Cross-readings along the axes of socialist:
--- Donna Haraway, "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist- Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century," in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (New York; Routledge, 1991), pp.49-181.
I know no better stance to adopt from within the secular-religious, evangelical traditions of United States politics, including the politics of socialist feminism.
It is also an effort to contribute to socialist- feminist culture and theory in a postmodernist, non-naturalist mode and in the utopian tradition of imagining a world without gender, which is perhaps a world without genesis, but maybe also a world without end.
'Textualization' of everything in poststructuralist, postmodernist theory has been damned by Marxists and socialist feminists for its utopian disregard for the lived relations of domination that ground the 'play' of arbitrary reading.
I think that radical and socialist/ Marxist-feminisms have also undermined their/our own epistemological strategies and that this is a crucially valuable step in imagining possible unities.
But what would another political myth for socialist- feminism look like?
What kind of politics could embrace partial, contradictory, permanently unclosed constructions of personal and collective selves and still be faithful, effective - and, ironically, socialist- feminist?
White women, including socialist feminists, discovered (that is, were forced kicking and screaming to notice) the non-innocence of the category 'woman'.
Both Marxist /socialist- feminisms and radical feminisms have simul-taneously naturalized and denatured the category 'woman' and conscious-ness of the social lives of 'women'.
In faithful filiation, socialist- feminism advanced by allying itself with the basic analytic strategies of Marxism.
The main achievement of both Marxist feminists and socialist feminists was to expand the category of labour to accommodate what (some) women did, even when the wage relation was subordinated to a more comprehensive view of labour under capitalist patriarchy.
In particular, women's labour in the household and women's activity as mothers generally (that is, reproduction in the socialist- feminist sense), entered theory on the authority of analogy to the Marxian concept of labour.
Marxist /socialist- feminism does not 'natur-alize' unity; it is a possible achievement based on a possible standpoint rooted in social relations.
As for the Marxist/ socialist feminist, consciousness is an achievement, not a natural fact.
If my complaint about socialist/ Marxian standpoints is their unintended erasure of polyvocal, unassimilable, radical difference made visible in anti-colonial discourse and practice, MacKinnon's intentional erasure of all difference through the device of the 'essential' nonexistence of women is not reassuring.
In my taxonomy, which like any other taxonomy is a re-inscription of history, radical feminism can accommodate all the activities of women named by socialist feminists as forms of labour only if the activity can somehow be sexualized.
Embarrassed silence about race among white radical and socialist feminists was one major, devastating political consequence.
The structure of my caricature looks like this: socialist feminism--structure of class // wage labour // alienation labour, by analogy reproduction, by extension sex, by addition race radical feminism - structure of gender // sexual appropriation // objectification sex, by analogy labour, by extension reproduction, by addition race In another context, the French theorist, Julia Kristeva, claimed women appeared as a historical group after the Second World War, along with groups like youth.
Perhaps socialist feminists were not substantially guilty of producing essentialist theory that suppressed women's particularity and contradictory interests.
THE INFORMATICS OF DOMINATION In this attempt at an epistemological and political position, I would like to sketch a picture of possible unity, a picture indebted to socialist and feminist principles of design.
One important route for reconstructing socialist- feminist politics is through theory and practice addressed to the social relations of science and technology, including crucially the systems of myth and meanings structuring our imaginations.
Some of the rearrangements of race, sex, and class rooted in high-tech-facilitated social relations can make socialist- feminism more relevant to effective progressive politics.
An adequate socialist- feminist politics should address women in the privileged occupational categories, and particularly in the production of science and technology that constructs scientific-technical discourses, processes, and objects.
Since much of this picture interweaves with the social relations of science and technology, the urgency of a socialist- feminist politics addressed to science and technology is plain.
There are grounds for hope in the emerging bases for new kinds of unity across race, gender, and class, as these elementary units of socialist- feminist analysis themselves suffer protean transformations.
Also specific to A Cyborg Manifesto [EN] (1984):
women cyborg labour socialist cyborgs the Western colour reproduction science and unity historical organism fiction as theory homework experience domination feminist boundaries boundary high of innocence stories potent The tech politics relations radical language organic One Cyborg political woman s men myth race gender consciousness US her writing feminism