After the extraordinary demonstrations and rallies of June 3 [in Buenos Aires and many other cities in Argentina, Montevideo (Uruguay) and Santiago de Chile], this question is present everywhere.
But it’s not the only one: Why are there so few convictions in cases of female homicides? Why – when it is known that a woman was beaten by her boyfriend or husband – there are those who wonder what has she done to cause it? Why sometimes you know that a friend, relative or neighbor beats his wife, and nothing is done?
The answer to all this is the existence of a sexist culture that has been imposed over the centuries, which imposes the view that women are inferior and always need a man to mark the way. A man to tell and tell not what to do. A man, father, brother, husband or boyfriend who is the “owner” and, therefore, can do with her whatever he wants.
Of course, society states as wrongdoing the murder of his wife or girlfriend by a man. But it is not considered a big problem when a woman complains she can’t wear such clothing because her father or her husband is against, or if she can’t go to a meeting because her husband will not let her. Neither it is seen as a big problem if a man loses patience and slaps his wife, daughter or sister. Because it is considered that in such cases the man is only exercising his right to “ownership.” And the murder of this woman is just an extreme case of the exercise of the right to ownership. That is why we say that sexism kills.
To end sexism and women’s oppression, we must end capitalism
Over the years, women have made great struggles and have made important achievements: the right to vote, to study, to the custody of their children, to legal abortion in some countries. But the end of sexism and oppression of women have not been achieved, and now they are shown in their most brutal form, in female homicides, women trafficking or suicide of young women who are rejected for their sexual identity.
And the end of sexism can’t be reached because capitalism uses it to its advantage, to pay lower wages to women and divide the working class. This, which is a constant factor in capitalism, is enlarged in times of major world economic crisis as we are living since 2007. Imperialism makes every effort to make workers pay for the crisis and for that it intensifies the looting of our natural resources and demands the payment of the public debt.
The Argentinean president Cristina Kirchner, like all Latin American governments, accepts those dictates, which result in austerity plans and repression of workers’ fights. The next government, whoever it is, will do the same. The imperialist pressure will continue and austerity will deepen. So, the budget to combat violence against women will shrink and equal pay will be still more difficult to achieve. The sexist prejudices will continue to divide the working class so that the bosses can impose their plans easier.
Therefore, while fighting to demand measures to prevent further female homicides, for the right to abortion and against any discrimination against women, we know that within capitalism the liberation of women will never be achieved. It’s necessary to build a new society that is not based on the profit of a few but on the well-being of mankind, a socialist society.
But it will be possible only through a revolution led by the working class as a whole, women and men. Sexism divides the working class. While going to meetings, picket lines, education courses or to join a revolutionary party is harder for the female workers, who continue supporting the violence of their family or partners, the working class will lose half of their forces.
For this reason, unlike what feminist organizations claim, the struggle against sexism is not a matter for women but for the working class as a whole although that battle must be led by the working women. The headway to socialism is not possible if the female workers and young women are not present in the class struggle. To walk along this way, the doors of the PSTU are open to you.