Contingency Plans for the Feminist Revolution

Science and Society 65 (1):39 - 71 (2001)
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Abstract

Hope for another movement, a third wave of feminism, inspires fresh debates about the second wave women's movement, particularly the youthful women's liberation movement (WLM). The literature begins a process of what Frigga Haug calls "memory work," the attention of present feminists to their collective past. Nancy Fraser's call to re-center political economy in feminist theories of social change remains important. But in the 1960s and early 70s an understanding of political economy was only one part of feminist theories about politics. Political economy addresses what is; alone it cannot formalize a revolutionary movement. Importantly, early feminist ephemeral and professionally published essays also imagined and debated a revolutionary women's movement through the projection of what could be, or organization. Formulations earlier in the 20th century about "organization" by Rosa Luxemburg and Georg Luk√°cs clarify the stakes of a forgotten theoretical legacy from the WLM's revolutionary politics: how to formalize what we know and what we do into a movement.

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