[Photo from www.newstatesman.com]
From feminist writer Glosswitch, at The New Statesman:
“The casual blending together of what capitalism has destroyed with what feminism has achieved – some semblance of freedom for women, thereby rendering them as unreliable as one’s short-term contract or pension fund – is insidious. The right to control one’s family becomes just another thing added to the list of ‘male certainties now lost’, with scant attention paid to the fact that this is about other people’s needs and certainties, too.”
She was writing about a specific (and horrific) murder case in England, but those lines have come back to me over and over in the past two months, especially as I’ve read all the recent talk from religious writers about the “Benedict Option.” In one sense, I understand the feeling that culture is running (has run) awry, and I get the desire to turn away from parts of modernity–which, whatever it’s proponents say, is what the Benedict Option entails. I read Wendell Berry, too. But we can be smart about our cultural critique–we can make distinctions where they need to made.
Specifically, I’ve been infuriated (that’s the only word for it) to watch those same Benedict Option-ers link feminism and gay marriage to bad things like unbridled consumerism using vague rubrics like “autonomous eroticized individualism.” In fact, feminism is about respecting the autonomy of others, and marriage equality is about making a lifelong gift of self to someone else. Insofar as culture has embraced those things, it has moved away from solipsism and self-centeredness.
As Timothy Kincaid puts it, the corporate world has been giving the finger to anti-gay politicians and organizations recently. Unfortunately, folks like Patrick Deneen and Rod Dreher are using that as evidence of the wickedness of gay marriage. Corporatism and gay marriage are natural bedfellows, says Deneen, ominously. Which is kind of like suggesting that because Nike supports women’s soccer, women’s soccer must therefore be bad.
And this is not bad: