Monthly Archives: December 2009

One Dimensional Feminism and the Election of 2008

Advice to old fogies like me: Print the article up for easier reading 🙂

One Dimensional Feminism: Feminism and the Election

(This entry is one in a planned series of entries on what I’m calling  One-Dimensional Feminism. In One Dimensional Man (published in 1964) Herbert Marcuse argued that societal power—he was focused on capitalism—had new modes of domination facilitated by technology and the accelerated commodification of all modes of life. Domination could win by satisfying peoples’ desires as much as through repressing them; peoples’ aspirations could mesh with the interests of capital more fluidly than ever before. This enmeshment of the subject with forces of domination made society and its subjects “one-dimensional.”   “One dimensional society” refers to a societal order that establishes itself as inevitable: no other dimensions of reality are glimpsed through the solid edifice it presents of itself. Reality is flat because the dimension of the negative is foreclosed—reality appears only in its positive form. Today the “positive” is not only the foreground against which negative space is simply forgotten. The “positive” is also that inducement to positive-thinking, to putting a positive spin on everything including practices once seen as the conductive tissue of subordination (e.g. consumerism is now seen as in and of itself a form of subversion). Residual forces of negation (opposition and critique) are digested within a social order that makes these forces reappear in their positive and positively incorporated forms.  My project on One Dimensional Feminism explores this basic idea in relation to the hollowing out of feminism as a former force of opposition and negation (critique)and thus the way that new forms of patriarchal control—neo-liberal patriarchy—function to better assimilate the subject of feminism within the interests of a patriarchal system, and generally the interests of men as a social group.)

Continue reading