International Women’s Day is a day to give voice to our anger against the ways in which women’s lives and rights are threatened, and to our dreams of a future where women and all people are free.
There are many reasons to burn with rage. Around the world, again and again and increasingly, the lives and rights of women and gender diverse people are threatened.
The situation of women is increasingly acute in Colombia and in the world. Expressions such as harassment, systematic rape, degradation, and dehumanization of women are increasingly frequent.
Rape culture is something we all “breathe” in every space of life. Many institutions play a role in its open or veiled defense, the whole culture is permeated by it, from music, social networks, commercials of all kinds of things, to daily relationships.
The commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls and boys has reached massive proportions. What is euphemistically called “the global sex industry” has become a massive and profitable component of the world’s individual national economies and of the world imperialist economy as a whole. Just the “webcam industry” in Colombia has become larger than a fifth of coffee exports in 2022.
In all aspects of life, women are objectified and violent acts against them and against any person with a different sexual or gender orientation are normalized. In Colombia, between 2021 and 2022, femicides increased five times, and so far this year 25 women have been murdered for being a woman.
In various parts of the world, ultra-conservative and fascist political programs that seek to re-establish or strengthen traditional patriarchal values are gaining more weight in social and political life, and where religious fundamentalists are an increasingly determining factor. In the United States, the right to abortion won decades ago was overturned by a court full of fascists who vow not to stop there.
The education of girls and women in countries dominated by theocracies continues to be prevented. From the murder of girls who attend the few schools in Afghanistan to the poisoning of schoolgirls in Iran...
The fight against all these oppressive expressions is also acute.
Since September of 2022, a powerful uprising of women and the people has been unleashed in Iran which, despite the brutal and criminal repression by the reactionary theocratic regime of the Islamic Republic, continues to shake the chains of oppression and has advanced to the demand for the overthrow of the regime.
By means of several years of a righteous struggle at different levels, a year ago in Colombia abortion was decriminalized until the 24th week of gestation. Similarly, abortion was partially decriminalized in Argentina and Mexico as a product mainly of massive mobilizations. However, there are many social and political barriers that make abortion not a real right and that these legal achievements face the risk of being reversed, because as the director of one of the main abortion provider centers in Colombia points out, “Women’s rights can never be taken for granted.”
The situation in the United States is not only a sample of the temporary nature of this right under this system, it is also a sample of how things can go in an even worse direction, of open enslavement for women, of a social and legal order that imposes measures against women and against other people because of their sexual orientation or gender, by means of the establishment or consolidation of religious fascist regimes.
Yes, each victory in the fight for women’s rights, such as the important partial decriminalization of abortion in some Latin American countries, will be temporary if these achievements are not part of a fight for a total revolution, which implies an overthrow of the current state and its ruling classes and the establishment of a new power that rejects patriarchal relations and ideas, as part of advancing in the elimination of all forms of oppression and exploitation.
We need to develop an ever deeper struggle, and in this we must confront various obstacles. Nothing is more dangerous than the illusions of surrendering to the status quo, of seeing options between the “bad” and the “worse.” Especially in the times we are living in, and especially in Colombia, when a reformist government has channeled the illusions and the need of millions for a real change, leading to a dead end.
What is at stake today cannot be solved simply if more women occupy high positions in the government, or by means of a supposed individual empowerment which supposes the normalization of social relations and ideas that maintain oppression. Nor by means of identity separatism and cultural relativism that have led to seriously confusing the source of the problems, leading to atomizing the struggles and promoting paths of some reforms in this same system for each “identity group,” without embarking on the path to uproot the system that is the common source of oppression and exploitation.
All expressions of patriarchal oppression and subjugation are intertwined at the root with the capitalist-imperialist system, which determines that the life of all people is based on the production of profits and that those profits are privately appropriated and concentrated in a few hands. It is the system itself which cannot exist without these big capitals contending between expanding or dying, and that this basic rule of capitalism is leading to a global environmental crisis and has us very close to a nuclear war.
Capitalism cannot exist without patriarchy, nor can patriarchy exist without capitalism today. Patriarchy is a key ideological glue for imperialist capitalism, an essential tool that allows it to keep human beings tied to basic ideas of oppression and exploitation. The fight against patriarchal oppression is at the very core of the possibility of achieving a truly emancipated humanity.
As revolutionary communist leader and theorist Bob Avakian has so profoundly put it: “It is not conceivable that all this will find any resolution other than in the most radical terms. ... The question yet to be determined is: will it be a radical reactionary or a radical revolutionary resolution, will it mean the reinforcing of the chains of enslavement or the shattering of the most decisive links in those chains and the opening up of the possibility of realizing the complete elimination of all forms of such enslavement?”
To make way for a liberating resolution, it is crucial to grapple with the deepest understanding for an actual revolution. There are those of us who are organized and willing to fight alongside others, with passion, scientific depth and radicalism for this revolution. This is a time not to look for political shortcuts, or to accommodate as horrific crimes flash before our eyes or we fall prey to them, and while more monstrous crimes are on the way to being committed.
Yes, the chains of oppression must be broken, ALL of them. For that to happen, a real revolution is necessary, as soon as possible. And right now we seek to treat women, men and people of different genders as equals. We will not tolerate physical or verbal abuse against women, nor treating them as sexual objects, nor will we tolerate insults or “jokes” about people’s gender or sexual orientation.
Now is the time to start living this way. And this must be linked to the preparation of the total revolution of the type that could uproot the oppression and control of the lives of women and other atrocities to which humanity is subjected. The system must be overthrown and replaced with a radically new revolutionary state power. This is not a dream. This is possible. There is a plan and leadership for this. But right now you need to participate. You must be here with us.
Because the pain and agony that so many girls and women suffer and have to swallow, turning against themselves, sits on a burning rage to shed that burden.
Because the times we live in are leading to a terribly horrible future or the very sharpness of these horrors could shake and wake people up so that we dare to raise our heads and fight for a truly emancipatory revolution.
Because we could live another way, beyond this madness: The way women are treated is not “human nature,” but the nature of an oppressive system... and in these celebrations of International Women’s Day you can learn how we could make a real revolution against this system, why it is possible and how we could create a radically different and much better world.
“The violent subjugation of half of society must not be accommodated, excused, downplayed, or surrendered to. IT MUST BE STOPPED!” [source]
“Sex Work” Is NOT “Agency” but Nightmare and Degradation!
Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement! Abortion On Demand and Without Apology!
Capitalism and Patriarchy — You Can't End One Without Ending the Other
Let’s Break the Chains! Let’s Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution!
Join the Women Fighting for Their Lives and Their Liberation Around the World!
STOP the Patriarchal Degradation, Dehumanization, and Subjugation of All Women Everywhere, and All Oppression Based on Gender or Sexual Orientation!
Revolutionary Communist Group, Colombia | March 8, 2023