Marx and Engels:
Civil War in France
Theory of History
Marx and Engels:
On Human Nature
Violence and the Origin of the State
Socialism: Utopian and Scientific
Marx, Engels, Lenin:
What is to be done?
The State and Revolution
Lenin: War Communism
The Cultural Revolution
The American Revolutions
The French Revolutions
On Workers Control
On the Arms Race
Militarization of Labor
The Women's Question
Role of Communist Party
On the Army
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
Mao and Fidel:
Fall of the American Empire
Man and Socialism in Cuba
Hall and Winston:
National Liberation and Culture
Cabral: National Liberation and Culture
When Mao was young he was active with groups opposed to the feudal marriage traditions in China. In 1919, he wrote an article about the suicide of a young woman named Miss Chao in which he attacks the oppression of women: "The circumstances in which Miss Chao found herself were the following; (1) Chinese society; (2) the Chao family of Nanyang Street in Changsha; (3)the Wu family of Kantzuyuan Street in Changsha, the family of the husband she did not want. These three factors constituted three iron nets, composing a kind of triangular cage. Once caught in these three nets, it was in vain that she sought life in every way possible. There was no way for her to go on living ... It happened because of the shameful system of arranged marriages, because of the darkness of the social system, the negation of the individual will, and the absence of the freedom to choose one's own mate."
By 1927, as quoted in the Little Red Book of his writings, Mao referred to the oppression of women as feudal patriarchy: "A man in China is usually subjected to the domination of three systems of authority [political authority, family authority and religious authority].... As for women, in addition to being dominated by these three systems of authority, they are also dominated by the men (the authority of the husband). These four authorities - political, family, religious and masculine - are the embodiment of the whole feudal-patriarchal ideology and system."
Mao's comments echo those of Lenin, made six years earlier for International Women's Day: "Under capitalism, the female half of the human race suffers under a double yoke. The working woman and peasant woman are oppressed by capital; but in addition to that, even in the most democratic of bourgeois republics, they are, firstly, in an inferior position because the law denies them equality with men, and secondly, and this is most important, they are "in domestic slavery," they are "domestic slaves," crushed by the most petty, most menial, most arduous, and most stultifying work of the kitchen, and by isolated domestic, family economy in general."
In 1945, on the verge of revolution, he demanded that it "ensure freedom of marriage and equality as between men and women," (from Women in The Little Red Book).
And in 1955, as President of the Peoples Republic of China, Mao insisted that "In order to build a great socialist society it is of the utmost importance to arouse the broad masses of women to join in productive activity. Men and women must receive equal pay for equal work in production. Genuine equality between the sexes can only be realized in the process of the socialist transformation of society as a whole" (from Women in The Little Red Book).
By the end of the 20th Century, the statistics for women in China had approached closer than most of the Third World to those of Europe and other rich capitalist nations. According to the United Nations figures from UNIFEM, women made up 39% of the workforce, 39% of students in secondary education and over 20% of the parliament (higher than any other of the ten richest countries except for Germany which had 32%). At the very top of the leadership of China, however, men remain in control, reflecting the continued importance of the Red Army in determining power, i.e. a socialist culture of war.
The struggle for women's equality must remain an essential part of revolutionary programs as we enter the 21st Century.
Revolutionary socialist culture of peace
Culture of War
Internal Culture of War
Culture of Peace
Education for nonviolence and democracy
Sustainable development for all
Human rights vs exploitation
Women's equality vs patriarchy
Democratic participation vs authoritarianism
Tolerance and solidarity vs enemy images
Transparency vs secrecy
Disarmament vs armament
Psychology for revolutionaries
Capitalist culture of war
Socialist culture of war
Winning Conflict by Nonviolence
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Has Socialism Failed?
Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Ecology in Cuba
Human Rights in South Africa
Cuba's revolutionary medicine
People-power revolution in the Philippines