admin: text removed from the library and moved to the forums. Here is the introduction which was given to the text when it was posted by Samotnaf. Below in the comments is the discussion with users which led us to read and remove this text.
The following text was originally published in 1977 by the French group "La Guerre Sociale" as "Misere du feminisme" by Dominique Karamazov (translated in 1998 by Elephant Editions, London). It analyses how feminism, despite its emancipatory airs, has become the guardian of traditional feminine alienation, how feminism became a falsified representation, accomplished by capital, of a real movement. Its real and positive role, like that of ecology, is that it brings problems to light, albeit in a disguised or inverted way. It is up to the revolutionary movement and to theoretical quest to discover their true dimension and resolution.
Endangered Phoenix republish the text here as it is the most intelligent discussion of feminism we have found; but obviously we do not endorse it uncritically. For example, it offers little in practical engagement with or solutions to the immediate real problems of women in this world; it is a little abstract and absolutist, too pure in its detachment. It remains the bearer of ultimate post-revolutionary solutions only. So, for instance, it rightly criticises the legalistic approach of much feminism in regard to rape, which mystifies the real root of the problem; it states its preference for the response of giving rapists a good kicking. But presumably the author would not condemn as ‘legalistic’ the legal defense of those who might be prosecuted for such an act. But the text does not really deal with these thorny contradictions of engagement with this world, or why reliance on legal methods are not a mere theoretical failure; they often seem the only practical, if partial, solution to fearful situations - although, in practice, very few rapes get taken to court, let alone successfully prosecuted, which shows the limitations of a legalistic approach even in its own terms. However, if recourse to the law seems to be the only solution, it's in part due to the fact that nowadays radical solutions are very rarely on people's minds. In the 70s, when this was written, women often thought of other ways of dealing with the problem: in Canada, for instance, there were groups of women who, if the rapist was known, would spray-paint their houses (an autonomous way of 'naming and shaming'), possibly thump them, or have the victim confront them backed by the group, often with the rapists' family and partners present. In Alexandra in South Africa in the mid-80s, community meetings would try the rapist and deal with him accordingly. One of the contradictions of the justification for imprisoning rapists not pointed out in this text is that imprisonment increases the chance of rape - on the prisoners by other prisoners, but probably most victims are understandably indifferent to such contradictions (whilst their silence about this contradiction is indicative of a moralistic hypocrisy).
The dialectic between necessary reformist demands, which appear in struggles and movements that have the potential to develop further, and ultimate revolutionary solutions remains largely unexplored. The text defines feminism in relation to capitalism, but does not deal adequately with its relation to the wider social movement of its times. The often brilliant discussion of desire and sexual relations is limited by its heterosexual angle – the gay perspective doesn’t get a look in (though obviously gay roles are determined by this society just as much as heterosexual ones). But it does deal well with many issues ignored or repressed by feminist ideology.