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Feminism and Modern Friendship Critical Essay

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Updated: Jul 5th, 2019

It is argued that feminists have become the major opponents of liberalism. Feminism critics assert that this move exhibit an intrinsic gender prejudice, which emphasizes on the works of Sandel and Macintyre.

In the article Feminism and Modern Friendship: Dislocating the Community, Friedman Marilyn explores these allegations (Weiss & Marilyn 108). Marilyn seconded the communitarian position held by Sandel and Maclntyre.

Nevertheless, she opposes certain aspects of the approach. In her writings, Marilyn aims to change the communitarian visualization of personality and society in a feminism path. This article seeks to criticize Marilyn from the story Feminism and Modern Friendship: Dislocating the Community.

Marilyn argues that communitarian theories pose numerous risks to feminists. As such, they appeal to models of societies emphasizing on families, localities, and nations. According to her, these models have harbored social customs that tend to oppress and the female gender.

Through this argument, it is apparent that Marilyn thoughts oppose other feminists’ views. She asserts that communitarians pretense the notion of a self based on communities, families, social groups, and families.

According to her, it is wrong for commentaries not to pretense the notion based on sex and gender (Weiss & Marilyn 112). In my opinion, her arguments on these notions are wrong. If sex and gender are used, individualism will be enhanced, which opposes communitarian ideologies.

Marilyn fails to note that women empowerment, the main goal of feminists, can be attained easily through community and family levels compared with through individual levels.

Although Marilyn’s’ ambitions on abolishing women empowerment are justified, her approach clashes with communitarians’ theory. In my opinion, there are other ways of achieving these ambitions without the adoption of individualistic approaches.

Equally, in the article Marilyn criticizes other feminists’ contributions such as Sandel and Macintyre (Weiss & Marilyn 109). These feminists had visualized the actual self according to social attachment identities rather on sex and gender identities.

While criticizing these individuals, Marilyn asserts that the omission of sex and gender implies that these individuals wanted to affirm that social attachment such as societies, families, and nationalities contribute to identity rather than sex and gender.

Although Sandel and Macintyre failed to classify the self in terms of sex and gender, Marilyn should have acknowledged that communitarians view communal identities as a priority rather than sex and gender prioritize.

Marilyn criticizes communitarian philosophies claiming that they are perilous to feminism (Weiss & Marilyn 108). She fails to note that if communitarian philosophies were strengthened, all people would be treated equally regardless of their nationality, age, gender, or sex.

Even though some norms and structures in family, community, and national levels oppress women, it does not mean that communitarian philosophies support the vice or are wrong.

Marilyn does not recognize that these oppressive norms and structures can be addressed from the communal level rather than from individual levels. In reality, women empowerment gains have been achieved through the effort of communal groups.

As opposed to Marilyn, I believe that women’s empowerment programs are not going to be attained with ease through her approach. Feminists’ goals can be achieved through communal theory if the communities as a whole agree to abandon gender subordination and gender prejudices.

Other than attacking the communal theory, Marilyn should have pointed out areas that need to be amended to improve the theory.

In the second part of her article, Marilyn focuses on modern friendship (Weiss & Marilyn 113). In the section, she asserts that modern urban friendship developed based on shared interests rather than on communities or families.

Urban life has provided shelter to most women who escape from their oppressive societies. Similarly, urban life has provided women with several opportunities enabling them to be financially stable like their male counterparts.

In the second part, readers expect, Marilyn to offer feminists an approach to replace the communitarians’ approach criticized in part one. However, in the second part Marilyn does not provide an appropriate approach on how to improve communitarian theories.

Similarly, Marilyn failed to note, or is not aware, that in towns some groups exist based on their nationality, communities, and families. Notably, the minority groups in towns consist of members from the particular nationalities or communities.

This implies that the social norms and structure that oppress women exist in urban areas. Therefore, to ensure that women empowerment is attained, as advocated by feminists, communal theories should be strengthened.

Equally, Marilyn fails to note that in a rural set up friendship established based on interest. Thus, she should confine her postulations to both urban population and rural population.

Based on Nagel’s arguments, Marilyn should attack negative prejudices and oppressive norms against women by overturning silence that help to support them without necessarily denouncing communism (Nagel 125).

In this regard, Marilyn should have postulated on how to improve women’s rights and personal rights, but should not have confronted communitarian philosophies. It will be better if these criticisms were avoided because they enhance individualism.

Nagel asserts that no one should be in control of culture and persistence of private racism, sexism, homophobia, religious, and ethnic bigotry. According to Nagel, failure to do so will provoke liberals to demand constant public affirmation of the opposite values (Nagel 127).

To achieve the self-state emphasized by Marilyn, we should empower everyone in the society, rather than the female gender only. The insistence on securing more rights for a single minority group and neglecting the others raises social stakes unnecessarily.

All minority groups including women, the disabled, and minority communities should be empowered.

To achieve this we should tackle issues that are concerned with how people should care for one another, how social and economic organizations are to be run, and how to share public resources equally.

In general, Marilyn is not contented with liberal philosophy unlike other feminists. She believes that communitarian theories pose numerous risks to feminists. As such, they appeal to models of societies emphasizing on families, localities, and nations.

She thinks that independence and rights are vital principles that should be remodeled to benefit all women and end domination and social subordination. From the article, Marilyn supports individualism to some extent.

To her, individualism of liberalism cannot be discarded completely in the quest toward being responsible of what social relationships add to personal advancements. Contrary to other feminists believe, Marilyn believes that women individualism is appropriate for several reasons.

Therefore, to attain women empowerment goals, as advocated by feminists, it is necessary that communal be strengthened.

Equally, we should all try to accommodate one another’s views regardless of their community, nationality, sex, or gender. Through this, an equitable society will be achieved.

Works Cited

Nagel, Thomas. “Public and Private.” Concealment and exposure: and other essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. 117-129. Print.

Weiss, Penny A., and Marilyn Friedman. “Feminism and Modern Friendship: Dislocating the Community.” Feminism and community. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995. 107-115. Print.

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