What precisely is feminism? Is it a theory, an ideology, or a praxis (that is, a program for action)? Is feminism perhaps so Western in its premises that it cannot be exported to other cultures without distorting them? When we find feminism in medieval or Renaissance writers, are we exporting modern ideas backwards? Who is or is not a feminist, and who defines it? Who confers legitimacy or authenticity? Must a feminist be a member of a group or conform to a dominant ideology or its subsets? Who declares, and on what authority, what is or is not permissible to think or say about gender issues? And is feminism intrinsically a movement of the left, or can there be a feminism based on conservative or religious principles?
Read the full article here. Another feminist writer I like is Naomi Wolfe (to whom I dedicated a post earlier), so it gave me some satisfaction to read that Paglia considers her own positions close to Wolfe's.