Nov 19, 2017
Hypocrites – all those famous and respected “gentlemen” whose sexual abuse of women, young girls or boys found its way into the light of day only because some of their victims finally spoke out. Doctors for Olympic gymnasts, comedians, actors, politicians, media personalities, judges, Silicon Valley executives, district attorneys, educators, professors, CEOs of big companies, Hollywood producers. And we can’t forget presidents of the United States – current and former ones.
Is anyone really astonished at how many of these predators have been “outed”?
Women aren’t surprised at all. We have had to live with such vile pieces of shit all our lives. How many of us – to “get ahead” or even just to keep a job and survive and put food in our children’s mouths – have endured the hands of men who believed they owned us just because we are women? How many of us risked our jobs because we told one of these vultures where to go? And how many of us paid a price? Even – how many women ended up in jail after refusing the advances of some cop in a traffic stop, or a district attorney or judge?
Don’t bother counting it up, coming up with some “statistic” that will shock “polite society.” Suffice it to say, it’s almost every woman.
It’s the condition of being a woman in a class society.
Class society, by extension, means that the relationship between sexes is not equal. That doesn’t mean every man is a predator. It means we all live in a society whose norms serve the ruling class. And this determines indirectly the relations we form with each other.
For all ruling classes, which pass their wealth and privileges down from one generation to the next, paternity counts. For today’s capitalist class, its continuing hold on power is determined by its ability to pass down its wealth intact. In other words, wealth and privilege pass from parents to their children. Donald Trump’s children know who their own mother is, but what about their father? How do they know that Donald fathered them?
Today, DNA tests can tell us who the father is. But we still live in a society whose social norms and habits are throwbacks to a much earlier stage of society when paternity was assured because women were fenced in, their “virginity” enforced.
But the enforcement of virginity on some women had its reverse image in the belief that every other woman was “fair game.” It carries over today in the outrageous idea that a woman who raises her children by herself is raising “illegitimate children” – what every class society from the beginning has called “bastards.”
Of course, for most people, there’s very little wealth, and no privileges to pass down. But the conditions of our lives are still formed by the class that dominates the society. For today’s capitalist class, paternity still counts. And this still relegates women to an inferior position.
This doesn’t mean every woman has to accept being a victim. It is possible to stand up for ourselves, all the more so when other women take the same stand. It’s possible to call out predators.
Not every man is a predator. It is possible for a man to act humanely, to recognize women as other human beings. But that requires effort, and the willpower to go against the weight of the crowd.
Even so, for all of us to enjoy decent human relationships with every other member of society we will need to throw out this class society which spawns privileges for some at the expense of everyone else.
The working class has no real wealth to pass down, it has no reason to defend privileges for a tiny few. And it has the capacity – when it organizes itself and is acting consciously – to relegate capitalism and all of the trappings of class society to the garbage bin of history.
In other words, our class can construct communism, a collective society that will allow all human beings to build decent relations with each other.