Tendance Coatesy

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Posts Tagged ‘Gender Critical Femnism

Breaking: Morning Star Defends ‘Gender Critical’ Feminism.

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Mary Davis: Back in 2018.

The Morning Star, independent of the Communist Party of Britain and run by the co-op, today carries this article by a leading member of Communist Party of Britain, Mary Davis.

It is safe to say that this is not just an opinion up for debate but reflects the views of strong currents in the Daily’s team and the CPB.

The building of a broad-based women’s movement and a strengthened labour movement must go hand in hand, argues MARY DAVIS.

Extracts,

The unrelenting ideological onslaught on women’s sex-based rights has escalated to the point at which the very definition of “women” as a biological sex is now subject to sustained attack.

This has resulted in the collective rights of women threatened and undermined. The overused term “cancel culture” is wrong and inadequate to describe the current and unparalleled ideological onslaught on women as a biological sex. We are facing erasure in the face of gender identity policy capture.

Note: No direct reference to Stonewall.

This weekend’s FiLiA conference, I hope, along with other gender critical women’s organisations will play an important part in creating a regenerated women’s movement.

The building of a broad-based women’s movement and a strengthened labour movement, which rejects capitalist ideology and understands the vital importance of protecting and extending women’s sex-based rights, must go hand in hand.

However, without a robust renewal of Marxist-feminist theory, which challenges the dominant ideology of identity politics, such a project will remain a distant vision.

Note are all gender critical feminists Marxists or even socialists? Kathleen Stock defines herself in other ways, “am I, or am I not, a feminist? Yes in the broad sense that I’m broadly focused on promoting the rights and interests of women in a world in which they’re often neglected. But not in the sense that I sign up, no matter what, to any particular doctrinal element. I think everything should be up for reasonable discussion. If you think I’m not a real feminist, that’s fine by me. I’m honestly not that attached to the term. What I am attached to is trying to get the underlying actions and attitudes right” Julie Bindel concentrates on the demand to “defend women’s sex-based rights”.

……

The oppression of women is rooted in class exploitation. The super-exploitation of women as workers and their oppression as women is a fundamental prerequisite for the operation of capitalism — economically, politically and ideologically. Hence, the eradication of class exploitation is the essential precondition for the liberation of women.

Socialism provides the only means by which the most complete form of class exploitation (ie that represented by the capitalist system), can be ended.

Whether conscious of its mission or not, the labour movement exists for this purpose. But its socialist mission can only be fulfilled if it expunges capitalist ideology — and that includes any ideological practice which impedes the protection and extension of the rights of women.

..

Both these two movements — a strong and class-conscious feminist-inspired labour movement and a broad-based women’s movement — are essential together as the twin pillars of the challenge to women’s oppression and super-exploitation.

However, we still have a long way to go in ensuring that the labour movement truly represents the interests of 51 per cent of British population, let alone the majority of its members — women!

Recent events have shown that gender identity ideology has permeated the labour movement, with the result that defending women’s rights has taken a back seat.

Currently, a campaign against alleged transphobia has taken precedence over the threat to Professor Kathleen Stock’s employment at Sussex University. She has received no support from the University and College Union.

For socialists, the goal has to be the forging of working-class unity based on a recognition of its historic divisions; divisions founded principally on race and sex.

The first is the ideological battle which has to be shifted away from the “gender” issue per se and on to our terrain of the fight for women’s rights and the understanding of women’s oppression.

Second, the (at present non-existent) “respectful debate” can only be achieved when we women are a mighty assembled unignorable force so that our analysis and our policies lead the debate.

This requires a powerful women’s movement. Thirdly, even at the risk of vilification, our argument must be taken into the labour movement in order to challenge and expose an ideology which erases women and tramples our rights. We are many, they are few.

Comment: this looks like a call for some serious rows. There are points on which this Blog agrees, ‘gender fluidity’ being one. AS one of the ideas in some modern gender theory, promoted by Stonewall, it initially sounds reasonable, but then splinters off into a kaleidoscope of definitions, and even stripped down to a minimum is hard to pin down as a legal or campaigning category. There equally serious issues about women’s spaces which would take a lot more than Mary Davis’ article to draw lines on.

It is not clear that ‘materialist feminism’ is just abut biology and class, or capitalism, there are views about the structural reality of patriarchy for example that exist in many different societies. This open up further into the picture of ” “how women are produced as a category” which in some version (such as the 1970s-early 80s journal M/F), included linguistic ideas and the theories of Michel Foucault about ‘power’. Dos class ‘trump’ everything else? Religious ideologies, embodied in state apparatus like the Islamic state of Iran, have relative autonomy to the class rule of the Islamist bourgeoisie, and the laws restricting women in that country cannot just be explained by capitalist oppression.

There remains concern that words like “onslaught” are intended to provoke a ‘counter-attack’. Davis has, in the recent past, defended Blue Labour pro-family figures like Paul Embery, who has also entered this fray. Will she align with this anti-rootless cosmopolitan in a war against Woke?

Written by Andrew Coates

October 16, 2021 at 12:02 pm