By Deirdre Cooper Owens
I first read Audre Lorde’s quotation about the political nature of self-care about two years ago. Black feminist activist Lorde exhorted, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Her words changed my life. I had never viewed self-care as a radically political act. Like many women I knew, I conceived of self-care as exercising, taking a bubble bath, visiting a salon to receive some beauty service and treating myself to an especially tasty meal. Before Lorde’s mantra entered my life, I defined self-care as engaging in some act that was indulgent and represented a reversal of roles; I was the recipient of pampering services and not the provider. It did not dawn on me that “caring for myself” could be either revolutionary or a political act.
By Simone Morgen
Why a Feminist Socialism?
Why, indeed? Isn’t Rosa Luxemburg a socialist icon? Don’t socialism’s core values of equal treatment of all persons, without prejudice or disparate treatment, address feminist concerns?
Formally, yes – but a cursory examination of the ways in which issues are addressed even within socialist circles brings this into question. Even in these more favorable environs, the need for an explicitly feminist view remains. After all, patriarchy as a sex/gender system of organizing society existed long before the capitalist mode of production revolutionized society and colored its directives.
The 2013 DSA convention, held in Emeryville, Calif. October 25-27, brought together socialists from across the country to rejuvenate DSA’s organizing capacity and reorient our strategy. The convention passed a resolution identifying DSA’s priorities for use of its resources during 2013-2015. The introductory paragraphs follow; click on the link at the end to read the full resolution.
DSA’s main task in the coming two-year period is to develop a plausible democratic socialist vision for social justice in the 21st century. We will challenge the attacks of neoliberal capitalist austerity on the rights and freedoms of citizens and on key government programs. We will elaborate this critique and vision in dialogue with fellow social-movement activists and organizations that oppose neoliberalism and seek a better life for all. A discussion of the changed political terrain and DSA’s basic strategic orientation in the coming two years will educate, empower, and grow our current activist core, while equipping DSA with intellectual tools appropriate to this century.