[R-G] Anarchism and Feminism
mstainsby at resist.ca
Thu Jan 29 11:36:12 MST 2004
I'm cross-posting this to LeftHook as well, since similar discussion has
been had recently.
usman x forwarded:
> "We have to recognize that to the degree that revolutionary feminism
> critiques and intervenes on racism, class elitism, and sexism, which
> includes homophobia, it is the most left movement that we have in our
> nation." - bell hooks
I am actually commenting on the last line/signature that Usman included,
not the actual forwarded article.
The quote above illustrates the main problem with much of the North
American Left today. I do not intend to spend my time picking on NBell
Hooks or feminism, indeed a feminist analysis does have much to offer.
However, the thinking that critiquing other forms of thinking makes one the
'most left movement' is a deadly trap. Commenting on other forms of thought
outside of integrating oneself into a larger framework, but *deliberately
isolating as principle, followed by then critiquing from afar* is a major
The left, all tendencies, have a comfort zone form of theatre critic
analysis and heckler mentality that substitutes as a kind of praxis. When
we are looking at one another, yes we do indeed have valuable lessons to
offer one anothe, but the point is still to build a movement that has as
its capability to overthrow imperialism.
We cannot allow thinking that "critiquing and intervening" make us the
"most left movement". This alone is actually a corrosive influence. First
we build alliances among one another, and through organizing and
challenging one another to build a concerted struggle that actually can
challenge capital and patriarchy, within that framework as allies, then we
can offer ways to one another to strengthen our organizing.
In other words, two principles need to be understood *before* any
"intervention": First, through practice, we show each other and people
across the city and beyond that we are a serious force that relates to
their experience and is relevant and deserves to be listened to, and second
we should realise that the "most left movement" is building a movement that
grows beyond within our circles and is able to pose a serious challenge to
the maintenance of the status quo in imperialist society. WE first focus on
what unites us, and not believe that seperating on what divides us through
rhetorical "interventions" is a good starting point.
Politics that are about what unites are a million times stronger than
making organizing principles of the divisions, and elevating them to the
In the contradiction lies the hope
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