The feminist challenge in changing society: feminizing our perspectives and our movements

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Ecosocialist School IIRE Amsterdam

2nd December 2016

The feminist challenge in changing society: feminizing our perspectives and our movements

Speaker: Penelope Duggan

“In order to change the conditions of life we must learn to see them through the eyes of women.”

Leon Trotsky (“Against Bureaucracy, Progressive And Unprogressive“ in Problems of Life, from MIA http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1924/xx/bureaucracy.htm.)

1. Understanding the world:

Class, gender, race

a) women are 52% of the population

b) women, all women, are oppressed

c) capitalism uses and reinforces existing oppression to increase its ability to exploit

d) a radical fight against capitalism must take as its starting point the deepest experiences of oppression and exploitation

2. Understanding the resistance

a) politicisation starts from real experience

- women's role in the family

- women's experience “as women”

- women's place as workers

b) self-organisation is the key

- autonomous women's movement, a strategic necessity

3. How can our parties embody this understanding? a) place for women b) representation of women c) taking women's politics seriously d) sanctions in a feminist party

Reading material: 1979 World Congress: Socialist Revolution and the Struggle for Women’s Liberation [1]

1991 World Congress: Latin America: Dynamics of mass movements and feminist currents [2]

“Thermidor in the Family" in The Revolution Betrayed by Léon Trotsky [3]

The feminist challenge to traditional political organising (Penelope Duggan) [4]

The Tyranny of Structurelessness [5] and [6]

Sanctions in a feminist party (PRT Mexico) [7]