Why feminism is simply fighting the symptoms, not the cause

No socialism without feminism

Image by Labour Youth via Flickr

Quoth the Barefoot Bum

I say that feminism and anti-racism are absolutely necessary and central to communism and socialism. But I also say that communism and socialism are also absolutely necessary and central to feminism and anti-racism.

I couldn’t agree more.

However I can expect the reaction of feminists or people targetted by racism when they hear this. Moral indignation that someone might propose that the problem is not what it appears to be. That somehow everything will be alright if we manage to convince enough people to treat women and non-whites equally.

But this is simply treating the symptoms of the disease, not the cause.

Women started becoming a second class citizen as soon as farming came around. Before that time, there was no sexism against women for their house duties were equaly important as the man’s. The man simply owned the tools and skills of the food production while the woman owned the tools and skills of the household.

The problems started occuring when private property came about through the increased production of farming and subsequently slavery. The man thus started owning more and more property (the tools of his trade) while the woman kept owning the same. And because mostly the tools of the man could be used in trade, he started owning the wealth. Thus the role of the woman was marginalized as she was not creating any wealth, and after enough generations, she ended up being treated as inferior.

This is all simplified but it is a historic fact that male sexism and the mistreating of women appeared as soon as private property became the norm. The only reason why women have now started to reclaim some of their equality is because Capitalism has forced them to enter the workforce, and like all exploited people, this exploitation is what is raising the awareness of their inequality.

This inequality is not because of some innate feeling of men to be sexist. It is because men have been the only ones until now who have been creating wealth. And the ones with the wealth wield the power. Thus the women, who were not wielding any power, ended up being considered inferior organically, just because it looked that way. Now that this is changing with more women becoming workers, feminism is becoming more powerful.

But Feminism is not going to remove the strain of sexism from the world, for the Capitalist system demands it. Women will always need to give birth and many of them still give up their careers once they get married. This means that there are more men working, creating wealth and thus wielding the power. And as long as the manhood wields on average more power than womanhood, sexism will exist.

Communism however takes this distinction. There is no wealth, and thus there is no power. The duties of the man, of creating products and bringing food, once again become equal to the woman childbearing. Women staying home to raise their children (or men doing likewise) are not weakened because this kind of work, is still work, even if it does not create wealth.

That is not to say that Feminism cannot achieve victories as it is. This is a given since Capitalism will eventually equalize men and women in its exploitation. But as the Barefoot Bum says, you will only have replaced being exploited for being a woman, to being exploited for being poor. Same shit, different name.

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