Thanks, Robert, very well said, and good to see you around again. I'm hesitant to say anything at all, since I'm afraid of falling into that multi-thread 1,000+ comment vortex again, even from this distance. The liberationist argument will be that they're not aiming for an objective equality - impossible short of androgyny - but for equality of opportunity and possible discovery of a variegated, un-predetermined equilibrium state. For reasons I partly went into over there, I think this ideal may be utopian, and may make unjustified presumptions about what arguments have really been won or settled. I've been thinking about the different philosophical, religious, and scientific claims about the sexual division of labor and "natural" sexual differences. Maybe some time down the line we can delve into them in greater detail, as you seem also to have given them a lot of thought. Might make an interesting bookend with your debut post that looked at the Garden of Eden from a completely different perspective: https://ckmacleod.com/2012/10/05/ecology-economics-and-spirituality/
No, the problem lies a little differently, it is illiberal in the classical sense, distinctions between the genders are not arbitrary, Erickson and Bryant, are possibly the mostly clueless polemicists on that point.
CK, I love this. Like you, I've had misgivings about the liberal feminism that's popular right now, and I've found it hard to articulate these concerns without being lumped in with actual reactionaries. I'm probably rehashing stuff that was already said at the League, but your post here inspired me to articulate my own related musings.
The problems with the feminism that is currently popular are the problems with the classical liberalism from which it sprung. The prescription to "treat like like" -- which is so general as to be unobjectionable -- has become a rigid, difference-eliding dogma. Liberals have not fully appreciated that applying "equality" as the perennial prescription can be expected to result in a stultifying homogeneity of values. Liberal feminists, by mandating that women achieve all the traditionally male trappings of "success", have not only made it difficult to extol the traditionally-feminine virtues, they've made it difficult to talk about feminine virtues at all. By erasing non-masculine virtues from public discourse, liberal feminists have reified the patriarchy more fundamentally than any misogynist ever could.
Of course, men and women and transgender people are individuals and cannot be treated as exemplars of the category into which society assigns them arbitrarily. Liberals are surely right about this. But this is not the same as saying that manhood and womanhood (or trans-hood, if we're at that point) are identical. And just because it is improper to prejudicially categorize people based on their sexual organs doesn't mean that some kind of benign, celebrated diversity between groups is inferior to an enforced homogeneity.
So are certain opinions, mere 'doubleunplusgood' or actually thoughtcrime, I'm a little perplexed, of course, Erickson, as a general rule, starts with the 'turtles all the way down'
[...] ← not discussing a conservative understanding of the sexual division of labor [...]