Saturday, March 21, 2015

Quoted: Sigrid Nunez on Susan Sontag's relationship with feminism

She was a feminist, but she was often critical of her feminist sisters and of much of the rhetoric of feminism for being sentimental and anti-intellectual. And she could be hostile to those who complained about being underrepresented in the arts or banned from the canon, urgently reminding them that the canon (or art, or genius, or talent, or literature) was not an equal opportunity employer. -- Sigrid Nunez from Sempre Susan
Feminism needs women like Susan Sontag (and Joan Didion and Cynthia Ozick, two other writers I greatly admire, who weren't afraid to look at feminism critically). Because of the ways in which feminist arguments are framed, it's almost impossible to criticize it without being labeled a sexist or a misogynist, or at the very least, an apostate.  Unfortunately, it seems that we're more likely to self-segregate now, with social media providing not only a platform but a means to close ranks, to become more insulated and ignore those whose ideology doesn't match our own.