Tag: Women's Liberation

Is Biology Women’s Destiny? (III)

Evelyn Reed (1905 – 1979) was a Marxist scholar and a decades-long leader of the Socialist Workers Party. At the time of her death, an extensive article documenting her life appeared in the April 6, 1979, issue of The Militant newspaper: “Evelyn Reed: Marxist and feminist fighter.” Reed was “one of the foremost exponents of the Marxist analysis of the origins of women’s oppression,” the article explained. “She was a historical materialist who made a substantial contribution to Marxism on this subject.” In 1951, Reed began the anthropological research that would eventually produce her pioneering work, “Woman’s Evolution:  From Matriarchal Clan to Patriarchal Family.” She completed the book more than 20 years later; Pathfinder Press published it in 1975. Prior to the book’s publication, Reed wrote many articles on the origins of women’s oppression and the Marxist perspective on how to fight and end it. World-Outlook is republishing below one of those articles — “Is Biology Women’s Destiny?” Today women’s right to choose abortion is under the fiercest attack since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade recognized this right under federal law. The June 24, 2022, U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe left no doubt. In this context, Reed’s writings remain of the utmost importance, especially for younger generations of women’s rights supporters to whom these works may be unfamiliar. This is the last of a three-part series.

Is Biology Women’s Destiny? (II)

Evelyn Reed (1905 – 1979) was a Marxist scholar and a decades-long leader of the Socialist Workers Party. At the time of her death, an extensive article documenting her life appeared in the April 6, 1979, issue of The Militant newspaper: “Evelyn Reed: Marxist and feminist fighter.” Reed was “one of the foremost exponents of the Marxist analysis of the origins of women’s oppression,” the article explained. “She was a historical materialist who made a substantial contribution to Marxism on this subject.” In 1951, Reed began the anthropological research that would eventually produce her pioneering work, “Woman’s Evolution:  From Matriarchal Clan to Patriarchal Family.” She completed the book more than 20 years later; Pathfinder Press published it in 1975. Prior to the book’s publication, Reed wrote many articles on the origins of women’s oppression and the Marxist perspective on how to fight and end it. World-Outlook is republishing below one of those articles — “Is Biology Women’s Destiny?” Today women’s right to choose abortion is under the fiercest attack since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade recognized this right under federal law. The June 24, 2022, U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe left no doubt. In this context, Reed’s writings remain of the utmost importance, especially for younger generations of women’s rights supporters to whom these works may be unfamiliar. This is the second of a three-part series.

Is Biology Women’s Destiny? (I)

Evelyn Reed (1905 – 1979) was a Marxist scholar and a decades-long leader of the Socialist Workers Party. At the time of her death, an extensive article documenting her life appeared in the April 6, 1979, issue of The Militant newspaper: “Evelyn Reed: Marxist and feminist fighter.” Reed was “one of the foremost exponents of the Marxist analysis of the origins of women’s oppression,” the article explained. “She was a historical materialist who made a substantial contribution to Marxism on this subject.” In 1951, Reed began the anthropological research that would eventually produce her pioneering work, “Woman’s Evolution:  From Matriarchal Clan to Patriarchal Family.” She completed the book more than 20 years later; Pathfinder Press published it in 1975. Prior to the book’s publication, Reed wrote many articles on the origins of women’s oppression and the Marxist perspective on how to fight and end it. World-Outlook is republishing below one of those articles — “Is Biology Women’s Destiny?” Today women’s right to choose abortion is under the fiercest attack since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade recognized this right under federal law. The June 24, 2022, U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe left no doubt. In this context, Reed’s writings remain of the utmost importance, especially for younger generations of women’s rights supporters to whom these works may be unfamiliar. This is the first of a three-part series.

Organize, Mobilize to Defend Women’s Right to Choose Abortion!

The U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey is an enormous setback to women’s rights. It is the biggest step to restrict democratic rights in at least half a century. It marks a sharp shift to the right in bourgeois politics, one that has accelerated in recent years. There is no reason to believe the assault on a woman’s right to choose abortion will end with the 6-3 ruling in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. To the contrary, within hours of the decision abortion became virtually illegal in nine states. More will follow quickly. Where do we go from here? As World-Outlook wrote on May 10, “We should begin with an understanding that was more widespread when the fight for women’s liberation shook U.S. politics over 50 years ago. If women and those who support women’s rights do not fight in a consistent and uncompromising way, and independent of the capitalist parties, no one else will…. We must debate and answer the opponents of women’s rights. We need to take the fight into the trade unions and among the thousands of workers at Amazon, Starbucks, and elsewhere fighting to organize unions. Women’s equality on the job, as in all areas of social life, is impossible without the right to control one’s own body.”

Abortion Is a WOMAN’s Right to Choose

The Supreme Court appears on the verge of overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that established the federal right of women to choose abortion. Many states are poised to join Texas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma in criminalizing virtually all abortions. Millions see that these dangerous attacks are aimed at a woman’s right to control her own body. Yet some leading organizations that defend the right to choose abortion now explicitly decline to defend women’s rights. “From Planned Parenthood to NARAL Pro-Choice America to the American Medical Association to city and state health departments and younger activists, the word ‘women’ has in a matter of a few years appeared far less in talk of abortion and pregnancy,” wrote Michael Powell in the New York Times. “Progressive groups and medical organizations have adopted inclusive language, which has led to terms like ‘pregnant people’ and ‘chestfeeding’.” This approach undermines and weakens the fight for the right to choose abortion and all women’s rights. It is a political choice that should be soundly rejected.

Tens of Thousands Rally to Defend Women’s Right to Choose Abortion

Tens of thousands of angry, defiant women and their supporters took to the streets in at least 380 U.S. cities and towns on Saturday, May 14, demanding that legal abortion remain the law of the land. Chants and signs insisted: “We won’t go back,” “Abortion is a human right,” and “Bans off my body.” Inspired by recent gains women and their supporters have made in decriminalizing abortion in Latin America — Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico — protesters in some cities wore green to identify with the Marea Verde (Green Wave) movement for women’s rights in those countries. The May 14 actions were large and spirited, but fell short of the truly massive actions that would reflect the broad majority support that still exists for a woman’s right to choose abortion. As a recent World-Outlook editorial argued, mobilizing such a response will require a change in course for the fight to defend and extend women’s rights. “A new strategy and a new leadership are necessary,” it said. “The balance sheet on the strategy of organizations that are tied to the Democratic Party machine is in: It has failed.”

A Turning Point in the Fight for Women’s Right to Choose Abortion

The leak of the draft Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade confirms what has been clear since September 2021 when the court refused to enjoin Texas law SB8. That measure largely made abortion illegal in the second largest state of the union. The court majority now plans to scrap the 1973 Roe decision and open the door to making most if not all abortions illegal in many other states. This is the most serious attack on women’s rights and all democratic rights in decades. The Republican Party has championed the assault. But the Democratic Party has been complicit in eroding women’s right to choose abortion virtually since the moment Roe became law.

Chicago March: Defend Women’s Right to Choose Abortion!

CHICAGO, March 8, 2022—“Now is the time to get back out into the streets and stay in the streets,” said Linda Loew, a leader of Chicago for Abortion Rights, at the kick-off rally on March 5 to honor International Women’s Day and demand that the Supreme Court uphold Roe v. Wade. Chicago for Abortion Rights initiated the march and rally that was co-hosted by thirteen other organizations. What all supporters of the right to choose abortion need to do now is to organize in the coming months to defend Roe and oppose these attacks. We need to mobilize our power in the streets. We are at a critical juncture. The response to this attack on women’s rights has so far been inadequate. Right-wing forces emboldened by the government are moving full steam ahead to roll back the basic right of women to control their own bodies. These moves must be met by action that mobilizes the majority sentiment that continues to support a woman’s right to choose abortion.

All Out Dec. 1 For Women’s Right to Choose Abortion!

Supporters of a woman’s right to choose abortion are mobilizing on December 1, 2021, in Washington, D.C., Jackson, Mississippi, and Chicago. That day the U..S. Supreme Court is scheduled to begin oral arguments on Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case challenging a 2018 Mississippi statute banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Proponents of the law have asked the Supreme Court to use the case not only to uphold the Mississippi ban but to directly overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. This article provides information about the December 1 actions. It also encourages everyone to spread the word and join one of these protests.

‘We Won’t Go Back!’: More than 100,000 March to Defend Women’s Right to Choose Abortion

October 7, 2021—“Bans Off Our Bodies,” and “Our Bodies, Our Lives,” echoed through the streets of the United States on October 2 as thousands upon thousands rallied and marched in defense of a woman’s right to choose abortion and against all restrictions on this right. From large cities to small towns, from east to west, north to south, more than 100,000 demonstrators in 650 different places joined in. This surpasses the number of cities where people marched in August 1970 in the Women’s Strike for Equality. On that day, 50,000 marched in New York City along with 90 other actions. In 1992, more than half a million demonstrated in Washington, D.C., in the March for Women’s Lives, and nearly one million turned out at the nation’s capital for a similar march in 2004. October 2, 2021, was the largest single outpouring nationwide for a woman’s right to choose since 2004.

Tens of Thousands March, Rally for Women’s Right to Choose Abortion – Photo Gallery

October 3, 2021—Tens of thousands turned out on October 2 in more than 600 cities and towns across the United States to defend a woman’s right to choose abortion. Protesters were in their large majority women. Many students and other youth, as well as people of all generations, participated in the actions. The protests were a good start in what is expected to be a long fight to defend women’s reproductive rights. This is an initial photo gallery of a number of these actions.

Defend a Woman’s Right to Choose Abortion!

A national campaign of mass action to defend a woman’s right to choose abortion is now necessary. This has been true for some time. But the September 1 U.S. Supreme Court 5-4 decision that refused to block a Texas law prohibiting abortion after cardiac activity is detected—which can be as early as six weeks after the onset of pregnancy—underlined the urgency of the moment. Many women are not even aware they are pregnant at that time.

Abortion Rights Fight Escalates as Mississippi Case Heads to Supreme Court

CHICAGO, August 8, 2021—Abortion rights activists here and across the nation are headed to a showdown with anti-abortion forces because of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to hear arguments in the Mississippi case “Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.” On the high court’s docket since May 17, oral arguments could take place as soon as this fall.

A Woman’s Right to Choose Abortion Under Attack: Defend Roe v. Wade!

CHICAGO, June 17, 2021—“We have spent our whole lives working towards our futures, and without our input and without our consent, our control over our futures has been stripped away from us. I hope you can feel how gut-wrenching it is. I hope you can feel how dehumanizing it is, to have the autonomy over your own body taken from you.” These words spoken by Paxton Smith at her May 30 high school graduation in Dallas, Texas clearly express the sentiments of large numbers of people in this country, especially youth. They reflect the problems the ruling rich and their government face as they try to push back women’s right to choose abortion and deny us access to safe and legal procedures.

Women’s Strike for Equality: Ruthann Miller’s 1970 Speech

These are major excerpts from Ruthann Miller’s speech at the Aug. 26, 1970, Women’s Strike for Equality march and rally in New York City. Miller, 22 years old at the time, chaired the rally and was coordinator of the NY Aug. 26 Strike Committee, which organized the demonstration.
The 50,000-strong action was the largest of the Women’s Strike for Equality protests that took place across the United States that day. They marked a qualitative new stage in the women’s liberation struggle.

How Strike for Equality Propelled Women’s Liberation Struggle in the U.S.

In August 1970, campaigners for women’s liberation mounted an extraordinary demonstration in New York, the largest of similar actions across the United States, which propelled the struggle for women’s equality to a new stage. Ruthann Miller, the protest coordinator in New York, was also a young socialist activist. The interview below, conducted by Nancy Rosenstock, first appeared in the Nov. 1, 2020, issue of Jacobin. World-Outlook.com is re-publishing it here by permission in celebration of Women’s History Month.