There is a big problem with those ‘feminists’ (male and female) who walked out of the SWP. They are incompetent. They have zero comprehension of who some of their allies are in the student and trade union movement.
Richard Seymour’s ISN cadres refuses to challenge the ‘feminism’ of students who clearly just want more women in positions of power and influence in an elitist, militarist, exploitative society. These feminists have no problems using the special bodies of armed men and women to crush our skulls on picket lines, especially if Chief Constables and Generals issuing the orders are well paid women. These ‘feminists’ are easily satisfied. Their consciences can be bought off with an equality of males and females making personal fortunes for the hard ‘work’ of signing off on mass sackings of factory floor and office workers. These ‘feminists’ are in solidarity with bosses (of big and small capital) who wield chain saws to red tape, in other words, health and safety legislation and employment rights. These ‘feminists’ want freedom to sack their workers to boost profits, exposing the class antagonism between feminism on the one hand and Marxism on the other.
If you look at the BBC’s politics, news and current affairs output, many of the most wretched broadcasters these days are women. I am not saying that some of the BBC’s best broadcasters are not also women; they most certainly are. Nor am I saying that most of the men are fair and competent. Nothing could be further from the truth. However, the BBC thinks that so long as they have a fair share of female broadcasters it matters not a jot if the politics and competence of female employees represent a decline with respect to who came before: Any Answers has jumped the shark since Jonathon Dimbleby was replaced by Anita Anand. Westminster Hour under Carolyn Quinn is a disgrace, and Daily Politics is unwatchable when Jo Coburn is in the driving seat. I don’t pull my punches polemically when it comes to the men, but I suspect a lot of men feel they can’t criticise some of the women broadcasters for fear they will be accused of misogyny, which is complete and utter nonsense.
In the Scottish Socialist Party, I buckled and voted through a series of rule changes that robbed the left of a decent choice from that point on, ensuring that many very right wing explicitly anti-socialists ‘won’ senior positions in the party because we had (for whatever reason) failed to recruit enough women with decent class politics. I had assumed the party could win these women, or new recruits, to embrace better politics, but that is not how it turned out. The politics of these women only got worse from that point on, as they no longer felt any need to curry favour with the membership, as they were virtually ungetriddable. Furthermore, these women leaders managed to drag a significant section of the male cadre into their orbit as it was relatively so much harder to get rid of this section of the party leadership.
Marxists need to consider all such problems in terms of class and of politics. And feminism is utterly hostile to Marxism: two opposed perspectives, representing irreconcilable class interests. Women’s liberation needs Marxism since the working class can never be free so long as one of our genders remains unfree. Women’s liberation does not need an above-class ‘feminism’. It just doesn’t.