When: Saturday, March 5 at 1pm
Where: Harriet Tubman Statue – 122 St and St Nicholas Av/Frederick Douglass Blvd, Harlem NY
On Saturday March 5th, 2016, join us as we commemorate the 102nd International Working Women’s Day. Created by revolutionary women such as Clara Zetkin and Alexandra Kollontai, International Working Women’s Day emerged from working-class women fighting for better pay, better working conditions and voting rights in the early 20th century. Clara Zetkin proposed the date of March 8th as the day to recognize the fact that revolution against capitalism-imperialism cannot happen without the liberation of women. From their place of work, to the patriarchal conditions of their home life, harassment on the street, state violence, national oppression, and the exploitation under capitalism-imperialism, women have much to gain from a revolution.
Although International Working Women’s Day is a day of class struggle for women, the United Nations decided to designate March 8th as “International Women’s Day,” stripping it of its class consciousness and insinuating that all women have the same interests. Liberal feminism has co-opted March 8th with the preconceived notion that legislation will be enough to defeat oppressive conditions for all women. Nonetheless, the women of the most oppressed classes don’t benefit from progress achieved by the legislation and remain overlooked with their issues unaddressed. Radical feminism has also failed to address the issues of the most oppressed women by associating women’s oppression with men oppressing women for the sake of oppressing them, which dismisses the historical context of women in relations to the class struggle and national oppression.
Proletarian feminism is a necessary response to liberal/bourgeois feminism failing to address the needs and issues of the most oppressed women: working-class women, women of oppressed nationalities and trans women. Proletarian feminism as a theory is continuously developing by providing a materialist and scientific analysis of women’s oppression and proving how essential the struggle for women’s liberation is to the struggle against capitalism-imperialism. Women around the world are organizing and integrating into movements to fight against heteropatriarchy, white supremacy and capitalism-imperialism.
In the United States, Trans women are being killed at high rates with their murders overlooked. Women are being raped and having to deal with lifelong trauma while the rapists are roaming the streets freely. We also see women being raped, brutalized and killed by police officers. We recognize the women of Bangladesh working in sweatshops in dangerous conditions for extremely low wages, enduring sexual harassment and the threat of sexual violence. We struggle for women in Somalia attacked by gangs, raped and left with inadequate healthcare for pregnancy. We remember the women in Mali that can’t escape the torture of genital mutilation. We fight for women of Palestine thrown out of their homes, separated from their children and isolated from their native land.
It’s imperative for us as proletarian feminists to address the issues of the oppressed women of the world suffering patriarchy, capitalism, imperialism, and national oppression. Join us on March 5th, 2016 to commemorate the oppressed women of the world with nothing to lose but their chains. We are not proletarian feminists one day or one month of the year. We must be proletarian feminists every day of our lives.
Smash capitalism, destroy patriarchy!
Women hold up half the sky!
All power to the people!