Marxism and feminism

Submitted by Matthew on 27 March, 2013 - 4:23

Workers’ Liberty have been organising a series of meetings to discuss Marxism, feminism and the fight for women’s liberation today.

In Britain and internationally there is a revival of feminist ideas and activism. In past women’s movements Marxist ideas have played an important role but this isn’t so true today. It’s time to renew the link! And it is time for Workers’ Liberty to renew its Marxist feminist ideas.

With that in mind this series of workshops discusses issues ranging from what a Marxist analysis can offer to our understanding of women’s oppression today; to the question of whether feminist politics can unite all women; to the socialist left’s record on women’s liberation and what we can do to improve it.

We’ve held workshops in Bangor, Hull, Liverpool, and at Goldsmiths College and UCL in London. All have seen lively discussion and debate. The focus has varied indicating the diversity of experiences leading people to get involved in feminist activism today.

I attended the Goldsmiths meeting where we thought about the changing nature of the family and women’s oppression across history and the world; whether the state serves the interests of capitalism or men or both; and, in light of the recent development of the “UniLad” phenomenon alongside everyday sexism, we asked “is sexism more acceptable than other discriminatory attitudes in Britain today?”

Other meetings report discussions of identity and the relationship between the political and the personal; how class struggle can lead to women’s liberation; and discussions of how women can become more fully involved in socialist politics and the left.

Exploring, renewing and rethinking the relationship of Marxism and feminism is a big task. It has to begin with being involved in the new feminist revival; educating ourselves; assessing the old and new debates; discussing with others; and learning from each other.

More workshops are coming up in Glasgow, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Newcastle, Teesside, Manchester and Sheffield.

• For more information email women@workersliberty.org or tel. 07883 520852.