Choice and Feminism

Article by Virginia Dare /
Cache Culture /
October 29, 2009 /
Click here to view original /

Reading an interview with the author of, Cheating on the Sisterhood: Infidelity and Feminism, Lauren Rosewarne makes a succinct, well-articulated bridge from second wave feminism to third wave feminism and back again:

Q: You write this book from a markedly third wave feminist perspective and challenge feminisms that are especially dogmatic, yet you do not always hold third wave feminist ideology in high esteem. What do you see as useful about a third wave approach to infidelity?

A: On a very cursory level, supporting women’s choices on how to use their bodies has united each of the branches of feminisms. Yet, while there might be much agreement on reproductive rights, sexual rights are more complicated. This is demonstrated by second wave critiques of prostitution, for example. Third wave feminism has clutched onto choice really, really tightly — and I like this. I want choice in everything. I want the choice to make both good and bad decisions. But, as evident in my book, choice on its own is not enough. If we’re going to make our own choices we need to take ownership of those choices, and we need to understand the consequences. In order for a feminist to do this with any sense of academic legitimacy, understanding the consequences of our choices needs to be examined by utilizing all that has been offered by earlier waves of feminism.

Let me be the first to site this as a possible example of ending the second vs. third wave war.