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Jaclyn Friedman❄️ @jaclynf
, 8 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Have a seat. I have something to say about this. Not about Erickson, who no one would mistake for a person who gives a shit about women. About this argument, which in milder forms comes out of the mouths of "feminist" "contrarians" like Weiss and Kipnis on the regular. 1/
In that way I'm glad Erickson has taken this bs to its inevitable extreme -- it's revealing. This construction suggests that feminism is about individual women being "strong" enough to weather working alongside a man who literally wants to have them murdered. 2/
It's literally the same argument as saying Ansari's date should have been "strong enough" to slap him across the face and leave at the first boundary violation, or that any individual woman should be "strong enough" to laugh off sexual harassment and assault as NBD. 3/
In this strawman "feminism," if an individual woman isn't "strong enough" to repel or tolerate male violence, she's letting down the side. Not coincidentally, only women can fail at this "feminism." 4/
In my book, Unscrewed, I coin a word for this bullshit argument: Fauxpowerment. It's the idea that women can somehow just self-improve our way free. Fauxpowerment is gaslighting. It tells women if we don't feel free, it's our fault and we just have to get stronger on our own. 5/
But (and brace yourselves for the duh) feminism isn't about telling women to grow thicker skins. It's about creating new social systems that don't require us to, say, work alongside men who want to murder us, and then shame us for being inadequately "tough" when we refuse. 6/
So next time you see someone claiming a woman is letting down feminism because she's not being adequately "strong," or arguing that real feminism is teaching women how to better put up with male violation, call it for what it is: fauxpowerment. (Or "horseshit" will also do.) 7/
Real feminism is about fighting for the collective power and freedom of all women. Accept no substitutes. 8/8 FIN
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