[Fwd: Re: L-I: Re: Gender & Free Speech]

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Mon Mar 20 11:24:09 PST 2000

More response to Doug's question.

What do Leninists say about gender these days?


They are saying several rather contradictory things, as you would expect, but here is one of the recent responses on that list.


-------- Original Message -------- Subject: Re: L-I: Re: Gender & Free Speech Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 12:12:16 -0500 (EST) From: LROBERTS46 at aol.com Reply-To: leninist-international at buo319b.econ.utah.edu To: leninist-international at buo319b.econ.utah.edu

1. The lack of left understanding of sexism is frustrating. We deal with male and sometimes female prima donnas who are not required to have the same discipline as regular comrades. Some of these guys trade in their wives for trophy wives every few years. Some female comrades act like groupies and/or enablers. A group recently split up over this and other issues. Not only did one side of struggle refuse to concretely acknowledge the political mistakes of the Soviet Union (like Gus Hall refuses to) but they also refuse to acknowledge how serious the sexism mistakes were. Women became generals in the USSR but still did the housework. Abortion became an important birth control method instead of developing a male contraceptive. Women became doctors but the profession decreased in status to that of nurses. (The national chauvinism problem was demonstrated by government encouragement of Russian population increase so that they wouldn't be outnumbered by other groups.)

2. Women are really busy with housework, children, grandchildren, plus organizing, working, education. The Black community is saying this is way they are less involved in the WTO struggle. It takes time to deal with police brutality and violence against women in the homes and work places. We have less resources. I am still pissed by the results from getting on the AFL-CIO site where you can figure how much you lose over a work life due to the wage gap. Because of my education level (1 & 1/2 years of post graduate work) , I will lose $40,000 to the wage gap over my life. This would pay off our house and both cars.

3. We have little time or to read or listen to macho posturing. I have complained about it several times in the short time that I have been on this list.

4. As a biologist by training, I have little patience for these biological arguments for sexism. Women had the babies; at first society didn't even know of the males' role in this. Children inherited from their mothers and belonged to their mothers' clans. Women owned the houses. In hunter/gatherer societies, the women's gathering was the majority of the diet with hunting only supplemental. Men were sent to war and to hunt because they are EXPENDABLE biologically. Spartan and Celtic women ran things, men went off to fight. The Romans speak of Gallic raiding parties of men (women were home running clans). Among the Gauls and the Greeks the fighting was often done by men who sexuality was expressed by homosexuality. Roman historians warn that legionaries were in real danger if the Gaul's wife entered into the battle. My family lives into their 90's. I gave birth between the ages of 20 and 23. My youngest is 25. Only 20% of my life was spend mothering and my two successive husbands did quite a bit of parenting. Not much of a biological imperative.

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