the many errors of feminism

nancybrumback at cs.com nancybrumback at cs.com
Tue Aug 6 15:57:01 MDT 2002


Subject: Re: the many errors of feminism
From: "La Sainte" <pleau at prodigy.net>
Date: Sat, 3 Aug 2002 01:51:09 -0500

<<One of the problems with the entire concept of feminism is that women who
call themselves feminists nowadays each have a different view of it, which,
since the '60s, has evolved and branched (and twigged) out into myriad and
often conflicting ideologies, all called feminist. To take it to one
extreme, there are even feminists who do not support a woman's right to
abortion.  It's scary but true.>>

To me, feminism is about choice. Choice of job, education, motherhood or no
motherhood, marriage or no marriage. When I was a kid growing up in the
deep south in the 40s and 50s, you had three choices in your life and
one absolute: you could be a teacher, a nurse, or a secretary, but you
absolutely had to get married (to a man) and have children. The woman's
demeanor *had* to be quiet and respectful (of everyone except yourself);
you couldn't be smart, or strong, or independent. The more dependent on
males you were, the better. And of course, you were absolutely not
supposed to be a lesbian. (I didn't even hear the word "lesbian" until
i was in my 40s.) Obviously, a formula for disaster for many women.

<<And those feminists who chose to follow the Mary Daly feminist philosophy
invaded the lesbian community about an eon ago and told us how to be
lesbians. All my life I had naively thought I was a lesbian because I am
erotically attracted to other women. Not so, the political (feminist)
lesbians informed us. They unfurled their scrolls and read from it, running
down the rules for gayness for all of us dumb dykes who foolishly thought we
were already gay.>>

Since to me feminism is about choice, the kind of behavior you describe
cannot even be called "feminism" -- it is a dictatorship. In San Francisco,
there is a term for this kind of person -- femi-nazi. (fem-i-nazi) What is
so tragic to me now is that many young women have grown up with no role
models for feminism other than the femi-nazis and the femi-snobs. I
encounter such women year after year in my work as a teacher in a small,
private liberal arts college. The checkers in the grocery store make more
money than I do, but the good part is that I can teach anything
I damn well please here, so I include some women's herstory in my class --
actually, from a materialist perspective: how the environment and
demographics of a society influences its mode of production and
reproduction, and how that influences the social structures and ideology,
how they all interact together, etc. It is so thrilling for me when a
young women begins to see what radical feminism is really all about.

<<I'm not saying I hadn't had
any positive and politically worthwhile experiences in the feminist
movement.  I did feel a strong sense of sisterhood fighting for issues that
affected not only women in general but in particular working women. And,
ultimately, those issues of free abortion on demand, free 24-hour childcare
centers and equal pay for equal work are in reality as important to the
interests of working men as they are to women. This gets to the crux of this
discussion of the relationship between feminism and marxism. These three
issues so vital to women's interests transcend gender, becoming class
issues. >>

Yes, you are so right. This is what I was saying in my recent post on
gender and class. The ruling class family is the social formation
through which private property and the means of production get passed on
from generation to generation, and the working class family provides the
needed generations of workers at no charge to the ruling class. How
convenient for them! To me, a feminine socialism would have those very
features that you describe re: abortion, childcare, and equal rights.
There would be a few others as well which would move society toward the
socialization of women's work, so that women and men too would no longer
have to be programmed into the traditional sex roles. It seems to me
that there was more awareness of this in the marxist movement in the 60s
and 70s than there is now, but maybe not.

I was so glad to find another woman on the list-- and an out lesbian
at that.

best wishes,

nancy


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