Marxist feminism or petty moralism?

hfspc002 at huey.csun.edu hfspc002 at huey.csun.edu
Sat Nov 5 20:33:04 MST 1994


On Sun, 6 Nov 1994 tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu wrote:

> 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.

Well, unfortunately, it does.  This is not anyone's fault; this is due to
structures of sexism and homophobia that precede us.  That, I think, is
what Marx meant when he said something like "Man [sic] makes history, but
not under conditions of his own making." The point is not that you should
feel bad about this fact but rather that you must acknowledge it before
you can hope to build alliances or even affinities.  Just like being white
(and I don't know if you are or not) automatically means that one is
involved in the oppression of people of color.  And being American, by
your very existence, oppresses people in third world countries.  Again,
this isn't your fault, but it is something whites and Americans need to
acknowledge.  (In the words of the journal _Race Traitor_, "Treason to
whiteness is loyalty to humanity.") In the final analysis it helps not one
bit to be "proud" of being heterosexual, white, or male; what helps is to
recognize the structural divisions of labor and power that give meaning to
those categories.  I don't think that this means that your words have less
meaning when spoken by a male, or are more interesting when spoken by a
female, but rather only that your words would do better to acknowledge the
space from which they come rather than pretending that they issue from an
unexamined "egalitarian" space which doesn't exist.

Ben Attias




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