August 26, 2010
Happy Women's Rights Day!
On this Women's Rights Day, Radical Women puts out the call: It's time to reclaim and re-energize a fighting, militant feminist movement!
August 26, Women's Rights Day, commemorates the day U.S. women won the vote in 1920. The suffrage struggle was deeply rooted in the battle to abolish slavery. In its early days, equal passion was given to the demands for female emancipation and Black freedom. Although the movements later became tragically divided, there were also principled feminist opponents of racism, including African American leader Sojourner Truth, who never accepted the separation of Black voting rights from female suffrage. We celebrate our courageous foremothers of all colors on this day.
Today's fight for decent lives for women must be waged with the same dedication, bravery, audacity and radicalism as the suffrage pioneers whose shoulders we all stand upon. Women and children are still paying the highest toll in U.S. warsas civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan and in acts of domestic violence by dehumanized and distraught returning soldiers. African American women have been a major target of fraudulent housing loans and have lost their homes in disproportionate numbers. Immigrant mothers are desperately trying to hold their families together under the assault of ICE raids and deportations. More and more women are homeless or just one step ahead of it. About the only sure thing with federal healthcare reform is that it will make access to abortion even more difficult. The economic collapse has forced many men from the workforce, placing the burden of primary wage-earner on female partners, whose smaller salaries can't stretch to cover the need. And as public services are slashed and workers face speedup, furloughs, and reduced benefits, women are called on to spread themselves even thinner to provide unpaid childcare, eldercare, and support for ill family members.
But women are nobody's victims. Sisters everywhere are taking the lead in fighting back. At the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit in June, Radical Women representatives encountered dynamic female organizers, many young and many of color, mobilizing on every front. The Social Forum showed that women are instrumental to efforts against police brutality, and for immigrant rights, queer and trans liberation, education, food safety, alternative media, and much more. However, the forum's Gender Justice People's Movement Assembly underscored divisions and problems. Some participants seemed stuck in an alternative postmodern world where the language and content were so esoteric it sowed confusion rather than building opposition to the war on women. Other Gender Justice advocates distanced themselves from feminism, as something entirely and by definition white and middleclass. Radical Women's delegate argued against this and called for multiracial grassroots feminism with a radical program.
The demand for women's liberation, which affects half the human race, is profoundly revolutionary when it fights for the needs of the most oppressed members of the working classpoor women, women of color, queers, immigrants, youththose who have always been initiators and movement sparkplugs. Female revolt challenges the system of privilege at its very corethe capitalist drive for profits that relies on social inequality and the unpaid and underpaid labor of women.
Are you a feminist and a fighter looking for ways to defend yourself and your sisters against the attacks coming down today? Are you a rebel looking for allies and a political home? Please connect with Radical Women as an organization that will give you a voice, a role, the collective power to make a difference, and a proud place in the continuity of rebellious women that spans the centuries.
To learn more, please visit www.RadicalWomen.org and contact the Radical Women National Office RadicalwomenUS@gmail.com or a chapter near you. Donations are also tremendously helpful. Please click here to contribute online.
National Executive Committee