Either way, all is fair.

There’s this saying that came out of Second-wave feminism that “the personal is political.” Personally, I’ve never agreed with it, if only because I see politics as an exercise in the collective well-being.

I mean, yes, we live in a liberal democracy where individual rights are supposed to be job #1. But politics is about mediating competing interests. There are going to be winners and there are going to be losers, and when something affects your own self-interests, it’s very hard to not take it personally.

But just because we take something personally, that doesn’t mean it was. We all have our own self-interests, and it would be hypocritical and illogical to expect someone to choose our self-interests over their own.

Take business: the world of business is ruled by self-interest. When someone we know makes a decision to our disadvantage, we have to swallow it up and remind ourselves that “it’s nothing personal, it’s just business.”

In fact, the only things that I’d say are truly personal are love & war. We may go to war over competing self-interests, but unlike business, part of your self-interest is to vanquish me. That is pretty damn personal.

And love, well, love is something we experience to the complete exclusion of our reason. That’s why a very logical man once said that “the heart has its reason which reason knows nothing of.”

There is no logical choice involved in who we fall in love with or they make us feel.So it’s kind of ludicrous (and illogical) to expect someone to be logical about their romantic feelings.

And that, my friends, is why all is fair in love and war.

6 thoughts on “It’s Nothing Personal

  1. but wait, isn’t the argument that the personal is political because personal issues are what compose collective ones? or, maybe this quote says it better… “In feminist terms, the ‘personal is political’ refers to the theory that personal problems are political problems, which basically means that many of the personal problems women experience in their lives are not their fault, but are the result of systematic oppression. In this respect, Hanisch is drawing heavily upon Marxism – the focus is off individual struggle and onto group struggle.” [http://mindthegapuk.wordpress.com/2008/01/27/the-personal-is-political/]

    1. I’m not disputing that systematic oppression leads to personal problems. Obviously, political decisions affect peoples’ personal lives. But that only goes to show that the political is personal, and not vice versa. I guess that was kinda my point.

  2. This post does not make any profound statements. And doesn’t actually have a point. Did someone just need a reason to say wittle ol feminism is bad? That’s fresh.

    1. This post has nothing to do with Feminism. It’s a post about taking shit personally. Leading off with “the personal is political” was just a segue.

      And for the record, I think every “wittle ol ‘ism'” is bad, if only because tend toward the dogmatic rather than the pragmatic.

  3. perhaps, then, if your intention is not to criticize Hanisch’s point of view you might want to consider not opening up the conversation by linking to second-wave feminism and carol hanisch and then explicitly stating that you don’t agree with them. You’re right, what you’ve written has nothing to do with either. It’s rather impractical of you to employ an iconic feminist statement for no reason. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pragmatism)

    1. It’s not just an iconic feminist statement. It’s an iconic statement about taking things personally, and that’s what this post was about, so I think yeah, it’s perfectly “practical” to open with it as a segue.

      As for the linking, I’m just starting to provide a point of reference for (1) who said that “iconic statement about taking things personal”, and (2) the context they said it in. After all, not everyone is aware that there were different waves of feminism, never mind different schools within each wave, and I just wanted to provide some transparency — i.e. that the term was coined by a “radical” feminist within the second-wave.

      Overall, though, “k”, I think you’re missing the larger point: to not take things so personal. As this site’s description in Google states, these are my “wandering thoughts.”

      But if you really feel like you need the last word, I’ll let your next response slide. Just try to use the “reply” button under this comment this time, instead of starting a whole new thread again.

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