Joanna Russ, Christine Delphy

From the new Feminist Reprise, now freed from both Blogger and WordPress, a key quotation of Joanna Russ:

As Christine Delphy [the French feminist sociologist] says, first comes the fact of exploitation; then come various kinds of oppression to keep the exploited weak, miserable (and busy), and hence exploitable. Then (both logically and chronologically) comes the ideology that justifies the oppression and the exploitation in order to pacify the consciences of the exploiters and to muddle the common sense of the exploited, thus mystifying the situation of exploitation and oppression so that the exploited will accept it as natural, God-given, nobody’s fault, morally correct, and inevitable.

As Delphy puts it, There is no mystery; we are oppressed because we are exploited. What we go through makes life easier for others.

Feminist Reprise has more posts on Joanna Russ. Here is Yer Daily Joanna, and here is Joanna Russ, Again. And here is another pithy quotation:

The crucial idea that all women’s experiences are equally valid has been supplanted by the new and totally muddling idea that all women’s opinions are equally valid, a piece of mystification that accepts almost anything a woman says or does as “feminist” simply because it was a woman who said or did it.


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