(print out for easier reading)
One Dimensional Feminism, Part 2
Where have all the flowers gone?
A Tale of a (Lost) Passion
Oscar Wilde, writing in The Soul of Man Under Socialism, said, “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing.”
Preface: for Mary Daly in memoriam
I write this blog-essay on the occasion of the death (January 3, 2010) of my only Mentor, Mary Daly. And I wonder, is this the passing of the flowers of the utopian?
If Mary taught me one thing it was that feminism is a passion. By passion I do not mean emotion, but a whole world-view, an imaginary—meaning a sense of collectivity beyond the current scheme of things, implying DESIRE for a whole new world—and continuous NEGATION of that which-is. Continue reading
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.)
A raw noon-time, early in 2009, the wind biting, the sun bright. It takes a moment upon descending into the dusky underground of the subway for objects to resume their shape, and I figure out which side of the tracks is the Brooklyn-bound side.