The Workers Solidarity Alliance views on …..
Inequality between men and women existed long before capitalism. As capitalism developed, the ability of women to earn a living outside the home was restricted. These restrictions on the entry of women into the larger economy made women dependent on men. The restricted opportunities for women in the labor market also made it easier for employers to pay women lower wages. Patriarchal capitalism has benefited from the free labor of women in the home, raising the next generation and caring for male wage-earners. Married women who work for wages are still burdened with the “double work day.”
Society’s lack of support for the raising of children is part of the pressure that forces women into the role of primary child-raiser. Being the primary care-giver puts women at an economic disadvantage. Poverty among single mothers also affects their children. We believe that the larger society needs to provide more collective support for the raising of the next generation, such as providing free, quality child care and generous parental leaves for both men and women.
Like racism, sexism is a source of division in the working class. When people assume that men have primary responsibility for earning an income and women have primary responsibility children and maintaining the home, the struggles of women as workers, and wage equality for women, will be regarded as less important than the struggles of male wage-earners.
The struggle for the liberation of women is part of the struggle for a free and egalitarian society.
Because most women are part of the working class, the liberation of women won’t be complete without liberation from the class system. Nonetheless, women can make gains through struggles within the existing society, as women and as members of the working class. As with other specific groups within the working class, we support autonomous organization of women.
Patriarchal capitalist society holds most people to rigid gender roles and types of sexuality. These expectations breed homophobia and transphobia, sow divisions in the working class, and limit the possibilities for all people to have fulfilling lives.
Because oppression based on sexuality and gender is distinct from class oppression, though linked to it, we support autonomous organization to end these forms of oppression. We also urge worker and community organizations to support the struggles of people who are oppressed on the basis of gender identity and consensual sexual relationships.
We seek a social environment where people are not trapped by oppressive social norms but are free to develop sexual expressions, gender identities, and relationships that are right for them.”