market feminism or petty moralism: some corrections

tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu
Thu Nov 10 05:20:29 MST 1994


ANDREW WRITES:

Tom seems to take issue with a few words that
on Wed, 9 Nov 1994, Rebecca Hill wrote:

>     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.

Is this really a comment of the sort that, "there are too many men here."
No, not really. It's a reflection that not many women post to this group.
Is that really controversial?

OK, LET'S START WITH THIS STATEMENT ITSELF.  THE LIST IS <DOMINATED> BY MALE
POSTERS.  BECAUSE WE CONTRIBUTE MORE, WE DOMINATE.  WHENEVER WE  CONTRIBUTE,
WE DOMINATE, IS THE UNDERLYING ASSUMPTION.  I DON'T SEE THE LOGIC OF THIS,
UNLESS THERE  EXISTS THE SEXIST GENERALIZATION THAT "MOST MEN" ARE SEXIST,
AND THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS ARE USUALLY IF NOT ALWAYS SEXIST.  BUT THIS SUPPOSITION
FOLLOWS IMMEDIATELY, IN I BELEIVE THE VERY NEXT SENTENCE OF REBECCA'S POST.

THIS IS ALL VERY CONTROVERSIAL, AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED.


> 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!

It seems to me that this comment is not necessarily describing Rebecca's
assessment of male Marxists on this listserv, but rather a mention of the
history of past Marxist groups.

Is it controversial that in the past self-proclaimed Marxists have been
rather liberal and even sexist?

If this isn't controversial, shouldn't we at least assume that this
*might* be the case here?

NOTHING CONTROVERSIAL ABOUT THIS STATEMENT WHATSOEVER.  THE ATTEMPT OF  PREVIOUS
MARXISTS--ISO IS A TYPICAL EXAMPLE TODAY- TO NOT ONLY  SUBORDINATE, BUT SUPPRESS
FEMINISM IN THE NAME OF THE CLASS STRUGGLE IS ABSOLUTELY A PRODUCT OF SEXISM/
INTER-GENDER HOSTILITY, AND I RENOUNCE IT COMPLETELY. NO IMPEDIMENTS SHOULD BE
PLACED TOWARD LISTENING TO AND TRY TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE SPECIAL OPPRESSIONS OF
THE SPECIALLY OPPRESSED.  IT IS REPRESSIVE TO ASSUME THAT BY SIMPLY IGNORING
THESE AND FIGHTING THE REVOLUTION, THESE WILLL GO AWAY. IT IS NOT ONLY  REPRESSIVE,
IT IS COUNTERPRODUCTIVE.  NO REVOLUTION CAN BE FOUGHT IN THIS COUNTRY UNLESS,
AS A RESULT OF THEIR SPECIAL OPPRESSION  AND THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT BY THE LEFT OF
THIS, WORKING CLASS WOMEN AND BLACKS PLACE THEMSELVES IN THE VANGUARD OF
CLASS STRUGGLE.

> 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.

How funny it is that we must apologize after making accusations of sexism!

Tom takes offense to this accusation, but he really shouldn't. Let's face
it. All men are sexist, especially me. I make lots of sexist remarks and
have sexist thoughts and do sexist deeds. Partly because I live in a web
of patriarchy which places me in a position of power regardless of my
wishes. I get the power no matter what.

A) AS I'VE SAID BEFORE, I DON'T CONSIDER MERE UNCONSCIOUS OR EVEN UNEXPRESSED
HOSTILITY--OR FOR THAT MATTER, LUSTINESS--"SEXIST".  IF THIS WERE TRUE, BOTH
SEXISTS WOULD BE SEXIST ALL THE TIME--AND THAT' S JUST TO RENDER THE TERM
MEANINGLESS.  I DO THINK THAT WOMEN CAN BE SEXIST, BUT WHAT I OBJECT TO IS
A TERM WHICH PERJORATIZES BEHAVIOR WHICH HAPPENS UNIVERSALLY AND CONSTANTLY.

Allow me to suggest that we accept that this listserv has a great deal of
sexism, not only from Tom, and that we should be working to change this.
We're not perfect, and let's learn to forgive each other.


I CERTAINLY HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH YOUR LAST STATEMENT.  JESUS, NIEHBUHR, AND KING
WERE ALL "FRIENDS OF MINE."


can't we all get along?

SURE THING. BUT THAT  DOESN'T MEAN I'M GOING TO STOP ASSERTING MYSELF AND MY
RIGHTS. THAT DOESN'T MAKE ME THE SAME AS LIBERATE THEMALE.

__
Andrew Hagen                              hagena at mhd1.moorhead.msus.edu
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