market feminism or petty moralism: some corrections

Rebecca Hill hillx018 at
Wed Nov 9 18:18:39 MST 1994

  I find it hard to know where to begin to reply to Tom, or "Thomasina," if
that makes him feel better. It seems to me that an attitude which
recognizes gender only to the extent that women have to be invited as
others to join a male-identified group, and then refuses to listen to
those women's critiques of patriarchal behavior within that group
does not promote revolution.  If I have to join the debate with you only on
your terms, I am not an equal participant in that debate. This is not
"integration," it's tokenism.
   Moreover, Tom has defensively "put words in my mouth." At no time did
I say that it was "bad" that men had something to say. My
point was not to blame men for speaking, but to correct the impression that
my first post had given people: that I thought feminist theory was in
decline. I noticed that some people agreed with this comment, and asked
about why there was such a poverty of Marxist feminist theory available.
There is a great deal of very interesting Marxist-feminist theory out
there, and now even a fem-econ mailing list, as one of the subscribers
pointed out. That sounds good, and I hope that the interesting comments re
Mies and Luxembourg recently posted get followed up on. I'll be happy to
discuss the materiality of the body vs. economy as well.
    The substance of my comment was that Marxist feminist theory had not
been a topic of discussion on the list, and that the list (more than other
lists to which I subscribe) tends to be dominated by male posters.   One
might wonder why this is, and it seems to me that women have been alienated
from Marxist groups in which their attempts at liberation are denounced as
"bourgeois" or "liberal." This kind of behavior is of course, on some
level to be expected, since it has been around for a long time. Think of
Lenin's remarks to Clara Zetkin! I think it's disappointing that Tom
chooses to see pointing this out as a symptom of "market feminism" or
"petty moralism." Not to point the finger or anything, but I see his
response as sexist and I find it offensive. Sorry.
-Rebecca Hill


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