[Marxism] Marxism Digest, Vol 81, Issue 46

Jeremiah Gaster jeremiaszevi at gmail.com
Sun Feb 3 23:27:13 MST 2013

I compleltly agree,

>   3.  The woman question (James Holstun)
> Message: 3
> Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2010 13:03:35 -0400
> From: James Holstun <jamesholstun at hotmail.com>
> Subject: [Marxism] The woman question
> To: <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
> Message-ID: <COL116-W359E5AD57889B26AAEB049C8BF0 at phx.gbl>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Last semester, at SUNY Buffalo, I taught a course on feminism and marxism. This was partly a response to my own guilty bad faith at having taught graduate seminars on marxism previously with only a week reserved for the l'il ladies.
> Really, it was a blast, thanks partly to the material, partly to the brilliant and diverse class of fifteen, including four men, four Koreans, a Turk, an Israeli, a Slovenian, and a Sri Lankan.
> We included a few novels (Leslie Steinberg, Agnes Smedley, Nawal el Saadawi), but mostly theory, including Engels's FAMILY, PRIVATE PROPERTY, AND THE STATE, Beauvoir, Maria Mies, Lydia Sargent's WOMEN AND REVOLUTION, Maria Mies's PATRIARCHY AND CAPITALIST ACCUMULATION, Sylvia Federici's CALIBAN AND THE WITCH. All this made me wonder what the effect might have been had academic male leftists in the late seventies spent as much time engaging this brilliant and under-examined body of work as they did engaging a current of mostly reactionary scholarship from mostly French poststructuralist circles. One of the shortest monographs never written: WOMEN WRITERS AND THEORISTS IN THE WRITING OF FREDRIC JAMESON.
> Beauvoir is a particular revelation, and my general sense is that she has been read almost exclusively in classes in women's studies--and increasingly less even there, as french feminists like Beauvoir and Christine Delphy are displaced by "French Feminists" (who are seldom French or even feminist) like Cixous, Irigaray, and Kristeva. Despite the problems with the two English translations, THE SECOND SEX is a revelation--beautifully written, rich and diverse, one of the classics of Western marxism though almost NEVER presented as such. Barthes and even THE CRITIQUE OF DIALECTICAL REASON feel a little less original after reading this work.
> Recommendations welcome.
> Jim Holstun

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