Gimenez, Martha and Jane Collins, ed. However, in the introduction to Materialist Feminism: More importantly, this introduction is a celebration of Marxist Feminism whose premises and insights have been consistently "misread, distorted, or buried under the weight of a flourishing postmodern cultural politics" ibid, p.
Socialist Feminism which, despite the use of Marxist terms and references to capitalism, developed, theoretically, as a sort of feminist abstract negation of Marxism. Materialist Feminism and the Politics of Difference. Is MatFem a positive development in feminist theory.
The main concept, materialism, remains undefined and references to ideologies, exploitation, imperialism, oppression, colonialism, etc. The description of Materialist Feminism put forth by the editors, Chrys Ingraham and Rosemary Hennessy, was to me indistinguishable from Marxist Feminism.
This approach to theorizing matter and materialism is, however, in contradiction with the assumptions of post-Marxist MatFem, which consequently faces an unresolvable dilemma: The description of Materialist Feminism put forth by the editors, Chrys Ingraham and Rosemary Hennessy, was to me indistinguishable from Marxist Feminism.
They point out that, whatever the name of the product of feminists efforts to grapple with historical materialism marxist feminism, socialist feminism or materialist feminismthese are names that signal theoretical differences and emphases but which together indicate the recognition of historical materialism as the source of emancipatory knowledge required for the success of the feminist project.
The Figure of Woman in the Colonial Text. While the volume of mail varies and the network goes through relatively long periods of silence, it has produced very lively and useful theoretical and political discussions and altogether a far greater quantity of messages than MATFEM. It is in the conclusion that the authors, aiming to demonstrate that materialism is not an alias for Marxism, outline the difference between Marxist Feminism and Materialist Feminism as follows: Feminists are divided in their attitudes towards capitalism and their understanding of the material conditions of oppression; to be a feminist is not necessarily to be anticapitalist and to be a materialist feminist is not equivalent to being socialist or even critical of the status quo.
I always considered her a Marxist Feminist because, unlike Socialist Feminists whose avoidance of Marx's alleged reductionisms led them to postulate ahistorical theories of patriarchyshe took Marxism seriously and developed her analysis of reproduction as a basis for the oppression of women firmly within the Marxist tradition.
Subjectivities, in other words, cannot be understood in isolation from systemically organized totalities.
Lurking behind the repeated statements about the the shortcomings of Marxism there is an economistic and undialectical understanding of Marx and Marxist theory. Marriage, she argued, is a labour contract that gives men the right to exploit women, appropriating their labour in the domestic setting or controlling their wages or other market earnings; it is, for all practical purposes, a relationship of slavery.
And anyone familiar with historical materialism can appreciate the sophisticated Marxist foundation of Hennessy's superbly argued book. Discourse and knowledge have materiality in their effects; one of the material effects of discourse is the construction of the subject but this subject is traversed by differences grounded in hierarchies of inequality which are not local or contingent but historical and systemic, such as patriarchy and capitalism.
New Feminist Essays, Tavistock, London, The combined effects of the postmodern critique of the empirical self and the criticisms voiced by women who did not see themselves included in the generic woman subject of academic feminist theorizing resulted, in the s, in materialist feminist analyses that "problematize 'woman' as an obvious and homogeneous empirical entity in order to explore how 'woman' as a discursive category is historically constructed and traversed by more than one differential axis" Hennessy, This is certainly news to me; Socialist Feminism's rejection of Marx's and Marxism's "reductionism" lead to the deliberate effort to ground "patriarchy" outside the mode of production and, consequently and from the standpoint of Marxist theory, outside history.
The justification for using Materialist Feminism rather than Marxist Feminism is the alleged insufficiency of Marxist Theory for adequately explaining the oppression of women. This is not an easy task; theorists who self-identify as materialist or as marxist feminists differ in their understanding of what those descriptive labels mean and, consequently, the kind of knowledges they produce.
Initially, I thought that Materialist Feminism was simply another way of referring to Marxist Feminism, but I was mistaken; the two are, to some extent, distinct forms of feminist theorizing.
How useful is it to broaden the meaning of MatFem to encompass MarxFem if, at the same time, the term is claimed by cultural materialists and post-Marxist feminists whose views are profoundly anti-Marxist.
Marxist Feminists are, theoretically speaking, clearer about what MarxFem is all about, politically and theoretically. Rosemary Hennessy traces the origins of Materialist Feminism in the work of British and French feminists who preferred the term materialist feminism to Marxist feminism because, in their view, Marxism had to be transformed to be able to explain the sexual division of labor Beechey, I am not imputing such motivations to Lise Vogel; I am simply pointing out the effects of such an interpretation of US Socialist Feminism, which, despite the use of Marxist terms and references to capitalism, developed theoretically as a sort of feminist abstract negation of Marxism.
Theorists who self-identify as Materialist or as Marxist Feminists differ in their understanding of what these labels mean and, consequently, the kind of knowledges they produce. While this is helpful to understand what self-identified materialist feminists mean when they refer to their framework, it does not shed light on the meaning of material base, material effect, material weight.
The new terrain has to do with the "construction of a materialist analysis of culture informed by and responsive to the concerns of women, as well as people of color and other marginalized groups" Landry and MacLean, How useful is it to broaden the meaning of Materialist Feminism today to encompass Marxist Feminism if, at the same time, the term is claimed by cultural materialists whose views are profoundly anti-marxist.
Kuhn, Wolpe and the contributors to their book in various ways expanded the scope of historical materialism to produce new knowledges about the oppression of women under capitalism.
For Landry and Maclean, Materialist Feminism is a "critical reading practice I do not in any way impute this motivation to Ingraham and Hennessy; the introduction to their Materialist Feminism is openly Marxist.
What theory of history and what politics inform this critique. In fact, "work that claims the signature "materialist feminism" shares much in common with cultural feminism, in that it does not set out to explain or change the material realities that link women's oppression to class" ibid, p.
Nevertheless, in the last paragraphs of the introduction there is a return to the discussion of marxist feminism, its critiques of the idealist features of postmodernism and the differences between the postmodern and the historical materialist or marxist analyses of representations of identity.
There is, according to Williams, an "indissoluble connection between material production, political and cultural institutions and activity, and consciousness The authors argue that feminist theories focused exclusively on gender and dual systems theories that bring together gender and class analysis face methodological and political problems that "deconstructive reading practices can help solve;" they propose "the articulation of discontinuous movements, materialism and feminism, an articulation that takes the political claims of deconstruction seriously.
The essays in the first part of the book examine race, ideology, and the literary canon and explore the ways in which other critical discourse, such as those of deconstruction and French feminism, might be useful to a feminist and materialist criticism.
But the subtitle of her recent book (a collection of previously published essays), is "Essays for a Materialist Feminism;" self-identifying as a socialist feminist, she states that socialist feminists "sought to replace the socialist tradition's theorizing about the woman question with a 'materialist' understanding of women's oppression" (Vogel.
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Woman Questions brings Drawing upon the life stori essays on socialist feminism, Marxist theory, and the problem of equality. The collection provides not only a compendium of one influential thinker's work, but a thoughtful overview of the evolution of US socialist elleandrblog.com: Lise Vogel.
In this collection of essays, the author - an American feminist thinker - focuses on key theoretical ideas: the problem of theorizing gender alongside race and class, the relationship of feminism to Read more.Women questions essays for a materialist feminism