A Reconsideration of “The Personal Is Political”

“The personal is political” is a slogan that has been around for a long time, used especially though not exclusively by radical feminists. In practice it has served as an exhortation that people make ideology the sole dimension of their personal identity, that they set aside all other bases on which to evaluate their relations with other people and order their conduct even in their most intimate dealings with others. (Here is a recent example so perfect it seems like a caricature.)
To carry on one’s life in accordance with such an exhortation is a recipe for endless misery. The misery

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