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8M: For a revolutionary feminism, which is not a cover photo but a struggle against all exploitation

Originally published: Internationalist 360° on March 8, 2021 by Cecilia Zamudio (more by Internationalist 360°) (Posted Mar 16, 2021)

The struggle for the emancipation of women and the struggle against capitalism are inseparable.

March 8 commemorates the revolutionary working woman. The communist Clara Zetkin proposed the commemoration at the conference of socialist women in 1910, to honor the struggle of women against capitalist exploitation. We remember the murder of 129 striking women workers burned alive at the hands of Big Capital in a textile factory in the USA: the factory owners closed the doors with them inside and set them on fire (as a measure of “deterrence” to prevent other women workers from following their example of struggle). It commemorates the struggle for social justice, for the rights of the working class, the struggle against patriarchy and capitalism, whose mechanisms seamlessly interconnect.

March 8 was also underpinned as an eminently revolutionary date by the events of March 8, 1917 in Tzarist Russia: thousands of women took to the streets clamoring for their rights, against exploitation and the wars that the bourgeoisie imposed on the people: they triggered the October Revolution. After the October Revolution women won their economic, social, sexual and reproductive rights: the right to vote for all women (not only for property owners as in Great Britain), the right to divorce, the right to abortion, full rights to study and work, guaranteed housing, health and education, etc. All these rights are still being fought for in the vast majority of capitalist countries.

We women are the hardest hit part of the exploited class. We are victims of imperialist wars, of capitalist plunder that impoverishes entire regions and countries, of privatizations and precariousness, and we are also victims of machismo incessantly promoted by the media and the entire cultural industry of capitalism. Because capitalism is sustained by fragmenting and dividing the exploited class: that is why the cultural industry of capitalism incessantly spreads paradigms of discrimination such as sexism and racism.

We are the exploited women workers, students, artists, unemployed and retired women who are being deprived of a dignified life, sometimes even of food, housing, access to health, access to education, etc. We are deprived of decent working conditions and remuneration by the capitalists who extract surplus value from our work. We are the mothers whose work at home is not recognized, those who remain in absolute precariousness without a pension. We are the migrant women pushed to suffer the worst exploitations: in appalling maquilas, sprayed with poison in the agro-industrial sector, forced into the exploitation of prostitution or to be objectified and plundered as “wombs for rent”. We are the girls raped and forced to give birth. We are designated by this system as the target of the aberrant frustrations that this system causes, of the misogyny that it fosters. That is why feminicide is rampant: because the media trivialize torture and all alienating discrimination functional to capitalism, because the violence exercised in a structural way drives its hatred against us.

We are victims of capitalism and its barbarism, victims of the machismo that Capital itself promotes; but we are also women fighters and revolutionaries.

March 8 is not the day of princesses, nor of exploitative businesswomen. The women oppressors, the Christine Lagardes, the Thatchers, the Hillary Clintons and others who profit from devastating forests, oppressing populations, enslaving thousands of workers in factories of fear, who also profit from fomenting machismo through their means of mass alienation, are the exploiting class, just like the men of the exploiting class.

Capital is interested in keeping us tied to the sexual division of labor, to unpaid care work, to wage discrimination for being women. Capital is interested in an exploited class pulverized and beaten, prevented from unity by machismo, racism, xenophobia, individualism and other alienations that the exploiting class is responsible for cultivating.

Faced with such a brutal reality, reformism, always serving to prevent deep questioning, attempts to encapsulate our struggle and superficialize it, hiding its class character, obviating the functionality that machismo has for capitalism.

The reformists, who seek to continue deceiving us with the cynical fable of a supposed and impossible “capitalism with a human face”, seek to hide the fact that we will not succeed in changing the profoundly sexist culture that reigns in the whole world, unless we take over the means of production and therefore those of diffusion and education. In this system a whole artillery of ideological subjugation is implemented by the bourgeois class; the paradigms of oppression are actively hammered from multiple flanks: from religious institutions historically functional to the ruling classes, through the great audiovisual industry, to the not at all ‘innocuous’ video games. To counteract this large-scale alienation, which causes so much suffering, measures are obviously needed to subvert the current social order; abolishing patriarchy will not be possible without abolishing capitalism.

The Trojan horses of the bourgeoisie pretend that the exploiting women are our sisters, when they also participate in perpetuating this system that devours nature, exploits human beings (the working class), and perpetuates machismo, racism, individualism, behaviors and discriminations fundamental to the maintenance of this rotten system.

Revolutionary women know that class society is perpetuated on violence: violence exercised by the exploiting class (which owns the means of production) against the exploited and precarious majorities, and we also know the burden that machismo represents for the unity of the exploited class.

We also fight for a revolutionary feminism, to be able to oppose the infamous recuperation that the system is trying to make of the feminist struggle, with its aberrant Trojan Horses and its discourse of “inter-class sorority” (as if we had to have “sorority” with an exploiting capitalist, a pimp or a token of the military-industrial complex for the mere fact of being a woman!).

We fight against all exploitation, and our struggle against the oppression of working women, we advance it by fighting day by day against machismo, against the bourgeois class, against a social order of concatenated exploitations; fighting against the root that sustains social inequalities: fighting against a system that fosters the oppression of women because it needs this oppression as a mechanism of domination and division of the exploited class; fighting against a system that fosters macho violence as a way of social control (as a perfidious escape valve for the frustrations that such a system creates); fighting against a system in which a handful of billionaires capitalize by crushing humanity and carving up the planet.

The rampant Feminicide is part of the barbarism of an economic, political, social and cultural system, the capitalist, violent in essence and perverse in its logic. A system based on the exploitation of workers and the plundering of nature is a system that needs to trivialize exploitation, social injustice and torture.

The struggle for the emancipation of women and the struggle against capitalism are inseparable. For a revolutionary feminism, which is not a cover photo but a daily struggle, which fights against all exploitation.

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