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Heidi Hartmann as a power feminist

ccassidy's picture

I thought it was interesting that in class on Thursday we came to conclusion that Heidi Hartmann was a power feminist.  I didn’t realize this at the time but one of the questions I had brought with me to Tuesday’s class challenges this idea of power feminism.  I was really intrigued my the family first economic policy that would allow for families with newborn children to take time off of work to care for the child without losing a significant amount of compensation.  What Hartmann failed to address was how a company would maintain the same level of productivity.  Would staff members who are single and without a family have to work extra hours? Would they receive extra compensation for those added hours? Maybe this is a prime example of normative time and requirements for productivity but this seems like a flaw in this economic plan that’s striving for leveling the playing field between men and women.  After Thursday’s class and our defining of the term ‘power feminist,’ I realized that this economic plan attempts to create equality by placing an unwarranted burden others who may or may not have the same familial complications. 


pipermartz's picture

I'm really glad that you

I'm really glad that you brought in the topic of normative time (and queer time) to this discussion. I was very intrigued to hear that Heidi Hartman had changed her feminist identification since moving to DC with the implication that she was now part of the DC bubble of strict definitions and duties. Did this process head into the direction of "normative" time? Some may argue that she sacraficed her original morality as a socialist feminist to reach her professional stature that she holds today. This makes me wonder wether or not she started in "queer" time and wanted to transition into "normative" time, or if she has always been exploring "normative" time. I'm ultimately unsure whether or not Heidi Hartman is a power feminist. She is indeed an accomplished woman and in many ways she is absoltuely trying to change the institions of power that are affecting women economically. However, I was supprised to hear that her policy innovation was not challenging the defintions of women in the workplace and in our government. Her personal definition is so strict and singular! For one thing, she was utterly baffled by how those Syracuse grad students said that they couldn't continue working until they understood what a woman was. Ultimately, I find it hard to imagine effective progress for feminism without an exploration of queer time.