Socialist Feminism: A New Approach

What is socialist feminism and why is it needed to fight the global rise of authoritarianism and fascism?

Frieda Afary brings the insights gained through her study of feminist philosophy, her international activism, and her work in community education as a public librarian in Los Angeles, offering a bold new vision of an alternative to capitalism, racism, sexism, heterosexism, and alienation.

book cover

Persian Translation of Socialist Feminism: A New Approach

Turkish Translation of Socialist Feminism: A New Approach

Chinese Translation of Socialist Feminism: A New Approach

Table of Contents



Rethinking Socialist Feminism to Find a Pathway Out of Authoritarian Capitalism and Develop a Humanist Alternative


Part I:

1. The Pandemic, the #MeToo Movement, and Contradictory Developments in Gender Relations

2. Distinctive Features of Authoritarian Capitalism/Imperialism Today and the New Challenges of Black Lives Matter and Global Uprisings


Part II:

Socialist Feminist Theories of Gender Oppression.

3. Women, Reproductive Labor, and Capital Accumulation: Theories of Social Reproduction

4. Alienated Labor and How It Relates to Gender Oppression

5. Black Feminism and Intersectionality

6. Queer Theories


Part III:

Socialist Feminist Alternatives to Capitalism and Relations of Domination.

7. Theorizing a Socialist Humanist and Feminist Alternative to Capitalism

8. Overcoming Domination: Reconceptualizing the Self-Other Relationship



Socialist Feminist Revolutionary Organizing in the Twenty-First Century

Book Info


256 pages


Pluto Press


October 20, 2022






Socialist Feminism: A New Approach is a call to thoughtful action against the current global rise of authoritarianism and fascism. The author has provided a workbook consisting of key terms and concepts, discussion questions and ideas for activities related to each chapter. This workbook can help readers, including activists and teachers, to grapple with the key ideas of the book and take these ideas further both in theory and in practice. To access this workbook free of charge, please click button to the left.

About the Author

Frieda Afary is an Iranian American socialist feminist activist, translator and writer. She is a public librarian in Los Angeles, where she runs philosophy and politics classes for the community including young women activists and scholars representing Black Lives Matter, Latina, queer and labor activists. She is also active on her blog Iranian Progressives in Translation.


Frieda Afary is brilliant in this powerfully relevant critique of authoritarianism, capitalism, sexism, racism and other forms of tranny. Afary methodically unpacks the historically complicated plethora of gender, race and class theories to show us the way toward a contemporary approach to socialist feminism that is revolutionary. Afary presents a radical vision that challenges us all to think more critically toward reimagining and recentering the world of womyn and a world without prisons. Afary’s analysis centers racial justice that is anti-heteropatriarchy, anti-oppressive, anti-sexist and transformative

Romarilyn Ralston

Black feminist abolitionist and Executive Director of Project Rebound at California State Fullerton

I highly recommend this very readable yet highly rigorous retelling and refiguring of socialist feminism. Afary’s claim that humanism is far more flexible than the version that was dismissed in the 1980s is provocative and compelling. The book engages poststructural theory, as well as race and sexuality, and will be useful for scholar-activists in thinking through some of the most vexing questions posed by socialist feminism

Judith Grant

Emerita Professor at Ohio University in Athens and co-editor of ‘New Political Science: A Journal of Politics and Culture’

I do not know of any other book that so effectively explains socialist feminism and brings it into conversation with global social movements. There is a twenty-first century timeliness and urgency to Afary’s cogent and expansive case. Attendant to structures of capitalist accumulation and alienation, she considers how they are playing out in a global pandemic, planetary climate crisis, the oppression of Black lives, and the appropriation of reproductive labour. At a time when feminism is under fire, Afary has given us a powerful teaching tool!

Rosemary Hennessy

Rosemary Hennessy, author of Materialist Feminism and the Politics of Discourse and In the Company of Radical Women Writers

When many of us are feeling discouraged with the state of our countries and of the world, Frieda Afary’s timely book shows the way to understanding, consciousness, and activism. This book can help prepare young people to improve societies. As the grandmother of two African-American females, I am profoundly grateful for this amazing volume

Mary Elaine Hegland

Professor of Anthropology at Santa Clara University


Frieda Afary has dared to challenge the world of intellectuals to define a new action paradigm. How do women protect themselves? Afary debunks the distortions in the ‘self to other’ relationships, and critically analyses the conditions leading us toward peril and destruction. Whether you read this book all at once or in small settings with friends, you will be better prepared to live within the 21st century.

Wonda Powell

Emerita Professor of History, Los Angeles Southwest College

Frieda Afary deserves high praise and accolades for this work. It is no mean feat to achieve a highly sophisticated and innovative analysis that is also highly accessible. I recommend it for courses as well as for personal enrichment, intellectual development, and a better understanding of powerful forces at work in the world today. Afary’s study is thus robustly theoretical yet sensitive and practical at the same time.

Lisbeth Gant-Britton, Ph.D.

Author of Holt African American History



Life-making Through Socialist Feminism


Book Review: Socialist Feminism: A New Approach by Frieda Afary


Join My Newsletter