Marxist feminism or petty moralism?

Philip Goldstein pgold at
Sun Nov 6 08:36:53 MST 1994

	I think that Tom's response to the complaint that the list says
little about feminism because males dominate it misses the point, which
is that the discussion does little to encourage feminist participation. I
also think that people saying that they are happy to discuss Marxism
feminism also misses the point, which is that we need discussion, not
encouragement. To my mind, the difficulties go back to the priority which
classical Marxism confers upon class. That is to say, class differences
are, in the classical schema, prior to race and gender; as a consequence,
the liberation of women and African-Americans must wait upon the
liberation of the workingclass. Feminists are arguing that gender, which
has its own history and character, is independent of class; as a
consequence, class, gender, and race struggles must be linked in a
coalition. Since objective, scientific Marxism has little to say about
the construction of our subjectivity, this Marxism, with its emphasis
upon class, has been an obstacle to such coalitions, whereas the
contemporary Marxism of Gramsci or Althusser, which have much more to say
about subjectivity, gender, race, etc., have supported such coalitions.

Philip Goldstein


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