QotD: “On sex, gender and Socialist Resistance”

Glosswitch has the article that was taken down from Socialist Resistance up on her blog. The whole article is worth reading, but I want to quote from her introduction to the piece, about why she asked to have the article removed from Socialist Resistance, as it is a perfect illustration of how men of the left keep on screwing women over (I have the category ‘MRAs, Nice Guys(TM) and ‘male feminists’, I keep debating if I should add ‘lefty men’ to the list).

I originally wrote this piece for Socialist Resistance – in response to an idea that came from them, not me – but asked to have it withdrawn in light of this editorial announcement. I think it’s important for women’s work to be represented fairly and I don’t consent to my work being presented in contexts which don’t reflect the actual commission. The insistence that women’s voices in particular – particularly when women are describing their lives and needs – require “trigger warnings” is patriarchal to the core. When people are offended by women speaking or writing, it’s rarely women who are the problem.

In this particular instance I think Socialist Resistance need to be honest about their editorial policies and their political principles. There is a word for people for whom discussions of female bodies, female labour and male violence cause “offence and distress.” That word is not “trans”, “queer”, “marginalised” or “oppressed,” but “misogynist” (it’s been around for quite some time). If that is a publication’s desired readership, fine, but it is frankly bizarre for it to then use the term “socialist” when any analysis of the means of production expressly excludes the exploitation of female bodies and the experiences of female people as a labour class.

Moreover, if an editor believes it is contentious to claim that the exploitation of women is something which benefits a more powerful group (as opposed to something based on a random, free-floating “phobia”); if he or she thinks it is triggering to suggest male violence should be named; if he or she is unconcerned about the age-old exclusion of female bodies from understandings of what human bodies are, then that editor should say so. It’s not okay to make glib statements about not “supporting the exclusion of transwomen from women’s spaces” when that is not what is being debated. If you’re going to slap a trigger warning on someone’s writing and make dog-whistle references to phobias, you need to give precise reasons why. And if your “socialism” is actually “redistribution amongst male people while female people carry on cleaning up everyone’s shit,” you need to be clear about this. Because selling your publication on the back of moral principles you don’t have simply isn’t fair.

2 responses

  1. You should add “manarchists” to your list of tags. 🙂

    As much as I identify with Anarchism, I’ve been exposed with the misogyny in that field as well.

    glosswitch’s article was stellar. I have no idea why anyone would attack it except disingenuously, It is party politics for leftists, nothing more.

  2. That’s not a bad idea

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