Reply to Amber,
You are, of course, quite correct: we all have choices, all the time.
of you who doubt this are referred to Victor Frankel's work. My guess,
however, is that what the feminists that you make reference to may be
talking about are the socialization processes that we are all subjected to
from the moment of our births.
In this next section, I am speaking in general terms, quite aware that
may be many exceptions. Because males are socialized differently from the
ways in which females are socialized, we (the genders) tend to perceive the
world, and our roles in the world, somewhat differently. These
phenomenological differences often have the effect of restricting our
These restrictions, though different, affect men as well as women. Many of
us end up choosing to segregate ourselves in gender-typical ways because
socialization processes have eroded our willingness to courageously
all the available options.
If I may be so bold as to offer this interpretation of the feminist
movement, one concern is that one result of these differences in the
socialization processes has been a power differential (in terms of
and political influence) between males and females that has historically
disadvantaged females in many ways.
I know you would agree, Amber, that we now have the power to choose how to
resolve this issue. There are, of course, four basic options: 1) boys
girls lose; 2) girls win, boys lose; 3) girls lose, boys lose; or 4) girls
win, boys win. Clearly, our challenge is to devise strategies to achieve
option #4 in such a manner that we all not only have equal access to the
full range of options, but that we all also perceive equal access to the
full range of options.
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