I'm not a feminist (wrong sex), but thought this article might be of interest here:
A couple of excerpts:
"…it seems that people who are participating in the progressive conversation on the big stage aren’t aware that addiction recovery is a parallel universe that influences popular culture. It’s imperative that progressive voices genuinely begin to challenge it… I am hoping to put recovery culture on the feminist radar by offering a condensed version of this twisted world and the culture it has generated. I don’t have much of a feminist pedigree, but I hope I can make a good case for its relevance to feminist activism…. addiction gets no play among the skeptic and new atheist writers out there – people who actively combat quackery and religious influence in public policy. How does it escape these people that a whole branch of public health has already been handed over to the faith healers?"
"…anger is the engine of social progress – it is the driving force behind all reforms, and it is the natural, correct response to personal violation. It’s also something that women have not long had permission to feel. In recovery, people are taught that anger leads directly to relapse, and relapse leads to death."
"...addicted women – vulnerable, broken, and “willing to do whatever it takes” – are instructed to embrace their powerlessness, mistrust their own instincts, turn over their self-will, and suppress anger, while submitting to these completely unchecked hierarchical relationships."
The article is from Stinkin' Thinkin', an American blog dedicated to forcing a rethink of the grip AA has on addiction recovery. There may be a scandal brewing over an activity known as "13th stepping", which is basically sexual relations between AA members. This can be fairly innocent, but there can also be varying degrees of coercion escalating right up to flat-out rape. I've only been to a few meetings in Toronto and have not seen any evidence of a problem, but it sounds like it can get quite bad in some meetings in the U.S., particularly in smaller centres where there is limited choice. AA has a loose organizational structure, with a now-you-see-it-now-you-don't approach to touchy issues; it's refusing to admit there might be a problem while simultaneously claiming AA doesn't really exist anyway. Sort of like the Catholic Church all over again.