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‘I’m already equal. So why do today’s feminists keep saying I’m oppressed?’ – Publications – AEI

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AEI ‘I’m already equal. So why do today’s feminists keep saying I’m oppressed?’ That’s the title of a very thoughtful (heretical?) article in Quartz by writer and lawyer Ephrat Livni about the subconscious sexism of today’s feminist movement, here are some “money excerpts”: Good morning, America. All your recent talk of gender equality has only shown just how far from woke you really are. Despite best intentions, the current cultural conversation about feminism continues to perpetuate sexism. From my perspective, I’m already equal and was born that way in 1972. No need to fight about it now. I wasn’t waiting around for anyone to wake up or make space. Instead, I crafted an adventurous, independent, and productive existence with gusto, moxie, and swashbuckle. Men never seemed inherently

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AEI
‘I’m already equal. So why do today’s feminists keep saying I’m oppressed?’

That’s the title of a very thoughtful (heretical?) article in Quartz by writer and lawyer Ephrat Livni about the subconscious sexism of today’s feminist movement, here are some “money excerpts”:

Good morning, America. All your recent talk of gender equality has only shown just how far from woke you really are. Despite best intentions, the current cultural conversation about feminism continues to perpetuate sexism. From my perspective, I’m already equal and was born that way in 1972. No need to fight about it now. I wasn’t waiting around for anyone to wake up or make space. Instead, I crafted an adventurous, independent, and productive existence with gusto, moxie, and swashbuckle.

Men never seemed inherently better at anything but hauling hay. So I’m impatient with discussions about gender premised on the assumption that I’m struggling at an imaginary starting line. Inequalities certainly exist, but women have been getting ahead, and doing great things, for a while, in the workforce and beyond. Yet the overwhelming messaging now is that we don’t own our power unless we shout about our woes, and that strong ladies talk a lot about how bad they’ve got it.

That is one way to be a feminist, but certainly not the sole approach. Another way is to just be powerful. Advancing womankind by emphasizing that we’re behind, perpetually viewing our lives, careers, and finances as less than they might be if only we weren’t women, seems to me to do a disservice to all women, especially powerful ones.

………….

Being a woman never seemed like a professional hazard or preoccupation before. But now I can’t ignore the inequality tsunami; and it’s clear I’m expected to be impressed by fights for rights I already have, and exercise with eyes wide open. This approach to liberation seems backward, restrictive, and disrespectful of women who’ve been working, some with very successful careers.

……

The law already recognizes my equal rights, and that’s how I live my life, so please catch up if you can. When anyone, man or woman, expects me to operate from a place of weakness, I rebel because it’s wrong and robs me of dignity. Actually, I’m strong, like my mom and all the ladies who taught me about power.

So I resent the implication, inherent in the language of campaigns to fight for my equality, that I haven’t already got it and am losing at life. I’m not losing any more than anyone else whose existence passes with every breath. And I don’t see how gender talks that fail to acknowledge my position or my power can possibly advance my cause, which is to deal with all people respectfully, equally—as human beings rather than downtrodden slivers of identity.

‘I’m already equal. So why do today’s feminists keep saying I’m oppressed?’
Mark Perry

Mark Perry
Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

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