ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



February 2022



Abolitionist Socialist Feminism by Zillah Eisenstein

Written by , Posted in Abolition, Politics, Reviews

Three Stars

Best for:
I’m not sure who the target audience of this book is. I’d think it’d be someone like me, but it didn’t work for me.

In a nutshell:
A series of essays. I really can’t describe it as I’m not quite sure what I just read.

Worth quoting:
“Suffering is more than economic and will remain grossly unequal as long as it is dealt with in this partial fashion.”

“There is no one kind of feminism, although it is often represented as though there were, and that one is too often assumed to be white, western-hetero, and liberal or neoliberal.”

Why I chose it:
I saw it in a bookshop and thought it looked interesting.

This is referred to as a book, but it feels more like a loose collection of essays. And despite the title, discussions of abolition and socialism do not come up as often as I would like.

Eisenstein has some interesting thoughts to share, but each essay (or chapter) is both too long and too short. They feel a bit too long because I’m not sure what the main thesis is for some – they end up being a bit disorganized for my taste, though each feels very similar, so I think it is more the author’s style as opposed to being bad writing, if that makes sense. Basically, I think it will work for lots of people but it just doesn’t work for me. And too short because I think there is more to each topic to be explored, but they don’t quite get there for me.

One part I appreciate, and something I think some popular socialist movements in recent times have not gotten right, is that she makes it very clear that the problems of society won’t be solved if we just address economic inequality. Racism, misogyny, anti-gay, anti-trans, and ableism are all intertwined.

I think this book might work if each of the essays were sort of an intro or jumping off point for going into deeper study and discussion of the main topic. But as a collection it just wasn’t for me.

Recommend to a Friend / Keep / Donate it / Toss it:
Donate it

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