Revolution #192, February 14, 2010
International Women's Day 2010: A Time to Act
Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution
March 8, International Women's Day 2010, is a time to act.
There are no more monstrous crimes committed anywhere in the world than those against women. There are no more righteous reasons to resist than the horrors women go through every day. And if this were the only reason—and it is not—these crimes alone would pose the need and demand for revolution.
This International Women's Day must be marked by visible and dynamic manifestations of a new spirit of refusal among both women and men to accept "women's place"—whether under medieval veils or on display as "modern" commodities in everything from increasingly degrading and violent pornography to the advertising we are bombarded with every day and in a million other ways. It should be a step forward in building a movement for revolution in this country with the unleashed and focused fury of women being a powerful force propelling it forward.
While people will come together to mark International Women's Day with forums, cultural presentations, "speak bitterness" sessions and other expressions, there should also be actions. These actions must call people forward and uncork the suppressed sentiments of many, many people for a different life—a life where all are free from brutality, degradation, scorn, shame and fear. These actions need to puncture through the stifling and suffocating atmosphere of the "way things are."
And International Women's Day must be marked by the strength and great joy that come from standing up against these outrages, especially with the knowledge that there is a way forward. As the Message and Call from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have," says:
It is up to us: to wake up…to shake off the ways they put on us, the ways they have us thinking so they can keep us down and trapped in the same old rat-race…to rise up, as conscious Emancipators of Humanity. The days when this system can just keep on doing what it does to people, here and all over the world…when people are not inspired and organized to stand up against these outrages and to build up the strength to put an end to this madness…those days must be GONE. And they CAN be.
The Heroic Example of Iranian Women
We need to uphold and learn from the heroic example of Iranian women who have been in the front ranks of the history making upsurge in Iran that began last year and continues, in waves, today. Their widespread participation has made the whole question of the oppression of women—especially that carried out by Iran's ruling Islamic fundamentalist theocracy—a critical component of the struggle.
International Women's Day in the U.S. will be spearheaded by a demonstration in Los Angeles in conjunction with comrades in the international movement, as in the last two years. With the upsurge in Iran, this assumes even more importance this year. There is great potential to draw in people of all nationalities, including from the sizable Iranian community in Los Angeles, and to have a major impact in putting forward before all the possibility of another, truly liberating way that breaks through the deadly and stifling "choices" of fundamentalist Islamic theocracy or capitalism-imperialism. As a part of that demonstration, we and others will be representing for a real revolutionary communist alternative, one that emancipates all humanity from every chain of this imperialist world order.
A Whole Range of Actions
Demonstrations also need to take place in other cities, large and small, and they need to involve people of different strata—artists, professors, students and youth, and more. What if there were militant marches through neighborhoods of those on the bottom of society and/or campuses? What if there were demonstrations outside "crisis pregnancy centers"/fake abortion clinics exposing their anti-abortion program or at the doors of pharmacies that refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control? The sharpening of the attacks on abortion in the last year—including the murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, the health care bill which threatens to exclude coverage for abortion procedures, and fanatical and threatening anti-abortion protests at clinics from Houston to Akron should be one part of what is called out and taken on boldly and without hesitation.
People can learn from those who defiantly stood up to hundreds of anti-abortion fanatics in Houston, as well as the Cleveland protests against police refusal to investigate the rapes and murders of 11 Black women on Imperial Avenue. This and other important work should be built on as well as learned from.
Break the Chains! Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution!
All of this—all forms of activity and IWD as a whole—should raise and embody the slogan, Break the Chains! Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution! The various expressions—forums, cultural performances, speak-outs, etc.—as well as the demonstrations should manifest this festive and determined spirit, from how they are organized to the content of the events. They should at the same time project the liberating future that revolutionary state power can bring to women and men, a future given real life, and very poetically so, in the "Imagine" section of "A Declaration: For the Liberation of Women and the Emancipation of All Humanity."
These events, demonstrations and all the work leading into them must involve going up against the reactionary morality around the role of women in all its forms, including religious as well as the "guy-land" porn mentality. But it should also and MUST also creatively and fully bring to bear our communist morality—and as we do so, uniting as well with the progressive elements of the morality of people who are not communists but who are repulsed by the moral terms of this society and long for something better.
People can get involved and be part of this, no matter what their level of unity or ability to commit time is right now. One important part of our morality is our firm conviction that whenever any outrage or abuse is committed against any woman anywhere in the world, it is part of oppressing women as a whole and must be opposed.
There is a huge gap in this country between the depth of horrors we now face and the current level of resistance and struggle, and that gap needs to be closed. Our actions on IWD can help do that by bringing forward sharp and uncompromising exposure of the crimes against women—the chains that today more than ever stunt lives and crush dreams—and, along with that and indispensable to unleashing people, the liberating possibility of not only breaking those chains but getting to a whole new place in human history where oppression in any form will be NO MORE.
Bringing Bob Avakian into the Mix
Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has opened the way for this through his deep scientific analysis of the history of past revolutions as well as the situation in the world today, and his development of a new synthesis of communism that has heightened the possibility for bringing forward a new wave of communist revolution in this country and the world. He not only has taken up and wrangled with the pressing questions that urgently present themselves but, in his scientific method and approach, challenges and provokes others to do the same.
The question of the oppression of women and the struggle for their complete emancipation is coming to the fore ever more sharply throughout the world today. Bob Avakian's new talk, "Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution," currently running in Revolution, and in particular, Part 3, "The New Synthesis and the Woman Question: The Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution—Further Leaps and Radical Ruptures," is a striking manifestation and continuation of this pathbreaking work and communist leadership. It contributes to forging a new approach with breathtaking possibilities for the future, unsparingly and deeply critiquing the communist movement, including our own party, on this, and poses sharp questions that must continue to be seriously dug into—and urgently—in order to advance further.
This talk opens up in a living way the possibility for unleashing women as a mighty force for revolution by breaking open this question as never before, and the leadership of Bob Avakian on this question, as on so many others, needs to become widely known. The new talk along with the Revolution Talk which is now online needs to be engaged in salons, grappled with on campuses, street corners and in coffee shops; through posting provocative quotes printed in Revolution newspaper and in other creative ways.
There are many resources that can and should be brought to bear in the coming weeks: "A Declaration: For Women's Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity" (Revolution #158, March 8, 2009); the Revolution review of the film Precious: Based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire; articles on the Richmond gang rape, the Twilight saga, and many more.
Further reading and resources are available at revcom.us.
In all this, International Women's Day must give expression to the full fury of women and help fuse longings for a different world with the scientific possibilities of bringing that world into reality, lifting sights to imagine and work towards a future that really is possible.
"The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have," Revolution #170, July 19, 2009, revcom.us/a/171/statement-en.html
"A Declaration: For Women's Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity," Revolution #158, March 8, 2009, revcom.us/a/158/Declaration-en.html
"Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution," by Bob Avakian, revcom.us/avakian/driving, especially Part III, "The New Synthesis and the Woman Question: The Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution—Further Leaps and Radical Ruptures"
"Los Angeles: Celebrating Resistance and Internationalism INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY," Revolution #159, March 22, 2009, revcom.us/i/159/159IWD_LA.pdf
"From a Staff Member of Revolution Books, Cleveland" Revolution #173 online, August 17, 2009, revcom.us/a/173online/akron_womens_medical_center-en.html
"Letter from Cleveland: 'He's talking about revolution and that is what we want,'" Revolution #188, January 10, 2010, revcom.us/a/188/dvd-cleveland-en.html
"A Time for New Beginnings: Taking on the Christian Fascists in Houston," Revolution online #191, February 7, 2010.), revcom.us/a/191/WCW_houston-en.html
The Revolution review of Precious—"The Potential of Precious Girls Everywhere," Revolution #184, November 29, 2009, revcom.us/a/184/precious-en.html
"The Horror of the Richmond Gang Rape... And Making the Connections," Revolution #182, November 9, 2009, revcom.us/a/182/Richmond-en.html
"The Twilight Books: Dear Bella," Revolution #176, September 13, 2009, revcom.us/a/176/twilight-en.html
"Wrestling with Twilight in Harlem," Revolution #178, October 4, 2009, revcom.us/a/178/twilight_harlem-en.html
From the Burkha to the Thong:
Everything Must, and Can, Change!
We Need Total Revolution
A National Campus Speaking Tour by Sunsara Taylor, www.revcom.us/a/192/ST_Tour-en.html
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