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Thu Jul 12, 2012, 12:23 PM

 

What would a Feminist Society look like?

I mean, beyond the obvious: easy access to birth control, health care, equal pay for equal work and a general egalitarian nature...

Would the ideals of such a society incorporate more of a collective structure or an individualistic structure?

Would it be more tied to anarchist, socialist or capitalist theory?

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Reply What would a Feminist Society look like? (Original post)
Taverner Jul 2012 OP
libodem Jul 2012 #1
Taverner Jul 2012 #3
libodem Jul 2012 #4
Taverner Jul 2012 #5
libodem Jul 2012 #6
obamanut2012 Jul 2012 #2
libodem Jul 2012 #7
Zorra Jul 2012 #8
Taverner Jul 2012 #9
Zorra Jul 2012 #10
Taverner Jul 2012 #11
libodem Jul 2012 #12
yardwork Jul 2012 #13
Zorra Jul 2012 #14
yardwork Jul 2012 #17
One_Life_To_Give Jul 2012 #15
Gormy Cuss Jul 2012 #16
Neoma Jul 2012 #20
Kath1 Jul 2012 #18
Neoma Jul 2012 #19

Response to Taverner (Original post)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 12:29 PM

1. I would guess

It would appear socialist. Lots of cooperatives. Childcare would be an Exchange. We would be the village it takes to raise a child. Doncha think? Tribal.

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Response to libodem (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 12:31 PM

3. Sort of anarcho-syndicalist...

 

That is, socialism without the central control

I would love there to be a childcare exchange. They used to have these when I was a kid in the 70s.

Love to see them make a comeback.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 12:47 PM

4. Then you could hook

Education to it. I love the public schools but they are taking a beating with no child left behind. I could envision some type of freethinking exploration experience for kids and teachers. I'd love to have all the services exchanged. Health care to housework.

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Response to libodem (Reply #4)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 12:50 PM

5. You know our species would be so much better off without cash

 

As in a barter economy, or one in which the "cash" actually had intrinsic value

The Khmer Empire of antiquity had no cash, as the currency was rice

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Response to Taverner (Reply #5)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 01:31 PM

6. Everybody's job is important

Down to garbage collection. I'd love to see a more egalitarian society. More cooperation. Less cash. More sharing.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 12:30 PM

2. Social Democracies

The nations that have these tend to also have the most egalitarian laws and societies.

That is simplistic, but alas all I have time for right now!

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 01:32 PM

7. You are right on

What you said!

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 01:58 PM

8. A Matriarchal Society in the age of Globalization: Juchitán/Southern Mexico

The author of this piece knows a great deal more than I do about Juchitan, and I would say that her perception is accurate, from my POV gleaned from within the limited boundaries of my time and experiences in the town, and with the culture. I've been to Juchitan several times, my longest stay was about two weeks. It's obviously very unique. I posted this essay and the following article here to illustrate, to some extent, what an actual existing functioning matriarchy with long historical roots looks like.

Is the society of Juchitan a feminist society? From my perspective, I feel that it is.

"The economy remains embedded in the societal and cultural context in the form of the so-called prestige economy. The person with the highest esteem is not the one who owns most, but the one who gives most." (: - (from the article)

A Matriarchal Society in the age of Globalization: Juchitán/Southern Mexico
snip--

Juchitán, the town of women

The women of Juchitán, of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, are famous throughout the nation of Mexico because of their beauty and their economic power. Something of this power could be felt in the recent film about the world famous painter Frida Kahlo, who had her Mexican roots in this area. In this country whose character is stamped by "Machismo", the Latino male superiority, one often hears it said "Juchitán is run by women's rule." In Mexico a man is teasingly called a "Teco" (derived from Juchiteco) when he displays supposedly un-masculine softness in the dispute between the sexes. "Teca" is the name for a woman who is proud and energetic and able to prevail. This reflects the ethnic character of women in Juchitán quite well.

The town of Juchitán is a regional trade centre. Moreover it is the residence of farmers and fishermen. Two large saltwater lagoons, rich in fish, are situated 5-10 km away from the town. The surrounding coastal plain is dedicated to tillage and animal husbandry. To visualise the character of this town, we can think of the European agricultural towns, made up mainly of town farmers who owned farms situated within the town's district which were still widespread up until the 1970's and are still in existence today.

Trade in Juchitán is exclusively in the hands of women. Each woman perceives herself as a trader, this skill is essentially given to her "in the cradle", by virtue of being a woman and a Teca. Even as a teacher or physician she will still trade in some goods, for example with gold jewellery or with medical equipment. This trade is both local and regional – Juchitán traders have outposts in the surrounding areas and with other ethnic groups – as well as doing long distant trade to Central America and to the southern states of the US. The main trading goods for long distance trade are local specialities, like dried shrimps, toasted tortillas called totopo, gold jewellery and richly embroidered garments. Agriculture and fishing are men's domains exclusively. A wife of a farmer does not see herself as a peasant woman, but as a trader of agricultural products, likewise, the companion of a fisherman. The men deliver their produce and catch to the women who process them to corn pies or cheese, to delicious chicken dishes or smoked fish, which they then sell on at the market. Or they act as brokers and sell the raw products to other women who in turn process them. Similarly trade in handcrafted products is women's domain.

There is quite a rigid division of labour in Juchitán along the line of the two basic sexes of women and men. Labour defines the sex to a great degree. One could almost get the impression that the rigidity in the sexual division of labour serves mainly the definition of further sexual identities and not so much that of man and woman. The mushes, mostly homosexual men who define themselves as women, do women's work and refuse to do men's work, thus defining their sexual identity through their work. It is similar with the marimachas, women who live with other women and take the male part in the relationship. The sexual practices themselves are rather secondary in view of the social sex assignment. The sexual partner of a mushe is not seen as a mushe, or as homosexual, but simply as a man. The same holds for the partner of a marimacha. If same sex partners do not assign themselves through their work as - biologically antidromic – a third or fourth sex, then sexual contact is rather sporadic and is not an issue in the wider society. What we call bi-sexuality has a very high occurrence in Juchitán.


The Women Who Run Juchitan

"We men do not feel oppressed," says Gaspar Cabrera, the town priest, who is from a nearby village. "This is simply a more egalitarian reality. In this aspect, Zapotec culture is more advanced, and European culture is catching up."


"Toto.....I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore...

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Response to Zorra (Reply #8)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 02:03 PM

9. It sounds more like the culture is Biarchical (is that even a word?) than Matriarchial

 

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Response to Taverner (Reply #9)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 03:04 PM

10. What leads you to believe this? nt

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Response to Zorra (Reply #10)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 03:22 PM

11. Seems very egalitarian

 

Again I may be reading it wrong

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Response to Zorra (Reply #8)

Thu Jul 12, 2012, 04:00 PM

12. Oh my goddess

That is so cool. It reminds me of the prehistoric cultures discussed in The Second Sex, and When God Was A,Woman.

I am very impressed with your experience.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Jul 13, 2012, 10:05 AM

13. Joanna Russ imagined one in her science fiction novel The Female Man.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Female_Man

"Whileaway" is a world where all the men died of a plague hundreds of years ago. The world is populated entirely by females, who learned to conceive children through fertilizing one another's ova. Russ describes Whileaway as a somewhat utopian world but there are negatives, too. It's a highly structured society where people have very specific roles and responsibilities depending on their ages. Women are allowed to be with their children until they are five years old, at which point the children are separated from their mothers and sent away to school, where they are taught to survive in the wilderness. Adolescent children roam the earth proving their skills at hunting and sometimes engaging in fatal duels with one another. Once they reach adulthood, they choose mates and settle into a life of work, rotating through various kinds of jobs. It's mostly agricultural. Women who refuse to work are executed, we learn toward the end of the novel.

The book was written in the early 1970s and follows four women whose worlds literally collide - it's science fiction, so the women drop in and out of one another's worlds and meet one another. These different worlds and lives present four different perspectives on the roles of women and challenges they face - including the feminist/lesbian women of Whileaway and another character, a female assassin who lives in a world where men and women are literally at war with one another. A third character lives in a highly sexist world where the Depression never ended and there was no women's movement of the 1950s+. The fourth character - named Joanna and clearly representing the author herself - lives in the world of the 1970s and tries to cope with sexism and misogyny while struggling to retain her identity as a woman.

I was a child in the early 1970s and I remember each of these four perspectives on the roles of women being topical at the time - some women were "becoming" lesbians and retreating to agricultural communal living, some were engaged in a very hostile "war" with men, while many women were continuing the traditional roles and gendered responsibilities of women, and some were questioning the whole thing and trying to figure out the best approach. My mother I would put in that last category - she's the same generation as the author Joanna Russ and I recall her struggling with the limited but still somewhat confusing options available to women in the early 1970s. Do I go back to work after having children, or stay at home and be a "proper" wife and mother? What are the economic consequences of my not working? What are the social consequences of my working outside the home? Will my children suffer emotional harm? Will I suffer emotional harm if I ignore my own needs to fulfill myself outside traditional gender roles?

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Response to yardwork (Reply #13)

Fri Jul 13, 2012, 10:42 AM

14. That sounds like a really fascinating read.

Next time I go to town I'll have to get it from the library.

This group is great. We had a thread about favorite feminist films, and in that thread were some films I hadn't known about, so I rented some of them, and all of them were really good. I especially loved Whale Rider.

Thanks for the tip on The Female Man.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #14)

Fri Jul 13, 2012, 03:10 PM

17. It is a very good book! I recommend it.

I need to watch some of those films in the other thread. I love this group!

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Jul 13, 2012, 12:13 PM

15. Planet Earth, the movie?

Probably not but it is interesting to see what 1974 society and Hollywood screenwriters thought it might be.
&feature=related

Or perhaps the 90's interpretation in Star Trek TNG's Angel One

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Response to One_Life_To_Give (Reply #15)

Fri Jul 13, 2012, 01:34 PM

16. Yeah, that looks like a '70s Hollywood take on women's liberation

right down to the sexy costumes and whips.

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Response to One_Life_To_Give (Reply #15)

Sun Jul 15, 2012, 10:04 PM

20. One gender having dominance over the other, isn't feminist.

Edit: I think that was actually the late 80s...(I'm watching the series now..)

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Jul 15, 2012, 09:04 PM

18. For starters,

we would have unrestricted access to reproductive health services. That would be nice. I imagine it would be much more peaceful and cooperative than the society we live in. I think the theory would be more socialist than capitalist.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Jul 15, 2012, 10:03 PM

19. Better daycare.

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