Comments on: Hopeless Reimantic 3: Pack Mentality /2013/04/23/hopeless-reimantic-3-pack-mentality/ A feminist pop culture adventure Tue, 23 Apr 2013 09:24:03 +0000 hourly 1 By: Lisa /2013/04/23/hopeless-reimantic-3-pack-mentality/#comment-30550 Tue, 23 Apr 2013 09:24:03 +0000

… there is no getting away from the fact that the normalisation of unhealthy relationship power dynamics in mainstream culture and mainstream romance feed off one another, and that is a process which is going to continue until the romance industry and the rest of mainstream culture recognise that it is happening.

Or the view of radical feminism, which is that those dynamics are integral to mainstream culture! Radical feminists don’t think that the problem is that nobody’s realised what’s going on, but that in this kind of culture, these dynamics are normal and in fact required for the maintenance of that culture. The culture needs inequality/power to continue to be sexy so that it’s not seen as so awful and so that it’s more difficult to change. Plus the people on top need to continue to be able to feel good about themselves – want to, in fact. Or, in other words:

Where liberal feminism sees sexism primarily as an illusion or myth to be dispelled, an inaccuracy to be corrected, [radical] feminism sees the male point of view as fundamental to the male power to create the world in its own image, the images of its desires, not just as its delusory end product. [Radical] Feminism distinctively as such comprehends that what counts as truth is produced in the interest of those with power to shape reality, and that this process is as pervasive as it is necessary as it is changeable.

Catharine MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (Harvard University Press, 1989), pp. 117-8

Maybe it sounds weird to think of the clichés of the “romance” genre as “what counts as truth” / as part of “the male point of view” but I think, as you’ve spelled out in several cases, there are many strong, bidirectional links.

Looking forward to the post on marriage!