Re: (PCT and Feminism)

Robert Parks (
Wed, 15 May 1996 23:32:20 -0400

Dear Wendy,

Forgive my persistence....

So far....

>Dear Bob
>In response to my note that
>" The 'feminism' which makes most sense to me is an approach which
>might be labeled 'postmodern critical feminism' which acknowledges
>that we are all multiple ,gendered, belonging to a particular race, nation,
>historical time, and, ......... As such we are all positioned within
>a complex web of opportunities and constraints where equality is very
>difficult to find."
>You responded -
>" That is certainly a sensitive, sensible, rich and potentially productive
> perspective. But why call it "feminist"?"
>My answer -
>Because in my experience of modernism, and some approaches to
>postmodern thought, the leaving out of gender is to deny both an
>important part of who we are, and a significant factor in the
>exercising of power in relationships.
>Wendy Crebbin

This tells me that our (yes mine too) theory must not leave out gender, and
must not deny its role in power relationships. Fine... but still... why
should I call this "feminist"... when that only distinguises me from
"masculinist"? I trust we will not leave out racism and its role in power
relations... but nobody suggests calling an encompassing theory "color
based theory" or "race theory". These would be theories about color and
race. Is "feminism" then just a theory about gender? I think I detected
broader aspirations.

Perhaps I'm troubled by the apparent insertion of women's interests in
power as equivalent to the general interests of humankind. Yet as the few
models of female power holders (Indira Ghandi, Thatcher, Kirkpatrick in the
U.S., etc.) become a trickle and then a stream, I find the world just as
filled with structures of domination... only women now coopted to manage
them. Blacks too... It seems to follow that nobody could complain of
domination when we have a black woman president.... But capital is just as
indifferent to gender as it is to race.

Sorry to subject you to this stream of consciousness.

Bob Parks