Steven Pinker zu Equity Feminismus und Genderfeminismus

Das Buch von Steven Pinker „The Blank Slate“ sei jedem noch einmal ausdrücklich empfohlen. Ich habe ja bereits häufiger daraus zitiert. Gerade bin ich noch einmal auf eine interessante Stelle gestoßen, die sich mit Genderfeminismus und Equityfeminismus auseinandersetzt:

Feminism is often derided because of the arguments of its lunatic fringe — for example, that all intercourse is rape, that all women should be lesbians, or that only 10 percent of the population should be allowed to be male.

Feminists reply that proponents of women’s rights do not speak with one voice, and that feminist thought comprises many positions, which have to be evaluated independently. That is completely legitimate, but it cuts both ways. To criticize a particular feminist proposal is not to attack feminism in general.

Das ist aus meiner Sicht einer der sehr großen Vorteile, wenn man differenziert und nicht per se davon ausgeht, dass Feminismus per se nur bösartig sein kann. Man schneidet der Gegenseite damit das Argument ab, dass man gegen Frauenrechte ist, denn hierauf kann man eben einfach antworten, dass man einen humanistischen Feminismus durchaus unterstützt, aber eine Ausrichtung des Feminismus, die zu radikal ist und von Männerfeindlichkeit geprägt ist ablehnt.

Anyone familiar with academia knows that it breeds ideological cults that are prone to dogma and resistant to criticism. Many women believe that this has now happened to feminism. In her book Who Stole Feminism? the philosopher Christina Hoff Sommers draws a useful distinction between two schools of thought.

  • Equity feminism opposes sex discrimination and other forms of unfairness to women. It is part of the classical liberal and humanistic tradition that grew out of the Enlightenment, and it guided the first wave of feminism and launched the second wave.
  • Gender feminism holds that women continue to be enslaved by a pervasive system of male dominance, the gender system, in which ―bi-sexual infants are transformed into male and female gender personalities, the one destined to command, the other to obey. It is opposed to the classical liberal tradition and allied instead with Marxism, postmodernism, social constructionism, and radical science. It has became the credo of some women’s studies programs, feminist organizations, and spokespeople for the women’s movement.
  • Equity feminism is a moral doctrine about equal treatment that makes no commitments regarding open empirical issues in psychology or biology.
  • Gender feminism is an empirical doctrine committed to three claims about human nature.
    • The first is that the differences between men and women have nothing to do with biology but are socially constructed in their entirety.
    • The second is that humans possess a single social motive — power — and that social life can be understood only in terms of how it is exercised.
    • The third is that human interactions arise not from the motives of people dealing with each other as individuals but from the motives of groups dealing with other groups — in this case, the male gender dominating the female gender.

In embracing these doctrines, the genderists are handcuffing feminism to railroad tracks on which a train is bearing down.

Die drei Grundannahmen des Feminismus nach Pinker hatte ich bereits hier besprochen.

As we shall see, neuroscience, genetics, psychology, and ethnography are documenting sex differences that almost certainly originate in human biology. And evolutionary psychology is documenting a web of motives other than group-against-group dominance (such as love, sex, family, and beauty) that entangle us in many conflicts and confluences of interest with members of the same sex and of the opposite sex.

Einfache Gruppentheorien bieten in der Tat nicht die notwendige Komplexität um menschliches Verhalten zu verstehen. Sie bieten allerdings eine hervorragende Grundlage für Theorien, die ein einfaches Feindbild und ein Opfer brauchen.

Gender feminists want either to derail the train or to have other women join them in martyrdom, but the other women are not cooperating. Despite their visibility, gender feminists do not speak for all feminists, let alone for all women.

Das ist aus meiner Sicht ein sehr wesentlicher Punkt: Den meisten Frauen sind die genderfeministischen Theorien auch nicht geheuer.

To begin with, research on the biological basis of sex differences has been led by women. Because it is so often said that this research is a plot to keep women down, I will have to name names. Researchers on the biology of sex differences include the neuroscientists Raquel Gur, Melissa Hines, Doreen Kimura, Jerre Levy, Martha McClintock, Sally Shaywitz, and Sandra Witelson and the psychologists Camilla Benbow, Linda Gottfredson, Diane Halpern, Judith Kleinfeld, and Diane McGuinness. Sociobiology and evolutionary psychology, sometimes stereotyped as a ―sexist discipline,‖ is perhaps the most bi-gendered academic field I am familiar with. Its major figures include Laura Betzig, Elizabeth Cashdan, Leda Cosmides, Helena Cronin, Mildred Dickeman, Helen Fisher, Patricia Gowaty, Kristen Hawkes, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, Magdalena Hurtado, Bobbie Low, Linda Mealey, Felicia Pratto, Marnie Rice, Catherine Salmon, Joan Silk, Meredith Small, Barbara Smuts, Nancy Wilmsen Thornhill, and Margo Wilson.

Auch das ist aus meiner Sicht ein wichtiger Hinweis gegen das feministische Argument der „patriarchischen Wissenschaft“. Die Biologie und auch die evolutionäre Psychologie haben jeweils einen hohen Frauenanteil. Sie sind in der Hinsicht sehr „unpatriarchische Wissenschaften“. Genug Frauen haben in dem Bereich mitgeforscht und ihre Meinung einfließen lassen.

It is not just gender feminism’s collision with science that repels many feminists. Like other inbred ideologies, it has produced strange excrescences, like the offshoot known as difference feminism. Carol Gilligan has become a gender-feminist icon because of her claim that men and women guide their moral reasoning by different principles: men think about rights and justice; women have feelings of compassion, nurturing, and peaceful accommodation. If true, it would disqualify women from becoming constitutional lawyers, Supreme Court justices, and moral philosophers, who make their living by reasoning about rights and justice. But it is not true.

Many studies have tested Gilligan’s hypothesis and found that men and women differ little or not at all in their moral reasoning.14 So difference feminism offers women the worst of both worlds: invidious claims without scientific support. Similarly, the gender-feminist classic called Women’s Ways of Knowing claims that the sexes differ in their styles of reasoning. Men value excellence and mastery in intellectual matters and skeptically evaluate arguments in terms of logic and evidence; women are spiritual, relational, inclusive, and credulous.15 With sisters like these, who needs male chauvinists?

Das wäre dann die Annahme, dass man weiblichen Wesen die Welt genesen soll, während die männliche Art eigentlich nur die Gesellschaft vergiftet. Deswegen wird dort ja auch die Auffassung vertreten, dass der Genderfeminismus nichts gegen Männer hat. Er will ihnen ja auch nur helfen, ihre schlechte, die Welt zerstörende Männlichkeit loszuwerden. Die vielen Unstimmigkeiten in dieser Ansicht scheinen Feministinnen dabei gar nicht aufzufallen: Weder das Fehlen der positiven Seite von Männlichkeit noch die Folgen solcher Theorien werden wirklich durchdacht.

Gender feminism’s disdain for analytical rigor and classical liberal principles has recently been excoriated by equity feminists, among them Jean Bethke Elshtain, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Wendy Kaminer, Noretta Koertge, Donna Laframboise, Mary Lefkowitz, Wendy McElroy, Camille Paglia, Daphne Patai, Virginia Postrel, Alice Rossi, Sally Satel, Christina Hoff Sommers, Nadine Strossen, Joan Kennedy Taylor, and Cathy Young.16 Well before them, prominent women writers demurred from gender-feminist ideology, including Joan Didion, Doris Lessing, Iris Murdoch, Cynthia Ozick, and Susan Sontag.17

And ominously for the movement, a younger generation has rejected the gender feminists‘ claims that love, beauty, flirtation, erotica, art, and heterosexuality are pernicious social constructs. The title of the book The New Victorians: A Young Woman’s Challenge to the Old Feminist Order captures the revolt of such writers as Rene Denfeld, Karen Lehrman, Katie Roiphe, and Rebecca Walker, and of the movements called Third Wave, Riot Grrrl Movement, Pro-Sex Feminism, Lipstick Lesbians, Girl Power, and Feminists for Free Expression.

Auch hier halte ich den Hinweis darauf, dass viele Frauen dem Genderfeminismus widersprechen für durchaus wichtig.

The difference between gender feminism and equity feminism accounts for the oft-reported paradox that most women do not consider themselves feminists (about 70 percent in 1997, up from about 60 percent a decade before), yet they agree with every major feminist position.19 The explanation is simple: the word ―feminist‖ is often associated with gender feminism, but the positions in the polls are those of equity feminism.

Das ist auch noch einmal ein schönes Argument dafür, warum man deutlich machen sollte, dass man gegen einen vernünftigen Feminismus nichts hätte. Es erlaubt einem genau diese Gruppe derjenigen, die ebenfalls den Genderfeminismus ablehnen, mit einzubeziehen, indem man ihnen verdeutlicht, dass man genau wie sie für eine andere Form des Feminismus ist.