9

Feminism and Class Power

Revolutionary feminist thinking has always raised the issue of classism among women. From the onset, there has been a struggle within feminist movement between the reformist model of liberation, which basically demands equal rights for women within the existing class struggle, and more radical and/or revolutionary models, which call for fundamental change in the existing structure so that models of mutuality and equality can replace old paradigms. Just as militant black liberation struggle calling for an end to classism was made to appear unnecessary, once black folks gained greater access to jobs, revolutionary feminism was dismissed by mainstream reformist feminism when women, primarily well-educated white women with class privilege, began to achieve equal access to class power with their male counterparts.

When contemporary feminist movement first began, it received mass media attention solely because of the presence of privileged class women rebelling against their class and patriarchal hierarchy within that class. As a consequence, the issues that received public attention were not those most relevant to working women or masses of

-101-

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Where We Stand: Class Matters
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Contents vi
  • Where We Stand vii
  • Class Matters 1
  • 1 - Making the Personal Political: Class in the Family 10
  • 2 - Coming to Class Consciousness 24
  • 3 - Class and the Politics of Living Simply 38
  • 4 - Money Hungry 50
  • 5 - The Politics of Greed 63
  • 6 - Being Rich 70
  • 7 - The Me-Me Class: the Young and the Ruthless 80
  • 8 - Class and Race: the New Black Elite 89
  • 9 - Feminism and Class Power 101
  • 10 - White Poverty: the Politics of Invisibility 111
  • 11 - Solidarity with the Poor 121
  • 12 - Class Claims: Real Estate Racism 131
  • 13 - Crossing Class Boundaries 142
  • 14 - Living Without Class Hierarchy 156
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