The conservative view of women argues that the sexual division of labour is 'natural' and that woman's role as wife, mother and home-maker is biologically given. They believe, to quote Freud, that "Anatomy is destiny". I am going to look at the different traditions of political thought that have developed to critique this vision of women's role in society. There are broadly speaking, four theories; Liberal Feminism, Traditional Marxism, Radical Feminism and Socialist Feminism. I am going to present these in the historical order that they developed but all these theories are still evident in politics today.
The struggle for women's liberation has generally been bound up with other, wider social and economic changes. The first written evidence of equality with men being put seriously on the agenda was during the reformation starting in the sixteenth century. This questioning of established religion also bought the questioning of other long held beliefs.
THE WAR in what was Yugoslavia continues to drag on, with an ever increasing toll of people terrorized from their homes, killed or imprisoned. Most ordinary people are disgusted at the failure of the EC to do anything about it. Yet is EC or UN involvement any sort of answer or would it just make the situation worse.
Alternatively this book could be called "All you ever wanted to know about Anarchism but were afraid to ask".
After reading Guerin's "Anarchism" you'll be a convinced anarchist, armed with lots of arguments and examples to throw at the Leninists. This book is an easy reading introduction to the main ideas in anarchist thought and the events that have helped to form them. It is divided into three sections, Anarchist theory, Anarchist economy and Anarchists in revolutionary practice.
THE YEAR 1992 saw a lot of changes. There was the dissappearance of Czechoslovakia into two separate countries, the infamous Maastricht treaty, the war in Yugoslavia, the limited victory for women's rights in Ireland and our gold medal for boxing in the Olympics. However an event which you may have missed was the eightieth birthday of George Woodcock. To celebrate this, a book was published of Mr Woodcock's collected essays, entitled "Anarchism and Anarchists".
A CYNICAL EYE is directed at anarchists whenever they speak of organisation. Is not anarchism the opposite to organisation? The simple answer is NO. Is it then the opposite of large or complicated organisation. The answer is equally simple, NO. So where do such mistaken ideas come from?
PART OF THE old Eastern European legend says that a vampire must be willingly invited into the house of its victim, and once invited in has its victim in its power. Members of the Teamsters Union (America's largest general trade union) might well ponder this legend.
The Teamsters invited government intervention in the 1980s to help ensure free elections and oust corrupt Mafia controlled officials who had held power for decades. In 1989 a "mutual consent decree" was put in place creating an Independent Review Board to facilitate the democratisation process. The Board was made up of one union representative, one government representative and one 'impartial' outside person, who was to be agreed by both sides. The Board was to be disbanded once free elections took place inside the Teamsters.
"Liberal Interventionism" is the new buzzword for 1993. In every newspaper they are baying for blood. "US intervene in Bosnia", "America sort out Somalia" scream the headlines. People who might have questioned American intervention in Nicaragua, Panama or the Middle East are raging that the marines didn't go into Somalia sooner. Aid agencies who condemned America's role in Central America are begging them to extend their mission in Somalia. It is time to look at how the crisis in that country is being used to justify America's 'big brother' role in the New World Order.
IRELAND IS a conservative country. Since the founding of the southern state 70 years ago, church has been intertwined with state. The majority of its citizens belong to the Catholic Church. Catholic ethos is enshrined in the constitution, in the laws, in the education system. Catholic tentacles make there way into most areas of public policy.
It is hard to analyse the most important result from the Referendum, namely the 'substantive issue' or the Abortion Referendum. It would only be possible to give an accurate reading of this Referendum if a further poll was taken. People need to be asked why they voted 'No' on the day.
The Irish Left is very small. However history has shown that it is possible to have influence far out of proportion to your numbers. So what strategy did these highly organised groups committed to fighting for womens' liberation adopt.