[Marxism] WA Socialist Alliance leaders continue to target dissident member

Graham Milner gkmilner at eftel.net.au
Tue Oct 11 10:33:19 MDT 2011

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at panix.com>

> On 10/11/2011 11:10 AM, Graham Milner wrote:
>>The radical-feminist agenda has nothing to do with socialism. To
>> radical feminists, men are the enemy, not the social structures of
>> class society that are in fact responsible for oppressing women.
>> Radical feminism is a bourgeois ideology and its exponents have no
>> interest in doing away with capitalism or establishing political
>> links with the working class or the labour movement. These people
>> have no solution to the woman question. In my opinion, socialist
>> women (and Marxist women in particular) should sharply combat the
>> influence of radical feminism from within the independent women's
>> movement, and indeed wage ideological warfare on this bourgeois
>> trend.
> Gosh, I haven't heard a rant like this since David Fender's in the 
> preconvention discussion in the Boston branch of the SWP in 1971.

I wasn't attempting to suggest that radical feminism as a trend in the 
women's movement should be 'drummed out' of that movement.   I recognize 
that the radical-feminist thought of the second-wave and post-second-wave of 
feminism has been an influential and important component of this phase in 
the history of the struggle of women for their liberation.   I met a young 
woman student in 1975 who introduced me to a book by radical-feminist author 
Shulamith Firestone: 'The Dialectic of Sex', which I read and found very 
interesting.   I lent the same person my copy of Evelyn Reed's 'Problems of 
Women's Liberation', which is a more Marxist treatment.

I must say that I do have quite a high regard for some feminist writers and 
theorists who are not necessarily socialists as such.   I would certainly 
single out Kate Millett's 'Sexual Politics' and also Germaine Greer's 'The 
Female Eunuch'.   Women writers in general often have insights and useful 
things to say about the woman question.

This issue of 'erotica/"pornography"' is a significant one.   The main 
reason the issue was brought up in the recent educational/seminars held here 
in Australia by the Socialist Alliance is because of the proliferation of 
erotica or 'porn' on the internet.   I have checked over quite a lot of this 
stuff, and I admit that some of it is very distasteful.   On the other hand, 
a great deal of what is there on the web is no more than a source of 
harmless entertainment.   The question of exploitation of women in these 
films and videos is a real one, no doubt, but I query any exclusive focus on 
opposing visual material of a sexual nature when no objection is raised to 
material of a violent nature emanating from mainstream film and 
entertainment outlets, nor to exploitation of a non-sexual nature of women 
and men.   It is this distorted focus that leads me to draw a parallel 
between the stances of radical-feminist, 'anti-pornography' campaigners and 
those of right-wing 'moralist' groups such as the so-called 'Festival of 
Light' in Australia.

- Graham Milner

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