dual systems (to Justin from Tom)

Ann Ferguson aferguso at benfranklin.hnet.uci.edu
Mon Nov 14 22:03:52 MST 1994


11/14/94

Justin:
	Yes, the theory you developed is my theory of women's
exploitation and oppression, developed from Heidi Hartmann's "Unhappy
Marriage of Marxism and Feminism" (cf. Lydia Sargent, ed. Women and
Revolution, South End, 1981) and with some help from Nancy Folbre, who no
longer holds these views.  I think it does make sense to think of
patriarchal production as a type of economy:  I call it "sex/affective
production" stemming from the production and social construction of
sexuality and nurturance and children, and think that just as the
class-divided
production of material goods has different historical modes (capitalism,
feudalism, etc) so patriarchal sex/affective production has different
historical modes (father patriarchy, husband patriarchy, public
patriarchy).  I posit we are in the latter stage just now as men's
control of women's surplus labor takes place in the state through welfare
handouts and in the corporate sphere rather than by men's direct control
over women's labor in the family (though that still exists but is not the
driving force behind the extraction of this labor).  And yes, the
capitalist economy requires women's unpaid housework and sex/affective
labor, in a social formation in which sex/affective production in the
home is like a subordinate mode of production more akin to the feudal
mode of production.

	And I think it makes good sense to think of these systems as
three systems not one because it makes more sense of the historical ways
they come into conflict and must be re-negotiated.  For the theory of
racism I borrow from Michael Omi and Howard Winant's Racial Formations in
the US (Routledge, 1994, 2nd ed) and pretty much agree with them that
modern
racism, although it started out as an effect/production of Western
imperialism, is now a semi-autonomous system.  If you want all the
arguments for these positions, try my book Ann Ferguson Sexual Democracy:
Women, Oppression and Revolution (Westview, 1989) or if you can get ahold
of it (out of print), Blood at the Root: Motherhood, Sexuality and Male
Dominance (Pandora, 1989).

	By the way, I've enjoyed your posts too, but I dont have the time
to play very much of the internet game:  Im way too busy.  In fact, I
will have to be leaving this list shortly because I just have too much
email to process.  But feel free to correspond with me off list, and any
others who can keep their defenses enough in line not to be too
obnoxious! Those who know me can attest to my coalitional nature.

	Best,
	Ann Ferguson
	aferguso at uci.edu


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