Sexism and Tom

lmurdock at sescva.esc.edu lmurdock at sescva.esc.edu
Sun Nov 13 16:41:08 MST 1994


Tom,
Marx wrote, that men make history but not of their own choosing. You are
correct that many men and women if face with the alternative of a revolutionary
socialism or self-destruction would take the path of revolution. But just
because people are tired of living the same old and will fight to change
system, does not mean that they will instantly throw off old ideas, it will
many years after the revolution to rid workers and their allies of bourgeois
ideas.
Marx and Engels argued, socialism can create the possibility of new human
relationships developing. In particular by liberating women a real equality
will be possible between men and women.
The Bolsheviks tried to reinforce this in the first days o the revolution. The
Bolsheviks gave the rights to free marriage and free divorce were established,
distinctions in law between legitimacy and illegitimacy were removed.
Homosexuality was decriminalised.
How you are asking, what does this have to do with me, and today. The
Bolsheviks understood, as so did Marx and Engels, just because there was a
social revolution old ideas are not wipe out, and the struggle to change the
way working see themselves will continue after the revolution, that old ideas
are not reform away under capitalism. If the system could be reformed we would
not need a revolution.
However, the sexism and racism that I say exist in all men and women is in many
ways not conscious, it is conditioned into us. We are not born racist or sexism
we are "programed." Just because we fight against racism and sexism, and as
revolutionaries we know it is destructive to the working class we can not
automaticly wipe it out of our existance. But there is a difference between the
sexism of men and women, as there is racism between whites and people of color.
Men sexism is uses to control and have power over women and the sexism of women
is defensive. This also the same relationship between whites and people of
color, with whites playing the power role. Engels worte in THE ORGIN OF THE
FAMILY, PRIVATE PROPERTY AND THE STATE, In the family the man is the
bourgeoisie and the women the proletarian. This can be said, I believe, about
the relationships, as whole between men and women under capitalism.You are
correct in your observation that working class men have everything to gain, and
only their illusions to lose, by abandoning their sexism. But if it were as
simple as that, then there would be no sexism or racism in the working class
organizations, like unions
As for Ann F. or Rebecca replying I don't think you can write anything that
will do that, if they don't reply it will be of their oun choosing. However, I
do think, it is sexist of you to think that by a man writing a letter will
scare off women from replying.
Tom if you real believe that you are not sexist, then why do you try so hard to
prove it?
Larry


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