Louise Mensch and I discuss everything from conservative feminism to universal suffrage and Native American intelligence at Heat Street:
Louise: We’re now debating feminism. Vox, you go first. Hit me with your best shot, as Pat Benatar once said.
Vox: Okay. Louise, I know that you identify yourself as a feminist, and you also identify yourself as a conservative. Given the connection between feminism and progressive politics, I am curious to know how you rectify those two positions, those two identities.
Louise: I don’t see that there is any reconciling to be done. I can’t stand the social justice warrior thing of identify as. I am a feminist. I am a conservative. I said in our last debate to you that conservatism was about equal opportunity, and to me feminism is therefore a subset of conservatism. If conservatism is principally about equal opportunity, personal liberty, free trade, etc, feminism is a subset of that – because feminism argues that men and women should have equal opportunities.
Which is not to say the same opportunities, but equal opportunities. I recognize the biological differences between the sexes. To me there is no distinction between conservatism and feminism, except that feminism is a smaller version of conservatism, it’s a subset of it.
Vox: I agree that the logic holds. That’s within the logical structure your proposing that that is consistent, but the problem I have with that is that surely an aspect of conservatism is to conserve something. It seems readily apparent to me that feminism is intrinsically incapable of conserving anything from Western civilization, to even a functional, civilized society.
There is more, considerably more, there. Read the whole thing. Then discuss it here, keeping in mind that it is a transcript of a free-flowing conversation and I frequently have absolutely no idea what she’s going to throw at me next.
It’s actually a rather interesting challenge, especially in light of the fact that I know people are going to have hissy fits over anything that is worded in an infelicitious manner.