Prisoners Write on the Oppression of Women

May 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | is sharing with our readers these excerpts from letters written by prisoners about the oppression of women, including their responses to what Revolution newspaper has written.

“Chauvinism and misogyny were deeply ingrained in me”

For myself personally, becoming familiar with the R.C.P. and the work they do has helped me to grow not only academically but ethically as well. I’ve discovered that the more I learn about revolution, communism, emancipation, and equality the more empathetic I become. Not only with regard to my fellow man but to women also.

As a young man growing up in the barrio I developed all of the thoughts, ideas, and opinions that such an environment gives rise to. Chauvinism and misogyny were deeply ingrained in me. And the sad reality is that these attitudes and ideas are still alive and well here in prison. I believe that it is only through education can we liberate ourselves of these false beliefs. And the R.C.P. and the Revolution newspaper provide us with exactly the kind of education that we need.

—Prisoner in California

“There isn’t a day in their lives that women aren’t made to feel like less than what and who they are”

I’m 28 years old. Ten years ago I treated and believed about women what men have for millennia. In my mind men were stronger and smarter and therefore deserving of their higher position. I’ve come to realize that if men were subjected to even half the things women deal with every day, they would break down and beg for something else.

Download the PDF of this pamphlet: A Declaration: For Women's Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity

The objectification, the degradation, the body-shaming, the slut-shaming, the system which has created a society in which women feel it’s not only right they should sell themselves (stripping, prostitution, pornography) but empowering as well, these things are engineered specifically to keep what is in all reality the superior gender from taking its rightful place in the hierarchy. Even many of the most successful women in the world (musicians, actresses, etc.) had to and have to sell themselves as objects of men’s sexual gratification to succeed and remain successful. Our entire culture is geared toward making girls and young women feel that the best (and sometimes only) way to get ahead is through their appearance or what sexual act they’re willing to perform, not through character or intelligence. It’s so engrained that even women defend it.

Spending 9½ years in the system, surrounded at all times by men, seeing the way they catcall the few women that do come through, hearing the way they speak of women, the way they view them. To the majority of men, women are simply a set of holes to get off in. It’s sickening and frustrating and sometimes I’m ashamed to be of the male gender. Women are viewed in this very animalistic way, never taken seriously as human beings. Men have it so easy, and still we complain when things don’t go exactly as we had envisioned. I admire all women, for the simple fact that there isn’t a day in their lives they aren’t made to feel like less than what and who they are, especially in this day and age, when children are seeing more and more sex at earlier and earlier ages. Strong? Women are the most tenacious and resilient beings on this planet. Would that I were one.

—Prisoner in the Midwest


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