Feminism for the 99%

Sunday 25th August 2019 from 3.45 pm till 5.15 pm the reading group will meet in the downstairs meeting room of the Thistle Hall, on the corner of Cuba & Arthur Streets, Te Aro, Wellington. Please enter by the grey door on Arthur Street marked Hall Entrance.

This manifesto is our effort to promote that “other” feminism. We write not to sketch an imagined utopia, but to mark out the road that must be travelled to reach a just society. We aim to explain why feminists should choose the road of feminist strikes, why we must unite with other anticapitalist and antisystemic movements, and why our movement must become a feminism for the 99 percent. Only in this way—by connecting with anti- racists, environmentalists, and labour and migrant rights activists—can feminism rise to the challenge of our times. By decisively rejecting “lean in” dogma and the feminism of the 1 percent, our feminism can become a beacon of hope for everyone else.

(Arruzza, Bhattacharya and Fraser, 2019)
An interview with Nancy Fraser, one of the authors of the manifesto.

Required reading

During this session we will discuss the manifesto “Feminism for the 99%” by Cinzia Arruzza, Tithi Bhattacharya, and Nancy Fraser. This reading group session will be convened by Emily Gilchrist. Please use the facebook event to signal your intention to attend.

Prior to the reading group discussion please read pages 1-33 (theses one to six) of the following text:

Arruzza, C., Bhattacharya, T., & Fraser, N. (2019). Feminism for the 99%: A manifesto. London, UK: Verso.

Questions to consider

  • ‘Feminism for the 99%’ is a manifesto that seeks to connect women’s issues to wider class struggles and mobilize people on this basis. Discuss some New Zealand examples of ‘women’s issues’ e.g. reproductive rights, equal pay etc. and how they could perhaps be connected to a wider class struggle.
  • How can trade unions support and actively work towards women’s liberation in New Zealand?
  • The manifesto aims to redefine class in a more inclusive, more ‘capacious’ way: ‘we are not competing with class struggle, we are right in the thick of it’. These ideas intend to overcome the divide between class politics and identity politics. How do you think the Left can work towards overcoming this stubborn divide?
  • The overarching narrative of the manifesto is that unity can only be achieved through dismantling capitalist systems which oppress working classes – both men and women, people of colour, migrants and gender minorities. Discuss your ideas for dismantling capitalism and the inevitable revolution of the proletariat!

Further reading

Davis, A., Ransby, B., Arruzza, C., Taylor, K., Alcoff, L.M., Fraser, N., Odeh, R.Y., and Bhattacharya, T. (2017, February). Beyond lean-in: For a feminism of the 99% and a militant international strike on March. Viewpoint Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.viewpointmag.com/2017/02/03/beyond-lean-in-for-a-feminism-of-the-99-and-a-militant-international-strike-on-march-8/

Leonard, S. & Fraser, N. (2016). Capitalism’s crisis of care. Dissent. Retrieved from https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/nancy-fraser-interview-capitalism-crisis-of-care