YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

October 13, 2018

How I became a feminist but lately not so much

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 4:52 pm

happy mothers

Happy Mothers (assets4.vo.uk)


I have written many “feminist” blogs on this website, for instance
https://clarespark.com/2015/01/10/the-case-for-feminism/. But when I first learned about the New York feminist movement in the late 1960s, I was appalled. These women were unnatural, I fumed. Of course I had been raising three small children during the 1960s, and found motherhood a pleasure and exhausting, though my internist called a halt at three pregnancies. At that time feminist demands seemed to be for equal opportunity, graduate education (in law, education, psychiatry and medicine, the arts, and even politics), and equal treatment as women entered those professions.

It was not till later (starting in the early 1970s) that sexual liberation became the prime motivator, apparent to all of us as women became more emotionally independent i.e., self-directed and (surprise!) anxious and depressed. Enter the vogue for self-realization and therapy as middle-class women made the adjustment for work outside the home.

So it was natural transition for me as an interviewer and commentator on the art world to promote feminism in the arts. At the time, I viewed feminism as an extension of the civil rights movement. My radio programs helped to elevate Judy Chicago, Sheila de Bretteville, and Dolores Hayden (to name a few). Imagine my surprise when I viewed “feminist theory” as a separate discipline while in graduate school in the early 1980s. By then, the more opportunistic femmes were allied with the New Deal coalition/social democracy, NOT to the hard Trotskyist Left, nor to the “Neo-Marxist” tendency as the Canadian Dr. Peterson insists, or to the New Left as Dr. Paglia asserts in this wide-ranging and stimulating video that covers current gender relations, postmodernism, families, inevitable suffering, and the current liberal policies on education; all from a conservative perspective:

Indeed, strict Marxists scoffed at the pretensions of feminism, which detracted from the working-class movement. Even Herbert Marcuse railed against “repressive desublimation.” (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repressive_desublimation) though I don’t see Marcuse as a strict Marxist; rather as a radical liberal.

So, to sum up, my feminism was subsumed by classical liberalism: equal opportunity and education that aided individual development.

Am still a feminist? What about “abortion rights?” I agree with Ayn Rand’s feminism: first trimester abortions okay, but not after that.

It ain’t natural.

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1 Comment »

  1. Whoa! Nice analysis and confession. For the re order, though, I’ve made the same claim about abortion and have been called every name in the book. Be careful.

    Comment by Terbreugghen — October 13, 2018 @ 6:59 pm | Reply


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