Women and Self-Management
Blaženka Despot, introduced by Zsófia Lóránd (University of Cambridge)
Contradictions: A Journal for Critical Thought IV, no. 2 (2020): 141–151
Keywords: The woman question, Marxist feminism, history of nature, human emancipation, racism
Blaženka Despot (1930–2001) was a Yugoslav philosopher who applied a critical reading of Marxism to the philosophy of technology and, after the mid-1970s, proposed a form of Marxist feminism that took into account the context of Yugoslav self-managing socialism. In the short text “Women and Self-Management,” Despot summarises the ideas she developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s, especially her Marxist-feminist critiques of socialist women’s emancipation in Yugoslavia. She calls for re-focusing on women and revisiting Marx’s concept of nature through a reading of Hegel. While doing so, she raises the issue of violence against women as a key matter of women’s equality. Zsófia Lóránd, in her introduction, discusses the text in light of Despot’s broader oeuvre and in light of the history of feminism in Yugoslavia.
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