Looking back, we can see how the fate of socialist-feminism is closely tied to the fate of the broader institutions of working-class struggle. Socialist-feminists have always engaged in a two-sided effort: to bring an anti-racist, class-based feminist perspective into social movements and left political parties and a socialist perspective into feminist politics and women’s movements. Social-welfare feminism, social-democratic feminism, revolutionary socialist feminism, revolutionary women of color feminism, indigenous feminism, are some of the different currents within socialist-feminist politics. We can think of socialist feminism very broadly— to include all feminists (whether they would identify with the label or not) who see class as central but would not reduce relations of power and privilege organized around particular identities (e.g., gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, nationality) to class oppression. Revolutionary socialist feminism is distinguished from social welfare or social-democratic feminism in that, whether implicitly or explicitly, revolutionary socialist feminists are unwilling to allow capitalism to set the horizon for what can be envisioned or struggled for.
Looking back to the heady days of feminism’s “second wave” in the United States, it is distressing to acknowledge that the movement’s revolutionary moment is a dim memory, while key aspects of liberal feminism have been incorporated into the ruling class agenda. Liberal feminist ideas have been mobilized to support a range of neo-liberal initiatives including austerity, imperial war, and structural adjustment.
“If women’s liberation is unthinkable without communism, then communism is unthinkable without women’s liberation.”
—Russian revolutionary Inessa Armand
Shomi Yoon gave this talk as part of Marxism 2014 in Melbourne.
It is no longer possible to ignore that voice, to dismiss the desperation of so many American women. This is not what being a woman means, no matter what the experts say. For human suffering there is a reason; perhaps the reason has not been found because the right questions have not been asked, or pressed far enough. . . . The women who suffer this problem have a hunger that food cannot fill. . . . We can no longer ignore that voice within women that says: “I want something more than my husband and my children and my home.”
—Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, 1963 
In the past few years numerous authors have examined how the current economic crisis in Spain has differential impacts on women and men
Recent years have seen renewed debate about prostitution in European countries. Both the Swedish and the Dutch models have been in effect for over 10 years and a lot of research has been done on the various implementations. What are the opinions and results?
Underneath many of the debates in the contemporary feminist movement is a hidden discussion about free choice versus structural impact. To put it simplistically, there’s two sides: those who defend women’s freedom of choice, and don’t want (to see) any limitation on this choice, and on the other side those who stress the impact of societal structures and the way those structures can limit and hide our choices.
In the 21st century, women of the working classes — employed in the formal economy, the informal economy, working in the countryside or doing unwaged labor — have entered the global political stage in an astonishing array of movements. Sparked by the capitalist war on the working class, the enclosures sweeping peasants and farmers off the land or devastating their livelihoods upon it, and the consequent crisis and intensification in patriarchal relations, these movements are creatively developing socialist-feminist politics — with much to offer the left as it gropes toward new organizational forms and organizing strategies.
 Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (New York: Dell, 1974), 21–27.