[Marxism] Women's rights

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Sun Apr 25 23:56:44 MDT 2004

(The below is a rewritten personal correspondence to Comrade DMS.)


What comrade ********** has written is tragic because he places his 
ideological conceptions within the Marxist tradition. Jenny has written that birth 
rates drives underdevelopment and are used by the bourgeoisie to drive the cost - 
value of labor power and its price - down. That is the more people there are, 
the more the bourgeoisie can drive down the value of labor power is her logic. 

This is pure Malthus. 

Under development is of course "under" or below, something. What is being 

Walter Rodney popularized the term "underdevelopment" roughly 30 years ago in 
his "How Europe Under Developed Africa." Even here, Mr. Rodney is looking at 
economic - the bourgeois property relation, development based on the imperial 

Jenny apparently views women as a class and I do not object to deploying a 
concept of women as a class in relationship to bourgeois property. My starting 
point however is that the proletariat is female as opposed to a concept that 
views the existence of women as a category and the proletariat as a category, 
that happen to intermingle.  

How people fight out social questions depends on a complex of factors, we 
subject to the lens of Marx. We are not talking about woman as she existed 
one-hundred years ago or 50 years ago for that matter. 

That is to say what drives the value of labor power down, keeping in mind 
that the real proletariat in America and most of the world is female, is not 
child bearing, but everything Marx writes about in Capital and his Theories of 
Surplus Value or "The Law of The Tendency for the Rate of Profit to fall." 

We have discussed this endlessly on Marxmail as the "organic composition of 
capital." (Here I remember Comrade ********* difficulty in understanding the 
meaning of the word "organic composition" - which of course is no crime. I also 
recall the endless data DMS has provided outlining the actual working of the 
law of value, the fall in the value of labor power and its price). 

What has driven real wages down in America for the past 30 years of our lives 
is not child bearing or the "over production" of people. I of course believe 
the concept of "the carrying capacity of the earth" is dangerous stuff, 
because the amount of people on earth has to be understood in the context of the 
metabolic process of the earth and how Marx described the production of "needs." 

Even here Jenny speaks of "overproduction of people" as a question of pain - 
biological pain of women in the birthing process, or physical endurance. The 
tale Comrade Jenny weaves is that child bearing is directly connected to under 
development of . . . . . viola! . . . .women or the proletariat (because the 
proletariat is female in the first place). 

There of course is nothing wrong with a "Women Centric" point of view if the 
proletariat is in fact female. However, a Marxist standpoint is required to 
understand the law of value - and not feminist ideology, which is not 
necessarily "Women Centric." It gets tricky because feminist ideology locates women very 
real struggle with men as the essence of the property question as 
reproduction of material values and the creation and production of unique needs. 

Here is what she states point blank: 

"The analogy is that women are forced to produce more children than they 
would otherwise have to keep the price of labor DOWN." 

I understand her meaning or rather ideology. I would most certainly work with 
her concerning reproduction rights and any political rights of our class. 

Nevertheless, DMS has grasped the issues at their root. 

Now the title of this thread is false (The Working Class Is Men). The working 
class is not all men. I emphatically state that the working class is female 
and all we have to do is count all the proletarians and ask them to take off 
their clothes and viola! . . . . most of they have a vagina. The problem is that 
women have political rights as women and proletarian and are not going to 
take their clothes off for inspection. 

It time to go to school . . . Marxism 101 or the lens of Marx.

The first stages of the Women's Movement began years and years ago, with the 
bourgeois women fighting to inherit their husbands wealth, rather than having 
it go to the first born son or a male relative. They fought for things like 
the right to dispense and disperse the family wealth and to go into business. 
Now, this did not have anything to do with the slave women, or the women living 
in shanty town and working for fifty cents. Nor did this have anything to do 
with the women of the working class Engels describes in his monumental 
"Conditions of the Working Class in England." 

In other words the Women's Movement was not really a Women's Movement at that 
time or at that stage of its evolution. It was not a movement of women as a 
class. It was a struggle to quantify the equality within the upper class. 

Today we are dealing with a vastly different Women's Movement than in the 
post WWII era or even the 1960s or 1970s. It is a mistake to combine reproduction 
rights with the question of over population as the bourgeois sector of the 
Women's Movement did in the past. The point I am trying to get to is that the 
struggle of women as a class can only emerge when the means of production 
develops that allows them to behave as a class or proletarians drive by their 
majority, which is going to be female. 

This stage of the social struggle is very different from what we faced even 
fifteen years ago. 

Reproduction rights are extremely important. The fact of the matter is that 
Women are going to be liberated on the same basis that everyone and anyone else 
is liberated. They get kicked out of their social position. When the 
sharecropper got kicked off the plantation that was his liberation. When the serf got 
kicked out of his social position in a system of landed property and entered 
the cities - become part of the world of proletarians, that was his liberation. 

The proletariat, which is female - (take off their freaking clothes for 
Christ sake and look at them . . . those girls not boys), is being kicked out of 
its position in the system of bourgeois production. This is the result of the 
revolution in technology. A huge section of the proletariat can no longer sell 
its labor power in a manner to enter the world of commodity exchange and 
reproduce itself as proletariat. This growing section of proletarians on a planetary 
scale are not lumpen proletarians but goddamn women that cannot find work. 

Here is the "new class" or the "communist class" as it is slowing evolving in 
real time. This "communist class" only seems to be largely black in America - 
which it is . . . but it is really more female, in its fundamentality. 

Who amongst us is willing to call these Women goddamn "lumpen proletarians." 
Comrades are not simply looking at things wrong but have not grasped the logic 
of the new era. New features of the social movement always take time to catch 
up with. 

Marxists are not required to accept feminists ideological concepts of another 
generation or bourgeois (black) nationalist ideology. 

Now the issue of political rights - reproduction rights, only seem very 
important to the Women's Movement, when in reality it is more important to the 
proletariat because the proletariat is female, especially its lowest and most 
poverty stricken sector. These are not impoverished "women" in their 
fundamentality but proletarians or proletarians that are women. These are not women of 
another period of history when their "unpaid labor" was an appendage to the wages 
the bourgeoisie paid the men. The men could not work if the women did not do 
the back breaking 18 hours of work while the fellows ran to the tavern. Women 
have a real "beef' with their historical treatment you and I have never denied. 

Yet we have to subject all of this to the lens of Marx and the property 
question . . . and the distinct cycles of bourgeois reproduction, that mark it a 
distinct system of social production.  

The new alignment of social forces and new features of the social struggle is 
presenting a complex of issues to the Women's Movement especially concerning 
abortion, not simply reproduction rights. 

I shall get in trouble for making this political separation. 

This new feature of the social force that is the modern proletariat and 
female seems to be demanding the right to bear children and have them cared for 
regardless of what the bourgeoisie or our generation thinks. At this stage it 
appears as if they are conservative and do not understand the epic abortion 
rights fight but perhaps they are saying "fuck abortion rights . . . fuck that shit 
of the last generations . . . I am going to do what the fuck I please and my 
fucking children are going to be cared for or the way society is set up is 
going to be overthrown."

Some complex directions are emerging, but the working class has never fought 
in just one direction. 

I cannot say for sure because we are only at the second stage of this new 
social process - and of course I am not a women. (A person might not know if they 
are Gay, but one know when they are not a women . . . I need to stop being 

One knows they are at the second stage of a new social process when it 
becomes visible. No one can see the transition because the human eye cannot see 
emergence but only that, which has emerged. I am not sure but the women under 30 
years old are giving us the blues and it might take a little longer to figure 
out their direction. 

Women will be liberated the same way anyone else is liberated. The process of 
her breaking her dependency from men has been a monumental and historic 
battle. The development of the means of production that in turn revolutionized 
house hold work . . . like the washing machine, gave women more time . . . and she 
basically . . . from my point of view said, "Man fuck you I am getting a job 
and not taking your bullshit. You out with the fellows again and I stuck doing 
the shit work. Go to Hell  . . . mutherfucker."  

Then she became proletarian and like the sharecropper could only enter this 
class at the bottom. Then the fight against the glass ceiling exploded led 
increasing by proletarian women.  

Jenny might do well to reread Marx, as we adjust to a new period in history. 
The ideology of the past will no longer suffice. 

The Communist Class has arisen . . . and guess what fellows . . . Its a 
lovely girl. 

Victory to the Proletariat. 

Melvin P. 

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