Thursday, June 21, 2012

Slaughter Takes The Next Feminist Step

Anne-Marie Slaughter has an important article in the new Atlantic. And kudos to The Atlantic for making it available online.

This summarizes it:

If women are ever to achieve real equality as leaders, then we have to stop accepting male behavior and male choices as the default and the ideal.

It's been clear to some of us for a very long time that male behavior and society's evaluation of it have to change. That was a theme early on in the Women's Movement of the sixties. Then it got lost in the struggles just to get women accepted in jobs, men to help at home, get the Equal Rights Amendment passed (it didn't), and the general confusion of social goals and missteps toward them in the sixties and seventies. The Vietnam war was a distraction, too.

But we've struggled on, and, as Slaughter points out, we did make the progress that allows us to reconsider that issue. Slaughter uses her own experience in the way we used it in our consciousness-raising groups, but her national platform allows her to share it with many more people.

So thanks, Anne-Marie! This can make a difference!

Update: Just what Slaughter is saying: US Olympics officials diss knitters, who must be women, right? Thanks to jrf for the link!

And another update (6/22/12):  Brian Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) asked this morning on Twitter "I'm sure this was vigorously debated yesterday, but how is everything in there not also applicable to men?" James Joyner replied that it is. I'm not sure exactly what they meant. Brian and James are good guys, and I suspect they meant more or less what I said above. An alternative interpretation of those not-enough 140 characters is the one that's been offered up by far too many men, far too many times: men are equally mistreated and we must give priority to dealing with that. Apparently The Atlantic will be publishing some responses, including one from James, sometime next week.

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