Oh no it's not. One person's success absolutely does not require that someone else fail. The amount of potential wealth in the world is infinite. If it were a zero-sum game, there would never have been any more money in the US than there was at the time the dollar was created.posted by aaron at 4:31 PM on February 6, 2001
Oh Christ. No wonder this thread is all over the place.posted by aaron at 4:39 PM on February 6, 2001
Amanda, that is what feminism is supposed to be about. Farrell's point is that unforunately, many people have attempted to hijack that word and apply it to something else entirely; something far less noble.posted by Potsy at 5:10 PM on February 6, 2001
I'd like to postulate that many of the participants in this thread would likewise have differing feelings as to what would constitute "equality." Just for starters: Equality of opportunity or equality of result?
("General malaise?" I'd say that all in all, things are pretty damn good at the moment, compared to the past.)posted by aaron at 9:47 PM on February 6, 2001
Through most of history and prehistory (that is, until the advent of widely available reliable birth control), women have been servants, usually without much choice, to their children. It's a big fucking job, from pregnancy onward, and it's dictated largely by biology.
Men "serve" women by assisting with food, resources, etc in the maintentance of the homestead because *it's their own genetic lineage* that the woman is busy serving.
Yeah, okay, in industrialized societies we can get a bit more complex with this, but still:
Men cannot carry babies, or lactate *.
* except for a few experimenters who know that people (such as Child Protective Services) would freak out if they knew about it.
The key is this: we have certain biological limitations and tendencies that are the result of how we evolved. The very interesting and difficult problem is this: how do we come up with a reasonably fair way of living within these constraints, that allows children, men, and women to live their lives with reasonable freedom and choice?
It's a toughie. But we're not going to get any closer just bickering back and forth. Can't we just look at what's historically been bullshit treatment (by all sorts of people towards all sorts of people) and avoid it? Geez!
And I think the whole "what do we do when a woman wants an abortion and the man doesn't?" question is one of the stickier ones. But I'm pretty damn sure that the man doesn't have a right to compel the woman to gestate and birth a child she has no desire to mother. I don't know how to adequately balance the man's rights in such a situation, but I know the answer is NOT giving him de facto control over the woman's body (and putting her through rather significant discomfort, risk, hormonal and bodily changes is not to be taken lightly).
Plus, who would provide the breastmilk for the baby? Dads can sure do excellent infant care, but dooming a child to go through life without the benefit of breastmilk really sucks.
Requiring people to get a license before having a kid would fix some of these problems, but then you'd open up a whole can of new ones...
And what's the deal with men whining that a night of sex means they have to endure 18 years of child support? WAKE UP! That's how the rules work now - watch where you put your penises, guys. Use a condom, get a vasectomy, *something*, but don't go around conceiving babies and then whine about how put upon you are. Keep your penis to yourself if you can't handle the responsibility to watch where you put it. Those things are dangerous, you know.
Just ask any fatherless kid...posted by beth at 10:48 AM on February 7, 2001
All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplusage, excrescence, adornment, luxury, or folly which can - and must - be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function. As racial survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible. Attempts to formulate a 'perfect society' on any foundation other than 'Women and children first!' is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal. Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists (all of them male) have tried endlessly - and no doubt will keep on trying.posted by beth at 10:53 AM on February 7, 2001
The woman should take responsibility for birth control.
If you don't like the consequences of the possibility of failure of birth control, then don't have sex. No one's forcing the man to let loose his sperm, ya know.
How fair is it to the kid to sentence it to growing up without support from the father? Not very...posted by beth at 12:20 PM on February 7, 2001
Yeah it would be nice if there were a fair way to give both parents a niiiiice looooong time to decide "gee, do I really want to have a child or not" *after* they've conceived the child. But it just doesn't work that way - decide beforehand. Be glad you have the ability to do so!posted by beth at 12:26 PM on February 7, 2001
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