Red Youth salutes the revolutionary women of the world!
We’d like to take the time over the coming week – until International Women’s Day on 8 March – to discuss why women’s liberation is a key part of the struggle against capitalism, and to remember some inspiring female comrades, past and present, who struggled for the liberation of their people, the liberation of the working class, and who recognised that special attention had to be paid, within these struggles, to the liberation of women, from their subordinate role in society, and the special and additional oppression that women face due to their sex alone.
Women hold up half the sky
– Mao Zedong
Red Youth will be meeting to celebrate International Women’s Day on 9 March, at 1.00pm, at the CPGB-ML party centre 274 Moseley Road, Highgate, Birmingham.
It will soon be 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 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.
Be a revolutionary, not a cheerleader!
Most importantly, it is the role of communists to oppose the idea that women are inherently passive and inherently weak in their attitude, mind, and spirit. A good illustration of how deeply ingrained these attitudes are in capitalist societies is Wang Zheng’s account from Some of Us, a collection of memoirs from women who grew up during the Cultural Revolution:
Not long after I arrived in the United States, I met an American woman at a friend’s home. She told me with apparent pride that her daughter was a cheerleader. I did not know what kind of leader that was. Hearing her explanation, I could not bring myself to present a compliment, as she obviously expected.
I just hoped that my eyes would not betray my disdain as I thought to myself, ‘I guess this American woman has never dreamed of her daughter being a leader cheered by men.’ I feel fortunate that I was “brainwashed” to want to be a revolutionary instead of a cheerleader.
In capitalist society women are expected to be the ‘cheerleaders’ for both working men when they are generating profit for the ruling classes and echoing the media’s misogyny, and for capitalist men when they gather ever greater profits off of the backs of the workers of the world.
It is our duty to ensure that while capitalism is destroyed, alongside it goes misogyny, so that such prejudices will never again blight human progress.
Red Youth is having a meeting in Birmingham on 9 March to discuss and celebrate the role of revolutionary women in the struggle to defeat capitalism, imperialism, and fascism, and how women’s liberation is intrinsically linked with workers’ liberation and communism.
Join us to celebrate International Women’s Day!
Meeting: Sunday 9 March at 1.00pm
Venue: 274 Moseley Road, Highgate, Birmingham, B12 0BS