Sexuality and Socialism: History, Politics, and Theory of



10 thoughts on “Sexuality and Socialism: History, Politics, and Theory of LGBT Liberation

  1. Nathan Nathan says:

    I initially read this book about a year ago, and it s a decent introduction to Marxist analysis of LGBT issues It s short, accessible, and it has a phenomenal chapter rebutting the outsized influence of postmodernism in queer theory However, it s not without a handful of glaring flaws Wolf is a Trotskyist, meaning her view of 20th century Socialist States is that they weren t socialist at all This cripples her historical analysis of LGBT rights in these States, and leads to absurd assertions I initially read this book about a year ago, and it s a decent introduction to Marxist analysis of LGBT issues It s short, accessible, and it has a phenomenal chapter rebutting the outsized influence of postmodernism in queer theory However, it s not without a handful of glaring flaws Wolf is a Trotskyist, meaning her view of 20th century Socialist States is that they weren t socialist at all This cripples her historical analysis of LGBT rights in these States, and leads to absurd assertions and mistakes For example, the author condemns Mao s China as Stalinist and not socialist, while praising The Black Panther Party, who was very much ideologically aligned with China, on the very next page This is never properly addressed, and sticks out as wolf simply being selective of historical leftist movements, based on their favorability towards queer people Further, Wolf makes no mention of the Cuban organization CENESEX, which had been around for years in Cuba, advocating for LGBT rights Seemingly, Wolf s Trotskyism causes her to gloss over this subject as per the reasoning that cuba is stalinist , and not really socialist.Ultimately, I d recommend this book as an introduction, but take the history segments with a heavy grain of salt


  2. Anna S Anna S says:

    Really clearly makes connections between the needs of capitalism, the family, the material construction of heterosexuality couple form It s stridently materialist, which is a rarity to be welcomed as a counterpoint to much present writing on these topics I found the politics of the passages about gay marriage queer politics unconvincing, and some of the causal relationships posited neededfleshing out just cos something would be good for the ruling class doesn t mean it just is lik Really clearly makes connections between the needs of capitalism, the family, the material construction of heterosexuality couple form It s stridently materialist, which is a rarity to be welcomed as a counterpoint to much present writing on these topics I found the politics of the passages about gay marriage queer politics unconvincing, and some of the causal relationships posited neededfleshing out just cos something would be good for the ruling class doesn t mean it just is like that Thought the attack on postmodernism applied mostly to the worst of it misrepresented Butler but still a fan of the author s vigorous anti idealism Wonderful sections on Marxist attitudes to sexuality though I suspect a little self promoting in parts interesting bits on working class organising and alliance building wrt LGBT issues Definitely worth reading


  3. Benjamin Solah Benjamin Solah says:

    Sexuality and Socialism by Sherry Wolf is described as the History, Politics and Theory of LGBT Liberation A book like this that covers the issues of sexuality and homophobia under capitalism is a long overdue contribution to socialist politics, but especially timely given the struggles all over the world for same sex marriage rights.The book covers such a broad scope of different issues within the issues of LGBT oppression and liberation that I cannot possibly cover all of it in one review Sexuality and Socialism by Sherry Wolf is described as the History, Politics and Theory of LGBT Liberation A book like this that covers the issues of sexuality and homophobia under capitalism is a long overdue contribution to socialist politics, but especially timely given the struggles all over the world for same sex marriage rights.The book covers such a broad scope of different issues within the issues of LGBT oppression and liberation that I cannot possibly cover all of it in one review It begins with the theoretical and historical origins of sexual oppression under capitalism and makes the argument that the repression of sexuality and things like homophobia are the product of the material conditions and the economic needs of capitalism This is in stark contrast to explanations that homophobia is in our human nature or just from the religion and the bad ideas in our heads.It goes on to cover the gay liberation movement of the 60s and 70s and the theory surrounding much of LGBT politics It then goes on to cover contemporary struggles and debates today.Sherry Wolf links in all of the arguments within the context of class society and the nature of capitalism Homophobia and other forms of sexual repression are not divorced from other forms of oppression and the needs of exploiting workers to make a profit.This is used to argue against the prevalence of identity politics, the idea that all LGBT people have a common experience of oppression and a common interest in fighting it In fact, LGBT workers need to organise separately from LGBT business owners who are tied to the existence of capitalism.She argues that straight workers havein common with LGBT workers because they both have a common interest in defending their conditions as workers and fighting their exploiters Despite homophobia within the working class, Wolf argues that straight workers don t benefit or gain an advantage by partaking in homophobia as it weakens the working class, divides and distracts workers from the class struggle.Another aspect of the book that needs to be touched on is the fact that she covers issues of transgender and intersex This is something that hasn t really been touched on before in other Marxist literature about sexuality and it s covered in quite an extensive way.One point though that wasn t touched that is sometimes controversial even within the socialist movement is that I think transgender can sometimes been seen as a product of capitalism and the gender norms that come in it This isn t to take away from the fact that trans people have the right to have sex changes of identify as another gender but the fact the capitalist society assigns ways of behaving to particular genders, such as women being feminine and men being masculine means that if you don t fit into these norms then you can feel like you don t fit into your body.I would argue that under a socialist society that this feeling would be less prevalent because you wouldn t need to conform to the gender norms and there wouldn t be such a connection between gender biology and your behaviour.Sexuality and Socialism covers a lot and does it clearly It mixes theoretical and historical explanations with concrete and often emotive contemporary examples that make these issues feel real and connect with the reader This book is also something that can be re read in parts as a kind of reference book on Marxists attitudes to various issues of LGBT oppression and liberation.I heartily recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the topics of sexuality, homophobia and LGBT politics.Originally published


  4. Chelsey Chelsey says:

    A very important book for all people not just LGBT activists to read, giving a brief, critical history of the roots of LGBT oppression, the birth of an LGBT identity, a critique of post modernist de mobilization which divides rather than unites, and ultimately a history of the triumphs and solidarity which has involved LGBT activism Many of the issues Sherry brings up I am confronting first hand in attempting to bring together a viable, grassroots coalition of LGBT activists after the Natio A very important book for all people not just LGBT activists to read, giving a brief, critical history of the roots of LGBT oppression, the birth of an LGBT identity, a critique of post modernist de mobilization which divides rather than unites, and ultimately a history of the triumphs and solidarity which has involved LGBT activism Many of the issues Sherry brings up I am confronting first hand in attempting to bring together a viable, grassroots coalition of LGBT activists after the National Equality March While Sherry makes a few mistakes in her writings, but these are of no consequence to her overarching point Written in every day, accessible language as always with Haymarket publications , Sexuality and Socialism was a pleasure to read, and it s a pleasure to have Sherry Wolf as a comrade


  5. 6655321 6655321 says:

    Sherry Wolf repeatedly miscites sources to construct a nonexistent history citing party theorists who were censored for their pro sex views as exemplars of the communist tradition or ignoring information about the reconceptualization of sexuality under the early soviets etc to then retread her misinformed argument against queer theory as anti materialist while idealistically positing a unitary working class or pretending socially marginal queer folx make sense under the labor theory of val Sherry Wolf repeatedly miscites sources to construct a nonexistent history citing party theorists who were censored for their pro sex views as exemplars of the communist tradition or ignoring information about the reconceptualization of sexuality under the early soviets etc to then retread her misinformed argument against queer theory as anti materialist while idealistically positing a unitary working class or pretending socially marginal queer folx make sense under the labor theory of value this book wasn t a very good argument in 1992 and it has aged even worse


  6. Willow Willow says:

    I m a few chapters in and I LOVE it so far It s really appealing to my geeky history and queer theory loving activist heart.


  7. Mark Mark says:

    An absolute must read for anyone serious about LGBT liberation.


  8. Michelle Michelle says:

    It was an interesting read, but it s definitely dated and I personally felt that Sexuality and Marxism would have been afitting title The writer seemed to me as a fairly socialist person myself farleft leaning than thecommonly accepted definition of socialism It often came across as borderline militant in the methods suggested by the author That said, it would be interesting to read aupdated version of this, since this book was written pre marriage equality, and prio It was an interesting read, but it s definitely dated and I personally felt that Sexuality and Marxism would have been afitting title The writer seemed to me as a fairly socialist person myself farleft leaning than thecommonly accepted definition of socialism It often came across as borderline militant in the methods suggested by the author That said, it would be interesting to read aupdated version of this, since this book was written pre marriage equality, and prior to many of the other advances the LGBTQ community has made in the Obama era


  9. Olivia Olivia says:

    An engaging and fascinating history of both LGBT and socialist movements We have always walked hand in hand together and our future lies in continuing to do so This book was written a few years ago and it does offer a glimpse into how even as recently as 2009, the progress of today seemed far off My only major gripe is sometimes the text could get far too dense with academic jargon and even my pretentious eyes glazed over at some passages Great content, however A big recommend for any fello An engaging and fascinating history of both LGBT and socialist movements We have always walked hand in hand together and our future lies in continuing to do so This book was written a few years ago and it does offer a glimpse into how even as recently as 2009, the progress of today seemed far off My only major gripe is sometimes the text could get far too dense with academic jargon and even my pretentious eyes glazed over at some passages Great content, however A big recommend for any fellow queer or socialist who wants some insight into our history


  10. Alexis Charitos Alexis Charitos says:

    I recommend this book to anyone interested in sexuality and socialism, and how the two may be connected The argument is clear and the book is well referenced.


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Sexuality and Socialism: History, Politics, and Theory of LGBT Liberation ➛ [KINDLE] ❅ Sexuality and Socialism: History, Politics, and Theory of LGBT Liberation By Sherry Wolf ➥ – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Sexuality and Socialism is a remarkably accessible analysis of many of the most challenging questions for those concerned with full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT peopleInsi Sexuality and Socialism is a Socialism: History, eBook ☆ remarkably accessible analysis of many of the most challenging questions for those concerned with full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT peopleInside are essays on the roots of LGBT oppression, the construction of sexual and gender identities, the history of the gay movement, and how to unite the oppressed and Sexuality and PDF or exploited to win sexual liberation for all Sherry Wolf analyzes different theories about oppression including those of Marxism, postmodernism, identity politics, and queer theory and challenges myths about genes, gender, and sexuality Sexuality and Socialism is the most intelligent and enlightened discussion on sexuality to come from the Left in a long time No other work that comes and Socialism: History, PDF/EPUB å to my mind explains the history of sexuality and sexual repression in the United States as comprehensively and compellingly Ron Jacobs, Dissident Voice Sherry Wolf Lesbian, Activist, Communist Badass ist spoke to a pre National Equality March rally She Blew It Up Austin Chronicle Sherry speaks with such eloquence and plain common sense that I can t help but want to know about her ideas and convictions Derek Washington, In the LV radio host, Director of LGBT Outreach, Clark County Democratic Black Caucus The icons of the new generation of activists are people like Lady Gaga, Dustin Lance Black, Judy Shephard, Lt Daniel Choi ret and Sherry Wolf author of Sexuality and Socialism Don Gorton, Join the Impact Board Member Surprisingly funny, very readable and a fitting tome for a new movement in these troubled times Dave Zirin for Progressive s Best books ofWhat humans have constructed they can tear down This is the powerful insight of this rare book that is at once politically important, theoretically and historically sophisticated, and clearly written Sexuality and Socialism is enlivened in its engagement with a number of controversies, including those over the alleged biological determination of homosexuality, the myth of Black homophobia, and the consequences of postmodernist theories for the politics of gay liberation Above all else, Wolf puts forward a cogent defense of the Marxist tradition long and wrongly reviled as homophobic in itself as a way to explain how LGBT oppression arose and what we can do to put it to bed Dana Cloud, University of Texas at AustinSherry Wolf is the associate editor of the International Socialist Review She was on the executive committee of the National Equality March Oct ,and has written for publications including the Nation, MRZine, Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, and Socialist Worker and speaks frequently across the country on the struggle for LGBT liberation as well as a wide range of social and economic justice issue.