On this International Working Women’s Day, Struggle for a New World sends our greetings to all the militant women of the world in their struggle against patriarchy and gender oppression. This International Working Women’s Day comes in a time of fierce reactionary assaults on women’s rights and equally fierce, if not greater resistance and fight back on the part of women. While figures such as Donald Trump, Rodrigo Duterte, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and their counterparts spew misogynistic and sexist filth, the women of the US, the Philippines, Turkey, and the entirety of the world resist. In every country, working women continue their centuries long fight against oppression and for social justice.
It is often said, to quote the Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, that “women hold up half the sky.” But in the case of the revolutionary movement, it can be said that women hold up a far greater portion. The February Revolution was started by a strike of women textile workers on this very day. It is working women who have carried out the vast majority of internal organizational work in revolutionary organizations, in a reflection of the sublated sexism of their male comrades. It is working women who have fought and died on the frontlines of revolutionary struggles, who have marched and been maced, organized and been arrested, all for the revolution. There has never been, and there never will be, a socialist revolution without the active and leading participation of working women. As such, our movement must ruthlessly struggle against the male chauvinism, patriarchy, and gender oppression that has been sublated into it. As such, we must always and unconditionally participate in the women’s movement and, as we do in every movement, work to bring to the fore the question of the revolution and socialism, and the fundamental unity between this struggle and struggles of all the oppressed and exploited.
To quote Rosa Luxemburg in her speech on women’s suffrage,
“The current mass struggle for women’s political rights is only an expression and a part of the proletariat’s general struggle for liberation. In this lies its strength and its future. Because of the female proletariat, general, equal, direct suffrage for women would immensely advance and intensify the proletarian class struggle. This is why bourgeois society abhors and fears women’s suffrage. And this is why we want and will achieve it. Fighting for women’s suffrage, we will also hasten the coming of the hour when the present society falls in ruins under the hammer strokes of the revolutionary proletariat.”
The women’s revolution is the proletarian revolution, and the proletarian revolution is the women’s revolution. Those alleged “communists” who play lip service to the women’s struggle on March 8 and ignore it every other day of the year, and those who reject it out right and sneer at the struggles of particular segments of the working class are not only chauvinists, but setting us up for defeat. Alexandra Kollontai responded to the chauvinists of her day by saying
“But this is not a special day for women alone. The 8th of March is a historic and memorable day for the workers and peasants, for all the Russian workers and for the workers of the whole world. In 1917, on this day, the great February revolution broke out. It was the working women of Petersburg who began this revolution; it was they who first decided to raise the banner of opposition to the Tsar and his associates. And so, working women’s day is a double celebration for us.”
So International Working Women’s Day has been, and so it will be. March 8 is and always will be a day of revolutionary struggle.
Long Live International Working Women’s Day!
Long Live the Women’s Revolution!
Death to Patriarchy and All Forms of Gender Oppression!