Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

The Revolutionary Mass Criticism Group of the Marxist-Leninist Party

Discussion of Feminism, “Women’s Liberation,” “Gay Liberation”

First Published: The Communist, No. 3, September-October 1970.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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A number of social movement have developed recently which raise the question of sex and its use and abuse in capitalist society. These movements range from reformist lobby-type groups to highly disciplined and tightly-knit organizations and collectives with a revolutionary perspective. So far, these social movements fall into two basic categories. The first is the movement concerned with the oppression and exploitation of women, or of females, as some prefer to say. The second is the movement concerned with the alleged oppression of homosexuals, or, the “gay liberation” movement. It is my purpose la presenting this outline to point out that the first movement falls into two basically different lines: revolutionary feminism versus so-called ’women’s liberation”, that the purpose of imperialism in promoting a “gay liberation” movement is precisely to attack and destroy the revolutionary potential of a feminist movement. In other words, “gay liberation” is the so-called “sexual revolution” in its new form, a reaction to the struggle of oppressed women, the “gay” movement is the counter-revolution against the increasingly growing revolutionary power of oppressed females.

The breaking up of the movement of radical and revolutionary women into two categories is not new, but in fact the direct inheritance of the original division In feminist and various other women’s movements. It is the expression of the class struggle in the ranks of the women’s movement, a movement which has traditionally been an uneasy and often very temporary alliance between women of different classes, uneasy and temporary because of the revolutionary needs of proletarian women, a threat to bourgeois women, and the betrayal of movements and struggles continuously by the “ladies.” Today, the split is quite evident, despite all the attempts by opportunists of various shades to construct a single and monolithic “movement”. On the one hand we have the so-called “women’s liberation movement”, a collection of familiar reformist and revisionist figurehead and letterhead left “personalities”, from Betty Friedan and her lobby group NOW, to the Trotskyite women candidates for seats in the imperialist government. This also consists of the old revisionist front-groups and their remnants, Women’s Strike for Peace, Women’s Int. League for Peace and Freedom, etc. This collection of groups is primarily older and middle-aged women of petty-bourgeois, middle bourgeois, or even monopoly capitalist backgrounds, with the majority of the younger members being party members or cadre of various groups, CP, SWP, PLP, YAWF, etc., sent into these groups as either open “spokesmen” or undercover manipulators. This whole area of the women’s movement is up for hire to the highest bidder on the so-called ’left’, but it is especially compatible with the supposedly non-ideologically oriented “new left”. Thus the deep penetration of anarchist and social-democratic ideology in the “women’s liberation” movement. This movement also raises the fundamental questions of the meaning of “liberation” itself. The term has been borrowed from the mass organizations of the Peoples Wars in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, from Women’s Liberation associations, workers liberation associations, and peasants liberation associations, as all component parts of a National Liberation Front against imperialism, feudalism, and other reactionary forces. However, as adapted by the revisionists, and Trotskyites groups, the term “liberation” comes to mean something different, and in fact, quite the opposite of what it means in the National Liberation struggle of the oppressed nations. Liberation can only mean armed revolution, whether la the countryside or the cities of the world. However, “liberation” as understood by the CP, SWP, PLP, YAWF, etc., whether tagged on to “women’s liberation”, ”youth liberation,” “Young Workers Liberation League,” or “gay liberation”, means liberalism. The so-called women’s liberation electoral campaigns waged by the SWP-YSA are nothing less than liberal campaign of bourgeois democratic reforms, stripped of any chance of militancy or class outlook, reduced to pleas to imperialism to change its nature and become the opposite of what it is. The fundamentally different conception that the Vietnamese Marxist-Leninists and anti-imperialist revolutionaries have in mind, in the formation of the Vietnamese Women’s Liberation Associations, and the other liberation associations, is to develops the firmest worker-peasant alliance as the foundation of the entire national Liberation struggle. The Liberation Associations of women, workers, peasants, students, professions, etc. are new type organs of struggle of the Peoples War, organs of worker-peasant political power, of the proletarian leadership of the people in the oppressed nations. The so-called “women’s liberation” groups of the type promoted by the CP, SWP, etc. such as NOW, are multi-class formations which can invariably only become controlled by the bourgeois sections. The absolutely essential leadership of national minority proletarians is completely missing from those groups: this is the definite sign of a sellout and bourgeois-controlled movement: rooms full of full-cheeked white faces talking in subdued and controlled tones, rather than the streets full of national minority and other proletarian women, with voices raised loud against, and guns trained on, the class enemy.

On the other hand there exists the trend which I will call revolutionary feminism. This trend is less noticed and of course, its views much distorted by the “respectable” and ’regular’ sections of the movementóbut it is the definite “hard-core” of the women’s movement as a whole, the point at which leadership is being developed, serious political and ideological struggle is taking place, and new cadres are being prepared for struggle. Revolutionary feminism is distinguished from “women’s liberation” not only in that it is a revolutionary, as opposed to reformist, tendency, but also in that it is an “ism” unlike the loose ’women’s liberation’ tendency, which claims no specific ideology, in the beat tradition of ’new left’ arrogance and contempt for serious mental activity, but which is, in fact, poisoned with the counter-revolutionary ideologies of anarchism, revisionism, Trotskyism, etc. It is precisely its “anti-ideological” stance which makes the “women’s liberation” tendency so vulnerable to the manipulations of the CP, SWP, PLP, YAWF, etc. The revolutionary feminists, on the other hand, declaring one of their central tasks to be specifically ideological, that is, the development of a comprehensive historical analysis and world outlook, take their struggle outside the narrow “political-reformism” of ’women’s liberation’, and into the great battlefront of the struggle between living ideas, that is, ideas that flow from the practice of classes, nations, and movements. Revolutionary feminism proposes to change the world, and in that sense, takes its place alongside the genuinely radical social and political movements of this historical period. Women’s liberation, on the other hand, only proposes to tack on an extra point or two to a world already long accepted, and to a world view already well integrated into the bourgeois apparatus of “dissent”. Feminism of the revolutionary type la not yet a proletarian movement in the strict sense of the word, but it is headed so rapidly in that direction that Marx, Mao, and other proletarian revolutionaries are more mentioned and quoted from in feminist publications than most so-called ’left’ publications.

What is especially important to realize is the fundamentally different methods of analysis and world outlooks of these two different tendencies. “Women’s liberation” is immersed in metaphysics and idealism of the most reactionary kind, including Freudian and Reichian psychology, and the full, heritage of murderous Western bourgeois medical practice and theory. Revolutionary feminism, on the other hand, although in many instances still under the influence of bourgeois ideology, has raised the basic material questions involved in sex, sexual differences, sexual definition, etc. These questions are fundamentally material in nature, that is to say, biological and physical. The entire question of what the actual differences are between males and females understood in its strictly scientific context, is seen as a basic question in regards the role of women in production, and thus, in historical social development, and especially in class struggle and proletarian revolution. Females are deliberately kept as un-productive labor (as in marriage), as basically physically weak and vulnerable, and thus, inevitably, in the mental and emotional attitude of inferiority and submission. The crisis of imperialism, creating as it does the need for reserves of cheap, unskilled, or semiskilled labor, in certain periods, dislocates the basic condition of millions of women. On the one hand, the private-property and male-dominated family traditions of bourgeois society demand a horde of physically weakened and passive females ready to be wed, impregnated, etc.. On the other hand, the other needs of bourgeois society, drawn ever deeper into the general crisis of imperialism, must interfere with, and contradict this process by taking millions of women, throwing them into production, and then out of it, thus proletarianizing them at the same time that it develops their physical and all-round strength and self-reliance. This process has not yet been understood by either the “new left” scholar-despots nor the fossilised “theoreticians” of the CP, SWP, PLP, etc. This is because none of these tendencies ever understood what the crisis of imperialism actually is, what proletarianisation means, and what forms and contents it assumes in this period, and what this process implies as regards women, national minorities, youth, etc. To the revisionists and Trotskyists, each social category has its own “liberation”, that is, its own plank to be tacked on to a hodge-podge program. In fact, the strategic role of each of these categories, women, national minorities, youth, etc., can only be understood in the sense that they are being proletarianized. that they are being dislocated, being thrown into the process of production and then out of it in an Increasingly violent manner. Thus, the struggles of women, especially can only be understood in the context of proletarianization. The process of proletarianization is a process which at the same time dislocates the traditional bourgeois arrangement of things, and creates the basis for the complete destruction of this arrangement. As millions of women are thrown into the process of production, as their oppression becomes defined in terms of class exploitation, they become no longer merely oppressed as individual women, but exploited as proletarian women. The fundamental difference between oppression and exploitation in that oppression arouses rebellion, but exploitation, that is, the class relations, create the conditions for revolution. The so-called “women’s liberation” movement can only hope to oppose or protest specific fonts of oppression. As such, it remains inside the confines of legitimate and harmless opposition to separate aspects of vaguely defined “oppression”. Revolutionary feminism, declaring its aim to end exploitation, that is, the fundamental form of human exploitation, that of work, extends its area of struggle to the widest base, to the proletariat. The feminists are raising the fundamental question of the marriage institution as based on slave labor, unpaid compulsory labor, while the reformists can only see the marriage question in terms of ’right’ and legal provisions.

It is this fundamental question of the exploitation of human, labor, and, in the case of females, of the exploitation of female work, beginning in the kitchen, home, etc.. and continuing into the processes of industry itself, which is at the core of the struggle of proletarian women and women as a whole, excluding the “ladies” of course. So long as feminism defines the struggle at the point of work, at the point of production, and in terms of females as workers, it will inevitably be joined with the proletarian revolutionary struggle me a whole, the Class War against the bourgeoisie that seeks to abolish the slavery of wage-exploitation and private property in the means of production. The question of the exploitation of females in the kitchen and home as basically slave labor, that is, unpaid labor, points out that the proletariat and the entire process of proletarianization, is the only force capable of ending the last vestiges of feudalism and even slave society, while the bourgeoisie never really completed its own much-heralded “democratic revolution”. The Peoples Wars of National Liberation in Asia, Africa, and Latin America have such valuable experience to offer in regards the struggle of women, precisely because it is in China, Albania, Vietnam and Korea that the proletariat has completely eradicated the last vestiges of feudalism, a task which the national bourgeoisie, because of its small size or weak development, is completely unwilling and unable to carry out. In the so-called advanced capitalist countries, the cities of the world, the most evident remains of feudal, slave, and other pre-capitalist societies lie in regards women, children, the sick, the insane, criminals, etc.. So-called medical science, psychology Mumbo-Jumbo, techniques of institutionalization in hospitals, prisons, etc., all remain the sacred domain of the moat backward and reactionary medieval and barbarous theories and practices. The struggle against the exploitation of women, children, etc. lies in the struggle to completely rid society of the ghosts and monsters of pre-capitalist societies, as well as to destroy capitalism itself. This is why the narrow reformist bourgeois-democratic tendencies can appear as “progressive”, because they propose to ally with the bourgeoisie against feudalism, at the very point in history when the bourgeoisie falls back precisely with these feudal reactionary vestiges, in order to maintain their rule. The “women’s liberation” liberals hope to join the “progressive” bourgeoisie in one last campaign against a past which the bourgeoisie cherishes more and more as it plunges into its final crisis. Thus the strong interest in the abolitionist movement, a movement which Marx and Engels and the proletarian revolutionary forces of their time resolutely supported, right to the civil War in this country. The abolitionist movement, with its alliance of workers, poor farmers, escaped and ex-slaves, and “enlightened” industrialists, against the slave-owning Southern reactionary class, backed by various monarchies in Europe, is seen as the model for a new “abolitionist” campaign of women of all class backgrounds against feudal and reactionary influence in capitalist society. But this campaign is both impossible and unnecessary, and in this lies the negative aspect of the women’s liberation movement as a whole.

The campaign proposed, based on multi-class alliance and liberal reforms, is impossible because the imperialist monopoly capitalists of today are something different from the northern industrialists of the Civil War and the 19th century. The bourgeoisie of today in an imperialist bourgeoisie, a bourgeoisie that is forced more and more to rely on reactionary state violence to maintain its rule, on wars of aggression to maintain its markets, and on more and more reactionary tendencies to keep the workingclass under its control. The imperialist bourgeoisie of the 20th century is more and more a bureaucrat-capitalist bourgeoisie, increasing its State power to the maximum, at the same time cancelling out bit by bit the “individual-liberties” and “democratic rights” gained in the early stages of capitalist development. Thus, the multi-class alliance is impossible in this context because the monopoly-capitalist bourgeoisie has already renounced any intentions of completing the bourgeois-democratic revolution, and in fact, reverts more and more to state absolutism, militarism, and industrial feudalism as the crisis deepens.

This campaign is unnecessary as well, because the inevitable process of proletarianization is accomplishing what a thousand bourgeois-led reform movements and campaigns could never do: it is uniting millions and tens of millions of women in a strategic situation where they have only two choices: to submit to wage-slavery and the capitalist work-routines, or to join in the Class War of the entire proletariat against the bourgeoisie, a war waged initially in the fields, factories, and workshops, and finally, in the entire society, with the smashing up of the ruling-class state machinery and ideological superstructure. The “women’s liberation” liberals demand that women be freed from the home in order to develops their “careers” and individual bourgeois-oriented personalities (in order that they can be truly feminine, etc.) when in fact, the general process is already taking millions of women already, out of whatever their social situation is, and throwing them into the process of production. Proletarianization, the process by which capitalism creates the seed of its own destruction, is the process by which the predominantly-male bourgeoisie also creates the basis for its own destruction, in that it inadvertently forges new forces, a new profoundly revolutionary power, that of millions of women who are simultaneously finding their own physical strength as women, rather than as muscle-less sex-objects, and their social and class strength as workers, as producers. It is precisely this combination of the process of proletarianization, both objective and subjective, and the process of a collective development of physical strength, which is also both material and mental in effect, that is the essential ingredient in revolutionary feminism that promises to throw this movement more and more into direct contradiction and violent struggle with the whole of bourgeois society.

As Marxist-Leninists and Communists, we relate to the process of proletarianization in the same way that Lenin related to the process of militarization in society. Of course, we bitterly oppose all the degradation, suffering and senseless pain inflicted on masses of people by the process of proletarianization, as under militarization, but the characteristics of these processes in no way cancel out their basic progressive role in the overall development of society. In conscripting workers in the millions into fascist and imperialist armies, murdering and crippling many, the bourgeoisie creates a Frankenstein monster which can only turn on its “creator”. This is not only because this process arms workers and trains them in the use of arms but also in that it concentrates and further unifies millions of workers, poor farmers and others. The same is true of the proletarianization of millions of women – it not only develops their physical strength, skills, and methods of work, but concentrates and unifies this collective experience at the point of production, at the most strategic immediate area of class struggle. All of the various self-defense classes and group disciplines used by the revolutionary feminists and other women to overcome their physical weakness, a weakness forced upon women, are positive activities, however, the inevitable process of proletarianization, a collective and mass process involving millions and tens of millions, is the real muscle builder for revolutionary females, the real process which, independent of human will, will at the same time physically and materially strengthen and politically and ideologically unify the only women who can make a revolution: proletarian women, working women. Developing one’s individual or group physical strengthen through the martial arts, exercises, etc. is necessary, but it must not be seen as a form of self-cultivation which can either equal or replace the basic class and mass strengthening, the collective experience of millions of workers, steeled in the heat of battle, forged on the anvil of class war.

In connection with the entire question of physical, material weakness and strength, as fundamentally social, rather than biological characteristics defining male and female, we must investigate the question of homosexuality, and, in connection with the present-day “women’s liberation” movement and Revolutionary Feminist movement, we must analyze the so-called “gay liberation” movement. As stated before, it is the considered view of Marxist-Leninists and proletarian revolutionaries that the so-called “gay liberation” movement is a reaction to, and a counter-revolution against, the revolutionary feminists and struggle of oppressed and exploited women. Homosexuality, like marriage, cannot be simply defined as a sexual category, but aa a social category. The biological questions raised concerning sexual relationships between members of the same sex, whether animal, vegetable, or human, is of no interest or use to us. What we are concerned with is the role of these various social phenomena in relation to the class struggle, the Class War, and the Proletarian Revolution. Not simply in the context of 1930’s European fascism, but also in the context of this period of the general decay and crisis of imperialism, homosexuality, in fact the entire concept of “sexuality”, plays a reactionary and counter-revolutionary role. To further understand this, we must look at the historical basis of the present situation.

As a social phenomenon, homosexuality made its strongest inroads into modem human society during the development of feudalism. Although, la pre-feudal societies of various kinds, homosexuality had existed, it had never taken on the distinct social characteristics and penetration that it did under feudalism. In tribal and slave societies, homosexuality had existed in the same sense as did various other sexual relationships, i.e., between adults and children, humans and animals, with symbols or fetish objects, etc. There was no specific differentiation in Roman and Greek societies between homosexual perversion and any other variety of so-called “pleasure”. As a rule, all of this kind of activity remained primarily cultivated by the ruling-classes. Sexual activity for the oppressed and exploited classes remained the same: regular male-female sex for the purpose of raising more oppressed and exploited persons. Thus the word “proletariat”, meaning breeders, defined the way in which the ruling-classes viewed their slaves, serfs, servants, and now workers, as persons whose sexual activity is to be restricted to breeding, whereas the oppressing class has the supposed privilege of engaging in sex for more than just breeding, i.e., for “pleasure.” However, under feudalism, what had been traditional sexual play for the ruling-classes, what was really one of a number of hideous “diversions” of the oppressor classes, alongside cannibalism, sadism, sad wholesale rape murder, becomes more than that, becomes in fact a conscious and planned social discipline imposed by the ruling-class. Homosexuality under feudalism is a direct means of social domination and political power for a basic part of the feudal ruling-class. And, under capitalism, and now, imperialism, the homosexual-feudal relations, meeting the fascist and militarist needs of aggressive and imperialist bourgeoisies in many countries, are resurrected and deliberately revived as part of the weaponry used by the bourgeoisie against the proletariat and oppressed nations of the world. Both under feudalism, and today under Imperialism, the final stage of capitalism, the rise of homosexuality is accompanied with the rise in the struggle of women against their increasing exploitation and oppression. In fact, homosexuality, under both feudalism and capitalism is the deliberate and conscious act of the ruling-classes against females and their successive revolutionary struggles. To understand this, let us take a closer look at feudal society, and especially what we mean by homosexual-feudal relations.

The entire period of the middle ages, of feudalism in Europe, is marked by the most monstrous oppression, exploitation, and even murder of women, especially peasant and serf women, and among them, especially those women, who, inheriting the non-Christian and non-Roman traditions, were considered “witches”, or the “wise ones”. If the era of fascism can be considered the era when the Jewish people, and others, were mass-murdered in the millions, then the era of feudalism can he distinguished as the period in which millions of women were mass-murdered, tortured, burned to death, etc. (According to conservative estimates, 9 million women were burned as witches.) Is it any coincidence that this wholesale murder and savage oppression of women came side by side with a whole series of social organisms set up for men only? Of course not. And neither is it any coincidence that these social organisms, the church, the knighthoods, the guild fraternities, the tradesmen’s and craftsmen’s orders (notice the ’men’ in the words themselves), and others, all became in fact large-scale homosexual-dominated structures, with fundamentally homosexual social, if not sexual, relations, as the basis for their existence? Of course, both under feudalism and imperialism today, the sexual, that is, the actual erotic activity involved is at the minimal. The predominant form of homosexual relationship under both feudalism and imperialism remains that of domination, of role-playing between males playing “mother” or “father” or “big brother” roles in relation to other males playing passive, submissive roles. All of the lamented “loneliness” and “sadness” connected with the present-day homosexual, including the deliberately ironic and sarcastic use of the term “gay,” is merely the expression of the basic frustration and physical tension associated with this kind of relationship, which at the most erotic level can only be a mutual masturbation, and which almost inevitably degenerates into fetishism, sadism, torture, and cannibalism. Under feudalism, the homosexual relationship becomes the cornerstone of all of the male organization of society: from church and monastery, to military and barracks ’camaraderie’. This structuring of the church, the military, the trades and banking circles, and at a later period, the state, along all-male lines could only be accomplished by committing a massive oppression and exploitation of women while at the same time solidifying the homosexual-feudal relations among the males, even if these relations become predominantly non-sexual, to ensure the control of a minority of males, the ruling-class that is, within the male organization. Thus, for the predominantly male ruling-class under feudalism, all other females, and the majority of males in terms of the homosexual relationship, is the expression of the same domination and oppression and exploitation maintained over females, because a homosexual “junior partner” is expected to perform unpaid, i.e., slave labor, for his “senior partner” or “lover”, in the same sense that the wife is expected and forced by law, to perform unpaid slave labor for her husband. The outlook and class role of the fascist army officer towards the boarding-school pupil, the older “auntie” or “queen” towards the inevitably younger man is the same as that of the husband toward the wife. In all these cases, the basis of the relationship is unpaid, i.e., slave labor, rendered by the oppressed to the oppressor because of some predetermined and established division, whether sanctioned by the church, the military code, the actual laws of the state, or a supposedly “sacred” and “inviolable” emotional domain. Of course, whether in the man-wife relationship or the homosexual relationship, or in the class structure, the oppressor always claims “love” or some other regard for the oppressed. The present-day homosexual relations in capitalist-imperialist society, even in the format of the so-called “gay communes” of the gal liberation movement, are the same as those promoted under feudalism, and now, revived by imperialism, that is, they are the fundamentally oppressive and exploitative relations between a parasite and a worker, a master and a slave, an owner and a propertyless person. It is because of this fact, the class, i.e. oppressive, nature of all forms of “sexuality”, that present-day homosexuality is a cultural and social and political, rather than “sexual”, expression of male domination over females and other males, sad that it is derived from the homosexual church-military-fraternity structures developed under feudalism, that we define it as reactionary and counter-revolutionary. We see that the mass-murder of billions of women as “witches,” the rise of feudalism, and the domination of homosexual male elites through military, church, etc.. are all part of the same process. In what way does this essentially feudal phenomenon affect capitalism and imperialism, and why do we say that homosexuality defined by imperialism is the same, if not worse, than that defined by feudalism?

The process of the bourgeois-democratic revolution, the overthrowal of feudalism by the bourgeoisie, is not the general experience of all, or even a majority of mankind. This is a fundamental reason for the incomplete and unfinished nature of the bourgeois-democratic revolutions. In Europe and North America, with bourgeois-democratic struggles occurring periodically for three hundred years or so in the early stages of capitalist development, from the English Puritans to the Civil War in the United States, certain primary vestiges of feudalism continue to exist; surviving each successive convulsion, and in some cases, experiencing a revival, and today, these feudal and even pre-feudal forms remain. The bourgeoisie proved incapable, if not unwilling, to carry out the last struggle against feudalism, against the feudal institutions and attitudes of the Church, of the military officer cliques, the modern version of the homosexual-fascist knighthoods, or against the feudal laws and outlooks regarding women, children, etc.. German, Italian, and Japanese fascism each relied heavily on all of these to build a reactionary movement against the proletariat and people as a whole. In fascism, we see the revival of feudal structures by the bourgeoisie, and with it, the revival of the necessary concepts of “sexuality”, including homosexuality, that make possible the widespread growth of reactionary movements of various kinds. Not only German, Italian, and Japanese fascisms, with their cult of youth and “chastity”, but also the native Americas fascism of the KKK, Birchers, etc. with their all-male organizations devoted to the alleged “protection” (i.e. oppression) of “womanhood”, all signal the revival of homosexual-feudal male organisation, to be used specifically as counter-revolutionary and reactionary forces against the proletariat, both male and female. The fact that a section of this homosexual-feudal reactionary cult should appear under “progressive” or even so-called “liberation” banners should surprise no one. The bourgeoisie and their lackeys ere vigorously promoting various other reactionary schemes, such as genocide, also under a “liberal” and “scientific” guise, and it will continue to do this, utilizing its “left” flunkeys and its right flunkeys as the occasion demands, until its violent destruction at the hands of the world’s people.

The so-called “gay liberation” movement is the other side of the coin of the homosexual-feudal fascism being cultivated in military schools, prisons, the armed forces, the church, and throughout the entire cultural and super-structural levels of bourgeois society. The “faggot” or “hippie“ or other passive and ludicrous male image and stereotype, joins the “chick” and female stereotype, on the TV and movie screens as the target-victim of the stereotype male hero. The ideal TV-movie police detective hero becomes the sadist-fascist male who bests hippies and “eggheads”, etc., as well as being “experienced”(i.e. an oppressor of) with women. This is the new image cultivated by the imperialist bourgeoisie in order to develop a counter-force, especially among youth, to the world-wide revolutionary upsurge of the proletariat and peoples. This is why the rank-and-file of the “gay liberation” movement, although not necessarily future fascists themselves, are the necessary masochist prelude to the overall homosexual-feudal revival in the imperialist countries, with legally sanctified homosexual marriage, large numbers of homosexuals in the ruling-class exposing themselves as such, and bring on a widespread anti-female reaction, alongside the traditional anti-workingclass, anti-Black, anti-communist reactions. This is the logical and obvious development of these present trends. The rise of such obvious so-called “liberal” pretty-boy personalities as the Kennedys, Lindsay, Reagan, etc.. is a prelude to more and more monstrous homosexual-feudal type characters and attitudes. Through its super-structural machinery of TV, radio, movies, the press, etc. the bourgeoisie is promoting the supposed “virtues” of sexual perversion, and especially, from the point of view of the all-male elite in the bourgeoisie. The entire cult of the “hippies” has been a carefully planned and massive publicity campaign to simultaneous sanction the sexual domination of females by males in the name of a so-called “sexual revolution”, and to sanction various homosexual-feudal activities at first in the name of the “love generation” and non-violence, and then, in a fascist cult of youth struggle as opposed to class struggle, culminating in U.S. flag-waving (see photos of both. NYC and LA gay pride marches) so-called “gay liberation” movement, unfortunately duping some oppressed females in the process. The ideal bourgeois image of the “hippie” is s homosexual-fascist police spy (Red Squad) capable and willing to “screw” (i.e. oppress) both female and male workers, and, by virtue of sexual definition, not a threat to the male ruling-class “harem”, or, those woman which the ruling-class considers its own property. In other words, the homosexual-fascist reactionary circles being promoted and cultivated by the bourgeoisie are seen as the “safe” eunuchs, so to speak, who will protect the bourgeois women and bourgeois wealth, be faithful wage-slaves, without coveting the “masters” wives or property. This is the kind of feudal mentality that has emerged in the culture of the bourgeoisie in the era of imperialism’s collapse. Is it any wonder that Lenin described imperialism repeatedly with the words “decadent” and “moribund”? Uncovering the actual basis of these aspects of bourgeois culture, it can truly be said that the bourgeoisie is the most reactionary ruling-class in history.

The entire bourgeois culture at present has come to be based on “sexuality,” i.e. on a commodity-fetishism based on the distortion of a natural biological function. American culture, the zenith of this commodity-fetishism, may well produce a medieval and feudal reaction that will make some of the European ones seem mild by comparison. Only armed proletarian revolution from within, and People’s War from without, can destroy this ultimate cancer produced by rotting imperialism, once and for all, by overthrowing and destroying the class origins of reaction in general, the bourgeoisie.

We have pointed out the historical roots, and the present-day expression of what we call homosexual-feudal relations. We have shown that homosexual relations, being primarily social and political relations, rather than sexual ones, are baaed on the class contradictions in society, and thus, serve either one class or another. And we have shown that in this era, the imperialist bourgeoisie is using s revival of homosexual-feudal activity as a basic foundation-stone for developing fascism and counterrevolution. The special relationship of the so-called “gay liberation” movement in regards the struggle of women remains to be further analyzed, however. in order to develop a program and general strategy of struggle against these reactionary and counter-revolutionary elements.

The bourgeois media is viewing both “gay liberation” and “women’s liberation” as part of and continuators of an alleged ”sexual revolution.” The “sexual revolution” is a mass publicity campaign by the most reactionary sections of the bourgeoisie to attack women, and especially workingwomen, by declaring, them all “fair game” for sexual, or other abuse. The so-called “sexual revolution” is in fact a modern-day whitch-hunt, a mass campaign to terrorize and oppress millions of potentially revolutionary women, especially younger women and workingclass women, by lifting a number of so-called “moral codes ” regarding clothes, etc., manipulating tastes and standards of “pleasure”; and giving all males, out especially ruling-class males a la Hugh Hefner, not only the right, but the “sacred duty” to sexually oppress and abuse women, to the point of physically and/or mentally destroying them. The result is a steadily rising rate of rape, sexual abuse, and general attacks against women all through bourgeois society. This rise is specially evident in the last five years of intensive “sexual revolution” propaganda, including the “hippie” sex-drugs-religion cult and the carefully manipulated and homosexual-fascist dominated fashion industry, with its “unisex” clothing, jewelry and cosmetics for men, and increased use of children as objects of sadistic “pleasure”. Thus, the so-called “gay liberation” movement is a movement based on the reactionary line that passivity, submission, and masochistic slave-like “love” is the correct attitude to the bourgeoisie, and that furthermore, these are “feminine” or female characteristics, inherent in females and desirable in males. “Gay liberation” may be viewed as the hard-core of the pacifist movement as well, providing increasing numbers of so-called non-violent males to further define their reactionary roles in terms of some supposed sexual relationship or sexual characteristics.

The revolutionary feminists must organize to smash the “gay liberation” movement and all that it represents. The question of lesbianism has nothing to do with homosexuality as promoted by the bourgeoisie. Lesbians also have every reason to struggle against homosexual-fascism. This is because the specific context of homosexuality in capitalism is as a vestige of male domination and slave-labor relationships and lesbianism is completely separate from this development, despite the similarities in the sexual-definitions. In fact, lesbianism may prove to be a revolutionary force, and one important to the development of revolutionary feminism. However homosexuality as promoted by the present day bourgeoisie, the homosexual feudal-fascist and slave-labor mentality and outlook, can only be a reactionary and counter-revolutionary tendency, one that must be completely smashed by the forces of the proletarian revolution.

Revolutionary feminism alone will degenerate into pure and simple feminism, and the same old reformist and class-collaborationist line that predominates in the larger and better-known groups. This is because, although the feminists have shown a positive tendency in that they have raised the question of a world-view, of an ideology, because of the class nature of feminism, they cannot but eventually arrive at the reactionary point that traditional “liberalism” is. Feminism is a part of the bourgeois democratic ideology, admittedly a radical part, but still, inseparable from the process affecting bourgeois ideology as a whole. What has given new lifeblood to this movement is the necessity of carrying out certain anti-feudal and anti-capitalist struggles. However, feminism cannot hope to develop beyond the narrow confines of bourgeois ideology as a whole, only Marxism-Leninism, proletarian revolutionary ideology, can take up both the anti-feudal and anti-capitalist tasks of the new historical period Feminism, like syndicalism, today contains more positive than negative aspects, because of the position that it finds itself in relation to imperialism’s main accomplice, modern revisionism. The feminists, being primarily petty-bourgeois, find it more and more difficult to see eye to eye with a reformist movement obviously controlled direct from the top, from the monopoly capitalist sections of the bourgeoisie. If the feminists ally with proletarian women, workingwomen, and national minority women, if they stand alongside these women in strikes, welfare struggles. and self-defense against reactionary violence, them they will see further the completely reactionary nature of the monopoly capitalists, and come to understand the role of the proletariat, and the need to accept its leadership. All of the serious and important theoretical work, such as is going on in a number of lesser-exposed groups and areas, will be of little use unless it is integrated with and related to practice, that is, class struggle. The feminists may oppose the CP, SWP, PLP, YAWF, etc. for completely different reasons then we, but this common position, for us anti-revisionism, for the feminists a hatred of men and men-dominated organizations, has a common meeting-ground: a common struggle against forces which we both regard in some way as enemies in our ranks, or trying to worm into our ranks, whether it be the ranks of the working class or the ranks of females. Is any case, the initiative will have to be taken by us, since we can and must, as Marxist-Leninists, develop a more complete and correct analysis of the Woman Question, whereas the feminists cannot and will not arrive independently or spontaneously at the correct analysis of the class question. As Communists, we must isolate the handful of feudalist and fascist reactionaries, neutralise those forces that can be neutralised, and win over the progressives and potential revolutionaries. Feminism is revolutionary. In that it opposes imperialism, feudalism, and often, revisionism and Trotskyism, but to oppose something and to be capable of doing away with it are two completely different things. Feminism is revolutionary, but not proletarian revolutionary! It is anti-imperialist, but alone it has no chance of defeating imperialism. When the feminists become truly revolutionary they will no longer be feminists. The same has been true for other non-proletarian, but objectively revolutionary, forces, in this historical period, which pits the overwhelming majority of the world’s peoples against a handful of imperialists and their running dogs. Nationalism and populism, as expressed in Sun Yat Sen and the early and progressive sections of the Kuomintang, opposed imperialism and feudalism in China, but when they became truly revolutionary, that is, when they allied themselves with the worker-peasant masses, led by the Communist Party of China, they had gone beyond nationalism or populism. They had been transformed in the heat of battle into the New Democratic Revolution, a component part of the World Proletarian-Socialist Revolution. The central revolutionary goals of present-day feminism, abolition of the family, equal part of women in production, and under equal terms, self-defense and physical strength and self reliance, collective and socialized child-care, etc. will be transformed in the heat of the battles of the Class War into central demands and struggles of the Proletarian Revolution, and the great proletarian cultural revolutions that will follow, wave upon wave, the setting up of the Dictatorship of the proletariat. The questions that have been raised by the feminists in relation to the family are of fundamental importance to the Proletarian Revolution and the socialist reconstruction of society. This is because a key part of Soviet modern revisionism and its restoration of capitalism has been its increased support for, and strengthening of the family. The Soviet modern revisionists and their lackeys today are the outspoken defenders of the family, decrying the high divorce rate as a “social problem”, praising the virtues of women as mothers alone, and generally maintaining a patriarchal family structure, if necessary, with the aid of the feudal Church, as in the Soviet Union and the revisionist-dominated countries of Eastern Europe. Throughout Western Europe and north America, the so-called communist parties maintain a strong line of defense in behalf of the family, and in fact, often build their party and organizational bureaucracies around families, inheritance, and nepotism. The complete defeat of modern revisionism demands the complete defeat of the revisionist line in defense of the family. This means the full development of an analysis of the family under present-day state monopoly-capitalism, imperialism. Such an analysis remains to be undertaken by Marxist-Leninists and proletarian revolutionaries. The feminists have opened discussion on this question. Their confusion can be partly blamed on ourselves, the Communists, the proletarian leadership, for not having seen the tremendous importance of this question, even from a decade or two ago, when there was already a strong petty-bourgeois divorce hysteria. The fact that national-minority families have the highest rate of “broken families” plays an important part in the early maturity, strength, and revolutionary potential of national-minority youth, most of whom are already proletarianized while their counterparts in the suburbs are still finishing their so-called education. This paper does not in any way propose to fully cover all these questions, but rather to introduce what are the basic points of discussion, Comment, criticism, and further discussion is strongly urged.


This paper was originally written in the end of May, 1970, following long discussions on these questions in the ranks of the Red Women’s Detachment, the Red Guards, and the Party as a whole. The Revolutionary Mass-Criticism Group, an organ of criticism and self-criticism in the party and mass organizations, drew up the original statement, and distributed a dozen copies among our membership, close friends, and various groups. The paper was next reproduced in an excerpted form by the New Orleans Female Workers Union (formerly the Southern Female Rights Union), and distributed it by them in the Black Belt nation in the South and among women’s and feminist groups. This is the third publication of the paper and various corrections and slight additions have been made.