By Miriam, First of May Anarchist Alliance member, Detroit
April 4, 2016/October 12, 2016
“The disconnect between what we are told we have gained and what we face every day in our actual lives lays the basis for a modern women’s movement”.
Attacks on women’s rights, attacks on immigrants and refugees, along with open permission for white supremacist expression is galvanizing the growing right wing movement.
Attacks on women’s rights, attacks on immigrants and refugees, along with open permission for white supremacist expression is galvanizing the growing right wing movement. Women’s health care clinics are being closed at a rapid rate, especially in smaller towns and rural areas.
The increasing attacks on gay and trans people are connected to the attack on women. A gay man is seen as a traitor to male-dom, a gay woman as a usurper. Trans people are especially demonized. Current legislation against gay rights is exacerbating this situation.
Public spaces that allow women’s presence are shrinking. The taunting and catcalls when we walk on a public street are becoming more insistent, more threatening. The incidents and threat of rape is increasing. Wayne County (Michigan) has thousands of unprocessed rape kits, waiting for public donations to get them processed.
Single mothers are increasingly held solely responsible for the physical, financial and emotional well being of their children. Father’s rights have been used in divorce court as a club against women. The threats of wage garnishment and jail for lack of child support have not helped mothers nor their children, and often pit parents against each other.
Working women face increasing responsibility with decreasing support. The globalization of manufacturing – the moving of factories which provided union jobs to countries which permit low wage labor—has left us scrambling to provide and pay our bills on low wage jobs in this country as well.
Women of color are subject to pressures and expectations, as well as attacks, that are specific to them; not faced by men of color nor by white women.
Bourgeois or middle class women have risen in the corporate world. They are doctors and lawyers, professionals and presidential candidates. Their success is used to demonstrate to women that we all can do this, we all can work, go to school and raise a family – it must be ourselves that is lacking if we find ourselves without energy, without money, without support.
The women’s movement of the 1970s increased possibilities and opportunities for women that were not previously available. However, many of our demands – free workplace childcare, free abortion on demand, the right to control our bodies and determine our own sexuality have been pushed back ferociously. The demands for equal pay have still not been realized.
The disconnect between what we are told we have gained and what we face every day in our actual lives lays the basis for a modern women’s movement. This movement must not be limited to women!
First of May Anarchist Alliance is engaged in the struggle, women and men and all genders together, to realize the full growth of all of us. Emotional sharing and support is not a “woman’s thing.” Providing for a family is not a “man’s thing.” Children need and deserve the love and support of a community of adults, related by blood or not, to help them grow and learn and push the boundaries of their own interests and desires.
In the current struggles we are engaged in, be it housing, water rights, anti-police, or immigration, women are playing a leading role. We ensure our rights through revolution, making it impossible for them to be taken away.