Response to Nancy Fraser

In her recent piece in Comment is Free, “How feminism became capitalism’s handmaiden — and how to reclaim it” Nancy Fraser draws on her own work in political theory to argue that feminism at best has been co-​opted by neoliberalism and at worst has been a capitalist venture of the neo-​liberal project. What appears at first glance to be a reasoned self-​reflection, one that takes stock and responsibility for past alliances and celebrations of strategic moves for the betterment of women’s lives, at second glance reveals the innate and repetitive myopia of White feminism to take account, to converse and think along with Black and Third World Feminists.

Read on.

3 thoughts on “Response to Nancy Fraser

  1. Interestingly, this was written in response to a piece Fraser wrote for the Guardian 2 years ago, but it seems equally applicable to her piece in the Stone a few days ago (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/10/15/a-feminism-where-leaning-in-means-leaning-on-others/). She makes many claims about what feminism is and what it should be doing that erase the work many Black feminists and other feminists of color have been doing for a long time.

    E.g., “It seems to me that this social system is in a very deep, multidimensional crisis – a crisis at once economic, ecological, social, and political) – and that something will have to give, as was the case in the 1930s. So I would say that the question is not whether this capitalism will be transformed, but how, by whom and in whose interests. I would like feminists to join other progressive and emancipatory social movements in efforts, both intellectual and practical, to shape the direction of change.”

    Many feminists of color are already there, fully engaged in critique of and resistance to “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy” (hooks).

  2. Wow!! I didn’t even notice (though I should have) that this was in response to a different piece. Yikes. She really shouldn’t have just done the same thing again…

  3. I wish I’d read Brenna Bhandar and Denise F. de Silva’s response before – thanks for the link. I think that basically they are totally right about Fraser. I’m intrigued though by their view that black and white feminisms are political stances are not identities. It’s just that I find it odd to think of, e.g., Maria Mies as a black feminist, as one would have to do in Bhandar and de Silva’s terms. It makes me a bit uncomfortable to think that by virtue of being anti-capitalist, say, and anti-colonialism, a feminist would thereby count as ‘black’ whatever the racial identity she normally inhabits. It reminds me somewhat of the Rachel Dolezal controversy.

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