Nowadays, many celebrations born out of political struggle have been made sterile by the existing cultural hegemony. The capitalist class is able to appropriate radical ideas, concepts and history, and co-opt them by changing their meaning. International Women’s Day is no exception. What’s the history of International Women’s Day? Stuttgart, 18-24 August 1907. 884 delegates […]
Bourgeois ideology has long presented us with a vulgar conception of gender which reduces the essence of what it “means” to be a man or woman to a rigid set of biological characteristics. Over the past few decades, a great deal of progress has been made in exposing this idea for what it is: a […]
Like clockwork, another ‘mass’ movement of ‘progressive’ First World political activism has sprung up. This time it is FEMEN, the latest in a series of media spectacles and fad movements which justify and support further First World attacks against Third World peoples. Despite its English-language messaging, FEMEN claims to represent ‘Arab Women against Islam’ and encourages women […]
Given the recent track record in Libya and Egypt, women in Syria are increasingly aware of what is at stake in the struggle against imperialist-backed Islamists. Rather than submit to the dual oppression of imperialist-enforced patriarchy, these women are fighting back.
This is chapter three from the book ‘Patriarchy and Capital Accumulation on a World Scale’ by Maria Mies. The following text will be part of the curriculum of the upcoming second semester of People’s Liberation Universit The Dialectics of ‘Progress and Retrogression’ On the basis of the foregoing analysis, it is possible to formulate a tentative thesis […]
Bell hooks was a leading figure in establishing ‘third-wave feminism’: a philosophical and practical branch of feminism centered around the history, experience, and interests of ‘women of color.’ Her writings are directly critical of previous feminist movements which favored white middle-class women, and she is generally critical of the standard feminist framework while finding cause in altering the scope of its discourse. Her central thesis in Feminist Theory, from Margin to Center is that the objective of feminism is not simply for equality between sexes but for an end to sexist oppression and the broader “ideology of domination” which supports it. In the process, she gets many things right in regards to the struggle against oppression while bringing a lot of detail and nuance into the discussion. In some regards, her critiques of feminism are applicable to nominally left-wing movements in the US today. Yet her explicit understandings of larger economic questions are lacking. Though she raises many salient points, these ideas are best understood as part of a broader yet more incisive critique of general social practice and relations between classes and groups.
Betty Friedan is often credited with founding second wave feminism, what is today sometimes mockingly referred to as ‘white, middle-class feminism’ or ‘bourgeois feminism.’ Beyond whatever rhetorical value can be found in such phrases, what do they mean? What is the implication of Friedan’s work in relation to other outstanding social relations besides gender? More […]