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Posted April 23, 2002
The question of the liberation of women has always been one of the dividing lines between revolutionary and reformist currents in working class movements, Mary-Alice Waters argues here. Revolutionists, from Karl Marx and Frederich Engels in the late 1800s to Lenin and Trotsky and other leaders of the 1917 Russian Revolution, championed the emancipation of women. This lively pamphlet is a good introduction to a rich history of debate and struggle, with examples from the United States, Germany, Britain, and Russia. Waters introduces you to the German revolutionists Clara Zetkin, Rosa Luxemburg, August Bebel; organizers of early American labor struggles such as Mother Jones and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn; and Mary White Ovington, Rose Pastor Stokes and other leaders of the American Socialist Party in the early years of the 1900s. I found useful the excerpts from debates in 1914 in the American socialist magazine ¿New Review.¿ For example: the comment: ¿The Socialist who is not a feminist is lacking in breadth. The Feminist who is not a Socialist is lacking in strategy.¿ Or an article arguing for repeal of laws against contraceptives to end ¿attempts to enforce upon women the tyranny of accidental and unwelcome pregnancy.¿ In all--thought provoking and a pointer to further study on these important questions.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 2, 2002
What is the relationship between feminism and socialism? Should women wait until the socialist future to pursue their demands for equality? As young women were debating these ideas in the women's liberation movement of the 1960s and 70s, many of us had no idea that our predecessors in the early Marxist movements in the US and Europe grappled with the same questions--until we read this pamphlet. Waters shows how important the fight for women's equality is in the struggle to overthrow capitalism. And how women can only win complete liberation through a socialist revolution. You'll relive the important debates that took place in the early socialist and communist organizations. And you'll meet the early feminists who stood their ground within these movements to champion the cause of women. Waters describes the radical measures taken by the early revolutionary government in the USSR to liberate women from their subordinate place in society. She also explains how these progressive acts were later reversed by the Stalinist regime.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.