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Freedom Fallacy: The Limits of Liberal Feminism, Edited by Miranda Kiraly and Meagan Tyler
“I sincerely hope that this book helps reinforce that bottom line in conversations about feminism both in Australia and beyond.” Dr Meagan Tyler
The inclusion of a number of women, relatively new to the movement, represents the fact that there is indeed something happening and that there is a need for us to challenge the prevailing liberal feminist standard.
Contributors in this collection argue that the kind of liberal feminism currently rising to prominence does little to challenge the status quo. Aiming to revive a more radical analysis, the chapters in this book confront the dangers of reducing feminism to a debate about personal choice and offer the possibility of change through collective action.
This edited collection of writings is grouped into sections dealing with several key themes: choice and the individual, feminism and freedom, sexuality, and activism and change. So many different issues covered in this book: pornography, sexual harassment, female genital mutilation, corporate social responsibility, sexual violence, heterosexuality, marriage trafficking, prostitution, pumping breast milk for cash, and neoliberalism. And that’s not even an exhaustive list.
With a noticeably high number of Australian contributors as well as wonderful contributors from Canada, the US, the UK, and Scandinavia, they don’t all share exactly the same perspective. What they do share is an intense frustration with what passes for feminism in much of the mainstream media. Contributors include: Meghan Donevan, Teresa Edwards, Kate Farhall, Shakira Hussein, Natalie Jovanovski, Miranda Kiraly, Julia Long, Finn Mackay, Laura McNally, Meghan Murphy, Caroline Norma, Camille Nurka, Helen Pringle, Kaye Quek, Naela Rose, Laura Tarzia, Margaret Thornton, Meagan Tyler, and Rebecca Whisnant.
“Make it fun.” “Make it appealing.” We hear that all the time. But fun is not a requirement of other movements for civil rights and liberation. Why on earth should fighting against a tide of misogyny and male violence be fun? And who is the fun for? A performance for the media?
Paperback. ISBN 9781925138542.
“I’m a feminist, not the fun kind. Andrea Dworkin
“In a strange way, Andrea Dworkin’s quote gives me hope. Hope that we can reclaim a feminism that doesn’t have to apologize for being “branded” badly, or not appealing to everyone, at all times, on all issues. A feminism that doesn’t reduce everything to individual choice just so as not to inadvertently offend anyone, at all, ever.” Andrea Dworkin also quipped once, “I do think liberal feminists bear responsibility for a lot of what’s gone wrong,” but she also added, “I have a really strong belief that any movement needs both radicals and liberals. You always need women who can walk into the room in the right way, talk in the right tone of voice, who have access to power. But you also need a bottom line.” We hope that this book demonstrates the limits of the liberal feminist approach and the importance of reinforcing that bottom line.” Dr Meagan Tyler
Miranda Kiraly (left) is an editor, writer and law tutor from Melbourne, Australia. She has authored publications on law and politics. Miranda previously worked in federal politics as a speechwriter and researcher. From 2009–2013, she was a leading discussant for the Liberal Book Club.
Meagan Tyler (Right) is a vice-chancellor’s research fellow at RMIT University, Australia. Her research focuses on the social construction of gender and sexuality. Her work has been published in Rural Studies, Women’s Studies International Forum and Women and Therapy as well as several edited collections.