A few weeks ago, Caitlin Moran was part of a group debate organized by CBC in Canada on the subject of whether or not men are obsolete. Hanna Rosin’s book The End of Men was part of the premise. Rosin participated in the debate on the “yes they’re obsolete” team; Moran was on the “no they’re not” team.
A stream of the debate is posted at this url:
There was also a discussion between Hanna Rosin and Caitlin Moran in advance of the event. It was hosted by CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi.
Hanna Rosin restated what was in her book, and I thought it was generally clear. Moran’s point of view–not just about men ending, but towards feminism in general–is limited in scope.
Moran says she’s an “old fashioned Marxist,” not seeing things as “pro-woman or anti-men,” but “peasants vs. the ass-hats in private jets.” Her historical view is that the past has been “100% male” over a time-frame of 100,000 years.
In the video, she half-jokes: “We realized the patriarchy is ruling the… space because no woman would ever design a set with…stools for women to sit on.” Expectations for the Oscar awards were outlined in a similar way. Female celebrities agonize over their appearance and endure painful footwear.
The above gives a feel for the kind of lens Moran uses to define patriarchy in terms of oppressor and oppressed.
She’s attracted some negative PR for not being too intersectional. Over twitter, Moran “didn’t give a shit” about something race related. Her 2011 book How to Be A Woman likened belief in an afterlife to a “destabilizing mental illness” and used a term insensitive to trans people.
It’s kind of a personal brand of Marxist feminism.
For the closing statement of the debate, Moran said if men become obsolete, then “we will be doing everything.” This referred to women ‘retaining’ roles of “homemaking and child raising” while ‘triumphing’ in “work… education and policy.”
The prescience of this dilemma presupposes a certain set-up, e.g. a hetero nuclear family. Opting-out or not having access to either children or a domestic sphere isn’t in Moran’s spectrum.
Hanna Rosin said her team won the debate in 11/27’s Slate Double X Gabfest podcast.
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