Gender Essentialism and Feminist Politics
This chapter briefly explores the consequences of gender uniessentialism for feminist politics. It argues that gender uniessentialism directs our attention away from individual psychologies, their conscious and unconscious biases, and “deformed” processes of choice, and toward the social world, its available social roles, and the ways in which its available social roles can and cannot be blended into a coherent practical identity. Moreover, according to gender uniessentialism, our practical identities are essentially gendered. Taken together, these ideas suggest that political and social change for women will require changing existing social roles that (as they overlap, clash, and thread through a life) disadvantage and oppress women.
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