Gender, Race and Znet: Concern about our demographics
By Justin Agnostic at Mar 26, 2008
Let me make first make a disclaimer, the factual basis of this article is only my impressionistic take on the names and photos of z-sustainers, as well as those of the Znet writers: I take it to be distinctively white and male, with a significant international presences, but lacking the voices of both women, and people of color from the United States. Second let me say that I think that Znet is currently functioning as a new critical theory developing community. It concerns me that if my impression is correct that we the Zmag community are missing out on the input and perspectives of people of color and women.
Race, gender and class are all independent but overlapping structures of power and opression. Not only does a lack of focus on gender and race leave oppression that a great mass of people face undelt with in theoretical sense, but since power and class have a racialized and gendered character class theory developed without sufficient imput by people who study, and are themselves oppressed by gender and race heirachies will likely missunderstand how class actually functions in most peoples lives and even how class functions as a channel of power in society. If we the Znet community are engaged in reformulating class theory and politics (which is what I think Znet is doing) that project should really involve more people of color and women.
I am not accusing Znet of class reductionism. Nor do I think that white men should not participate - I myself am a white male heterosexual lefty intellectual, exactly the demographic I think is most present in the Znet community. I just think we should take the issue seriously and try to recruit more women and people of color to join as sustainers and writers in Zmag. Perhaps we should create a focused forum on caste either race or gender based or both, that could have a similar place in Znet as the ParEcon project has currently. That is just an off the cuff suggestion - please feel free to comment and/or suggest other tacts for dealing with the issue.