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Anarchism and the Continuing Struggle for Women's Freedom

category international | gender | opinion / analysis author Wednesday January 27, 2016 17:27author by Bongani Maponyane - TAAC, ZACFauthor email tokologo.aac at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Published in "Tokologo: Newsletter of the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective", numbers 5/6, November 2015

As anarchist-communists, we oppose sexism whenever and wherever it exists, although we also realise that class position differentiates the experience of sexism. We salute all the woman freedom fighters, and the older generation of women, many our mothers, who bear the scars of the gruesome battles in which they stood firm, fighting the oppression imposed on the African native by colonial conquest.

There were hard times in the apartheid era, where black women were abused, raped and oppressed: the state did nothing to stop this, but aided it, as the state was part of the system of oppression. History shows that dispossession and systematic dehumanization for the purposes of exploitation and domination were undertaken through the uncontrolled and coercive mayhem of the South African state.

womens_lib.png

CAPITALISM'S GUILT

It is now 20 years into the era of parliamentary democracy, but the oppression of women continues to haunt society. We live in capitalism, and capitalism has a major impact on the current situation. The oppression of women lets the bosses have a flexible work force, it makes it easy to hire and fire women at will. Women don't really have job security, and they are often fired when they fall pregnant. The bosses justify lower wages and job security for women, saying that men are the breadwinners.

This is one major reason that women are concentrated in low-wage and insecure jobs as domestic workers, seasonal farm workers, contract workers and in factories - all areas where the wealth of the economy is being produced, where they are exploitated severely.

Working class and poor women are oppressed, not just as members of the working class, but as women. They face problems that men do not. However, their special oppression as women is in many ways due to their class position in the class system of capitalism and the state.

CLASS EFFECTS

We realise through capitalism a wealthy woman can afford many things, and has full access to things like cars, credit cards and a "maid". And we know that many of the struggles to end women's oppression are dominated by middle-class and upper-class women. But since upper class women have an investment in capitalism and the state, they cannot fight against the deep causes of women's oppression in the system. They are part of the system.

HOME-GROWN OPPRESSION

Building a strong working class movement requires tackling the stumbling blocks working class and poor women face in society to date. When we men exercise a degree of power over women, it is unethical, immoral and insensitive - yet this home-grown oppression is manifested so widely in people's lives that it's seen as normal.

But who benefits from this behaviour? It is the ruling class. All these hierarchies support one other, and collectively serve the same purposes: keeping the working class exploited, divided and controlled, to the benefit of the big business-state alliance.

The long history of women's oppression continues to haunt modern day society. While women are expected to work as hard, even harder than men, they earn less, and have less security, as well as many household tasks. Yet in our movements we do not have enough women in leadership, some even asking if women are competent for these positions. And because women working class and poor face so many burdens, it makes a difficult situations, like limiting their participation within their unions and movements, and this in return makes them vulnerable and silenced from voicing our some of their specific grievances.

RIP UP THE TREE OF PAIN

Thus we as anarchist-collectivist oppose sexism wherever it exists. But only a powerful, united working class movement can rip up the tree of women's oppression, growing in the soil of capitalism. But such a movement can only be built by fighting against attitudes and systems that oppress women.

Related Link: http://zabalaza.net/2015/11/25/double-issue-5-6-of-toko...able/
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International | Gender | en

Tue 28 Mar, 04:33

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International Women’s Day is a day when the women’s movement around the world celebrates social, political and other achievements of women. It is also a good day for women to take a closer look at the oppression that flourishes through the double bondage of capitalism and patriarchy, and which is still an unfortunate and undeniable reality for the majority of women today.

imageInternational Women's Day 2013 Mar 08 WSA 0 comments

We strive for a society in which one person or group of people do not dominate or exploit another. In such a society there would be no basis for sexual oppression, domination, or class exploitation. We must work to replace the institutions of power, the nation-state, and capitalism with a worldwide system of grassroots empowerment and self-management of all facets of social and economic life.

textWSA 's International Women's Day statement‏ Mar 07 0 comments

One hundred years ago today, on March 8, 1908, thousands of women left their jobs in the sweatshops of New York City's Lower East Side and took to the streets to demand their rights as women and as workers. In 1917, their sisters in Russia followed suit, and helped to bring about the revolution that overthrew the Tsarist autocracy. And in Spain in 1936, the anarchist women of Mujeres Libres helped to free their sisters from centuries of oppression.

text8 March 2008!! Celebrating International Women's Day? Mar 07 Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici 0 comments

If 8 March - International Women's Day - is not to remain simply an annual recurrence, we must smash these chains by means of ever-stronger solidarity and class consciousness, in the knowledge that the liberation of women will never be complete until all of humanity is free from its oppressors, from tyrants, churches, States and bosses. In the knowledge that the freedom of all comes through the freedom of women. [ Italiano]

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