Friday, February 25, 2005

Estrich vs. Kinsley

For those who haven't been following this controversy, here is a great article on Susan Estrich's hysterics. Estrich, a law professor, wrote a hysterical letter to Los Angeles Times’s op-ed editor, Michael Kinsley, about how there aren't enough women at the Times.

Like the Lawrence Summers flap, this is just another example of how contemporary Feminism has moved out of the mainstream. I'm far from an expert at what constitutes Feminism these days but from what I can tell, they all start with the a priori assumption that this society is a patriarchy governed by men who consciously or subconsciously wish to keep women in the kitchen. In their eyes, that's why there's so much discrimination against women. Here's a list of the contemporary forms of Feminism courtesy of Alas, A Blog.

They all agree that fighting "male supremacy" is important (although they disagree on what forms of supremacy are the worst). In that I whole hardily agree. If Feminism is defined as a belief that women should have legal and social barriers to equality removed, then call me a Feminist. But Feminism is about fighting discrimination, which as a de jure matter, just does not exist on the scale they assume it does. Obviously some exists de facto, but not to the point where we need to devote our lives creates classes between men and women. Just look at this post. It's as if "men" are responsible for rape, rather than "people." Men and woman are both responsible for stopping rape.

But back to my original point. The discrimination that Estrich alludes to is basically non-existent. Her argument is predicated on the assumption that a lack of women proves invidious discrimination is at work. But the issue is, and definitely should be, the quality of the writers, not their gender. Contemporary Feminism, with its emphasis on dividing and blaming , makes that impossible.

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