Sunday, June 7, 2015


I was reading some feminist writing which spoke of being "committed" to feminism.  It said that if you are committed to feminism, then you will believe and behave in a certain way.  And if you don't believe and behave in a certain way, then you aren't committed.  (And that would be bad.)

I may speak sometimes of being "committed" to feminism or atheism, but that is merely a description of how strong my opinions are.  I do not believe in literally committing to a worldview.

Framing commitment as a good thing is much like framing doubt as a bad thing.  It's an obvious overgeneralization.  How can it be good to be committed to X, regardless of what X is?  How can it be bad to doubt Y, regardless of what Y is?  Presumably if you doubt something, you think that thing is wrong and therefore it is good to doubt it.  Presumably if you are not committed to something, you think that thing is wrong and therefore it is bad be committed to it.  Doubt and commitment are both neutral.

I have a lot of very feminist views, but I do not think they are correct because they are feminist.  When we examine an issue, yes, all relevant feminist insights should be brought to bear, but I do not ask myself, "What Would a Feminist Do?"  If my view on a subject disagrees with feminist "tenets", then so much the worse for those tenets.  I would say the same about all my beliefs, no matter how strongly they are held.