Choice Feminism and the Fear of Politics

Perspective on Politics (Impact Factor: 1.19). 02/2010; 8(01):247 - 253. DOI: 10.1017/S1537592709992830

ABSTRACT Choice feminism is motivated by a fear of politics. It arises in response to three common criticisms of feminism: that feminism is too radical, too exclusionary, and too judgmental. In response, choice feminism offers a worldview that does not challenge the status quo, that promises to include all women regardless of their choices, and that abstains from judgment altogether. Moreover, it enables feminists to sidestep the difficulties of making the personal political: making judgments and demanding change of friends, family, and lovers. Yet judgment, exclusion, and calls for change are unavoidable parts of politics. If feminists are not to withdraw from political life altogether, we have to acknowledge the difficulty of engaging in politics. Political claims are partial; we will inevitably exclude, offend, or alienate some of those whom we should wish to have as allies. The political concerns and dilemmas to which choice feminism responds are very real. However, we can take seriously the political motivations behind choice feminism without withdrawing from politics. Instead, we need to complement an acknowledgment of the political dilemmas facing feminists with a celebration of the pleasures of engaging in politics with those who differ from and disagree with us.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Being cultivated is a matter of not having read any book in particular, but of being able to find your bearings within books as a system, which requires you to know that they form a system and to be able to locate each element in relation to the others.‖ -Pierre Bayard, How to Talk about Books You Haven't Read (Bloomsbury, 2007). COURSE DESCRIPTION: This Proseminar in Comparative and Regional Studies is designed specifically for Ph.D. students. Comparative and regional studies comprise one of the two central pillars of cross-national study. The other pillar, international relations, focuses on interstate exchanges, be they formal or informal, public or private. Comparative and regional studies, on the other hand, compare and contrast economic, social and political actions and constructions at the regional, national or sub-national level. Comparative and regional studies share substantive themes and theoretical approaches with a large number of disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities. As a result, students must become fluent with a wide variety of methods, arguments and schools. N.B., One topic is commonly covered in a comparative politics survey course that is not being covered here is globalization. Globalization is covered in depth in SIS705. Leaving it out here avoids redundancy. LEARNING OBJECTIVES: The objective of this proseminar is to familiarize students with a broad selection of the most significant contending methods, perspectives and theories used in the field of comparative and regional studies today. Knowledge of these perspectives and their roots will help students to cultivate an ability to assess the work of others, to place their own interests in the context of existing bodies of scholarly literature, to choose effective research methodologies for their dissertations and ultimately to create new knowledge. This class also prepares students interested in taking the PhD comprehensive examination in the field of comparative and regional studies and in teaching courses in this field.
    03/2015; 885320.


Available from