MAS 2013 International Women’s Day Statement

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Today we celebrate International Women’s Day.  The history of International Women’s Day dates back to the struggles of working women in the United States and Russia in the early 20th century.   Although many advances have been made since this time in fighting against gender oppression, patriarchy not only still exists but fundamentally influences every aspect of our lives.  The fight against patriarchy in all of its forms is a central part of any true struggle for revolutionary change; and it is integrally linked to the struggle against capitalism, the state and all other forms of oppression.  The struggle against gender oppression is not about women gaining access to, and utilizing, the positions and tools of oppression that have been used to oppress them; the struggle is a struggle to abolish these positions and tools of oppression in order to liberate both the oppressed, as well as those benefiting- however unhealthily- from oppression.  The struggle has developed, identifying more sources of gender oppression rooted in an all-pervasive and intersectionally-linked patriarchal system.  Just some of these fronts of struggle include confronting the gender binary system, essentialization of roles and expectations, disempowering socialization processes, repressive dominant cultural mores, elite control of the body, objectification and commodification of the body, gender restrictions around sexual practices, and so much more.  However, it is essential to remember that development of these early struggles of working women does not and should not mean development away from such struggles.  In the United States and around the world the centrality of the struggle against capitalism and other forms of oppression to the struggle against gender oppression remains fundamental to a truly liberatory movement against patriarchy. So on this International Women’s Day, we stand in solidarity as, and with, the gender oppressed and the many global struggles that centrally challenge the various forms of patriarchy in our lives as part of a broad movement against capitalism, the state and all forms of oppression!

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