i think that catharine mackinnon and other radical feminists actually cause the equality movement to backpedal. i believe it was susan brownmiller who said (loosely paraphrasing) that working women should not be too nice because they then become vulnerable and the likely victims of sexual harassment. she suggests that “nice” women invite sexual harassment, and they should therefore be left without redress. bullshit. bullshit to the radical feminist perspective. i believe in equality, of course, but i adamantly oppose the categorical reduction of the sexes to some predetermined box of ideals. mackinnon argues that women do not truly have an identity outside of that which men confer upon them. she believes that most, if not all, conduct of women plays into the eroticized definition of women that men have contrived.
i think that mackinnon gets caught up in definition. i also think that she should stop putting all men and all women into separate camps based on gender. sure, i’ve known domineering, asshole men. and i’ve known submissive, passive women. but i’ve also know rational, intellectual, compassionate and nonjudgemental members of both sexes. i’m sure that isn’t the norm, seeing as a degree of externalized perception is necessary to even recognize those very traits – but i hope that if it’s not the norm, it’s something that we can strive towards; something admirable and ideal, but not beyond our capacity. more later, i actually have smarter things to say, i’m just really really tired!!!