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A Few Good Women: Response to "Why Women Still Can't Have It All"

By       Message Lenore Daniels     Permalink
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As a modern female proletarian, the woman becomes a human being for the first time, since the [proletarian] struggle is the first to prepare human beings to make a contribution to culture, to history of humanity.

Rosa Luxemburg, "The Proletarian Woman" (1914)

 

In her day, Marxist theoretician and activist Rosa Luxemburg was criticized for not defining herself as a "feminist" and advocating, exclusively women's suffrage. She attempted to explain her refusal to be identified solely as a feminist but arguing that, as a committed Marxist thinker and activist, she wanted to see the end of oppression for all people, women and men like--universal freedom, beyond the electoral process, full human rights for all. "Every day enlarges the hosts of women exploited by capitalism," Luxemburg writes, ("Women's Suffrage and Class Struggle". (The Rosa Luxemburg Reader, 2004). Until women recognize that following the path of the worker's struggle, rather than joining bourgeois women's movements, inequality and injustice will remain and capitalism and its facilitators   (bourgeois women included) will profit from "exploitation and enslavement" of the masses of women and their children.

 

"Bourgeois advocates of women's rights want to secure political rights in order hen to assume a role in political life."  

 

While I am reading Anne-Marie Slaughter's "Why Women Still Can't Have It All," in the cover story of The Atlantic, July/August, issue, I am asking myself, what world does this woman live in? But then I know.

 

"I am well aware that the majority of American women face problems far greater than any discussed in this article. I am writing for my demographic--highly educated, well-off women who are privileged enough to have choices in the first place."

 

Slaughter is writing for the women who seek leadership positions, who pursue and maintain "their place on the highest rungs of their profession," preferably the political profession, and who assumed, unlike their mothers, that they, women born in the 1950s, would be able to "have it all."

 

Have all of what?  

 

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Dr. Lenore J. Daniels, Black Commentator, Editorial Board and Columnist, Doctorate in Modern American Literature/Cultural Theory

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