The Moral Status of Feminist Advocacy: The Dilemma of Imperfect Foresight

This paper will look at the ways in which feminist thought and advocacy, by virtue of its heterodox status, often fails to foresee how feminist achievements will play out in the long-term. Building on the work of Nancy Fraser and others, it will argue that feminist achievements often end up displacing one type of oppression with another, albeit less salient, form of oppression.

Imperfect foresight results in emancipatory strategies from a given paradigm becoming oppressive, or at least restrictive, in the subsequent paradigm. This violates the foundational normative premise of the feminist movement in almost all forms. Consequently, there is a moral need for feminist advocacy to not only look to horizon points in establishing change, but to theorise about plausible and tangible ways in which the dialectic of feminism and malestream may interact. It is through this method that particular emancipatory strategies can gain greater credence within the discipline and, consequently, within wider political movements.

Bryn Gough

2nd Year Political Science BA





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