… The conditions of disenfranchisement and oppression affecting women must be thoroughly developed in a political program of national significance. Distinction must be made between the level of oppression between oppressed-nation women and that of the oppressor-nation women. This distinction must be further clarified in developing provisions of redress in the oppressed masses’ struggle. For Third World women, their national condition of oppression must first be addressed on local grassroots levels, with the establishment of Third World women community liberation associations, independent of the oppressor nation’s women’s movement. These Third World women community associations must uphold the demands of the class and national liberation struggle. In this way, national aspirations of Third World women can realize their goals as part of, and take a leading role, in the national liberation struggle.” (Quoted from We Are Own Liberators, pp. 92-93)
The Women’s March on Washington, D.C. on January 21, 2017, captured the country’s anxiety about the right-wing turn of the country by the new Trump administration. While it was amazing to see this demonstration protesting Trump’s inauguration, it is extremely important to consider what it means moving forward. The myriad issues raised in the general women’s movement have yet to forge a national agenda that the majority of women will address to either preserve rights and/or to manifest demands for specific government changes. This transition and challenge to evolve from an event into a movement, will confront Third World women differently than Euro-American women. The reason is because their relationship to the government of capitalist-imperialism is fundamentally and historically different.
But it is for certain at this point, the women’s movement at this time, politically, is not anti-capitalist and can be equated as similar to the bourgeois civil rights movement. The fight for women’s civil rights in many respects can be facilitated by the system of capitalism. The U.S. corporate government has the capacity to adjust and absorb specific women’s demands to defuse any potential for women to demand, for example, redistribution of wealth. Because American women are the sisters, daughters, mothers, grandmothers of those sons and daughters who fill the ranks of the armed forces and militarized police, the U.S. corporate government has to be sensitive to women’s demands in order to preserve the ideal of American patriotism to fight imperialist wars and repress/control minority communities.
Here, the potential exists for division in this resurging movement that has to be a point of broad discussion among women. The fight opposing institutional racism and imperialism that should be a significant political objective among Third World women may be found to be in competition with Euro-American women. How these concerns will be addressed is important as it pertains to how women unite in building a national agenda challenging the overall system of racist capitalist-imperialism.
When serious consideration is given to the number of women who joined the Women’s March around the world, it is important to recognize to what extent U.S. government foreign policy (i.e.: colonialism/imperialism) negatively effects the livelihood and relationship those women have with their governments, in response to their governments’ relationship with the U.S.
Objectively, and ideally, the building women’s movement must evolve from being a civil rights into a human rights movement. The hopeful ideological debates will create an environment in which, politically, the entire struggle challenging Trump’s agenda, will evolve into a revolutionary determination for socialism … So, while there is a need for class consciousness to deepen in the women’s movement, the potential for this event to spark a prairie fire of class and national liberation struggle may depend on which way the wind is blowing – is it blowing left or right?
In the Spirit of Nelson Mandela
in Apartheid NYS Prison System
Jalil A. Muntaqim
Jan. 23, 2017
Remember: We Are Our Own Liberators