8 March- The emancipation of women is only possible in a communist society

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8 March- The emancipation of women is only possible in a communist society
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                                                              8 March

                                                The emancipation of women  is only possible in a communist society

                                                          Internationalist Voice

                                        Homepage: www.internationalistvoice.org

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The 8th of March is coming and different tendencies and bourgeois groups, especially the left of capital, are preparing themselves to commemorate this day, under the title of a celebration of International Women's Day. Just like the first of May, the International Day of Workers, the eighth of March has been emptied of its class content and has become a ceremonial feast and an instrument of democratic institutions in the service of the state of capital, at odds with the class struggle. This day is so embedded in the capital that the nest of thieves (UN) in 1977 recognized the International Women's Day, and through a resolution invited its member states to observe this day as a celebration of "Women's Rights and International Peace".

International Women's Day is rooted in the movement of the working class and in the bloody struggle of the proletariat. On the eighth of March, 1857, American female textile workers staged protests against low wages and excruciating working conditions. The police brutally suppressed the working women’s protests, which led to a number of people being injured and arrested. Years later, on 8 March 1907 American female textile workers again staged protests, this time to demand a 10-hour working day, which again was met with brutal repression by the police of the bourgeoisie. Since then the workers began protests with demands for “women's suffrage” and the prohibition of child labor.

Gradually this day became a day of struggle for improved working conditions and social rights of the working class with the bourgeoisie. In 1910, in the second international congress of Socialists, Clara Zetkin proposed International Women's Day, which was approved by congress. With the start of the imperialist war (World War I), millions of men were sent to war as cannon fodder, which led to the formation of the anti-war movement and in particular with the women workers. In this respect, women workers of Tsarist Russia and in particular the textile workers of Petrograd played a decisive role. On the eighth of March 1917 female textile workers in Petrograd went on strike and, demanding “bread and peace”, conquered the streets. This is actually known as the spark of the Russian revolution.

In 1913, women were demanding the right to vote, and they fought for this right, and with the end of World War I the bourgeoisie awarded the franchise to women, especially in industrialized countries such as Germany, Great Britain, the United States of America etc. The reason of this was not the kindness of the bourgeoisie, but rather the fact that the bourgeoisie itself was aware that World War I had opened a new chapter in history, capitalism entered the period of decline and, as the Communist International declared in 1919, the era of “War and Revolution” had begun. Parliament had lost its revolutionary content, and electoral shows and the parliamentary circus would only strengthen democratic illusions.

So the bourgeoisie, in line with its own interests and in order to counter the communist revolution, began to strengthen democratic illusions, and it remains true that the left of capital plays an important role in this regard.

Since the beginning of the 1970s a movement called feminism began to grow that considered and still considers men, and not capitalism, as the root of women's oppression. Feminism with any suffix (socialist, revolutionary, etc.) is a reactionary ideology and has nothing to do with the labour movement and its traditions. According to feminist ideology, Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel and the other bourgeois women are placed beside of millions of female workers, millions of wage slaves. The world of the working woman is alien to the world of the bourgeois woman. The world of the working woman is double exploitation, double oppression, humiliation, inferiority, beaten down anger, choked back tears - in a word a terrestrial and real hell that the upside down capitalism provides for humanity.

Apart from some who play a role as organizers of the exploitation of the proletarian class, bourgeois women actually had no role in social production, and literally have a parasite life, squandering the surplus value (blood of workers) that their husbands have stolen.

Bourgeois women always have to defend the exploitation of women workers. When they are placed in power they use the same bourgeois policies that their male colleagues already employed. “The Iron Lady” of Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher, has become synonymous with the closure of tens of mines and the layoffs, unemployment and homelessness of thousands of workers. The “gentle spirit” of this criminal can be measured in terms of her handling of the demands of the prisoners of the Northern Ireland Republican Army, in that she was witness to the gradual and repeated deaths of prisoners on hunger strike, without accepting their basic demands, including the recognition of the prisoners of the Northern Ireland Republican Army as political prisoners and not as criminals. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi soldiers (in fact, workers in military uniforms) were killed in the first Gulf War under the politics of Thatcherism.

The history of the working class is filled with the most humane class solidarity of the working class women. The women of the working class are recorded as fighting the most ardent battle in the history of the working class, because their conditions have sometimes been more at risk than those of the men of the working class. Whilst in the general bourgeois culture a woman's status is assessed only in the service of men, the working class has provided thousands of its brightest stars. Rosa Luxemburg, Clara Zetkin, Alexandra Kollontai and others are just a few examples. Alexandra Kollontai became the first female minister in the history of mankind after the October Revolution. At this time, the bourgeoisie did not even vote for women. Rosa Luxemburg is still a source of inspiration for the proletariat. The teachings of this prominent theoretician of the working class is still a guiding light not only for female workers but also for men of the working class in their battles.

The root of the oppression of women is not the oppressive characteristics of men - it is rather rooted in the class system and capitalist relations of production. Only with the elimination of all material aspects of the capitalist relations of production and wage slavery system will this oppression also disappear. Working women and working men, arm in arm like a united body, as a class, must, through their class battle, not only emancipate their own lives but also to put an end to bourgeois women’s parasitism, and create a life worthy of humanity. The only horizon ahead of the working class is the class struggle and the real emancipation of  women is possible in the classless society of communism.

Firoz Akbary



about women!

An interesting and sympathetic piece about women, specially working class women, and the awful and almost invisible lives that so many of them are forced into leading.  If exploitation corrodes and is unbearable then secret and disguised exploitation corrodes even more.  This is because women are generally taken for granted and their inestimable contribution to society is largely ignored.

 I am not talking though about bourgeois women, who, as the article suggests can be even more parasitic than are their male counterparts "squandering the surplus value  (blood of workers) that their husbands have stolen."  This may sound a little anti- female: why is "squandering" perceived as worse than "stealing" when it comes to appropriated surplus value?  A difficult question!  Perhaps it's because the role and function of what the bourgeoisie sees as beautiful women, as women to be prized, envied, and copied by other women - in other words selected women as role models - and women presented as the type that men want to have sex with - the glamorous "attractive" woman - are presented by the media as the perfectly packaged commodity upon the  production of  which money has been poured and no expense spared.   Beautifully wrapped in expensive clothes; magnificently deodorized and decorated in impeccable  makeup and poised to the point of a deathly elegance.    Almost mummified these magnificent creatures are the stuff of dreams  but serve no purpose other than the gratification of some supposed and probably  manufactured  bourgeois sexual longing of  the bourgeoisified  heterosexual male.  The more it costs the better it's supposed to be!   This is woman reduced as ever in class society to the job of prostitute. (If a reader feels at this point that the writer has certain axes to grind, then I am afraid this is true, and I apologise.) 


Working class women are frequently required to fulfill the same job without the necessary accoutrements.  Working class men ape their bourgeois exemplars.  This is not surprising given the way relations between the sexes are presented on film, tv, in books and newspapers, where the bourgeois understanding of women and their function is the dominant  ideology, and women are just expensive toys.  

But what about working women? 

 According to feminist ideology, Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel and the other bourgeois women are placed beside of millions of female workers, millions of wage slaves. The world of the working woman is alien to the world of the bourgeois woman. The world of the working woman is double exploitation, double oppression, humiliation, inferiority, beaten down anger, choked back tears - in a word a terrestrial and real hell that the upside down capitalism provides for humanity.

This is so well said, and shows such sympathetic understanding of the condition of working class women, that it could hardly be bettered. I think "beaten down anger" and "choked back tears" is indeed the lot of many working class women.  But why limit this to women?  After all they are merely leading the way for us all under putrefying  capitalism. Maybe we're all doomed to choke on our tears?  




An article on libcom  by Luz

An article on libcom  by Luz Sierra  called "Being a Woman Organizer isn't Easy" echoes some of the points made by comrade Firoz Akbery in the piece above.   Luz Sierra  has clearly had a very difficult and uneasy time as a woman in Latin American society where male dominance isn't only taken for granted but enforced too. Female opportunities for education are even contained,if not prohibited,  presumably to block the flowering of any rebellious tendencies.  The same is frequently the case, if not the norm, in Islamic societies,  where women take second  place to all-dominant if not all-conquering males. After all, are not the deities in monotheistic religions all men too?  Are not men always right in what they say and women wrong, should they dare to speak or disagree at all?  The role of religion in encouraging the repression of women, and other sexual deviants (lol!) should never be overlooked.  Christianity is no different from Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism in this matter. All religion comes to the aid of capitalism in this  business:  that is the repression of women to the dictates of men. And the repression of everyone, including the bourgeoisie itself, to the dictates of capital. 

Capitalism takes this as a natural given right.  But then capitalism takes it as the natural order that all humanity should be subservient to its own, that is to say capitalism's, dictates and requirements, even to the point of demanding  blood sacrifice for its preservation!  Look at its passion for war and delight in modern goon squads!  Ukraine! Syria!   In this it rather resembles the ancient religion of  Peru, where quantities of blood were offered to the gods in ritual sacrifice. This to ensure the harvest, success in battle, and the ongoing rule of the priestly elite and other exploiters.   It would take a superior and better armed religion arriving from Spain to bring this blood shed to a close, substituting its own forms of death and destruction in the pursuit of golden riches such as to make the blood letting of the earlier ethnic exploiters look like child's play.   It has to be said though, that women did not play any significant part in these barbarities, never being required to take part in War the proud prerogative of men!  It took capitalist decadence and modern warfare to extend the privilege of murder,mayhem and destruction to the ranks of women. 


But this is not Luz  Sierra's quarrel.   She is more concerned with gender inequalities as she  sees  them, and she sees them as emanating from domineering men. She doesn't however see men as being manipulated, exploited or brutalized themselves by their subservience to capitalism.  She doesn't see us all as brutalized by capitalism, and this is a pity.  But perhaps she will one day soon. 


But her view of the unhappy condition of many presumably mainly working class women echoes that of  comrade Firoz in the article above. I can quote a paragraph here. 

Luz Sierra wrote:
 Hearing the stories and witnessing the sorrow of all the women who are blatant victims of patriarchy has inspired me to keep moving forward as an organizer. Watching my mother be passive with my father, witnessing my sisters being forced to display undesirable traits, and watching the tears women have shed after sharing their unfortunate stories of living under the oppressive rule of male figures has allowed me to turn anger into energy devoted to creating a society where women are no longer oppressed. I am tired of having to face gender inequality and watching women fall into its traps. We cannot continue to neglect this issue and endure these obstacles alone. As revolutionary women, we must take these matters seriously and find strategies and solutions to overcome them.


I'm sure her appeal will strike a chord with readers of this forum. I'm sure she could find strategies and solutions on this very website, or that of Internationalist  Voice.