Feminist ideology often focuses on equality, namely on putting an end to sexism. A lot of people would agree, even non-feminists, to the notion people are created equal. We have established the idea that all people should be treated with equality and receive fair opportunities (even though this isn’t always so). We hold a general belief of equality regardless of gender, race, social class, etc. In essence, we want to be equal to each other.
a person = a person
However, what we often fail to take into account is the corporate person, the body-less entity that in our time has just as many, if not more, rights as a living, breathing human being. Should we not compare ourselves to that person?
Let’s say that a corporation was a person.
What type of person would that be?
After watching The Corporation, we can come to the conclusion that the answer is: a pretty shitty one. Corporations have a tendency to enter a territory and exploit its people as workers as well as the land through overuse and pollution. They make decisions based solely on which option will end in more profit, often neglecting the well-being of others. They do also claim to be helpful as a way to stimulate the economy in areas that are in desperate need (this after having overworked and underpaid its employees).The corporate person is self interested, immoral, and deceitful, looking out for the dollar sign only. It feels no guilt, and claims no responsibility for the exploitation of workers and the earth. It can however, emulate empathy and caring when it claims to be altruistically helping countries in need while simultaneously destroying them. In fact, if we take a look at the definition of antisocial personality disorder, we would find the description quite fitting to that of the corporate person.
That’s right, if the corporate person were an actual person, it would be a psychopath.
Is this an entity we want to be equal to?
I don’t think equality is the right way to put it.
Luisa Muraro would say that calling for equality means there is something bigger and better we are striving to be equal to. It puts that other thing above you as the hegemonic ideal. Furthermore, we want to stop any kind of politics that make equality the goal as this would put a cap on our potential. Equality sets the limit at the thing we want to be equal to, and does not allow for any growth beyond it.
In the end, I don’t think that we really want to place that psychopath of the corporate person as the ideal type. Sure, that entity has way more influence than actual people with bodies, but do we really want to inherit that?
We don’t want to be so immoral and destructive. We don’t want to be selfish and take and never give. We are better than that.
Let’s rethink equality.
Let’s not limit ourselves to equality with each other or the corporate person. Instead let’s acknowledge the fact that we are different, and we do not need to hold ourselves to the standard of the corporate entity. We are an embodiment of a soul, for one, and that already sets us apart. We shouldn’t hold corporations as the bigger better standard, because they are immortal, immoral and destructive. Instead of trying to be like the corporation, let’s try to defeat it. Let’s be capable of recognizing the harm done and strive to be better. Stop the exploitation of workers. Stop the pollution of our finite natural resources. Stop the recklessness of a capitalism that insists on continual expansion in a planet that can only stretch so far.
We should NOT want to be equal to each other.
We SHOULD want to recognize our differences and empower each other to be our best selves. And this means fighting structural discrimination on the basis of gender, race, class, sexuality, you name it.
As far as the corporate person, do we want to be equal to it?
NO. We don’t want to be anything like that psychopath.
We want to be empowered enough to end exploitation under its circumstances. We want to keep the corporate entity on check.
We want to be empowered enough to be better than the corporate person.