It's International Women's Day, today, and I'm pondering my feminism (and navel). I'm wondering if feminism is the right word for what I call feminism. I want to eliminate from reformist and revolutionary talk all those old oppositional categories (man and woman, worker and boss, child and adult, animal and human). I want to do away with thinking that propounds the rights of women, or the rights of workers, or the rights of animals, or the rights of refugees.
I want the categories of "woman", "worker", "animal" to become politically meaningless. I want everyone who can feel pain or happiness to count as a person. I want it not to matter if you're two years old, or forty years old, or a dog, or a possum, or Greg Norman, or very ill, for everyone you encounter to treat you with empathy and respect.
I know I sound like a romantic nit (speaking of nits, someone will rightly shout out, "What about the fleas? Do they get empathy and respect too?"). I'm quite earnest, though. I have belatedly decided that empathy isn't just an important virtue in some airy sense, but is the key to lasting political change.
Coming up next: The Problem of Evil, Solved.