March 6, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
This statement is posted on the blog of Aurora Roja, voice of the Organización Comunista Revolucionaria, Mexico. The translation is the responsibility of revcom.us/Revolution.
From Aurora Roja, voice of the Organización Comunista Revolucionaria, Mexico
Break the Chains! Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution!
On the Occasion of March 8, International Women’s Day:
New Delhi, India, December 2012. Rising up against an epidemic of rape. (AP photo)
International Women's Day, Mexico City, Mexico, March 8, 2011. Sign reads: "Not one more, I want to go into the streets without fear." (AP photo)
Yakiri Rubio, charged with murder for defending herself from a rapist, leads an International Women’s Day march in Mexico City, 2014. (AP photo)
For millions of women and men, January 21, 2017 was a day to speak out—to challenge the Trump/Pence regime’s assaults on and threats against women’s rights and human rights in general. The marches showed people’s determination to fight for women’s right to abortion and reproductive rights overall and to defend Planned Parenthood. Many also came out to speak out against Trump’s vicious attacks on immigrants and Muslim people. All this underscores the fact that many, many millions of people really oppose Donald Trump and what his regime represents. Above, more than 200,000 people protested in New York City, among 4 million across the U.S. (Photo: Twitter/@thisisweber)
Enough of the siege of contempt, humiliation, abuse, and brutal violence against women around the world. You are humiliated by women-hating pornography in every newsstand, you are threatened by the “Men’s Club” with their neon flashing figures of women, you are threatened by catcalls and groping by stalking men, the machista songs bombard your mind. You can be beaten, raped, disappeared, or killed—by your ex-boyfriend or your husband, unknown men, drug traffickers, soldiers, or police officers. Every year in the world, more than one million women and girls are stolen, sold and enslaved in the “sex industry” under the threat of death if they dare to try to escape. In Mexico, seven women are killed every day and Mexico is the second country in the trafficking of women in the world, after Thailand. A woman is raped every 18 seconds. If you survive and report it, the judge and the prosecutors defame and blame you. If you become pregnant from a rape, you are denied a legal and safe abortion, even if you are a 10-year-old girl, although it is your right under the law (in most states). If you abort, even spontaneously, they accuse you of “homicide by reason of kinship” and imprison you with sentences of up to 30 years. 700 women are now incarcerated in Mexico (data from the Centro Las Libres, Guanajuato), for not giving birth. Most had miscarriages and the minority decided to end an unwanted pregnancy. Denying women the right to legal and safe abortions is a form of slavery. A fetus is not a baby, a woman is not an incubator, and abortion is not murder.
It is true that the world and the lives of women have changed a lot in recent decades, but one thing that has not changed is that we are not free. Because of the same competitive drive of the profit-maximizing system, and because of women’s struggles, most women go out into the world instead of being enclosed in their home. Millions of women spend their lives making clothes or computers, harvesting tomatoes or cleaning large corporate offices. Many are single mothers, waging the backbreaking struggle to feed and educate their children. The middle class has also grown, more women study careers, some hold privileged positions, which sometimes makes them a target for the brutal revenge of resentful men. These and other changes in the role of women in society are clashing with traditional forms and “values” of patriarchy, weakening in part men’s power to subdue women. That is why powerful economic, political and religious forces are waging a “war” against women around the world to reinforce patriarchy, because they need to keep the subordination of women as a foundation of their entire oppressive system.
For decades, fundamentalist Christian and Islamic forces (and fundamentalist forces from other religions) have suppressed women and reinforced male domination over our bodies and our lives, wherever they can. The fascist Trump/Pence regime in the United States represents a leap in this brutal reaffirmation of patriarchy and a grave danger for all of humanity, because they head up a worldwide empire that crushes and destroys lives all over the Earth. Controlling and subjugating women is central to their fascist program of making the United States “great again” (as well as seeking to impose white supremacy, xenophobia, homophobia, and denying truth and science).
Trump is a bullying misogynist abuser who openly claims the “right” of men to dominate the body and life of women. When you have a president like Trump who boasted of “grabbing the pussy” of women, that sets a new “standard” of vile misogyny for the U.S. and the whole world. Trump has already ordered the denial of federal funds to any reproductive health program in other countries that even gives information on abortion services, which means a brutal attack on the health and lives of millions, because of unsafe abortions, AIDS and lack of medical services in many poor rural areas. He also appointed an anti-abortion fundamentalist judge for the Supreme Court, making it very likely the right to abortion in the U.S. will be eliminated, with international repercussions. Pence is a Christian fascist fundamentalist who seeks a total prohibition not only of abortion, but of contraceptives, sex education, premarital sex, and total repression of lesbians, gays and people with other non-heterosexual identities.
In Mexico, the Catholic Church heads up this “war” to reinforce patriarchy and the values of the Dark Ages. It led the anti-abortion onslaught that imposed anti-abortion constitutional reforms in 18 states just after the partial legalization of abortion in the Federal District [Mexico City] in 2007, with the help of the PAN [a ruling class political party], the then-president Felipe Calderón, PRI [another ruling class political party] politicians, and other parties, and evangelical churches. The prohibition of the right to abortion defended by all these forces has nothing to do with defending “life” and has everything to do with strengthening the subjugation of women to men and the current oppressive social order. In 2016, the Catholic Church and the evangelical churches organized the “March for the Family”—better known as the “March for Homophobia, Patriarchy and the Persecution of LGBTT people”—and they made Peña Nieto stop the Equal Marriage Law.
None of this oppression is “normal.” None of this is due to “human nature” or the “nature of men.” In fact, there was no social oppression of men over women for most of the existence of our species: In the one hundred thousand years of homo sapiens, male supremacy only arose and was imposed about six thousand years ago, when the first class divisions arose. When one group made into their private property the fruit of the labor of others, it also made women into the property of men. Since then, every exploitation-based system has maintained and reinforced patriarchy, changing some of the forms of women’s oppression, but maintaining the root of male domination, through political and religious institutions, social relations, and ideas that reinforce all this oppression. Today, it is necessary and possible to completely eliminate both these things: the oppression of women and the division of society between exploiters and exploited, and one cannot be done without the other.
As Bob Avakian, the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, says, “The oppression of women is completely bound up with the division of society into masters and slaves, exploiters and exploited, and the ending of all such conditions is impossible without the complete liberation of women. All this is why women have a tremendous role to play not only in making revolution but in making sure there is all-the-way revolution. The fury of women can and must be fully unleashed as a mighty force for proletarian revolution.” (BAsics 3:22, pp. 86-87)
The oppression of women is a fundamental pillar of the capitalist-imperialist system dominating the world. We must fight this oppression in all its forms, while understanding that no new law, protocol, gender alert, or other measure within this system will lead to an end to the intolerable crimes committed daily against women. We will never free ourselves by appealing to the same system that produces all these horrors and criminalizes the victims. The problem is not simply corrupt officials, negligent authorities, or the lack of “human rights education with a gender perspective” for the police and authorities. The problem is patriarchy and the system that maintains and enforces it.
The capitalist-imperialist system dominating the world today can not eliminate the oppression of women, but it has created the material basis for the communist revolution that can eliminate it. The changes in the social role of women are in extreme contradiction with the patriarchal oppression that is reinforced, and this contradiction is a very important part of the material basis for the revolution that can overthrow this system and finally emancipate women and all of humanity.
There is tremendous fury and desire to break free from this oppression among women all over the world. It is not always expressed openly or fully and sometimes it is expressed in wrong ways. But unleashing and fully expressing this fury and the desire to be free must be a fundamental part of preparing and making the revolution that is necessary to finally emancipate all of humanity. This fury and revolutionary potential are reflected in part in torrents of struggle that sometimes erupt and shake up society—as happened in India in 2012 when tens of thousands of people came out to protest the gang rape of a young woman by a group of unknown men who attacked her when she was getting off public transportation; or on April 24, 2016 in Mexico, when thousands took to the streets in several cities against the multiple forms of brutal violence against women; or on January 21, 2017, when four million people took to the streets in the United States, accompanied by thousands more in other countries, in opposition to the misogynist and fascist Trump/Pence regime and the extreme patriarchy that they seek to impose.
Organize now to fight patriarchy and the war against women, with resistance that seeks not only to lessen the intolerable oppression of women, but also to fight to eliminate it, through communist revolution that is being prepared urgently as of now.
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