Objectivism has the potential for a dynamic relationship with feminism, which can ground, challenge, and ultimately sharpen each school’s arguments toward the ultimate ends of both freedom and flourishing for women (and all human beings). A new essay by Laurie Rice, Toward An Objectivist Feminism, will appear in the upcoming anthology by the Association of Libertarian Feminists ( ALF ).
Objectivism is, at its core, a profound and useful philosophy to women. Feminism, in turn, can challenge, enrich, and clarify Objectivism.
Feminist discussions of the differences between biological sex characteristics and socially constructed gender can offer insight into the essential human identity. Feminist criticism of the limited narratives offered to women can inform Objectivists about self-creation and its processes. Feminism’s deconstruction of illegitimate power relationships and dialogues can show us how to optimize relationships between all people, particularly between women and men, fine-tuning what Rand calls “the harmony of interests.” Feminism’s agenda against rape and its call for sexual standards such as “enthusiastic consent” can create for Objectivism a better understanding of volition and meaningful action. Feminist opposition to the sexual objectification and dehumanization of women can highlight for Objectivism , by contrast, the portrayal of human beings with high-performing agency and rationality. Feminism’s focus on female identity and female experience can offer Objectivism myriad new instances of what it means to be a fully flourishing human being.
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