Marilyn Frye on female separatism.

Being from Quebec, the issue of separatism is always present, but feminism separatism is one kind of separatism I can really get behind. Marilyn Frye explores the heretical and exciting nature of separatism, and makes an analogy between the parasitism of men on women with the parasitism of the fetus on the mother, proposing that their similar nature may be a source of fear for men.

The fetus lives parasitically. It is a distinct animal surviving off the life (the blood) of another animal creature. It is incapable of surviving on its own resources, of independent nutrition; incapable even of symbiosis. If it is true that males live parasitically upon females, it seems reasonable to suppose that many of them and those loyal to them are in some way sensitive to the parallelism between their situation and that of the fetus. They could easily identify with the fetus. The woman who is free to see the fetus as a parasite might be free to see the man as a parasite. The woman’s willingness to cut off the life line to one parasite suggests a willingness to cut off the life line to another parasite. The woman who is capable (legally, psychologically, physically) of decisively, self-interestedly, independently rejecting the one parasite, is capable of rejecting, with the same decisiveness and independence, the like burden of the other parasite. In the eyes of the other parasite, the image of the wholly self-determined abortion, involving not even a ritual submission to male veto power, is the mirror image of death.

5 thoughts on “Marilyn Frye on female separatism.

  1. foxinabox August 20, 2013 at 10:10

    I’d just say that physically adult males dependent on female company are psychologically still children, undeserving of the name ‘men’ or; for that matter, masculinists. The fact is it’s all too common. But when I read human parasitism being framed as a wholly male on female phenomenon is when I tune out.

    In short: omnicide now.

  2. sbt42 August 21, 2013 at 09:43

    They’ve recently updated the website, so it’s not as fun to look at as it used to be. However, it’s a lot easier to follow-up specific topics.

    Too bad there are so many [guys] out there who think this kind of thing is an appropriate stand-in for a decent argument.

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