Vanguarditis

On another aspect of vanguardismo here is Robin Morgan, from a speech delivered as the keynote address at the West Coast Lesbian Feminist Conference in Los Angeles in 1973, via Heart.

Personally, I detest “vanguarditis.” I never liked it in the Left, and find it especially distasteful weaseling its way into the Women’s Movement. I think that if anything like a “vanguard” exists at all, it continually shifts and changes from group to group within a movement, depending on the specific strategies and contradictions that arise at given times, and on which groups are best equipped and placed to meet and deal with them -– when and if called for by the movement as a whole.… I don’t like more – radical – than – thou games any better than more – oppressed – than – thou games. I don’t like credentials games, intimidation – between – women games, or “you are who you sleep with” games. I don’t like people being judged by their class background, their sexual preference, their race, choice of religion, marital status, motherhood, or rejection of it, or any other vicious standard of categorization. I hate such judgments in the male power system, and I hate them in the Women’s Movement. If there must be judgments at all, let them be not on where a woman is coming from, but on what she is moving toward; let them be based on her seriousness, her level of risk, her commitment, her endurance.

Axé.

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