An actual theory of class and gender

Tom O'Lincoln red_sites at
Sun Aug 11 21:45:08 MDT 2002

Nancy wrote:

>like the DSP, i think that the class struggle cannot
>be accomplished without the full integration of
>women's issues, and the feminist struggle cannot
> be accomplished without the full integration
>of class issues.

Impossible to disagree ... But why put it in terms of two separate things? We need a totalising theory that explains all of society and the struggles in it, for the purpose of working out how to win - in one united struggle.

Of course we will never fully achieve such a pefectly comprehensive theory, or perfectly united struggle, but isn't this the direction in which we need to head? I personally think the theoretical framework most suited for this is Marxism, which puts class at the centre of the strategy. I do not believe any of the various feminist theories can provide this framework.

Neither do I think we can paste the two together, as in "Marxist-Feminism" based on ideas of "capitalist-patriarchy".

That's why I call myself a Marxist full stop. Of course it's up to people like me to prove that this doesn't mean undervaluing women's struggles and issues, and I accept that Marxism has some proving to do.

Nancy, in response to your request for responses on theory, I will happily email you a book I co-edited called "Rebel Women in Australian Working Class History". The opening chapter, by Sandra Bloodworth, tackles some these questions in a concrete historical context. I doubt if you'll agree with it, but I hope there is room for friendly disagrement.

If you're interested, write to me off list and I'll send it. For that matter, I'll send it to whoever's interested. I was never a slouch at self-promotion. :-)

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