The Politics of Some Bodies
The Politics of Everybody: Feminism, Queer Theory and Marxism at the Intersection
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/03/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21551
Book review of Holly Lewis' The Politics of Everybody: Feminism, Queer Theory and Marxism at the Intersection.
The Politics of Everybody offers a compelling analysis of how, "within capitalist social relations, [people] inhabit complex bodies that are collectively coded into different functions."
The way bodies and sexualities function fits into a grid in which gender is key. And the way gender functions under capitalism is (for Lewis) determined above all by its role in the social reproduction of bodies, human beings and the mode of production.
Many Marxist feminists over the last several decades have explored the role of gender in what Marx and Engels described as capitalist social relations of production and (especially) reproduction. The Marxist feminist theorist on whom Lewis mostly relies is Lise Vogel.
Vogel sums up the social reproduction of labor power as involving three key processes: daily activities outside working hours (such as preparing meals and other forms of care) that renew workers' energies; care for people who are not wage workers at the moment (children who are future wage workers, old people who are no longer wage workers, temporarily sick and unemployed wage workers, and caretakers who are not themselves wage workers); and the generational replacement of workers through childrearing.