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Boo Hoo, Wendy McElroy's A Big Meanie
More silliness on Alternet today to complement the Mike Davis idiocy -- a piece by Christy Burbridge knocking Wendy McElroy, of The piece is blurbed like so:

'Ifeminists' have no problem with sexual harassment, oppose affirmative action, and think there's nothing sexist about porn. Meet a new women's group that seeks to prop up male power.

Oh, please. How about, Wendy McElroy's the kind of "feminist" I am. I hate to be associated with the Burbridges of the world (clamoring not for equal treatment, but for special treatment), so if I call myself a feminist at all, I qualify it by referring to myself as an "Elizabeth Cady Stanton feminist." In other words, I'm for two things for women: Women should have the right to vote, and should get equal pay for equal work. And that's equal work -- meaning, you don't get to go home at 4pm to pick up the kid from school and make the same money as a man...or as I do, working well into the evening.

Burbridge sniffles in the Alternet piece:

I came to discover that Ifeminism, formally known as "Individualist Feminism," premises itself on the goal equal rights between the genders. That makes perfect sense to me. After all, isn't that our goal? So does that make me an ifeminist? I didn't see why not.

But as I continued to read, I began to feel less and less sure. States Wendy McElroy, the founder of "Ifeminists believe that freedom and diversity benefit women, whether or not the choices that particular women make are politically correct. They respect all sexual choices, from motherhood to porn."

According to ifeminism, "freedom and choice do not threaten women. Government and orthodoxy do." Functioning within a libertarian, post second-wave politic, ifeminists propose that women are both intelligent and empowered enough to know what is right for them. They believe that telling women what is or is not best for them by enacting legislation against pornography is "paternalistic" to women who choose to work in the sex-industry, and affirmative action only "embeds gender privilege" for women in the law.

So then what's wrong with ifeminism?


As feminists, we all want equality. But according to ifeminism, "equality" is synonymous with equal treatment under the existing legal, economic and social systems. In other words, rather than opposing the status quo, ifeminism operates within it. While other feminists view the law as inherently unjust and in need of reconstruction, ifeminists have absolutely no desire to prosecute pimps, legislate against sexual harassment, or otherwise compromise and challenge the default male standard.

And this is supposed to help women progress as a class how?

Um, isn't that women's job, not the government's? And why "as a class"? Can't we all just be responsible for our own progress?

Take me, for example: As a fierce individualist (read: weirdo who doesn't suffer corporate fools gladly), I don't do well in a "real job." Hmmm, what to do, what to do? Mope about how "the man" has squashed me under his boot? Clamor for legislation with "positive discrimination" (how is discrimination against one group of people for another group of people in any way positive?). Or...I could...start my own business! Write an advice column and syndicate it myself to a whole bunch of papers! (No, I do not answer questions on syndication, which bore me senseless.)

Which brings me to a word about Alternet. Both Dan Savage and I were initially distributed by them to alternative papers. And both Savage and I had enormous trouble getting them to collect from papers who were running us. Oh, I was told by one of the staffers at Alternet, we don't have very good accounting practices. Really? Just a thought, but why don't you...change them?! I have to say, the commie-pinko weepy feminist way is not only a stupid, irrational one, but a highly unprofitable one!

Posted by aalkon at September 26, 2006 9:10 AM

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You know what Christy Burbridge's brand of feminism reminds me of-- those parents that put leashes on their children. They seem to feel the need to protect us so from the big, bad world that they would render us unable to stand up for ourselves without being shackled to the Mommy of genderism. Screw that. I can stand up for myself as an individual without the added baggage of standing up for all other women in the process. We will never achieve true equality as long as some "feminists" are intent on dictating the choices of women.

And I want my damn porn, thanks!

Posted by: Melissa at September 26, 2006 11:37 AM

You're absolutely right. And, by the way, porn is paying for my doggie's visit to the eye specialist. I love it: My medical care is Kaiser, and my dog gets a lady who works at the Jules Stein Eye Institute.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 26, 2006 4:15 PM

See, who says porn can't have a positive social influence! :)

Posted by: Melissa at September 26, 2006 7:07 PM

I'm a gay man who watches gay porn on a regular basis. Once in a while I watch straight porn to see a hot guy. I recently watched something called "Little White Slave Girls," and I must say I found it very depressing. There's hot sex, and then there's treating women like shit. Still, women are free to do what they want and don't want. If they don't want to get fucked in front of cameras for a living, there are plenty of tables to wait on.

Posted by: Lena at September 26, 2006 7:56 PM

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