Twelve Thoughts On Feminism And Its Place In Today’s Political Environment
Caitlin Johnstone
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I’ve come to recoil at the word “feminism” of late, so used to the capitalist, individualistic variety that abounds, which is in fact an anti-feminist backlash to the actual feminists of the 2nd wave. So it is refreshing to see a woman of like political mind on this issue. It’s easy to get so disgusted and burned out by the nonsense and just put it on the shelf and stick to other issues, but women should talk about this and especially women with “left” (or whatever we want to call it, getting burned out on all labels these days) sensibilities. So thank you.

I would offer one minor quibble — on number 4 — in that some historians speak of early egalitarian “autonomous villages”, which I hate to see swept under the rug. And while it was men who did “invent” many negatives, such as money, patriarchal religions, and hierarchy itself — I hate to see egalitarian cultures, religions, which women were a part of erased. As then we are left without a model. There are two wonderful documentaries about these early societies — one is called “The Gods of Our Fathers”. The second “The Ascent of Woman”. I realize you have a word limit and can’t write theses on every topic mentioned, but I do think these portions of history are incredibly valuable for us to remember and discuss. In addition, the book “Caliban & the Witch”, which covers the transition from feudalism to capitalism in Europe (glossed over or misrepresented by most male socialist writers) is, I promise, one of the most fascinating (and important) books you will ever read. Should be required reading for all anti-capitalists, of both sexes, as the division and conquer of the working class by sex is probably the most potent variant the ruling exploiter class has ever used.

Anyway sorry if this came off as critical and ‘splainy, once again very much appreciate your work in general and especially your covering of this issue, from another “lefty feminist”, who knows exactly how you feel.

And a sidenote, I do share your hope for the potential of feminism to change the world, given women’s unique (and in many places majority) omnipresent status across all other groups — but if we consider actual feminism to be a threat to capitalism (which it was during the second wave, when most second wave feminists were marxists, anti-war activists, etc) it is not surprising that in an age of potentially catastrophic female solidarity, the existence of actual-female-only spaces and groups is under such virulent attack. A small female only facebook group may work, but try to get a larger one going, or an in-person group, and if it is actually-only-female, know that it will be slandered, protested, shut down, vandalized, etc. Female discussion without the presence of men has always been seen as a threat throughout history, and you can see in today’s political climate, nothing has changed in that regard.

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