A new take on a powerful and revolutionary movement.
What is socialist feminism and why is it needed to fight the global rise of authoritarianism and fascism? Frieda Afary brings the insights gained through her study of feminist philosophy, her international activism, and her work in community education as a public librarian in Los Angeles, offering a bold new vision of an alternative to capitalism, racism, sexism, heterosexism, and alienation.
Socialist Feminism: A New Approach reclaims theories of women's oppression through a return to humanism, enriched by social reproduction theories, Black feminist intersectionality, abolitionism, queer theories, Marxist-Humanism, and the author's own experiences as an Iranian American feminist, scholar, and activist.
She looks at global developments in gender relations since the 1980s, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the distinct features of twenty-first-century authoritarianism, and current struggles against it, drawing out lessons for revolutionary theorizing, organizing, and international solidarity including the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements.
Contains a study guide that transforms it into a useful pedagogical tool for teachers and activists.
About the Author
Frieda Afary is an Iranian American socialist feminist activist, translator and writer. She is a public librarian in Los Angeles, where she runs philosophy and politics classes for the community including young women activists and scholars representing Black Lives Matter, Latina, queer and labour activists.
What People Are Saying
'I do not know of any other book that so effectively explains socialist feminism and brings it into conversation with global social movements. At a time when feminism is under fire, Afary has given us a powerful teaching tool!' Rosemary Hennessy, author of 'Materialist Feminism and the Politics of Discourse'
'A powerful critique of authoritarianism, capitalism, sexism, racism and other forms of tranny. Afary unpacks the complicated plethora of gender, race and class theories to show us the way toward a contemporary approach to socialist feminism that is revolutionary' Romarilyn Ralston, Black feminist abolitionist and Executive Director of Project Rebound at California State Fullerton
'I highly recommend this very readable yet highly rigorous retelling and refiguring of socialist feminism. Afary's claim that humanism is far more flexible than the version that was dismissed in the 1980s is provocative and compelling' Judith Grant, Emerita Professor at Ohio University in Athens
'When many of us are feeling discouraged with the state of our countries and of the world, Frieda Afary's timely book shows the way to understanding, consciousness, and activism. This book can help prepare young people to improve societies. As the grandmother of two African-American females, I am profoundly grateful for this amazing volume' Mary Elaine Hegland, Professor of Anthropology at Santa Clara University
'Frieda Afary has dared to challenge the world of intellectuals to define a new action paradigm. How do women protect themselves? Afary debunks the distortions in the 'self to other' relationships, and critically analyses the conditions leading us toward peril and destruction. Whether you read this book all at once or in small settings with friends, you will be better prepared to live within the 21st century' Wonda Powell, Emerita Professor of History, Los Angeles Southwest College
'Afary's work is important because it goes beyond theoretical inquiry to also include how the clashes of important powers impact the struggles of many people in their everyday lives today, particularly women and people of colour' Lisbeth Gant-Britton, author of 'Holt African American History'
Table of Contents
Introduction: Rethinking Socialist Feminism to Find a Pathway Out of Authoritarian Capitalism and Develop a Humanist Alternative
1. The Pandemic, the #MeToo Movement, and Contradictory Developments in Gender Relations
2. Distinctive Features of Authoritarian Capitalism/Imperialism Today and the New Challenges
of Black Lives Matter and Global Uprisings
3. Women, Reproductive Labor, and Capital Accumulation: Theories of Social Reproduction
4. Alienated Labor and How It Relates to Gender Oppression
5. Black Feminism and Intersectionality
6. Queer Theories
7. Theorizing a Socialist Humanist and Feminist Alternative to Capitalism
8. Overcoming Domination: Reconceptualizing the Self-Other Relationship
Conclusion: Socialist Feminist Revolutionary Organizing in the Twenty-First Century