By Esther Townsend
Workers’ Liberty are organising a series of meetings to discuss Marxism, feminism and the fight for women’s liberation today.
In Britain and internationally there is a revival of feminist ideas and activism. In past women’s movements Marxist ideas have played an important role but this isn’t so much the case today. It’s time to renew the link!
With that in mind this series of workshops aims to provide spaces to discuss issues ranging from what a Marxist analysis can offer to our understanding of women’s oppression today; to the question of whether feminist politics can unite all women; to the socialist left’s record on women’s liberation and what we can do to improve it.
So far we’ve held workshops in Bangor, Hull, Liverpool, and at Goldsmiths College and UCL in London. All have seen lively discussion and debate, although the focus has varied indicating the diversity of interest and experiences leading people to get involved in feminist activism today. I attended the Goldsmiths meeting in which we thought about the changing nature of the family and women’s oppression across history and the world; whether the state fundamentally serves the interests of capitalism or men; and, in light of the recent development of the “Unilad phenomenon” alongside everyday sexism, we asked “is sexism more acceptable than other discriminatory attitudes in Britain today?” Other meetings reported discussions of identity and the relationship between the political and the personal; how class struggle could lead to women’s liberation; and discussions of how women can become more fully involved in socialist politics and the left.
We recognise that exploring, renewing and rethinking the relationship of Marxism and feminism is a big task. So we think it has to begin with being involved in the new feminist revival; educating ourselves; assessing the old and new debates; discussing with others; and learning from each other.
More workshops are coming up throughout April in Glasgow, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Newcastle, Teeside, Manchester, Sheffield and more. Everyone is welcome to join us.