Transforming Feminist Practice: Non-Violence, Social Justice and the Possibilites of a Spiritualized Feminism

Article excerpt

TRANSFORMING FEMINIST PRACTICE: NON-VIOLENCE, SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THE POSSIBILITIES OF A SPIRITUALIZED FEMINISM

Leela Fernandas

AUNT LUTE BOOKS, 2003

Writing about nonviolence, social justice and the possibilities of a spiritualized feminism as a cohesive whole, as the subtitle of this book suggests, takes tremendous conviction and courage-both of which Leela Fernandas possesses. It also takes a keen intellect and a solid grounding in feminist and political theory to manage to convince even the most disillusioned idealist that spirituality is not only a moral imperative in any kind of social struggle, but a prerequisite for enduring change. The key word here is enduring. Fernandes strongly believes that Utopias are realizable, provided that activists are willing to make demands for social change and to give up their own class, racial or gender privileges. Profound social transformation requires an equally profound transformation of the self.

There is nothing wrong with Marxism or other Utopian visions of society, contends the author. The failure of Utopias to survive has not resulted from an inherent flaw in their conception, but from the failure of their leaders to shy away from the very hierarchical structures they attempted to destroy. …