Seminar discusses feminism and socialism

March 25, 1998

By Jo Williams

MELBOURNE — Fifty people attended a "Feminism and Socialism" seminar at the Resistance Centre on March 14. Organised by Resistance and the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP), the seminar included feature talks, workshops and campaign discussions around a diversity of issues relating to the struggle for women's liberation.

The first talk, "The anti-social family", explained Marxists' analysis of the development of the family unit and its impact on women.

Workshops titled "A beginners guide to the second wave" and "Feminism and the socialist movement" generated a lot of discussion. The first examined the development and achievements of the women's liberation movement of the 1960s and '70s, and the second outlined the rich history of socialist involvement in the movement.

During the seminar an exciting campaign "brainstorm" was held in which activists contributed numerous ideas for ongoing campaigns around women's rights, in particular against the current attacks on abortion access.

The final presentation, "Liberation feminism versus 'grrl power'", analysed the grrl power phenomenon and its lack of a strategy to build the women's movement today. Speaker Margarita Windisch described this "new form of liberal feminism" as "mutton dressed up as lamb".

The DSP and Resistance are now planning ongoing reading circles and discussion groups around feminism and socialism. For more information telephone 9329 1277.

Around 30 people attended a Feminism and Socialism seminar organised by Resistance and the DSP in Sydney on March 21-22.

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