In the 21st century, women of the working classes — employed in the formal economy, the informal economy, working in the countryside or doing unwaged labor — have entered the global political stage in an astonishing array of movements. Sparked by the capitalist war on the working class, the enclosures sweeping peasants and farmers off the land or devastating their livelihoods upon it, and the consequent crisis and intensification in patriarchal relations, these movements are creatively developing socialist-feminist politics — with much to offer the left as it gropes toward new organizational forms and organizing strategies.
The last years have seen strong mobilizations around the right to abortion in Spain: justice minister Alberto Ruíz Gallardon announced the criminalization of abortion in 2012, now the law has been voted through congress. As 8th March 2014 approaches, protests against the re-insertion of abortion into the domain of criminal law are intensifying in Spain as well as internationally. Based on conversations in March 2014 (with Silvia Gil from Vidas Precarias) and November 2012 (with Marcella Arellano from the Feminisms Commission of Sol, and the feminist researcher Emanuela Borzacchiello), this text gives an overview of some of the social, legal, discursive and political matters at stake in the struggles around abortion in Spain. Republished from LeftEast
Katherine Connelly looks at the pioneering revolutionary newspaper created by working-class suffragettes. Republished from Counterfire.
This interview with Silvia Federici, a feminist activist and scholar, and author of Caliban and the Witch: Women, The Body and Primitive Accumulation and Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction and Feminist Struggle was published on The North Star website on 24 February 2014.
In 1921, when the Communist International (Comintern) held its Third World Congress, Clara Zetkin was the most widely respected Communist outside Russia. Yet she was the victim of vigorous efforts on the eve of the congress to vilify her and drive her out of the Comintern leadership, if not from the movement. Nonetheless, she ranks, together with Lenin and Trotsky, among the dominant intellectual figures at the congress.
This article was written in May 1960 and originally published in Quatrième Internationale. This translation is from Fourth International, Autumn 1960. We are publishing it as part of our effort to constute an archive of the Fourth International’s writings on women’s liberation.
We’re at an interesting (and terrible) moment where we’re witnessing attacks on most every gain working people have made for at least the last half century. The curious exception to that has been the advance of marriage and civil rights for gay and lesbian couples in many U.S. states and core imperialist countries. But while we can celebrate the dismantling of many of the legal barriers to equality, we need to be mindful of the cost assimilation has had on “gay” communities, the movement’s relationship to other progressive causes, and lastly how it measures up to radical ideas of gender and sexual freedom.
“Although we are in essential agreement with Marx’s theory as it applied to the very specific economic relationships he analyzed, we know that his analysis must be extended further in order for us to understand our specific economic situation as Black women.” —the Combahee River Collective Statement, 1977
Let us begin with an image: a naked white man pursuing a low-wage Black female asylum seeker down the corridors of an expensive Manhattan hotel in order to force her to have sex with him. The man, of course, is the then-director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and the woman, thirty-three-year-old Nafissatou Diallo, a housekeeper at Strauss-Kahn’s hotel who was also at the time seeking asylum in the United States from her native Guinea, a former colony of France.
This paper was presented at the Historical Materialism Conference in London, 10 November 2013, in the panel on “A comparative analysis of socialist/class struggle feminism in France and Britain in the 1970s and 1980s”.