From Aurora Roja, the blog of the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico

International Women’s Day, 2020:
The Struggle to Emancipate Women — Driving Force for a Whole New World



Editors note: The following was translated by, from Aurora Roja, the blog of the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico.

Throughout the world, battle lines are being drawn between strengthening patriarchy or emancipating women. The brutal submission of women in all its forms is becoming increasingly extreme. But faced with this, the rejection of male domination is growing and the struggle to free women is becoming more determined. On November 25 ([International] Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women), hundreds of thousands of women, and also men, took to the streets from Spain to South Africa, from Russia to Argentina, from Mexico to Turkey, from India to Bulgaria, to condemn macho violence and fight to break the chains of patriarchal oppression. In Chile, thousands of women premiered the performance “A rapist in your path,” which was later reenacted in 35 countries. In Mexico there are still other reenactments of this powerful work of art, from women high school students in Juchitán, Oaxaca, to UNAM [National Autonomous University of Mexico] departments. In many parts of the world people chant, “The Oppressor State Is a Macho Rapist.” “It Was Not My Fault, nor Where I Was or How I Dressed, The Rapist Is You.” “It’s the Cops, the Judges, the Priests, the President...” The strikes at the UNAM have also been an important part of the upheaval against harassment, rape, femicide, and all forms of women’s oppression. Support and strengthen this fight, on March 8 and thereafter.

Femicide Is a Pandemic...

From January to September 2019, 2,833 women were murdered in Mexico, according to the National Public Security System: More than 10 women murdered per day. One of them was Emma Claritza Benavides Castellón, a 12-year-old Salvadoran girl who was shot dead by the Federal Police on June 14 in Veracruz, seven days after the central government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador signed the infamous agreement to become the hit man against migrants and criminal accomplice of the fascist Trump/Pence regime. Perhaps because she was an immigrant and because she died at the hands of state agents, Emma’s murder was not even recorded among the women murdered.

On November 25, 2019, Abril Pérez Sagaón was murdered by two men on a motorcycle in Mexico City, while two other vehicles blocked the car in which she was traveling. All the evidence indicates that they were hired by her ex-husband, Juan Carlos García Sánchez, former CEO of Amazon México and former director of Grupo Elektra. Eleven months earlier, Abril had filed a complaint against him because he hit her on the head with a bat while she was sleeping and attacked her with a scalpel. The batterer husband who had mistreated her for years was placed in pretrial detention for attempted femicide, but was given conditional release shortly before Abril’s murder, when a judge reclassified the charge to “injuries” and “family violence” (although Abril had told the judge that she feared for her life). This was ratified by a magistrate of the Superior Court in response to Abril’s appeal. Five days after the murder, Juan Carlos García fled to the United States. So far, there is no detainee for that horrific crime.

Isabel Cabanillas de la Torre, 26, an activist, painter and clothing designer, mother of a 4-year-old boy, was murdered in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Her body was found on January 18, 2020 on a downtown street with a bullet in the chest and another in the head. Isabel was an ecofeminist, studied at the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez, and fought for women, for immigrants and against militarization. The Hijas de su Maquilera Madre [Daughters of Their Sweatshop Working Mother] collective, in which Isabel participated, wrote, “Our struggle is for you, sister, for you and for the thousands of women who this femicidal system murders every day.” Her death provoked a wave of indignation. There were demonstrations, communiqués, indignation, and rage in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico City, and Morelia, Michoacán. The Red Mesa de Mujeres [Women Roundtable Network] has exposed that ten women were murdered in Ciudad Juárez in January 2020 alone. Isabel was the fifth. In 2019, they murdered a woman there every other day. Feminist groups in Juárez declared, “We call out her murder as a political femicide perpetrated because she was a woman fighter in social movements. This is a direct attack on the Juárez ecofeminist and artistic movement, which fights for the right of women to a life without violence, freedom of expression, defense of territory, free movement in the streets, and the end to borders dividing our geographies.” There is no detainee for the murder of Isabel.

…An Endemic Pandemic of the Patriarchal Capitalist System Itself

Why does violence against women intensify in Mexico and around the world, and every year it is more lethal than the previous year? What drives and nurtures it? Patriarchy has existed for thousands of years, it has been a fundamental pillar of any society divided into exploiters and exploited, and violence against women is an essential part of maintaining it—by the State and also by many men: husbands, boyfriends, and others who seek to reaffirm their power over their partner or over women in general. Capitalism inherited the patriarchy of previous oppressive systems, changing some forms but maintaining the essential relationships and ideas of male supremacy.

Especially in recent decades, the role of women in society has changed in ways that clash with traditional patriarchal relationships and ideas, due to the very functioning of the system and due to the struggle of women. In countries dominated by imperialism like Mexico, capitalism has spread a lot—ruining the countryside and the environment, accelerating urbanization and international migration, and incorporating more women into the labor force from the sweatshops to the middle strata. Against this and other social changes, powerful fascist fundamentalist forces seek to reimpose traditional forms of patriarchy, like the Bible points out: Let the woman submit to the man and devote herself to bearing children. (See 1 Timothy 2:11-15). A central battle now is between reimposing forced motherhood, eliminating and denying the right to abortion, access to contraceptives and even the right to divorce in some cases, or to win full rights of women to control their own bodies and decide whether they want to have children or not. Other powerful forces in the system foster the “modern” misogynist culture, of blatantly violent pornography, songs, movies, videos, Internet pages that extol rape, femicide and all kinds of disrespect for women. The selfish capitalist ideology that turns everything into merchandise and its thread of narcoculture reinforces the macho culture of yesteryear and all this plays a decisive role in developing rapists, murderers and batterers of women.

The Capitalist System Cannot End Patriarchy; an Actual Revolution Will

It is time to realize that the violence and oppression against women cannot be eliminated under this system. It is often said that the problem is impunity, or the lack of good laws, or the lack of “political will,” or corruption, etc. This describes the consequences, without getting at the causes. Ask yourself, Why, no matter how much we fight, impunity and other symptoms of the problem always prevail? Why is it that the few victories, the few cases of justice that we achieve, do not become the new norm, but continue to be the exception and even the system tries to reverse them? Because the fundamental problem is the system. It is necessary to cast away false illusions and intensify the struggle with a scientific understanding of the problem and of the solution. To end patriarchy and emancipate women, it is necessary to overthrow the capitalist system, knock down the current state, create a new socialist system, and continue the struggle to transform everything that remains which stinks of oppression, as part of communist revolution worldwide, to end all forms of exploitation and oppression throughout the world. This is a big struggle, full of difficulties and sacrifices, but it is the only road that can create the new world that humanity needs, and has a firm basis for it to become a reality, in the sharp contradictions of the system, including the oppression of women which is becoming increasingly unbearable and explosive now. With the theory of the new communism developed by Bob Avakian as a guide, it is really possible to fight for and win the emancipation of women and of all humanity.

The oppression of women, and the fight for their emancipation… can and must play a crucial role in the overall fight to uproot all oppression and exploitation and emancipate all of humanity…. If you want to talk about a group in society whose fundamental need to be able to breathe, and to live as human beings, cannot be met other than through the communist revolution, there’s no group for whom that’s more true than the masses of women.

Bob Avakian, The New Communism, pp. 222 and 227


Aurora Roja, voice of the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico, February 2020

A performance of “A Rapist In Your Path”




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