Wednesday, 2 April 2008


Sometimes I wonder why the feminist movement is so lothe to use the words morality or morals. For example, I've on various occasions heard/read feminists say, "I'm not against pornography for moral reasons, I'm against it for feminist reasons.' I understand why they're saying it, they're saying it because they don't want their opinions to be confused with members of the religious right who are shocked just at the very idea that people have sex, let alone having to see it!

But why are we letting them own morality? Morality is all about what is right and what is wrong, we all have different ideas about what falls into what group, but most of us have a fairly firm idea of things that we believe are wrong (i.e. sin - thats all sin really means). And what could be more immoral than being profoundly sexist, beating or raping your partner etc. Indeed, since I've heard this most with reference to (certain types of) porn, what could be more immoral than abusing and exploiting women, perpetuating a 'rape and violence culture' and promoting only one body type as being normal and beautiful. These things are all really, really wrong, and therefore they are IMMORAL.

Religious people (like myself!) do not own morality. Its time to claim it back! When you are taking a stance for what is right, its important to be willing to say that you are also taking a stance for what is, in your view, moral.


Lynne said...

Hi there. I wondered whether you'd seen this ? I saw it and thought of you!
(sorry if I just partially posted that a bunch of times.. I'm on the train and the stupid internet is up and down and refreshing and....annoying!)

Feminist Avatar said...

Me thinks, that some feminists don't like the word morality, because it implies that there is a truth or an absolute right or wrong. Instead they like to argue from a position where there is no absolute right or wrong, but people make their own definitions of right or wrong, and the current situation is unfair to women so it is wrong. I know that on appearances this doesn't look very different, and in real terms it doesn't mean anything really different, but it makes the word morality problematic for certain feminists.

Christian Feminist said...

Yeah, I do understand the argument that people find it difficult to use the word morality because they don't believe in absolute truth. However, for me, this case simply highlights why that argument troubles me so much. Surely if something damages women then it is, by definition wrong? For my part, I have no problem denouncing violence against women not only as something which is bad for women, but something which is immoral and sinful.