Sunday, December 8, 2013

To My Daughter: Common Ground

To the reader:

I used to think I could take an idea in my head and write about it, and that you could read my words and get the same idea in your head. But after writing about feminism for a while, I no longer believe that. The language is too charged, and too many people have drawn monstrous inferences from my words.

Fear of being misunderstood has nearly paralyzed my writing. So I'm taking a suggestion from my wife, who agreed that people would get the wrong idea unless I prefaced each piece with an unambiguous statement of intent.

Here are the basic precepts on which I and feminists agree. They are the reasons why I write about feminism, and why I consider myself a feminist. If you find something monstrous in my writing--something that seems to conflict with any of these precepts--please ask me about it. Odds are, you're seeing something that was not in my mind.


1. The United States has a male-dominated culture. By default, men tend to have advantages which may or may not be visible to them.

2. Systematic inequality exists.

3. All forms of emotional, physical and sexual abuse are monstrous.

4. I want to work against the inequality and suffering implicit in the above.

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