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Feminism in relation to liberty vs equality

(11 Posts)
CritEqual Tue 24-Apr-18 13:19:29

I've been mulling this over a great deal of late, and whilst I am by no means 100% decided I'm very persuaded to lean towards thinking liberty is more important than equality.

My reasoning is that in order to achieve equality it requires state intervention to enforce it, which in turns sees a reduction in liberty. There is often then a rush to the bottom for everyone to form up into distinct groups that each argue and advocate why they should control the levers of government power which they then seek to use in promotion of them to the detriment of other. This is especially clear re: trans activism. In short I don't trust anyone to who says they are for equality when seeking political office to earnestly and competently do the job.

Where I am coming unstuck at the moment is it's clear women have less Liberty in relation to men so where does that leave feminism? I may be incorrect in this but I see feminism to be more for the equality of women than women's Liberty. I am hoping to be corrected on this point, but there does seem to be a push to promote women as victims when compared to identifying and promoting successes of women. I can see that isn't feminisms fault exactly as it's more often a wider cultural context, particularly with the media, but it seems to be something we all just tacitly go along with.

In closing although I am somewhat setting up my stall in Liberty camp, I can and often do admire and respect people who come down on the equality being more important side. I'd just like to explore the idea really.

Freespeecher Tue 24-Apr-18 13:31:44

Equal of opportunity over equality of outcome.

I agree.

CritEqual Tue 24-Apr-18 13:37:42

It's not so simple for me, as if you put a gun to my head and said I had to choose Liberty or equality, I'd say Liberty. However that isn't to say equality isn't important in my mind, just that I don't think you can legislate it into existence, and in fact attempts to do so sometimes moves us further away from BOTH Liberty and equality.

TheUterati Tue 24-Apr-18 13:38:21

I think a better first step would be to look at the distinctions between liberty and autonomy, before deciding that it is liberty that is to be set up against notions of equality (in respect of feminism or otherwise). As far as moral and political philosophy go, it is generally accepted that autonomy is far more desirable (and less complicated to adjudicate where there is clash) than liberty.

Gerald Dworkin: The Theory and Practice of Autonomy is excellent on this.

CritEqual Tue 24-Apr-18 13:40:37

Thanks for that! That sounds like the sort of thing I'm looking for.

TheUterati Tue 24-Apr-18 13:42:38

Oh it is a FAB read (but I am a bit nerdy like that....)

BarrackerBarmer Tue 24-Apr-18 13:47:03

Can you explain what you mean by liberty?
And by equality?

I think people view the concepts differently.

BeUpStanding Tue 24-Apr-18 13:54:54

I've been mulling this topic over a lot recently too, although on a broader political basis rather than focused on feminism. The left has always been my political homeground and I firmly believed human society needs intervention from the state to ensure there's some kind of equality of opportunity and protection for the vulnerable. However, looking at where the left has now gone to I finally understand the criticisms levelled at it by the right - I see the dangers of authoritarianism and loss of liberty inherent in left-wing politics. However, I hate the thought that I am following that terrible cliche that people become more right-wing the older they get!

So I really don't know where I stand at the moment...

thebewilderness Wed 25-Apr-18 02:16:56

Feminism is the political movement for the liberation of women.
It is the backlash that insisted Feminism must be about equality for all or it was unfair to men.
Feminists understood this 100 years ago: "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." Anatole France pseudonym for Jacques Anatole Thibault (1844-1924)

womanformallyknownaswoman Wed 25-Apr-18 06:00:00

Women are subjugated and controlled and their choices limited, as a class. It that's not clear to you I suggest starting there.

It's dangerous to use words like Liberty when effectively what we have is a system of containment where most women can rise to be chief slave.

Libertarians in the right wing sense believe in zero government and that's not workable either. Autonomy sounds like a better option but still the abuses of power need to be contained - which is where the Left used to reside but now seem to have lost the plot.

0phelia Wed 25-Apr-18 07:17:30

We have less liberty (freedom) when it comes down to biology. We are the ones who fall pregnant and we're not as physically strong.
We are more vulnerable which makes us easy to control so customs and laws should reflect this.

But usually the liberation of women (from patriarchy) is the aim of feminism. Past battles ie the right to own property and join the army it looks on the surface like equality, but it is also liberty for women to be able to have the same freedoms as men. Women's sports are about liberation, not having to compete with men at all, to be understood as a distinct class of people.

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