Eh, as it was bound to happen, I wrote a response to the piece that Anne-Marie Slaughter published at The Atlantic.
This has been the week of backlash against feminism. In fairness, it is always backlash week against feminism but Anne-Marie Slaughter’s piece at The Atlantic, Why women still can’t have it all, has revived some of those sentiments. Feminism has failed us, she implies. We were promised a balance between career and private life. We were told that if you worked hard and juggled between your work, your children, your spouse and your social life, you too, could be successful. If your spouse embraces this model of cooperation and takes on their fair share of housework and child rearing then you could also reach the highest echelons of power and, in the words of existential philosopher Mr. Spock, live long and prosper. All it took, we were told, was commitment and creativity.
All of this is, of course, pure unadulterated bullshit…..
The truth is, we no longer seem to have dreams. We have abandoned the creative potential of political reverie to embrace the siren call of “breaking the glass ceiling”. Mainstream feminism (and by this, I mean, the feminist discourse that has the most presence and power across media, be it corporate or independent) has become a tool to enforce the current system of inequalities. We no longer present an alternative. We want full participation in what already is. And again, I say bullshit to that. I want my feminism to be a feminism of daydreaming. I want my feminism to believe in the transformative power of imagining the impossible. I want my feminism to stop chasing this faux equality that puts us on the race to be better managers of exclusion and, instead, gives us the possibility of re-thinking a future where we no longer have underclasses within the underclass. I do not want any more of this reactive feminism that is devoted to creating opportunities for the few that are allowed in detriment of the millions whose only role is to cheer other women’s success in the name of sisterhood. I want a feminism of utopias and imagination.
Then, maybe, we will be able to have it all. Even though probably, “all” would be something entirely different than how it is defined today.