Marcie Bianco, in her book “Breaking Free: The Lie of Equality and the Feminist Fight for Freedom,” challenges the idea of modern feminism solely focusing on achieving equality. She argues that a feminism dedicated to equality lacks the ideas, language, or framework to create fulfilling lives. Bianco, a self-described “angry lesbian feminist,” emphasizes the need to move beyond the concept of equality as the ultimate goal and explores the broader concept of freedom.
The book delves into the history of the pursuit of equality, highlighting the limitations of legal rights in ensuring equal treatment and safety. Bianco presents examples, such as the Equal Rights Amendment and court cases like Brown v. Board of Education, to illustrate how legal promises of equality may fall short in practice.
One of Bianco’s central arguments calls for the eradication of the gender binary, stating that it is a significant structural support for the existing power structures. She contends that true liberation can only occur by freeing ourselves from the constraints of the gender binary, allowing women to define themselves on their own terms.
While acknowledging the importance of past feminist thinkers like Barbara Smith, bell hooks, and Angela Davis, Bianco introduces the concept of a “freedom practice” as an alternative to the equality mindset. The second part of the book encourages readers to embrace a freedom practice that prioritizes collective well-being over individualism.
Throughout the book, Bianco challenges conventional feminist narratives, urging readers to rethink the goals of the movement. Breaking Free serves as a thought-provoking exploration of feminism’s evolution and the quest for genuine freedom beyond the pursuit of equality.
Repurposed article originally published in the Advocate