By Denise Thompson
Radical Feminism Today deals a well timed and interesting account of precisely what feminism is, and what it's not. writer Denise Thompson questions a lot of what has end up taken without any consideration as `feminism' and issues to the constraints of implicitly defining feminism when it comes to `women', `gender', `difference' or `race//gender//class'. She demanding situations probably the most commonly permitted principles approximately feminism and in doing so opens up a few hitheto closed debates, taking into account the opportunity of relocating these debates additional.
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Additional resources for Radical Feminism Today
But to abandon the concepts of agents and interests is to abandon politics. If there are no agents, there are no perpetrators and beneficiaries of relations of domination, and no one whose human agency is blocked by powerful vested interests. If there is no one who acts, there is nothing to be done. To delete any idea of interests is to abandon any idea of domination, and hence any possibility of challenging it. There is no reason why a distinction between the ideological on the one hand, and the economic on the other, should be made in the first place, no reason, that is, outside the more arcane levels of disputation within (or with) Marxism.
That women willingly embrace something is not a sufficient criterion for judging that it is therefore not ideological. It does not rule out the possibility of ambivalence, or that the pleasure might exist alongside doubt or a critical attitude. The only criterion for judging whether or not something is ideological is whether or not it reinforces relations of ruling. Many years ago, at the beginning of this second wave of feminism, Shulamith Firestone exposed the ideology of romantic love as a crucial mechanism for ensuring womens subordination to men.
122, 1545) 24 U N D E R S TA N D I N G F E M I N I S M This is true enough as far as it goes, and it is important to keep pointing out that relations of ruling are essentially coercive. But it is not an objection to a dominant ideology thesis. It can be acknowledged that it is not possible to fool all the people all the time, without abandoning the thesis. There is plenty of evidence of systematic behaviour which works against peoples own interests at whatever cost to themselves and others, and which upholds the meanings, values and structures of domination.