Wednesday, March 08, 2006
International Women's Day 2006 Speech by Carl Dix in Solidarity with the Great Walk Against Anti Women Laws In Iran's Islamic Republic
Photo: The Great March in Dusseldorf on March 7th
Editor's Note: This speech was delivered on March 8, 2006 in Jackson Heights, New York.
It is of great significance that we're out here today marching in solidarity with the Great Walk Against Anti-Women Laws in Iran's Islamic Republic. This MARCH opposes the inequality that the Iranian regime and other Islamic fundamentalists are imposing on women. And it opposes imperialist domination all over the globe and the oppression this domination brings down on women. And it's significant that we're doing this on March 8, International Women's Day, one of the most important holidays of the revolutionary proletariat.
Today women all over the world face lives full of poverty, brutality and misery. In many parts of the world, women are subjected to mass rape in military conflicts. Many women are forced to watch their children die of diseases that could be easily prevented or cured. Today in countries like Iran where Islamic fundamentalists hold power women severe restrictions like--death by stoning for violating anti woman laws, public lashing of women, forced veiling and more.
US imperialism and its mouthpieces give us a steady drum beat of claims that their set up is the best of all possible worlds, and they say especially the best set up for women. They tell women, and men, that if you are outraged at the subjugation Islamic Fundamentalists impose on women, then you have to support them and their "War On Terrorism." These are cruel and deceitful lies. The US rulers enforce outrageous oppression on women here in this country. Women constantly face the threat, and reality, of physical violence & sexual abuse. And the Christian Fascists grouped around the Bush regime have their sites set squarely on eliminating the right to have an abortion. And they also are backing up and further unleashing forces they subjugate women in the name of Islamic fundamentalism, like the rulers of Saudi Arabia or reactionary forces in Iraq. The imperialist rulers of the US are essentially saying to people, whose form of slavery do you want, ours or theirs?
As RCP Chairman Bob Avakian has pointed out, "While it may take some different forms, brutality against women, inequality and subordination and degradation in every sphere of society is no less a fundamental and indispensable feature of 'modern' bourgeois-imperialist countries than it is in 'Islamic' and other societies where there are significant aspects of pre-capitalist forms of oppression and exploitation."
Things don't have to be like this. We don't have to choose between regimes where Mullahs search the Koran for justification to enslave women or a regime where the Bible as interpreted by suckers like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell is enforced as the law of the land and used to justify the subjugation of women. There is a real way out of the madness imperialism inflicts on the people of the world today, all the ways it subjects women to inequality and degradation and all the other oppression and exploitation it forces the world's people to endure. That way is proletarian revolution, millions of people rising up to get rid of this imperialist system all over the globe and building a whole new world on the ashes of this messed up one. A world where the division of society into a handful of rulers and the great majority of people who get ruled over is ended once and for all. And where all the exploitative economic relations, degrading social relations and backward ideas that were promoted under imperialism are also done away with.
The oppression of women is an integral part of the kind of world imperialism forces people to live in. Subjugating women is an integral part of the morality that imperialism enforces. And the liberation of women is a cornerstone of proletarian revolution. The revolution that it is the mission of this class to bring about, and that our party, the RCP, exists to give leadership to, aims at breaking all the chains of oppression. It cannot and must not break all the chains except the one that binds women into subjugation.
This kind of revolution is not a pipe dream. The masses in the Soviet Union and China rose up in revolution and overthrew their ruling classes and began the process of totally transforming society and themselves. These societies achieved miraculous things while the working class held state power, and one of the miracles was that the situation and status of women was greatly changed.
Before the revolution in the Soviet Union women could be bought and sold as brides and servants. Women were treated as beasts of burden, on farms and in menial sweatshop jobs. In the new socialist Soviet Union, the question of womens liberation was widely discussed and struggled over. Oppressive and patriarchal customs were criticized and challenged. Measures were taken to free women from the tasks of childcare, cooking, and cleaning.
In revolutionary China a new marriage law put an end to arranged marriages and child brides and gave women the right to divorce. Women's associations struggled against those who expected women to do all the housework and childcare. Women organized to confront and take strict measures against wife beaters. Practices like binding the feet of women, which broke the bones in the feet and crippled women in the name of making them more attractive to men were ended. And there were many more great achievements made when our class held power.
We can accomplish miracles like this through making proletarian revolution today. And we can go even further in remaking society and uprooting the oppression of women than was achieved in past revolutionary societies because today we have the leadership of Bob Avakian who has re-envisioned the Communist future and how to get there.
Bob Avakian has re-envisioned a future socialist society as one where people are educated in a scientific outlook that will enable them to find real solutions to the problems of transforming the conditions of the people and overcoming the great, historic divides between city and countryside, mental and manual labor, women and men. He has put forward that in this society the revolutionary leadership must foster an atmosphere of diversity, initiative and creativity that not only allows dissent but encourages and fosters it. Because it is only in this way that we'll be able to get the deepest possible understanding of reality and on that basis be able to transform it.
In today's world where the alternatives are posed as either imperialist so-called liberation or suffocating feudal tradition, our choice must be -- NEITHER. Neither reactionary alternative has anything in common with the emancipation of women -- or anything in common with the interests of the great majority of people of the world, men as well as women.
Our choice must be to fight the oppression of women and all the other shit imperialism brings down on people around the world. And we in the RCP do this as part of building toward the time when people can rise up and get rid of this system once and for all through revolution.
Acting on this is very urgent. The Christian Fascists grouped around the Bush regime are moving rapidly to enforce a fascist theocracy in the US, which would pose great danger for the world's people. At the same time, their moves to impose this theocracy are jolting many, many more people into political life and into opposition to their foul agenda. This is creating real openings to drastically alter the way forces in society are lining up in ways that are more favorable to building resistance and making revolution. The future is not yet written. whether we end up having a fascist theocracy shoved down our throats or are able to fight through to bring a better world into existence is up to us.
Break the Chains!
Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution!