On “The Other”

Feminists who want to seem profound often couch their analyses in terms of the occasionally valuable but often tendentious philosophical term “the other”. The term has been used in a variety of contexts, but in general it refers to the phenomenon of defining “us” as “not them”. One major use of the concept was in studies of colonialism, where the colonials define themselves as opposed to the natives. This supposedly leads to the natives, as the dominated group, to value all things pertaining to the dominant (colonizing) culture and denigrate all things pertaining to their own native culture. This tendency is supposedly responsible for many of the problems of post-colonial societies.

If this is so, and if, as feminists allege, the relation between men and women has been throughout human history a relation of domination and oppression analogous to that between colonizer and colonized, is follows that feminism – which seeks to make women into penis impaired men – is the same phenomenon. Therefore feminism harms women.

Of course, the idea that women are an oppressed group throughout history is nonsense. I’m unaware of colonizers ever deciding to die with their ship while the colonized take all the lifeboats. But even if it were true, feminism would still be a harmful mistake.

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About Pechorin

A Hero of Our Time
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