Choice Feminism – Any Personal Choice Is Automatically Feminist?

Freedom of choice was a political fighter concept. Today, he is just a phrase, because any personal choice, every decision is regarded now as a feminist.

In episode 7 of the fourth season of sex and the City Gallery owner Charlotte decides to give up her job. Held in the Gallery she want now prefer at home spend their time as a perfect marriage and homemaker for her husband Trey. Her friend Carrie, Samantha and Miranda are not enthusiastic and Charlotte feels doomed and misunderstood. “In the women’s movement turns it in particular to the freedom to choose”, she Miranda explains on the phone, “and if I decide to give up my job, then that’s just my choice.” Miranda is not impressed and the conversation ends with that hysterical “I choose my choice Charlotte! I choose my choice!”into the phone calls.

That was 2001. The idea put forward at the time of Charlotte has since not topical lost – they want the idea that women can choose individually what, and which then automatically is a feminist Act. I can choose to go to no longer work, and instead just to take care of the family. I can choose to surgically enlarge my breasts. I can choose to take my clothes off for a men’s magazine. My choice is feminist, because it’s me who made the choice. The “freedom of choice” has become the winged concept as well as the accompanying “empowerment”. I choose, so I am empowered.

Individualism has replaced the collectivism

Says at least the so-called choice feminism: he’s doing individual well-being, not structural changes. “If it feels good for you, then it’s right”, the choice feminism gets to the women. The former through political term of choice becomes a hollow phrase. Choice, that meant even reproductive rights – the choice whether I get the child or terminate the pregnancy (in the American are proponents * inside of the right to abortion therefore also pro choice). It was a system to change that women at a disadvantage. Today, individualism has replaced the collectivism.

This form of feminism is also so popular because she can be excellent market: buy the T-Shirt, the lipstick, the shampoo – and you’ve done enough for equality! If it were only so simple. Of course in the void decisions? We are not all in the same position, not all of the same features. The system in which we make our choice is no equal. You must keep this in mind when it comes to the feminist potential of individual decisions. Clearly I can withdraw me from the professional life and care of the young – but I do actually believe or not but maybe because there is not enough affordable childcare facilities? Clearly I can surgically enhance my body – but I really do that ‘for me’ or is it rather because I want to meet a particular ideal of beauty?

 

Not so free, how we think

The whole discussion about freedom of choice in a feminist context is complicated, eventually you want to condemn anyone for personal decisions or criticize. Also, the argument of personal choice can be used quickly by anti feminist * inside: “the woman wanted to just stay home! This has nothing to do with lack of equality!”

We all make decisions that are influenced by our socialization and our environment. Racism, sexism, and class affiliation or identity factors limit our choices and the quality of the selection made. We are not so free in our choice, as we may think – or we believe will. Feminist * in his means today also to recognize that we bring our feminist ideals never fully with every aspect of our lives in accordance can be. We will fail again and again. Not all of our decisions are feminist and we should also not act as if they were there. Sometimes a decision is just a decision, a choice that we make. We make compromises, because we just don’t live in a kind of feminist utopia. How could we so others criticize it, that they also compromise or try to be satisfied despite limited choices?

Freedom of choice as a deadly argument

But we should not stop to discuss. Because too much freedom of choice is used as a deadly argument: “But their decision is!”. It is not criticism of single women and their decisions, but criticism of the company and of structures which restrict or allow choice against apolitical feel-good choice feminism. We need to fight for real freedom of choice and is not mere rhetoric of empowerment to be satisfied with. It’s about recognizing that other women may have not the same choices as I. “I choose my choice!” might work well as a mantra – it does not automatically fair society.

 

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