A Radical Look at Feminism Today
The year 2016 should not be used as an endorsement of an imperial rhetoric for "women's rights", which remain seriously unequal and easily undermined by structural constraints of poverty both in the US and across the globe. An Obama or a Hillary might be the best candidate that the US can hope for in these very conservative times, but our liberation movements must remain at the ready to demand more. It is imperative that the US does not go forward as usual on the global stage with a female face: not in "our" name. Biology is not destiny. Vaginal politics is not sufficient even if it might be necessary.
Corporate nations and misogynist 'rights'?
Hillary is said to have done the hard work of readying herself for president. James Carville says she has paid her dues. Please. Do we all need to be married to Bill Clinton or groomed for decades? This might be "rights" feminism writ small; but it needs to be democratised for the rest. A Hillary run may mean something for women's "rights" - but it does not entail enough for everyday life. That is where radically committed feminists come in.
No female appears to have followed in Thatcher's footsteps. And it does not seem clear that all that many women want to follow in Sheryl Sandberg's at Facebook Nation either. This resistance is at the heart of a new anti-imperial anti-corporatist model for feminism of all kinds. Masses of women across the globe and in the US are working triple days of labour if they have been lucky enough to find a post-economic crisis low-waged job.
Maybe this is what is new and changed in the larger scheme of things. After a few more decades of unrelenting and cruel inequality across the globe, and inside our home countries, feminists in what can be loosely termed Western, or Northern climes have become more critical of the intersectional misogyny of the global capitalist market. Its liberal and neo-liberal austere politics seems more problematic as it becomes more exclusive and mainstreamed in singular fashion. Let us put the global violence against women in view here with the women of One Billion Rising. Let there be more generosity of spirit for the fearless feminism of Femen as they bare their breasts in outraged defiance of Putin's patriarchy. Let us connect to the variety of feminist revolutionaries in Tunisia, Egypt and South Africa.
The historical moment we all occupy is always new, even if it also remains old and predictable. At this point, corporatism and militarist imperialism bind together in particular ways to utilise masculinist structures but with more and more females - in the military, in corporations, in politics. The capture of female bodies for these new locations begin to tell a troubling complex story in camouflage.
Given these shifts it is not really all that surprising that Sheryl Sandberg along with Facebook, seem to be, and are everywhere. She is a new female face of corporate/imperial feminism. This is tricky business when corporations are said to be more powerful than countries, as Mark Zuckerberg likes to say and think. For "Facebook Nation" connectivity for advertising is the purpose - the height of the meaning of a privatised nation; a company copying a nation and a nation copying a company (Check out Kate Losse).
The lean inposturing is merely the method that is necessary to be able to succeed. No one presumes this strategy is about or for the masses. The masses are not the players - we are instead the object of desire - to be networked for buying and selling. Work as hard as you can. Keep your focus. There is no end in sight - the endlessness of the day is the new ethic. Stick family inside it and keep going.