Feminism and socialism

Ken MacLeod has a beautiful anecdote about people being uncomfortable with using the word “socialist” to describe themselves:

“Over the years I have met a lot of women, and heard of a lot more, who are feminist in every aspect of their beliefs and attitudes but who firmly insist that they are not feminists. The reason they give is always the same: they don’t consider themselves feminists because they don’t hate men.

“Imagine if the left had taken the most hostile caricatures of what socialism was and what being a socialist meant, and proceeded to live up to them. Lots of people would now be saying things like, ‘I’m not a socialist, but I think capitalism sucks and should be replaced by a system of society based on the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production and distribution by and in the interests of the whole community.’

“Oh, wait … ”