOop said...
Cubanbob, no you don't know me. My family came to this country as immigrants from war torn Europe after WW2. My parents both worked, my mother as a housekeeper for one of Milwaukee's first families. She stressed hard work and education, this from someone who never went past 6th grade and was put into service as a domestic at 12 years old in Europe.

4/15/12 11:21 AM

Interesting enough we both have similar family backgrounds. My paternal grandfather never had an education beyond the age of ten, left eastern europe after the first world war ( having barely survived it) went to NY only to never get past Ellis Island (it's a weird experience to take the Ellis Island tour and see the room where your grandfather was rejected entree in to the US) to take the first boat to Cuba. Made himself wealthy only to lose it all in his sixties to Castro. My dad, made himself a dollar millionaire at the age of 28 in 1958 in Havana, only to find himself three years later in Miami virtually penniless with a wife and two small children and happy to get a job that started with cleaning toilets. And my family has many more such examples. Compared to my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles my life has been a breeze.

I find this woman's liberating comments interesting about how things were for woman in the US prior to the 60's in the US. We emigrated from a supposedly backward country yet in the 1950's Cuba the woman in my family went to university and were well educated. My mother majored in mathematics, an aunt, a chemist, another aunt, a pharmacist and another, a lawyer who was in Fidel's graduating class.
Their husbands on the other hand, were never formally educated (other than the pharmacist, my late uncle was a doctor) but were very successful in Cuba and after a hard beginning in this country managed to remake themselves and become quite successful here. My aunts never really understood the angst of the America woman's liberation movement.

My aunt the pharmacist shares a similar life situation to yours. She was widowed young ( my uncle who had a heart attack in his 20's was basically forced to work to his death by the communists) with two small children and had to start anew in this country working any job she could get (my parents didn't have much at the time but gave what they could) and sacrifice to go again to university (several hundred miles away and worked part time there) to get re-certified as a pharmacist while my grandmother (widowed) raised my cousins. So many more stories like that and even worse ones. I am fortunate, compared to that as I said before, my life has been a breeze.

leslyn said...
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bagoh20 said...

Without the primacy of commerce, we would all be starving artists. And, what of the untalented under this aesthetocracy?

Commerce is the miracle that allows us all the freedom to do what each of us excels at or enjoys, while simultaneously supporting everyone else in their free endeavors, and the freedom to do it with as much energy or not as they deem worthy of the sacrifice. Commerce is liberty.

Alex said...

Frequently "liberation" organizations means they want to "liberate" you from your life. Sort of like the PLO.

Canuck said...

"I haven't seen you address Althouse's original point about partnerships being driven by feminism into being dual income/both working, and that a single income partnership can actually be a very nice, beneficial thing."

Not necessarily feminism. Those are yuppies. Although you can find yuppie-feminists. But the yuppie part comes first.

Or they are called DINKs. Double-income no kids.

The man-stay-at-home idea was a feminist idea. Althouse herself is a feminist and did this years ago.

And there's a whole strain of attachment-feminist- parenting that promotes dropping out of the workforce & raising chickens. or some such. on a farm. kids without diapers. Waldorf schools. goat milk.

wyo sis said...

Definition of "whatever"---Well, I have what I want so the rest of you can go deal with the consequences.

MayBee said...


And the opportunity to support children if a spouse dies.


Yes. This is also why a good life insurance policy is vital.

MayBee said...

So was Hillary Rosen speaking for the yuppies, then? Not for the women?

Carl Vero said...

As Liberty, its root, Liberation is not an outdated word or concept, but acquires its flavor and flair from those rooting for it. From needlework to nipplework, from bedroom to boardroom, women (and men) adapt to market and government. As market minifies and government grows, entitlements boom, and bras are 'made-in-Botswana'.

cubanbob said...

MayBee said...

And the opportunity to support children if a spouse dies.

Yes. This is also why a good life insurance policy is vital.

4/15/12 12:41 PM

Yes indeed it is. And so is a decent disability and long term care policy. Any married couple, especially with young children that can afford life insurance and doesn't buy a policy (for each spouse) is truly irresponsible.

Jerome said...

"Liberation" is when the school that the government gives you grants to attend provides "Health Insurance" that pays $3000 so you can take up hang-gliding. Anything less is "Patriarchy". Or maybe "Theocracy", if it's a Catholic school.

chickenlittle said...

È libero questo posto?

n.n said...

We have moved past one extreme, real and perceived, to another more progressive extreme. It doesn't really matter, right? As we denigrate individual dignity, we develop a society unsuitable to preserve anyone's dignity. As we devalue human life through the normalization of promiscuity, elective abortion, and other deviant behaviors, we simply ensure our eventual extinction, but not before we are subordinated or replaced by individuals who identify and pursue a lifestyle compatible with the natural order. None of this could have happened without the complicity or complacency of America's women.

Contemporary liberalism has come to represent a progression from preservation of individual dignity to a pursuit of purely selfish behaviors without consequence (i.e. through socialization) -- dreams of instant gratification (e.g. physical, material, and ego).

Valentine Smith said...

Are birds free from the chains of the skyway?

Tim said...

"Contemporary liberalism has come to represent a progression from preservation of individual dignity to a pursuit of purely selfish behaviors without consequence (i.e. through socialization) -- dreams of instant gratification (e.g. physical, material, and ego)."

Yes. We've gone from being a society where a good measure of us might have stood up and said, in the name of liberty, "I am Spartacus!," to one where too many have happily traded in their liberty, under the guise of being "liberated," so that they might be able say, shamefully: "I am Dorian Gray" captivated by vice and enslaved by hedonism.

One is free to destroy one's soul. Their being liberated has diminished them, but they care not. The velvet handcuffs feel too good.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I love seeing how this:

"Commerce is the miracle that allows us all the freedom to do what each of us excels at or enjoys, while simultaneously supporting everyone else in their free endeavors, and the freedom to do it with as much energy or not as they deem worthy of the sacrifice. Commerce is liberty."

Was immediately preceded by this:

"Without the primacy of commerce, we would all be starving artists. And, what of the untalented under this aesthetocracy?"

Well, Bag'O, if the tables were turned then you'd be the one struggling and/or starving. But hey, that's LIBERTY for you! The freedom to watch others starve to death. Very important political principle, that.

Unless the aesthetes decided to be more compassionate than you swashbuckling "Captains of Industry".

I loved it when Tony Soprano referred to himself that way.

Jerome said...

It has been my observation that women are generally quite comfortable receiving things simply because they desire them and someone wishes to satisfy that desire. Men are happier when they can convince themselves that they have earned the things they receive (or obtained them by force). The possible evolutionary origins of such a difference are not difficult to discern, and I will not dwell upon them. I will remark, however, that every democracy becomes a welfare state shortly after women get the vote.

ed said...

Liberation?

Pre-Liberation: Women are concerned about women's issues, men don't give a shit.

Liberation: Women talk non-stop about their vaginas and bore the shit out of men.

Post-Liberation: Women are concerned about women's issues, men don't give a shit.

...

You've come a long way ... aw who gives a damn.

ed said...

"Well, Bag'O, if the tables were turned then you'd be the one struggling and/or starving. But hey, that's LIBERTY for you! The freedom to watch others starve to death. Very important political principle, that. " - ritmo whatever the hell he is today

Yeah. Because there are so many goddamn progressives working today as farmers.

Valentine Smith said...

I saw the Hunger Artist starve to death last week on Broad and Wall, while a Captain of Industry bowled dirt water dogs rolled in a ball up across Broadway and down the halls of Trinity and The Artist cried You got balls Colonel Blimp where's your esthetic sense you capitalist pimp, Blimp yelled, don't ya wanna eat ya skinny simp, on your feet narrowback slacker, Don't yell at me you haughty bourgoise, my coffin will occupy a place in history , Zinn is dead piled in the trashbin, so the only way ...

I guess it ain't easy being Dylan.

sleepless nights said...
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Crunchy Frog said...

"Empowerment" sounds so much nicer and more nuanced than "Gimme my free shit."

leslyn said...
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Laura said...

According to the Vidal Sassoon movie, he liberated women from the salon (note, not the barbershop). Unfortunately, that also means he liberated average salon working women from their income. Works both ways ladies.