- 英米評論 (ISSN:09170200)
- no.21, pp.55-82, 2007-03-15
What is called "American feminism" in this article means liberal feminismor radical feminism. Many critics, especially French ones such as ElizabethBadinter and Emmanuel Todd, underestimate American feminism in the pointthat its pro-violence tendency hinders feminism from its mature developmentand further prevalence. This article does not share their view. As explainedlater, the pro-violence attitude of American feminism might be able to present aprototype of "a citizen of the world" in the coming (?) borderless, post-nationstatesworld promoted by globalization. Here "globalization" does not mean thelatest stage of American imperialism. Here globalization is "the process of increasinginterconnectedness between societies such that events in one part ofthe world more and more have effects on peoples and societies far away."It is true that not a few of American feminists regard violence as one of theiroptions to protect themselves. American radical feminists such as Naomi Wolfand D. A. Clarke assert that women should not hesitate to counterattack againstdomestic violence and other sexual violence. Paxton Quigley recommendswomen's owing guns against crimes. Martha McCaughey, a physical feminist, advocateswomen's going into training in martial arts for self-defense. The NationalOrganization for Women (NOW), which is a representative of liberal feminists inUSA, is positive about woman soldiers' service in war battles for national defense.Yet they are not especially pro-violent, because their attitude is necessarilyresulted from American core values.Some American feminists regard their position as "militia" or contemporarycitizen soldiers. Militia is a military force that engages in a rebel or terrorist activitiesin opposition to a regular army. Militiamen, ordinary people with theirown guns used for their hunting for food (never for pleasure) won the victory inthe American War of Independence, though some researches say that it is nothingbut a myth, not a historical fact. Myth or fact, in this point, militia symbolizesAmerican core values : freedom, independence, individualism, equality and democracy.Once American people feel that their "unalienable Rights, that amongthese are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" are threatened by others,governments or any organizations or individuals, they might be ready to use theirown weapons. Weapon ownership is a key aspect of citizenship under democraticgovernment for some American people. They believe that the Constitution ofthe United States of America supports their view.Certainly Amendment 2 of Bill of Rights enacted in 1791 says "A well regulatedMilitia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the peopleto keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The survey of ABC News in2002 shows that seventy three percent of the American citizens think thatAmendment 2 guarantees their right to keep and bear weapons for self defense.American people against gun control are not only what antigun critics call "gunenthusiasts." According to one research, gun owners believe that society is aviolent place; so they prepare for the possibility of doing violence themselves ;they view this position to be the most responsible one they have to take in relationto their own safety ; they are also aware that many oppressive governmentsdo not permit firearms to be owned by the general people, because gun ownershipcan potentially threaten the government through a citizens' revolt. SomeAmerican feminists share this view with gun owners.This article does not mean that American feminists' pro violence attitudeshould be positively considered because their views are resulted from Americancore values. Even if American feminists regard themselves as militiawomen,contemporary citizen soldiers, such kind of attitude can be called caricatural.There is a hypothesis that the peripheral members in a given society try to moreradically embody the society's most sweeping ideologies than the central members.American feminists who try to be regular citizens, never "second citizens",may be more stimulated to achieve American core values as completely as possible.We should notice that this kind of caricatural American feminists providesus with a prototype of a citizen of the coming world developed by globalization,where order in world politics emerges not from a balance of power among nationstatesbut from the interactions between many layers of governing arrangements.Nation-states demand its constituency to be subject to their policies andlaws, and in exchange for its subordination, they are supposed to offer their peoplebenefits and protection. But history has been showing the examples thatnation-states could be the worst oppressor and violator for people. However,globlization might permit people to traffic the many layers of governing institutions,depending on their own needs and profits. Then, nation-states will be ableto be optional, not fatal.The political philosophy of the coming, globalized world is the most radicalform of republicanism, also called civic humanism. The coming world might beable to be the most expanded republic, a new world order governed by and forthe people. Then, people will not be able to rely on nation-states as their protectors,if people don't want state interference. In other words, future citizens ofthe world must be ready to be citizen soldiers, caricatured form of militia,"American feminists." As citizens of a republic, American feminists who premisethat they can't trust the government and its agents, do not invite the state to beresponsible for their safety, even though dependency is so seductive.Some people wonder if such a world can be the greatest prison, the mostelaborate "Matrix" controlled by invisible power. Whether the biggest republic,the new world order may be utopian dystopian, a pro-violent, pro-counterattackAmerican feminist is a prototype of a citizen of the post-nation-states world.