Feminism for the 99% A Manifesto MOBI ß the 99%


Feminism for the 99% A Manifesto From three of the organisers of the International Women's Strike US a manifesto for when 'leaning in' is not enoughRecent years have seen the emergence of massive feminist mobilizations around the world offering an alternative to the liberal feminism that has become the handmaiden of capitalism and of Islamophobia These new movements have taken aim at neoliberalism's economic violence the violence of xenophobic migratory policies as well as the violence of imperialist military interventions and of environmental disastersIn this short book three of the organisers of the international women's strike in the US lay out a manifesto for an alternative Looking to women mobilizing in Argentina Brazil Mexico Poland Italy Spain Turkey and other countries who have recast feminist anti racist environmentalist struggles in creative ways the authors lay out a compelling set of demands It is a manifesto that seeks to retrieve a radical and subversive feminism for the emergence of an international anticapitalist feminist networkAgainst the 'Lean In' corporate feminism of Hilary Clinton and Sheryl Sandberg a feminism that is useful only for the women of the 1% this manifesto outlines a feminism for the rest of us a feminism for the 99% I’ve been talking about some of the premises mentioned in the manifesto not as coherently but received resistance from others even from feminists especially about sexual exploitation I’m with the Feminism for 99 percent count me in NOW“For the reason that a feminism for the 99 percent incarnates and fosters the struggle for bread and roses” A powerful manifesto that compels us to make our feminism revolutionary specifically by targeting capitalism as a primary root of women’s oppression Written by three of the organizers of the international women’s strike Feminism for the 99% draws from women’s mobilizing efforts in countries such as Mexico Spain Brazil and to expand feminism to dismantle economic environmental and racist injustice I loved this book for its bold and uncompromising call for moving beyond a form of feminism that serves white andor wealthy women Here’s a uote from the beginning of the book that addresses the problem with liberal feminism a common form of feminism within contemporary society“Centered in the global North among the professional managerial stratum liberal feminism is focused on ‘leaning in’ and ‘cracking the glass ceiling’ Dedicated to enabling a smattering of privileged women to climb the corporate ladder and the ranks of the military it propounds a market centered view of euality that dovetails perfectly with the prevailing corporate enthusiasm for ‘diversity’ Although it condemns ‘discrimination’ and advocates ‘freedom of choice’ liberal feminism steadfastly refuses to address the socioeconomic constraints that make freedom and empowerment impossible for the large majority of women Its real aim is not euality but meritocracy Rather than seeking to abolish social hierarchy it aims to ‘diversify’ it ‘empowering’ ‘talented’ women to rise to the top In treating women simply as an ‘underrepresented group’ its proponents seek to ensure that a few privileged souls can attain positions and pay on a par with the men of their own class By definition the principal beneficiaries are those who already possess considerable social cultural and economic advantages Everyone else remains stuck in the basement”I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a uick intelligent and fiery takedown of capitalist exploitation and the importance of ensuring that feminism transcends replicating oppressive class and race dynamics It’s short so the authors don’t really provide deep or thorough methods for putting these ideals into practice and at the same time I figure we can read books or read up on organizing and policy to help us enact their vision Further I did wonder if the authors’ language is accessible to all those who they may be trying to reach At the same time I feel that this book works as a call to action to those of us with privilege whether that be class education andor race privilege to both use our privilege and to step aside for those who have been marginalized again and again through capitalism Ideally we’d fight for a world where social and economic hierarchies are completely dismantled I’ll end this review with a uote I appreciated from the authors’ section on how feminism must be anti racist and anti imperialist“The effects of this global pyramid scheme are gendered as well Today millions of black and migrant women are employed as caregivers and domestic workers Often undocumented and far from their families they are simultaneously exploited and expropriated – forced to work precariously and on the cheap deprived of rights and subject to abuses of every stripe Forged by global care chains their oppression enables better conditions for privileged women who avoid some domestic work and pursue demanding professions How ironic then that some of these privileged women invoke women’s rights in support of political campaigns to jail black men as rapists to persecute migrants and Muslims and to reuire that black and Muslim women assimilate to dominant culture” This is a short manifesto about how liberal feminism and capitalism are destroying democracies the lives of people and the planet They outline why feminism must fight against capitalism and neo liberalism if it is to have any positive impact on the lives of 99% of the world's population especially women who bear the brunt of poverty violence and oppression I agree with all of their points but my criticism is that it reads like a manifesto for the already converted They assume that readers will understand complex political theory with little explanations or illustrations I understand that a manifesto is not a textbook but if its purpose is to influence people who do not already agree with them they needed to make their points accessible to the reader Lucid and broad in scope Feminism for the 99% offers a clear vision of a just world The manifesto consists of eleven concise theses which diagnose social ills across the globe and outline how they might be dispelled by an international anti capitalist feminist movement As the co authors argue for everything from eco socialism to anti imperialism they describe recent instances of women’s resistance to the oppressive status uo drawing attention to how the movement they envision is already taking shape The book succinctly details how capitalist exploitation is all pervasive and extends far beyond the workplace and convincingly makes the case for a new form of leftist politics that focuses as much on unpaid social reproduction as industrial wage labor

  • Paperback
  • 85 pages
  • Feminism for the 99% A Manifesto
  • Cinzia Arruzza
  • English
  • 21 January 2014
  • 9781788734424

About the Author: Cinzia Arruzza

Cinzia Arruzza is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research She received her PhD from the University of Rome Tor Vergata and subseuently studied at the universities of Fribourg Switzerland and Bonn Germany where she was the recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellowship Her research interests include ancient metaphysics and political thought


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