Marxist feminism or petty moralism?

tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu
Sun Nov 6 00:39:06 MST 1994


Folks (Female and male)

Look, I have something to get off my chest.  My bemusement at much of
what is now going on in the "Marxist feminist" "debate" here is turning
rapidly to boredom and irritation.  I am all for studying Engels, Veblen,
Chodorow, et al. in the relation between class/state/oppressive gender relations
formation.  I am all for studying the links between class, state, and gender,
and look forward avidly to reading about this and doing a little research
of my own to share with you.

But when I read that a big problem with this list, or hear at a political
meeting that the big problem with this group, etc., is that so many males
contribute--well folks, it gives me the hives.

It was not my decision to be born with my shamelessly male Y chromosome.
But though it's not my fault, I'm now rather proud of the fact.  I am also
a heterosexual male.  This does not make me naturally homophobic nor sexist.
And I resent people, of whatever gender, who listen to the contributions of
the opposite gender politely only, while keeping a scorecard as to how many
Y-bearers have contribute.
d
I don't see why my contributing, as long as I'm not ripping the terminals out
of the groups' females' hands to stop them from contributing, is a bad thing.
I'm not about to go to my keyboard one day, read an argument particularly counter
to my own, from Justin, or Peter, or Walter, or Steve, get ready to respond
with my usual cutting intelligence, logic, grace, and wit, and then suddently
stop myself, and say, "Ah, but too many men have written today already.  Maybe
if I shut myself up for a week, that will somehow encourage more females to
respond."

Nor am I prepared to have a sex change operation.

Nor am I going to walk down the halls at the CUNY Grad School, where I go
to school, and start shouting at all the women I see: "Hey, you, you're a woman,
right?  We need you as a token on our Marxist list serve.  Interested?"

I plan fully to use all my masculinity and all my femininity--and I do have both,
and I resent anyone trying to shove me into a Procrustian bed of pure
gonad reductionism so as to satisfy their own neurotic desire for a hate-
object--like Shelley, to get equal rights for everybody, of whatever race, gender,
etc.--as much as I can, as long as i breath in and breath out.

And if that's not enough, you can always refer to me from now as Thomasina:
if that's what makes you happy.

Let's skip the gonad reductionism and the petty moralism and the anxious
handwringing, which borders on demogogery, that "Oh my gosh, there are too many
whites/men/heterosexuals in this group!  What do we do!"  I am not aware
that there is a population problem on the left.  Rather than think in these
Zero-sum categories, let's think about how to build egalitarian socialism/feminism.

Tom


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