the rack and the screw

Agency

Posted in blogwars, feminism, mental health/madness, sex work, something queer by bellareve on February 19, 2009

Here’s another topic that I feel gets drastically simplified in the ol’ sex debates. 

In one corner, we have some rad fems (like Twisty) who insist that, in a patriarchy, women have no agency. Zip, zero, nada. We might as well be inanimate objects batted about by our Overlords.

The other corner says women do have agency, and get mad over and over again when this is denied. They don’t really buy the whole patriarchy concept at all, and treat it like an wacky, irrational conspiracy theory wielded by mean-spirited womyn on the internet.

Once again, I’m not comfortable with either position.

I am comfortable with saying this: many of the world’s women don’t have agency, because they are impoverished, enslaved, institutionalized, and/or incarcerated. Agency can also be limited by things like financial duress, lack of educational/health resources, and being of a marginalized race or sexual orientation. Also, I cannot speak for other survivors, but I felt my agency was nonexistent when I was in an abusive relationship. And I do not speak for others with disabilities, but I feel that my mood disorder significantly limits my agency. 

On the other hand, there are women with the luck, privilege, and resources to have agency. And if a woman tells me she’s free, my instinct is to believe & trust her. Also, I would need to see some type of solid evidence that patriarchy erases all agency for every single person born female before I could get on board with that. It’s not something I can just take as a given if you say it enough.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: