Serves Us Right

Echidne, one of the oldest, most respected feminist blogs, realizes that feminism has been killed and buried:

An interview in the New Republic with Andrea Long Chu, about her new book Females made me realize that feminism is utterly pointless.

Well, not quite. Or not quite yet. But the interview, titled “We Are All Female Now” argues that “Femaleness is not an anatomical or genetic characteristic of an organism, but rather a universal existential condition.” For Chu, “femaleness” is the urge to be a vessel for another’s desire.”

Again, we have absolutely nobody to blame but ourselves. We’ve allowed men who despise women tell us what it means to be a woman and hound is out of employment and public life if we disagree. Now we’ve got to listen to the old cant of how we are empty vessels who need a guy to define us but this time we won’t even be able to object because we gave up our capacity to do so.

One thought on “Serves Us Right”

  1. If you or readers haven’t, I advise to read Andrea Long Chu’s interview. It’s eye-opening and not in a good way.

    Defining “femaleness” as “the urge to be a vessel for another’s desire” is among the most misogynic statements I’ve ever seen, but what shocked me in this interview was Andrea’s comparison between her own life (specifically, the relationships with her girlfriend and … editor) and

    “these Christian mommy bloggers who talk about genuinely serving their husbands. The whole point is that, when it actually happens, it will not be your husband making you do something, it will be you doing it because it’s already internalized what that is supposed to be. You become a vessel for your husband’s desires.”

    Despite being a doctoral student and presenting oneself as a (trans)gender activist, Andrea seems completely unaware of any problems with approvingly describing the worldview of Christian mommy bloggers, and her interviewer didn’t challege her on this subject either.

    Andrea seems to project her own psychological and sexual queerness (in both senses of the word) onto the entire female gender, and others are way too enabling …

    All this talk about vessels reminded me of Antonia Fraser’s “The Weaker Vessel: Women’s Lot in Seventeenth-Century England.” I read this book long ago, but the women there seemed to have more agency than is possible in Andrea’s philosophy.


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