Tag Archives: gender

Discussion on Patriarchy and the Movement

As many of us know, there is patriarchy within our movements that need to be addressed. This is one forum in which these conversations are happening. You can livestream even if you are not in Portland! Information is on the poster below

Check out the Facebook event here:

anti-patriarchy

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Sexual Violence and the Greek Left

Greece women protesters
Trigger Warning: Discussion of Sexual Violence
Looking toward Greece and Egypt as advanced sectors of the world proletariat in high levels of political struggle, we see that sexual and gender contradictions amongst the revolutionary masses inevitably surface. Situated in the US in a non-revolutionary context, we are wise to pre-empt the organizational and political antagonisms prompted by contradictory strata amongst the proletariat. In dealing with the principle gender contradiction of heterosexuality, reproductive rights and sexual violence against women rank as fundamental issues around which multi-gender revolutionary organization must fight. While the left must respond to issues with mass resonance and cannot manufacture movements, it must be ready to commit when conditions arise. It seems that in Greece, the time is overdue for the left to grow the pro-women dimension of their struggle. In this regard they can learn from recent Developments in Egypt. 
 
In the US, where no mass movement of any type currently exists, let alone a mass feminist, women’s, and/or queer one, leftists must be steadfast in marginalizing misogynistic behaviors and individuals from its ranks and developing mechanisms for accountability and transformation of people who betray backward gender politics and personalities. Places like Greece and Egypt are glimpses into our own future, if our class is to arise in intransigence. Lets study our gendered destiny more closely, as we continue to scrutinize the overtly political aspect of struggle against the capitalist state. 

Sexual Violence and the Greek Left

by Mhairi McAlpine

As anyone who reads this blog, particularly the updates from Greece will know, this is incredibly difficult time in the country’s history.  The veil of democracy which hides an authoritarian and despotic government is threadbare, and the rise of an openly fascist party, combining thuggery on both the streets and in the parliament makes for a dangerous environment for left activists.  In such conditions there is a temptation to sideline internal issues within left organisations in the interests of challenging the issues at hand, but the rise of Chysti Avgi didn’t come from nowhere, it tapped into regressive social ideologies within Greek society, which passed under the radar before the crisis and which the Greek government has capitalised on.

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A New Generation Engages with Angela Davis

This is a review of Angela Davis’ Autobiography, written by a friend of AS who does not consider herself a communist or a revolutionary but is learning about both as she organizes against budget cuts at a Bay Area community college. We are posting it because we like its raw feel and honest approach to issues that Angela Davis confronts throughout her life. These issues are political and personal, two dimensions to human existence that AS does not see as being separate.  We do not necessarily agree with all the conclusions our friend reaches in this, her first publicly posted writing. Nonetheless, we support the open-minded bAngela Davis Autobiographyut critical engagement with primary source materials that is crucial to the development of creative, scientific, non-dogmatic revolutionaries. We are excited to present her views to the blogosphere so that she may learn from the diverse perspectives that visit our blog, and so that you all might learn from a fresh new voice.

Angela Davis spent the majority of her childhood in Birmingham, Alabama. In the beginning of her autobiography she speaks of the intense racial tension between whites and blacks, the inferiority of her black elementary school in comparison to the whites, and the self hatred within the black community that she experienced growing up in the south. This part of the book was one of the most memorable parts for me. The bombing of houses with black families by racist white people was such a sad, traumatic experience for Davis but, even more sad, was her growing desensitization to the bombings. They happened so regularly that she grew to accept them as just another part of being black in the racist south. I felt so sick and angry reading this part of the book. I can’t imagine how this black community must have felt and I would think that many of them would have wanted to retaliate by bombing the houses that whites resided in.

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Sex, Race and Class – Selma James

young, black, female proletarians

The left itself is largely responsible for narrowly defining working class politics. Historically, some seriously problematic marxist forces have limited the definition of working class politics to issues concerning white, male, industrial workers.

On the contemporary left scene we find many forces (even, or especially, self-labeled marxists and communists) who seek to right the wrongs of previous generations. While these efforts may be honest and genuine, they often fall far short of actually re-aligning theoretical paradigms of “class” and “struggle” in a positive direction. Often times, race & gender become atomized and separated from class in efforts to develop an intersectional approach.

Selma James’ classic piece “Sex, Race and Class” represents a serious analysis of the organic intersections of the often-mentioned triad of oppression. One need only read the first paragraph to sense it contains important insights into the contemporary struggle to develop a mixed gender, multiracial working class revolutionary theory and struggle.

. . . if sex and race are pulled away from class, virtually all that remains is the truncated, provincial, sectarian politics of the white male metropolitan Left.

Capitalism and the Left have mystified the real relationships between these categories, and it’s an important task for revolutionaries, particularly in the US, to understand the poverty of our current theory in order to begin pulling ourselves out of the self-imposed silos our theories have us incarcerated in.

Sex, Race and Class
(Selma James – 1975)

There has been enough confusion generated when sex, race and class have confronted each other as separate and even conflicting entities. That they are separate entities is self-evident. That they have proven themselves to be not separate, inseparable, is harder to discern. Yet if sex and race are pulled away from class, virtually all that remains is the truncated, provincial, sectarian politics of the white male metropolitan Left. I hope to show in barest outline, first, that the working class movement is something other than that Left have ever envisioned it to be. Second, locked within the contradiction between the discrete entity of sex or race and the totality of class is the greatest deterrent to working class power and at the same time the creative energy to achieve that power.
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