This article by Harsha Walia gets right to the core of my issues with Marxist feminism and the whole spectrum of post-Marxist anarchism.
I contend that Marxist feminism is the philosophical substrate of all contemporary left feminism. It’s little more than a license to indoctrinate a class of permanent victims and wage a never-ending struggle against oppression even if there’s no oppression to be found. It’s as self-negating, depressing, cynical and elitist a worldview as I can imagine.
Broadly speaking, I think her analysis of state power and its intersection with mainstream feminism is accurate.
However, I have several issues and responses.
1.It strikes me as being fundamentally nihilistic. Just like traditional Marxist thought, the entire spectrum of AnCom/left libertarian/libertarian socialist/syndicalist/market mutualist thought seems defined so much more by what it’s against rather than what it’s for. I realize some might level the same criticism of AnCap/Voluntaryist free market libertarians but from my perspective, there is a qualitative difference.
The AnCom argument opposes state power AND capitalism. That leaves little opportunity for freedom and self-emancipation, doesn’t it? The oppression is EVERYWHERE! Coercion here. Coercion there. Heirarchies. Private property. State power. Everywhere and everything is oppressive.
The AnCap argument is an advocacy FOR free markets. FOR non-aggression. FOR self-ownership. FOR freedom of association, contract and speech. FOR individualism. FOR voluntary exchange.
This distinction is key. Because to take up the cause of a stateless society is to actively cultivate the sphere of liberty.
This is not trivial. Much blood has been spilt for this simple idea over the ages. Take it seriously. Be a champion for liberty. Not THE STRUGGLE AGAINST OPPRESSION.
2. On a related note, I can’t hang with the antipathy toward capitalism. I just can’t. Lighten the fuck up, assholes. Free markets are going to elevate the livelihoods of the marginalized and dispossessed. If you can’t celebrate the idea of economic freedom, then what are you going to celebrate? If craft beer, movies, rock music, food trucks, comic books, video games, mobile devices, labor saving technologies, legal weed, and pornography aren’t advancements worth celebrating, then go live on your fucking commune and grow some kale, you joyless fuck.
Yes, I get it. State power is intertwined with the market. Fucking get over it and advocate for disentangling them.
3. Is she cool with sex positive feminism? I can’t tell. If she’s an anarchist, and wants to use moral suasion to advocate against sex work and prostitution, that’s certainly her prerogative and I will promptly tell her to fuck off.
4. The preachy PC vibe grates. Yes, I get it. You are the VOICE OF THE OPPRESSED. All decent people oppose violence, and by and large, have a general spirit of goodwill towards fellow humans. You don’t have to self-identify as post-gender, queer/trans positive anarcha-feminist in order to be a decent person any more than you have identify as religious. So get off the fucking pedestal and lay off the condescending horseshit. What exactly do you need? What are you asking for?
Yes, I get it. Heteropatriarchy is the state. Fine. As a cis-het PYG, it’s still really fucking grating to hear this reverse bigotry. There are plenty of cis-het PYGS who’ve built very happy lives and many of whom are totally down with the whole LGBTQ/feminist program. Yes, there are people who aren’t. Fuck ’em. Gays, women and minorities have had the opportunity to thrive in capitalism. This seemingly gets overlooked in these circles.
Also, I find that this stuff encourages people to see humanity through a lens of bigotry while preaching against it. It indoctrinates people to view people in groups and to assign priorities to groups and ascribe evil to groups. It’s the HUMAN RACE, assholes. Some of us are for the human race. All of it.
Also, I use ableist slurs all the time. No apologies are forthcoming. If you don’t like it, tough shit.
Lastly, I’ll just say that despite the fact that I mock feminism constantly, there is some of it with which I’m totally cool. Specifically, the early libertarian/individualists like Mary Wollstonecraft.
Feminism remains very divisive in libertarian circles just as it is in mainstream politics.
I believe that if one is going to claim the mantle of feminism, it is essential to define it and own it.
If you’re a Marxist, sex positive, choice feminist, gender equality, gender supremacy, or whatever, be specific and proclaim your values.