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Women’s Liberation and Working-Class Liberation Mutually Dependent

Dear Dan,*

Thanks for getting this ball rolling. I will be brief, just to start things off.

Women’s liberation cannot take place without working-class liberation, and vice versa. The exploitation of female labor has always been a primary prop of class societies.

Women do two-thirds of the world’s work today. This is a combination of unpaid and paid labor.

The movements for working-class liberation and for women’s liberation both need to put women’s unpaid labor more at their center. Women’s unpaid labor of reproduction and child-raising is central to women’s economic situation. And the structurally imposed neglect of child-raising by most men, particularly in the working class, shapes much of working-class wage labor.

Women who do wage work serve as cheap labor worldwide. In the advanced stages of global capitalism that we’re in today, women, particularly women of color in the “developing” nations, are becoming a larger and larger part of the working class. The sex industries and sex trafficking are growing as well, in large part because of female poverty and using women as “cheap” labor.

Sexism and male domination have often been neglected in working-class struggles. There are feminists outside of RC who have examined and organized around the economic and class basis of women’s oppression. More needs to happen.

Diane Balser
International Liberation
Reference Person for Women
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, USA
Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for International Liberation and Commonality Reference Persons


* Dan Nickerson. See article on page 42.

 


Last modified: 2021-06-01 12:29:59+00