Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Yes, you are a feminist

Reading about Victorian England is making me realize that Americans today who claim they're not feminists have beliefs about gender that would make them be considered extreme, radical feminists 150 years ago.

I mean, Mary Somerville was a brilliant mathematician but she had to wait until her husband died to start communicating with other mathematicians and publishing, because he refused to allow any wife of his to be so unladylike and ruin her "disposition" or something with that sort of mental strain and nerdiness. And even then, like Ada Lovelace, she could only sneak in some publishing by adding copious, original "notes" to the end of mens' work (that she had transcribed from lectures or translated).

Even just from a capitalist standpoint, think of all the stifled innovation, all the jobs that could have been created, all the lives that could have been saved by women engineers. "Let's not be so intent on confining women into absurdly tight roles and dainty expectations that we literally kill ourselves, destroy our wealth and make ourselves unemployed" -- that's all it takes to be at least some kind of feminist.

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