8, IWD: This Moment and The Oppression of Women
The oppression of women is rooted in horrific silences and self-righteous
conservatisms. The oppressions festers behind the walls and traditions of
family “privacy.” It is wreathed in shame and custom. It is denied as it
is so vigorously enforced by state and church and male fists. It is
harvested in the great global productive loops of sweatshops and field labor
— from endless days of labor at sewing machines and assembly lines, in the
nights of domestic slavery and in lifetimes sacrificed to enforced
This oppression is symbolized by the veil and the strip club. It demands
that women be invisible and excluded, and then that they be sold vulnerable
and naked in darkened rooms. It is present in the first whispered exchanges
of teenage lovers, in the father-right imposed as tough love and in the
experimental struggles of conscious people to forge something different. And
that oppression is now, in a historic way, running solidly into the deep
underlying transformations of life and production — and the global
emergence of a female determination to live and speak in a different way.
The oppression of women and the liberation of women are posed in an
unprecedented way today. All across the world, women are involved in
revolution and social life in new ways. Their contributions and status are
being fought over with an intensity that has never been seen before.
Quite simply, after ten thousand years of great subordination and
resistance, the liberation of women is a change whose time has simply come.
Vast forces are arrayed for and against. The struggle takes place in the
world of ideas, in the workplace, in the peasant fields. It takes place
within revolutionary movements and in the mind of each revolutionary
fighter. It takes place in the confines of family intimacy and in the very
streets of very village and city. And it is a crucial part of our Kasama
project — as we conceive and regroup. There is much that is new in all
this. There is much that is unspoken. There is much that is wrong in what
has been said.
Today on International Women’s Day (IWD March 8), this Kasama site
honors the revolutionary struggle to abolish the subbordination of the
female half of humanity, and it upholds the central and growing role women
are playing in the great movement to finally overthrow all the oppressions
of modern class society.
We at Kasama do not yet have much original work (yet!) to contribute to this
great transformative struggle of our time. But we urge you to join us in our
theoretical and practical projects — as we reconceive and regroup for
posts for International Women’s Day.