Womens Magazine

Fund Drive Special: Socialist Feminism Past, Present and Future

In April, the Socialist Feminist Working Group of Philadelphia DSA hosted a gathering of 200 leftist feminists from all over the U.S.  It was the first explicitly socialist feminist national convergence in this country since 1975, when more than 1500 women gathered in Yellow Springs, Ohio for the first National Socialist Feminist Conference. Is socialist feminism making a comeback? As recent events concerning the International Socialist Organization and Worker’s World Party illustrate, it is certainly badly needed.

On this fund drive special, we present a selection of interviews from our Socialist Feminist Pack, compiled by Kate Raphael and Lisa Dettmer. The pack includes authors Elana Dykewomon (Beyond the Pale), Helen Zia (Last Boat Out of Shanghai),  Tithi Bhattacharya (Feminism for the 99%; she was also the keynote speaker at the recent Philly conference), Zillah Eisenstein (The Audacity of Races and Genders), Seattle city council member Kshama Sawant, educator Lois Helmbold and activist Leslie Cagan.  They discuss the Yellow Springs conference, the resurgence of DSA, real and perceived splits between “socialists” (presumed male) and “feminists” (presumed bourgeois and white) and how women are organizing now toward a socialist future. Also included is a clip from the Third World Panel at the 1975 Socialist Feminist Conference.

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