Archive for 'Women’s oppression'
In the latest edition of socialist magazine Solidarity, Geraldine Fela discusses the new film Suffragette, and how the fight for the vote polarised between wealthy and working class women.
Why did Briggs distribute a photo of the female victim to colleagues before and after this blew up? Did he discuss the photo with anyone? If so, what was the nature of those discussions?
We know from the Royal Witch Hunt into Trade Unions that this is a government keen on stamping out bullies and referring all ‘errant’ behaviour to the relevant authorities. Well Mr Turnbull, here is your chance. Refer the photos and their leaking to the Australian Federal Police and Fair Work Australia for investigation. The AFP can see if taking the photos, distributing them to colleagues and leaking them to the press are crimes, and who did what in relation to the leaking and publication. Fair Work can protect the female victim from the bullying that is the leaking of the photos and their publication by investigating and then taking punitive action against the bullies. Over to you Mr Turnbull. Or are you just a smarmy version of Tony Abbott?
Here was a great opportunity to build a united mass movement against the oppression of women and indigenous Australians. Instead the focus was on getting the state to take top down action that does absolutely nothing to address domestic violence, anti-abortion bigotry, racism or women’s oppression. This is the very state which drives and reinforces that racism and oppression. There is nothing to cheer about in banning Brown and Newman.
If only the 24 women murdered by their partners or former partners in Australia so far this year had died in a plane crash we might hear about them and have some debate about how to address this systemic issue.
Having more women as bosses will not challenge the system that gives rise to women’s oppression. It will only reinforce it. In the meantime, women workers, including junior doctors, could join unions and turn them into organisations that defend their interests. In the words of the famous song, don’t be too polite girls, don’t be too polite.
A reminder that on International Women’s Day the Australian government still brutalises refugee women.
If this is the way Abbott treats ruling class women imagine what he has in store for working class women. What Abbott’s male dominated cabinet shows is a government trapped in the past, reverting to the thinking of the 1950s. It reveals an anti-woman attitude which will translate into attacks on poor and working class women, if we and our unions let them.
But the truth is, just as there are different strands of Marxism, some with fundamental political differences, so too there are different strands of feminism–and some of them are self-consciously left wing (including Black feminism, that of other women of color, socialist-feminism and Marxist-feminism), who are as critical of feminism’s political mainstream as we are.
Unless we acknowledge these political distinctions between feminists, it is impossible to engage with feminism in any serious theoretical way. In many respects, over the last few decades in the IST, feminism became a straw figure–even a caricature of a straw figure, made up of the unlikely mish-mash of separatists who simply hate all men and bourgeois feminists who selfishly care only about gaining access to corporate boardrooms–against whom we Marxists steadfastly defended the “interests” of working-class women and men.
We are faced with a fast food political choice on 14 September – between a Maccas Labor Party and a KFC opposition. We won’t be able to survive long on either diet, and sometime soon after 14 September they’ll be force feeding us austerity. There will be no foie gras, just dead ducks all over the place.
There is an alternative to this battle of the fast food political behemoths. It is the revolutionary left, small, isolated from the class, but building gradually and gaining a toehold in the debates of society. Socialist Alternative is part of that revolutionary left. Check us out if you want a steady and healthy political diet of debate and discussion, of ideas and action, of making sense of this slaughterhouse world.
Women like Gillard or Thatcher running the ship of the capitalist state make no difference to the dynamic drivers of the system – the need to extract surplus value from productive workers, women as cheap carers and raisers of the next generation of workers, and all that flows from that – the second class citizenship of women, the low wages, the systemic sexism.
What has made a difference is the organised struggles against oppression, especially militant action by unions. Julia Gillard is part of the problem. Ordinary working women are part of the solution.