The Socialist Glossy That Wants You to Have It All

Sarah Leonard and Marian Jones met in the Socialist-Feminist Reading Group of the Democratic Socialists of America (held in The nationConference room!) In 2017 after Donald Trump’s election led to an increase in membership in the 40-year-old organization. Now they are members of the, along with several other editors and an art director lux Collective, named after the revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg. The first issue of the print magazine will appear in the mailboxes this month. I spoke to Leonard and Jones about the future of left feminism, solidarity versus sisterhood and why lux is a shiny one.

– Emily Douglas

ED: Your Mission statement argues that the “girl boss” ideology has failed. Why did feminists let go of the girl boss ideology?

SL: The girl boss model just doesn’t work for most people. The way American inequality is now, there are a few people at the top, then those people’s lawyers and doctors, and then there’s a massive void, and then there’s everyone else. The aspirational character of girl-boss ism isn’t as true of people’s lives at this point, if it ever was.

ED: Is lux try to raise the class consciousness of women?

MJ: There have been periods within the feminist movement when people tried to adopt the slogan “Sisterhood is Mighty” [the idea that] We are all together, but black women and other women of color have felt that their own needs have been obliterated. One of the ways that black feminists have historically pushed back the “sisterhood” is the idea that we are all victims of the same cause. If you are a white woman, solidarity challenges you to be clear about how you fall victim to white supremacy, but also how you participate in it.

SL: As feminists, we think in solidarity rather than sisterhood because we don’t necessarily believe that all women who come together have something organic. You need to build solidarity and relationships on purpose. We often refer to the in our editorial note Combahee River Collective Declarationand one of the reasons we keep referring to it is that they were, and continue to be, very serious about building solidarity points with different groups with whom they shared but differentiated political goals.

This magazine should be part of this project. We envision a certain type of constituency made up of all these solidarities that are feminist, abolitionist, queer and socialist. And for us that creates an extremely large world, a very large constituency [with] many alliances. Different identity pieces [act] as bridges to other groups and not as barriers.

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