Avoid Sectarianism & Opportunism (was Re: victimology)

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Tue Dec 12 18:28:30 MST 2000

Louis, thanks for posting Nathan's article. As a matter of fact, Nathan's
liberal feminism is very clear from the opening paragraph of her article.
Nathan is assuming that the Mexican women's participation in the labor force
and access to education will bring about gender equality. Just like every
liberal femint, Nathan is locating women's oppression in cultural and
traditional constraints blocking women's access to public domain. Once you
remove the cultural barrier, it is assumed, women will gain equal status with
men and men will start sharing household responsibilities, etc... However,
there is no analysis in Nathan's article of systemic/deep rooted oppression of
third world women as it relates to relationship between class and patriarchy&
how they dialectically interact to create a capitalist patriarchy under
capitalism. For example, does she offer a class analysis of which class of
women have excepted the limits of patriarchy and with what consequences? Does
she offer an analysis of how capitalist development in the semi-periphery of
the world system effect gender relations in the country side?  It seems none.

Very similar to the comments made by  Katha Politt on Mat-Fem. Let's not over
state it or present her article as an " impressive" body of work in feminist


> The Gazette (Montreal), January 30, 2000, Sunday, FINAL
> Currents: Fueled by increased access to education, the growing independence
> of female workers, and some inspiring historic examples, Mexican women are
> moving toward equality. Not so macho in Mexico
> Not long ago, the Mexico City government tried to make a switch. It called
> for a one-day experiment in which all married women would exchange jobs
> with their husbands.
> On that day, husbands were asked to clean house, wash dishes, do laundry
> and take care of kids.
> It's an idea that would have been unthinkable only a few years ago, when
> Mexico's middle class was the confirmed centre of masculine privilege.
> But things are slowly changing in this homeland of machismo. For example,
> beginning in August, 900 policemen in Mexico City lost their authority to
> write traffic tickets. That authority was given only to policewomen, who
> were deemed less corruptible by the city's police chief. . .
> Is feminism taking root in the hard soil of Mexican culture? The answer is
> complicated because it depends on what kind of feminism you mean. But it is
> accurate to say that a Mexican women's movement is emerging, with women
> making some gains in industry and government, while still blocked by
> institutional and cultural barriers…
> ''The forces of progress are stirring themselves up much more along the
> border,'' said Susan Tiano, a sociology professor at the University of New
> Mexico and author of Patriarchy on the Line, a book on the effect of the
> ''maquiladoras'' on border gender roles. ''Some amazing changes happened.''
> Women in Tijuana come and go as they please, working night shifts and
> shopping at 24-hour supermarkets. Women hit the discos on weekends, with or
> without male escorts. Some wear tight pants and miniskirts. Unmarried
> mothers are not pariahs.
> Louis Proyect
> Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org


Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
PhD Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222

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