Feminism and Revolution: Looking Back, Looking Ahead
Great Transition Initiative
Julie Matthaei, June 2018
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Since the stirring of “second wave” feminism a half century ago, the movement has become progressively more inclusive and systemic. Early on, Marxist-feminists argued that true women’s liberation required transcending both patriarchy and capitalism, and thus a politics at once feminist and anti-classist was essential. Soon, they, too, were challenged to broaden their theory and practice to acknowledge oppressions arising from race, nationality, sexual orientation, and other sources of identity and social location. Addressing this challenge gave birth to a solidarity politics within feminism rooted in intersectionality and manifest both within the movement and in its relationship with other movements. Importantly, this new politics offers ways for individuals to engage in radical social change now by creating new practices and institutions in the solidarity economy. An implacable and inclusive feminism remains essential for building the larger solidarity politics and economics we need for a Great Transition that eliminates oppression of all kinds.