Das Akkordeon-Prinzip: Zur Ausweitung von Begriffen im Feminismus

In dem immer wieder großartigen Buch „Professing Feminism“ wird nach „IDPOL “ und „TotalRej“ ein weiteres in den Gender Studies und damit auch im Feminismus angewandtes Konzept nämlich das des Akkordeon Worts dargestellt:

Somewhat more formally, we might refer to this game as „The Failure to Draw Distinctions.“ When this game is played, concepts are stretched so widely that crucial distinctions are obliterated. Consider two examples: the feminist catchphrase „any woman can be a lesbian“ and the „art project“ recently exhibited on the University of Maryland campus that listed as „potential rapists“ male names pulled randomly from a student directory. The latter action raises all sorts of problems about the legal and ethical limits of „performance art“ and the political effectiveness of guerilla theater, but our focus is on how feminist claims such as „all men are potential rapists“ or „every woman can be a lesbian“ are intended to be understood.

Ja, klare, gut definierte Konzepte sind aus meiner Sicht in der Tat nicht die Stärke des Feminismus. Bereits Grundbegriffe wie „Patriarchat“ sind extrem unklar, so dass es einmal tatsächlich eine Herrschaft der Männer ist, dann wieder nur ein Bild, welches für bestimmte Verhaltensweisen steht, die mit Männern so gesehen wieder nichts zu tun haben, aber doch irgendwie männlich sind. Auch hier kann das Konzept auf nahezu alles angewendet werden, selbst Frauen können sich die patriarchalen Normen zu eigen machen und nach ihnen handeln, was dann die Schuld der Männer ist, die diese Normen schaffen.

Ich zitiere mal ihr Beispiel zur Verwendung des Begriffs Lesbe:

The game of Accordion Concepts gets under way when academic feminists „theorize“ the slogan. An example is Adrienne Rich’s redefinition, noted in an earlier chapter, of lesbian to include all women who put energy into, or who identify with, the life projects of other women, regardless of whom they happen to sleep with or be in love with.5 On this redefinition, Catharine MacKinnon, the radical feminist legal theorist who has appeared in newspaper photos arm in arm with her fiance, Jeffrey Masson, becomes a prototypical lesbian because of her intense political commitments to the cause of women. To be sure, Rich’s essay is more subtle than this, because she at least introduces a continuum, permitting the drawing of some distinctions. If taken literally, however—which it often is in Women’s Studies courses—her extension-by-definition of lesbian rules out the possibility of conceiving either of a nonfeminist lesbian or of a nonlesbian feminist. Such semantic sorcery benefits neither the lesbian rights movement nor the cause of feminism.

Hier wird also das Wort seiner eigentlichen Bedeutung entkleidet und neu verwendet, gleichzeitig aber irgendwie auch in der alten Bezeichnung.

Und zu Rape:

Using this analysis, to say that „X is a potential rapist“ is to say nothing at all specific about X’s individual potentialities. The statement simply conveys the fact that he grew up in a patriarchal society in which, supposedly, rape is normal. But the „theorizing“ of the concept of rape does not stop there. In a radio interview, Robin Morgan proposed that the legal definition of rape be extended to cases where women, though not subjected to forced sex, are cajoled into unwanted sexual activities—cases where, as she put it (alluding to Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale), the woman would rather be playing Scrabble.7 And Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon have long argued that in a patriarchal society all heterosexual intercourse is rape because women, as a group, are not in a strong enough social position to give meaningful consent—an assault on individual female autonomy uncannily reminiscent of old arguments for why women should not have political rights.8 Obviously, rape is an extremely grave crime, and its definition deserves careful analysis and debate. But serious discussion is not advanced by redefining terms in such a way that every time a feminist woman marries a man she is, strictly speaking, a person on the lesbian continuum marrying a potential rapist. By such definitions we would have to say that every offspring of such a union was conceived in an act of rape.

Perhaps some radical feminists do hold such a belief, which may explain their hostility to childbearing. Most feminists would, of course, neither draw such implications nor endorse them. They want to have it both ways. They would like to retain the charge that rape is a terrible violation of human rights and, at the same time, stretch the legal definition of the crime beyond all reason.

Die Ausweitung des Begriffs Vergewaltigung ist in der Tat beängstigend, ebenso wie der Versuch Handeln, dass eine „Nichtvergewaltigung“ darstellt, immer enger zu fassen, indem man schon fast vertragsrechtliche Gefüge darauf anwendet und schlimmer als dort nicht nur einen „Vertragsschluss“, sondern auch dessen stetige freudige Bestätigung fordert („enthusiastic consent“).

Es ist aus meiner Sicht auch eine direkte Folge von „IDPOL“, weil dort eine Opferolympiade losgetreten wird, in der jede Feministin deutlich machen will, dass sie noch strenger gegen alle Benachteiligungen ist und andere noch nicht hinreichend bedacht haben, dass die Bedrohung noch nicht farbig genug ausgemalt ist und die Gegenmaßnahmen noch nicht kompromisslos genug sind.

Die Autorinnen weisen auch noch einmal auf die Folgen hin:

In this simplistic feminist worldview, conditions such as racism and sexism are original sins of the soul that all individuals must constantly and publicly confess to in themselves and confront in others. This theological postulate is then invoked to prove that every charge of racism or sexism must be true. One may try to dispute details of who did what to whom, but the answer to the question is always given in the premise that underlies it. Such a move, of course, trivializes the very evils feminism claims to oppose. Whatever is meant by calling Women’s Studies programs „racist“ (which is a currently fashionable charge), it is surely something other than what a reference to the Ku Klux Klan as a racist organization would signify.(..)

Feminists should ponder this question. Once so vehemently critical of the attempts of anthropologists and philosophers to generalize about the human condition, they are now themselves engaged in a most dubious form of universalizing.