market feminism or petty moralism: some corrections

tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu
Wed Nov 9 21:37:16 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,

REBECCA,

THIS IS AN OUTRAGEOUS CARICATURE OF WHAT I SAID, WHAT MY
POSITION IS, AS WELL AS WHAT THIS GROUP
 IS ALL
ABOUT.  LIKE ANN, YOU ASSUME FROM THE GET-GO THAT I AM A SEXIST BECAUSE I DIS
AGREE WITH YOU AND BECAUSE I AM MALE.  I WOULD APPRECIATE A LITTLE MORE
TOLERANCE AND A BIT MORE ACCURACY IN PRESENTING MY VIEWS



 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.

FROM THE STATEMENT YOU HAVE ALREADY MADE AT THE BEGINNING, IT SEEMS TO
ME THAT INTEGRATION IS THE SAME AS TOKENISM FOR YOU.


   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.

THIS IS INDEED THE STATEMENT I WAS COMMENTING UPON.  IT SOUNDS NORMATIVE,
NEGATIVELY SO, AND I THINK I HAVE A RIGHT TO OBJECT.

   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."

I DON'T REMEMBER YOU ADDING THIS TO YOUR STATEMENT ABOUT TOO MANY MALE POSTERS.
PERHAPS I MISREAD YOU, AND IF SO, I APOLOGIZE.  PERHAPS YOU ARE ADDING IT IN
NOW, POST FACTO.  I DON'T MIND DISCUSSING IT, BUT I DON'T REMENBER YOU
BRINGING THIS UP PREVIOUSLY, AND IT IS UNFAIR TO ACCUSE ME OF DEFENSIVENESS
IF ALL I AND ANYONE ELSE GOT WAS JUST THE NOTION THAT THERE ARE TOO MANY
MALE POSTERS.



 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!

LET'S CHECK WITH TOM FIRST BEFORE YOU LUMP HIM WITH LENIN ON THIS PARTICULAR
EXCHANGE. I STAND WITH ZETKIN ON THIS POINT, AND VERY MUCH AGAINST THE
"DIRTY GLASS" THEORY OF PROMISCUITY.  YOU SHOULD ALSO CHECK WITH ZETKIN HERSELF,
I CAN GIVE YOU QUOTES FROM ZETKIN WHERE SHE DENOUNCES ANY AND ALL FEMINISM,
DIVORCED FROM CONSIDERATIONS OF THE CLASS STRUGGLE.


 I think it's disappointing that Tom
chooses to see pointing this out as a symptom of "market feminism"

SORRY, I NEVER USED THAT PARTICULAR PHRASE, I THOUGHT ABOUT KIDDING JUSTIN
ABOUT IT, BUT AS AN INSIDE JOKE, NOT AS A SERIOUS LABEL

 or
"petty moralism."

IT IS INDEED PETTY MORALISM, AND SEXISM, TO COMPLAIN ABOUT MORAL POSTERS ALONE, WITHOUT
HAVING A MORE CONSTRUCTIVE CRITIQUE THAT THE COMMENTS THEMSELVES IN SOME
WAY OR OTHER LEAD TO WOMEN'S ABSTINENCE FROM PARTICIPATION.


 Not to point the finger or anything, but I see his
response as sexist and I find it offensive.


THE IMPLICATION HERE IS THAT I ATTACKED YOUR POINT OF VIEW BECAUSE IT WAS
FEMINIST, THAT I FIND ALL FEMINIST DISCOURSE BOURGEOIS AND LIBERAL. WELL I'M
SORRY YOU DIDN'T READ ME, BECAUSE I NEVER SAID THAT EITHER.  WHAT I THINK IS
RATHER PETTY, NOT TO MENTION DEMAGOGIC, IS DISCOURSE WHICH FROM THE  GET-GO ASSUMES THAT ANY CRITICISMS
FROM A MALE
OF YOUR OWN PARTICULAR POSITION  ON FEMINISM LABELS ME A SEXIST.

TOM



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