But there are radical ideas and then there are radical ideas. One of the less
helpful ones was difference feminism. The foundations of this shaky edifice
were laid in the ’70s, when a popular rhetorical move was to label many usually
well-thought-of attributes and tools–reason, logic, science, “linear” thinking,
abstract ideas, analysis, objectivity, argument–as male, and dub their opposite
female. So by a contortion that defies “male” logic, it somehow became feminist
to confine women all over again to intuition, guesswork, instinct, feelings,
subjectivity, and arm-waving.
In morality, ethics, social life, friendship, there is something
(though far from everything) to be said for preferring understanding and acceptance
to judgment and assessment, but in epistemology or “ways of knowing” there is
just about nothing.