chapter  two
12 Pages

Fundamental Feminism: Process and Perspective

WithNancy C.M. Hartsock

The conference in general assumed that feminism is a culture, while socialism is a politics. In discussing the relation of socialist feminism to the autonomous women’s movement, the session description stressed the need for “politicization. By beginning with everyday life and experience, feminism has developed a politics that incorporates an understanding of process and of the importance of appropriating our past as an essential element of political action. Feminists have begun to learn about the meaning of class and race by looking at the impact of the divisions on everyday life. The myth of black matriarchy, women’s role as houseworkers, their functions as part of a reserve labor force, and the participation of women and minorities in a separate and secondary labor market—all these fulfill specific functions for capitalism but would be impossible without the institutions of white supremacy and patriarchy.