Women's Fightback 24, March 2020

The socialist history of International Women's Day

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 19:56

Kelly Rogers

International Women’s Day has its roots in some of the most significant moments of our movement’s history. It is our task to remember this history and to turn International Women's Day into a day of strikes and struggle once more.

It was at the second International Conference of Socialist Women, held in Copenhagen in 1910, that the idea of an International Women’s Day was first formally agreed. German delegates Luise Zietz and Clara Zetkin brought the proposal in front of a hundred women delegates, from seventeen countries. The resolution read:

“In agreement with the class-conscious

Who can stop Trump?

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 19:52

Vicki Morris

Elizabeth Warren, would-be Democratic presidential nominee candidate, had a great line in the TV debate on 19 Feb:

“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: a billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians’. And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.”

Michael Bloomberg: the billionaire candidate spending vast sums in his attempt to win the Democratic nomination, who bought himself a podium on the platform that night – the one, uncomfortably, next to Warren, as luck would have it.

For that great put-down Warren garnered much

Combat transphobia through education, not expulsions

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 19:42

Christie Neary

This article was originally published on Labour List and has been republished with the author's permission. Find it here: www.labourlist.org/2020/02/labour-should-combat-transphobia-through-education-not-expulsions

There is undoubtedly an issue of transphobia in the Labour Party. The Labour Campaign for Trans Rights has been set up to combat this, as well as fight for positive advances for the rights of trans and non-binary people. We do this with a recognition that the Labour Party and the wider labour movement are crucial for winning and consolidating the rights of marginalised people within

Is De Beauvoir worth reading?

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 18:23

Dave Kirk

What's often called 'second-wave' feminism is sometimes dated to begin with the publication of The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir in 1949. De Beauvoir herself was critical of that claim later in life; whilst acknowledging that she had some influence on the women's movement that grew in the 1960s, she argued that it had other more pressing, contemporary influences.

It's a long book. Over 700 pages. So why is it worth reading a book long on how women have been treated in philosophy and literature and short on the specifically political? The pre-WW1 British women's suffrage movement is glossed

Against sex-based feminism

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 17:50

Cathy Nugent

"Feminists do not conflate sex and gender. Sex is a scientific term for one's biology, and this cannot be changed. As materialists we believe the root of women's oppression lies in her biology, a view underpinning socialist theory for generations. Gender theory does not provide an alternative credible analysis and it is regressive. Queer theorists see the intimate connection between biological sex and oppression and react by trying to dismantle the notion of biological sex whilst socialists and feminists react by seeking to dismantle oppression." - from the Women’s Place UK website.

One of the

Babies, brooders and the abolition of gender

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 17:45

Kelly Rogers

“How can men be mothers! How can some kid who isn’t related to you be your child?” She broke free and twisted away in irritation.

“It was part of women’s long revolution. When we were breaking all the old hierarchies. Finally there was that one thing we had to give up too, the only power we ever had, in return for no more power for anyone. The original production: the power to give birth. 'Cause as long as we were biologically enchained, we’d never be equal. And males never would be humanized to be loving and tender. So we all became mothers.”

An exchange between Connie and Luciente in
Woman on

Sexist bastards

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 17:41

Hannah Thompson

Some friends and I decided to organise a meeting in Sheffield on sexism at work through the local Workers’ Liberty branch. We had bonded over our experience of being women training or having worked in “men's jobs”, and between us we built up a small network of women engineers and construction workers meeting occasionally to drink and talk.

I think we all considered ourselves pretty 'thick-skinned' and hard-working. Most people in the group I'd met had a middle-class, undergraduate background. We were also reasonably familiar with leftist politics and ideas. At the universities in Sheffield,

On the social construction of gender

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 17:25

Natalia Cassidy

In the lead up to Workers’ Liberty 2018 conference a debate took place in relation to the trans document on the social construction of gender. The comrade who raised this debate withdrew reference to opposing the social construction of gender on the understanding that further debate on the question would follow. Thus far, this debate has not materialised. This article is an attempt to rekindle that debate. For our trans document see: bit.ly/38eGaYZ

The principle question raised in the 2018 debate was whether or not we, as revolutionary socialists should be opposed to the social construction of

RLB, abortion rights and disability

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 17:13

Pete Boggs

During the Labour leadership contest, Rebecca Long-Bailey answered a questionnaire from the Catholic church in her constituency, saying amongst other things that she personally disagreed with the different term limits for terminating a pregnancy when there is no disability (up to 24 weeks) compared to when there is (up to full-term). Whilst this alone does not make it clear if she personally wants term limits to be removed altogether or for them to be reduced to 24 weeks across the board, in the context of her other comments about abortion in the questionnaire the latter seems more likely.


Catholicism and women's rights

Published on: Tue, 10/03/2020 - 17:05

íosa Críost-Ríobhca

During the current Labour leadership election, Rebecca Long-Bailey (RLB) admitted to holding religious objections to abortion rights based on her Catholicism. Whilst this has not seemed to affect her voting record on this issue, it is concerning that many on the left were so quick to jump to the defence of RLB and Catholicism in general, with some even painting those that voiced concern about the influence of Catholic belief in politics as anti-Irish.

Anti-Catholic sentiment in the UK remains a live issue in the North of Ireland as well as in parts of Scotland, and this is certainly rooted,

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