Two of the most important influences in my life — disappointingly (as a
feminist) they were both male — were Jesus Christ and Karl Marx. The effects
on me, at different times in my life, were similar while at the same time taking me
in different directions. Both worked on my sense of justice and abhorrence of
discrimination and oppression, but while the message of Christ was to develop a higher morality, to "feed the hungry and care for the dispossessed", Marx asked
the question "why are people hungry when others have more than their needs;
why are so many dispossessed while others have the possessions of kings?"
For me, ultimately, marxism was much more satisfactory as it provides the
conceptual tools to analyse the sources of oppression and discrimination, to
understand why the oppressed consent to their expropriation , and in this
understanding to seek ways of changing such a system.
Recommended CitationStephens, Toni, Popular Democratic Struggles, Australian Left Review, 1(83), 1983, 18-19.