Sagor In the context of the feminist movement of the s and s, it was a challenge to the nuclear family and family values. Therapy is adjusting to your bad personal alternative. By extension, the problems could not be solved by personal solutions but only by social change. Keep Exploring Britannica Slavery.
|Published (Last):||4 April 2004|
|PDF File Size:||8.24 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||19.98 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
The paper actually began as a memo that I wrote in February of while in Gainesville, Florida. WLM groups had been springing up all over the country—and the world. It had a good record of racial, economic and political justice work since New Deal days, and I joined its staff in as its New York office manager. Our demands that men share the housework and childcare were likewise deemed a personal problem between a woman and her individual man.
Heaven forbid that we should point out that men benefit from oppressing women. Recognizing the need to fight male supremacy as a movement instead of blaming the individual woman for her oppression was where the Pro-Woman Line came in. Of course there were women within New York Radical Women and the broader feminist movement who argued from the beginning against consciousness raising and claimed women were brainwashed and complicit in their own oppression, an argument rooted in the sociological and psychological rather than the political.
They, too, helped in the formulation of Pro-Woman Line theory. After New York Radical Women meetings, the Pro-Woman Line faction would usually end up at Miteras, a nearby restaurant that served fantastic apple pie a la mode. There we would discuss how the meeting had gone and the ideas that had been talked about until two or three in the morning, both agreeing with and challenging each other in wonderful, lively debate among ourselves.
Political struggle or debate is the key to good political theory. A theory is just a bunch of words— sometimes interesting to think about, but just words, nevertheless—until it is tested in real life.
Many a theory has delivered surprises, both positive and negative, when an attempt has been made to put it into practice.
There are a few things I would elaborate on, like my simplistic definition of class, and there are a few statements in the paper that are badly in need of further development. However, individual struggle does sometimes get us some things, and when the WLM is at low tide or invisible, it may be the best we can do.
We need to always be pushing the envelope. Even when the WLM is at high tide, because our oppression often takes place in isolated circumstances like the home, it still takes individual action to put into practice what the Movement is fighting for.
On the second point, I have come to agree with Susan B. Like most of the theory created by the Pro-Woman Line radical feminists, these ideas have been revised or ripped off or even stood on their head and used against their original, radical intent. Therapy assumes that someone is sick and that there is a cure, e.
I am greatly offended that I or any other woman is thought to need therapy in the first place. Women are messed over, not messed up! We need to change the objective conditions, not adjust to them. Therapy is adjusting to your bad personal alternative. We have not done much trying to solve immediate personal problems of women in the group. What happens to your relationship if your man makes more money than you?
Less than you? Then we go around the room answering the questions from our personal experiences. Everybody talks that way. I believe at this point, and maybe for a long time to come, that these analytical sessions are a form of political action. To admit to the problems in my life is to be deemed weak. So the reason I participate in these meetings is not to solve any personal problem.
One of the first things we discover in these groups is that personal problems are political problems. There are no personal solutions at this time. There is only collective action for a collective solution. This is not to deny that these sessions have at least two aspects that are therapeutic. The most important is getting rid of self-blame. All women are workers would-stop blaming ourselves for our sad situations?
It seems to me the whole country needs that kind of political therapy. That is what the black movement is doing in its own way. We shall do it in ours. We are only starting to stop blaming ourselves. We also feel like we are thinking for ourselves for the first time in our lives.
My mind is growing muscles. We came early to the conclusion that all alternatives are bad under present conditions. Whether we live with or without a man, communally or in couples or alone, are married or unmarried, live with other women, go for free love, celibacy or lesbianism, or any combination, there are only good and bad things about each bad situation.
This is part of one of the most important theories we are beginning to articulate. The bad things that are said about us as women are either myths women are stupid , tactics women use to struggle individually women are bitches , or are actually things that we want to carry into the new society and want men to share too women are sensitive, emotional. Women as oppressed people act out of necessity act dumb in the presence of men , not out of choice. Women have developed great shuffling techniques for their own survival look pretty and giggle to get or keep a job or man which should be used when necessary until such time as the power of unity can take its place.
Women are smart not to struggle alone as are blacks and workers. It is no worse to be in the home than in the rat race of the job world. They are both bad. When our group first started, going by majority opinion, we would have been out in the streets demonstrating against marriage, against having babies, for free love, against women who wore makeup, against housewives, for equality without recognition of biological differences, and god knows what else.
The women who did the anti-woman stuff at the Miss America Pageant were the ones who were screaming for action without theory. The members of one group want to set up a private daycare center without any real analysis of what could be done to make it better for little girls, much less any analysis of how that center hastens the revolution.
We had a lot of conflict in our New York group about whether or not to do action. When the Miss America Protest was proposed, there was no question but that we wanted to do, it.
I think it was because we all saw how it related to our lives. We felt it was a good action. There were things wrong with the action, but the basic idea was there. Maybe the answer is not to put down the method of analyzing from personal experiences in favor of immediate action, but to figure out what can be done to make it work.
Some of us started to write a handbook about this at one time and never got past the outline. We are working on it again, and hope to have it out in a month at the latest. One more thing: I think we must listen to what so-called apolitical women have to say—not so we can do a better job of organizing them but because together we are a mass movement.
I think we who work full-time in the movement tend to become very narrow. Women have left the movement in droves. The obvious reasons are that we are tired of being sex slaves and doing shitwork for men whose hypocrisy is so blatant in their political stance of liberation for everybody else.
But there is really a lot more to it than that. Maybe there is something wrong with the action or something wrong with why we are doing the action or maybe the analysis of why the action is necessary is not clear enough in our minds.
CAROL HANISCH THE PERSONAL IS POLITICAL PDF
The paper actually began as a memo that I wrote in February of while in Gainesville, Florida. WLM groups had been springing up all over the country—and the world. It had a good record of racial, economic and political justice work since New Deal days, and I joined its staff in as its New York office manager. Our demands that men share the housework and childcare were likewise deemed a personal problem between a woman and her individual man. Heaven forbid that we should point out that men benefit from oppressing women.
Carol Hanisch - The Personal is Political
Linda Napikoski Updated January 03, "The personal is political" was a frequently-heard feminist rallying cry, especially during the late s and s. The exact origin of the phrase is unknown and sometimes debated. Many second-wave feminists used the phrase "the personal is political" or its underlying meaning in their writing, speeches, consciousness-raising, and other activities. The meaning has sometimes been interpreted to mean that political and personal issues affect each other.
The Personal Is Political