Feminism and Socialism
Putting the Pieces Together
Document of the DSP
Published by Resistance Books
1997, 96pp, ISBN 0909196710, Paperback
Increasingly the media proclaims the end of feminism as efforts to drive back women’s rights gained over the past 30 years gather momentum. Attacks on women’s control over their fertility and their bodies, unequal wages, domestic violence and sexual abuse, lack of access to decent jobs and continued discriminatory practices are all part of what has been termed the backlash against the women's movement.
Feminism itself is internally fragmented about which way to proceed — whether to go on the offensive; defend itself from these attacks; or at worst, let the gains of the privileged few be maintained at the expense of the great mass of women.
Calls for censorship to ban pornographic images or for suppression of reproductive technology because it is a “male plot” to subvert women’s unique creative function are examples of the political differentiation taking place today. This isn’t just abstract theorising but carries over into the type of struggles being waged and the alliances being made. Some feminists have consequently lined up with the right-wing moralist advocates of women’s traditional roles of wife and mother.
This book advocates a very different strategy. It evaluates the state of women’s rights and feminism today around the world — in the industrialised Western nations, the Third World, in the former Soviet bloc, as well as Cuba and Central America, explaining women’s oppression from a Marxist perspective. It outlines a strategy to build an inclusive women's movement.
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