The Lie of Equality and the Feminist Fight for Freedom
A bold argument that “equality” is a racist, patriarchal ideal that perpetuates women’s systemic oppression and limits the possibilities of feminism—with a plan to transform the movement
For more than a century, women have fought for equality. Yet, time and again, their battles have fallen short. Even so-called constitutionally-protected equal rights can be withdrawn by judges and undermined by legislators. But the greater problem is in the notion of equality itself.
In Breaking Free, culture writer Marcie Bianco persuasively argues that the very concept of equality is a fallacy, an illusory goal that cannot address historic forms of discrimination and oppression. Starting with the campaign for women’s suffrage and traveling through modern history, she shows us how equality has been designed to keep women and disenfranchised communities chasing an unobtainable goal. Conditioned for generations to want equality, it has become an insidious mindset locking us into the gender binary and reductive identity politics. Bianco calls upon a long-overlooked lineage to argue that only freedom can liberate feminism from these constraints, and proposes three freedom practices for women to reclaim their bodily autonomy and power.
What happens if we free ourselves of equality? Controversial and thrilling, Breaking Free guides readers toward new hope for the future of the feminist movement.