One thing I find myself mulling over whenever I read feminist (or other social justice) blogs is that there is a fine line between metaphor as enlightening and metaphor as useless. But lately, I’ve also been thinking about the critique of metaphor.
And I don’t know how to get at this distinction exactly, but it seems to me that there are two negative responses to metaphors: either the metaphor is not quite right and therefore really doesn’t illuminate some part of the issue (a very useful critique, I think) or the metaphor is not quite right and we all must figure out what the right metaphor would be, with this bizarre urgency.
I’m starting to suspect that the bizarre urgency is because we still believe that, if only we could figure out exactly the right way to state our case, we’d get what we want. And yet, surely, by this point, we must suspect that it’s not that the people holding out on us don’t know what we want, it’s that they don’t want to give it.