Today is International Women’s Day, a day now used by many capitalist governments in an attempt to portray themselves as ‘progressive’ or ‘egalitarian’.
Formerly known as ‘International Working Women’s Day’ it was celebrated by communists the world over – in the Soviet Union, China, Spain, Germany, and countless other countries – to pay tribute to the efforts and struggles of labouring women.
However, in an unsurprising turn, it was robbed of its core message by the UN, when it was officially decreed that 8 March would be a day for capitalist governments to not only remove the focus on working women, but also to demonise non-western nations in the name of ‘progressivism’.
But there can be no end to misogynistic culture under capitalism, as misogyny is simply too profitable. Mainstream cinema, the cosmetics industry, fashion, general advertising, television, the music industry, and pornography are all hugely lucrative industries that require a culture of misogyny to sustain their existence.
We, as communists, will honour International Working Women’s Day by acknowledging that capitalism is not the origin of misogyny, but that misogyny cannot be eradicated within capitalism. It is a day to celebrate the achievements of heroic communist women and to think deeply about the way in which misogyny will be rejected both in a future socialist society and within current communist organisations.
Without women there will be no revolution!
The ‘left’ in Britain today reflects class society as a whole, and, because of this, the role and status of women in political life has been diminished alongside the roll-back of the welfare state and other social gains that the working class of Britain temporarily enjoyed for a period after WW2.
As a result, there are far too few women taking part in revolutionary politics. Even worse, there are far too few women playing a leading role in their respective organisations. Red Youth and the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) make a point of doing what they can to support women comrades in developing so that they can play active and leading roles in the party.
We have a number of leading women comrades in our ranks, and we hope the selection of videos below – speeches given by some of those comrades – will inspire other women – both young and old – to take part.
We would also ask all our comrades and sympathisers – both men and women – to read Frederick Engels’ great work The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (See this presentation on this subject). This seminal book makes it absolutely clear that the oppression of women began back when society split into classes and shows that it will only end when class society has been finally abolished. The women’s question is therefore a class question, and the solution to it is to be found in the revolutionary struggle for socialism.
Our own comrades have also written a very good book on this subject, which we would recommend for all those who wish to understand the Marxist view of the women’s question. The book also reveals the limitations of the bourgeois ‘feminist’ movement, which has done rather less for British women in 45 years than the Soviet Union did in 10!
“Not a single great movement of the oppressed in the history of mankind has been able to do without the participation of working women.
“Working women, the most oppressed among the oppressed, never have or could stand aside from the broad path of the liberation movement. This movement of slaves has produced, as is known, hundreds and thousands of martyrs and heroines. Tens of thousands of working women were to be found in the ranks of fighters for the liberation of the serfs. It is not surprising that millions of working women have been drawn in beneath the banners of the revolutionary movement of the working class, the most powerful of all liberation movements of the oppressed masses.“
— JV Stalin