14th August 2012

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I am thinking, for instance, of the feminist movement. Its history has been so distorted by the media and by its subsumption within the United Nations that many young women in recent years have dissociated themselves from it. But they are discovering that they still face many of the same problems that led to the establishment of ‘women’s liberation.’ I am referring here not only to the fact that there is still evidence of sexism within social movements, but that, in the best of cases, women today can achieve some economic independence only at the cost of “becoming like men,” that is, at the cost of accepting work regimes that make no space for other relations: children, friends, families, and political activism. I have also heard, over and over, young women complaining of the balancing act they must perform in a workplace that expects them to be both ‘feminine’ and competent at the same time. Add to this that many of the achievements of the feminist movement today are in jeopardy. For instance, access to abortion is constantly being attacked and reduced. In the US, several states are trying to pass laws which greatly extend the government’s control over a women reproductive capacity, for instance making it possible to charge pregnant women with murder for engaging in any activity that can be construed as jeopardizing the foetus. Presently, about 50 women are jail under this charge. Indeed, over the years, we have seen that no gains women have made can be taken for granted. I am convinced that learning the history of the struggles of the past is crucial in this context as they enable us to understand what forces we up against.
— Silvia Federici: Feminism, Finance and the Future of #Occupy - an interview with Silvia Federici by Max Haiven

Tagged: feminismfeminist movementmarxist feminismwhy we need feminismwomen's liberationSilvia Federici

Source: libcom.org

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