Feminism is about telling women what to do, not what women want to do? Nonsense.“Feminism is about telling women what to do, not what women want to do?”
Thus spake ‘Solo Bear’.
This, to the aforementioned, reeks of imposition and feminist authoritarianism, and to the untrained and historically near-sighted eye, seems a justifiable enough allegation.
Could we apply the same ‘logic’ and deem Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Gandhi, Emmeline Pankhurst, amongst a host of other egalitarians, as imposing authoritarians for telling those they spoke up for to be rid of their chains?
It takes a particular twisted logic to deem it so.
Given the passage of time, socialisation, and the formulation of compensatory and recuperative mechanisms to cope with a status quo, people can quite get used to the way things are despite its unjust basis. Hence, slaves might get used to their chains; the Indians and Malays in singapore might confuse the fascist and racist opposition for democrats; and women might have sprouted enough callouses to not feel the pain of being rendered barefoot, pregnant, and oblivious to the burning cinders whilst stoking the coals in the hearth of the patriarchal home. It is then that perhaps, they might deem it an imposition if someone saunters by armed with a placard demanding that they deserve more, or at least as much as men, in terms of respect and opportunity.
I recall Ng E-Jay, a prominent self-proclaimed 'democrat' - though 'sino-fascist' would be more apt given his glaring oversights - deeming it an imposition when the now-defunct blog-aggregator, Singazine, issued a statement detailing how a democratic and truly blog-aggregator ought to be run. He viewed it as an undemocratic imposition and based his argument solely on the right of people to do what they want, or, in this context, for democrats to act like fascists and racists (probably a vitamin deficiency).
[When one blog aggregator makes an unfair jibe at another, So much for respecting individual opinion, Singazine]
Similarly, ‘Solo Bear’ deems feminism an ‘imposition’. Both have failed to appreciate the egalitarian impulse of either and err on the side of fascism by protecting the right of people to dwell in what they have been accustomed to. (however, ‘Solo Bear’, unlike most singaporean bloggers, has exhibited the egalitarian spirit in other articles, except for her/is ill-reasoned homophobic views and pro-patriarchal views as implied in her/is latest article on feminist authoritarianism.)
I’ve often said, in the past, that you can give a confucian an education, but you can’t educate a confucian. That is because they operate on the basis of bias and make sense of reality from that vantage, and discount all contradictory or novel information with a disinterested turn of the cheek unless it bolsters their views. Part of this debility involves near-sightedness and self-absorption. And hence, we can understand why some might simplistically view imposition as anti-democratic and stop short of appreciating the fact that being accustomed to 2nd or 3rd or 4th class citizenry is no excuse for its maintenance.
1. ‘Feminism is about telling women what to do, not what women want to do.’?
It would be more apt to state,
2. ‘Feminism is about telling women that they can do and feel and want more than they’ve been accustomed to.’
That is not imposition, its emancipation. Or should we not impose on children and let them do as they please in the interests of democracy? Should we give them the freedom to operate on the basis of learnt biases and ill-exposure? Democracy ought not to be pursued in a way that enables its undoing.
If one wants to insist that ‘1’ is true, one has to prove that feminists do not have cause to do the latter. We cannot rely on the freedom of choice to undo the effects of past proscriptions on freedoms. Without such ‘imposition’, history becomes little more than a movement toward the refinement of fascism as opposed to the advance of democracy.