the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist
“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx
Nov 13, 2017
Hypocrites – we could call them that, except it’s too mild a term to describe these vile human specimens: all these 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 accused them. Doctors for Olympic gymnasts, comedians, actors, politicians – including some who pretend to be defenders of women’s causes – media personalities, judges, Silicon Valley executives, district attorneys, educators, professors, CEOs of big companies, Hollywood producers. And of course, we shouldn’t forget presidents of the United States – current and former ones. And the list keeps growing.
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 actions 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? Or threw hot coffee in another’s face? And how many of us paid a price? How many women ended up in jail because they refused the advances of some cop or 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 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. But it does mean we all live in a society, whose norms and requirements serve the ruling class. And these norms determine indirectly the relations we form with each other.
For the ruling class, which passes its wealth and privileges down from one generation to the next, paternity counts. For any ruling class – and this is still true 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 all know who their own mother is, but what about their father? How do they know that Donald fathered them?
Today, we may have modern technology, which has given us the DNA tests that can tell us who the father is. But we still live in a society where social norms and habits are throwbacks to a much earlier stage of society – when paternity could be assured only because women were fenced in, their “virginity” enforced.
But that enforcement of virginity on some women had its mirror image in the belief that every other woman was “fair game.” It carries over today in the widespread belief 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 at all to pass down. But the conditions of our lives are still formed by the class that dominates the society. And for that class – today the capitalist class – paternity still counts. This still relegates women to an inferior position.
This doesn’t mean that every woman has to accept being a victim. It is possible to stand up for one’s self, all the more so when other women take the same stand. It’s possible to call the predators what they are.
Not every man is a predator. It is possible for a man to function in a humane way that recognizes women as other human beings. But that requires effort, and the willpower to go against the weight of the crowd.
Even so, it’s not within class society that all of us could enjoy decent human relationships with every other member of society. That will require a society that is organized in a collective way, for the benefit of everyone.
The working class has no real wealth to pass down, it has no reason to defend privileges for some at the expense of everyone else. 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 society where all human beings can realize the human potential and build decent relations among each other.