A good friend of mine shared this picture on Facebook, which prompted me to make my own post about gender roles, gender essentialism, and how cis / hetero women almost always embrace gender essentialism in the name of empowerment. While my friend and I may fundamentally disagree, our conversation took a turn towards something more meaningful: freedom.
She said that people are often challenging other people’s idea of freedom because it doesn’t match theirs and she may be right. However, I want to talk about why embracing this narrative is not productive.
More often than not, my fellow cis/hetero women don’t understand or acknowledge their privilege which makes these conversations boring to me. The idea of gender based uniqueness is purely patriarchal. It’s why trans-people are targeted at alarming rates. It’s why men are considered logical and women are considered emotional. It’s why people believe that women have an innate nurturing nature & men don’t. It’s why I don’t take my fellow cis-women serious when they talk about women’s empowerment without being honest about their privilege.
Your idea of freedom should absolutely be opposed if it upholds oppressive ideals.
I don’t agree with most feminists because I don’t care about shit like being unique in the eyes of society, men, or other women. I don’t care about desirability, (I wrote about it here) or being seen as a reasonable, likeable, universal feminist. I don’t know if my feminist principles are radical, maybe they are, maybe they aren’t, but as long as they are not universal I’m fine with it. Universal feminism is literally everything summed up in the picture I posted above.
Oppressive paradigms won’t be interrupted if people are hell-bent on preserving the status quo by labeling it opposing views of freedom.
If you approach freedom from a place of privilege you should be opposed from every possible angle. You should be made to feel that your viewpoint is trash, because it is. Shallow perspectives should not be met with understanding, especially when the perspective you embrace is one that is used to harm others.
I understand and agree with my friend about opposing viewpoints on freedom, but I think it’s justified. I think it’s less about fitting an individual agenda and more about recognizing that most people believe that benevolent oppression is freedom. People like that, in my opinion, deserve to be met with opposition. Aggressive opposition.
In this political climate, ignorance shouldn’t be met with sympathy.
If it’s freedom for you and oppressive for others, then there is no opposition, one is right and the other is wrong. Understanding why requires one to be cognizant of their privilege. Something that I have found many cis/hetero women refuse to do.
What is your idea of freedom?
Do you challenge other people’s idea of freedom?
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