Women’s and LGBTQ Oppression

We adamantly reject any biological or social basis for sexism, homophobia or transphobia. The oppression of women was born with the emergence of class society alongside institutions like slavery. Class society, in the form of capitalism in our current era, is utterly dependent on the continued oppression of women. While the ruling class is happy to steal the profits produced by the working class, it doesn’t want to pay for any externalities their survival requires, as that would cut into profits. Somebody needs to raise the children, the next generation of workers, to take care of the day to day survival of current workers in cooking and home duties, to take care of sick or injured labourers until they can reenter the workplace and be “productive” again. It is decidedly in capital’s interest to pass that social responsibility on as much as possible. It is in the interest of the ruling class to perpetuate this idea that women are naturally domestic, that home duties come naturally to them and that it is the responsibility of the individual family to care for itself and not theirs or all of society’s.

Systems of hierarchy reinforced through capitalism and the state make gender liberation impossible, and therefore we see issues of gendered oppression as taking part in a larger system of socio-economic oppression, the most classic example being women often suffering under capitalism for working a “second shift”. Both institutions require strict adherence to prescribed roles and inequality within those roles, and they include set gender, sexual and behavioural norms.

The widespread acceptance of the sexist idea that women’s place is in the home is used as justification for their superexpliotation by the chronic unemployment of women in low paying “unskilled” jobs, unequal and low pay and the sex segregation of industry.

Women are further policed by the constant threat of sexual violence, core to which are objectification and strict gender roles.

This is not to say all women are on the same footing. We reject nebulous ideas of “sisterhood” that would place us in the same league as the women oppressors in the ruling class. Women of the masses and ruling class women have vastly opposed interests, and these cannot be reconciled through a shared identity.

We believe those who are privileged by patriarchy are still oppressed by it and will be liberated by working against it.

Queer liberation is the struggle against queer oppression that manifests itself through homophobia, heterosexism, transphobia, and other forms of domination.

It intersects with other forms of oppression, as well as manifesting its own forms of systemic, cultural and personal oppression. We support the struggles of working class LGBTQ people in their fight for free sexuality between consenting adults; free gender expression; equal and appropriate access to health care and other social institutions and other struggles for respect. We also support working class queers’ opposition to “queer assimilation” – which is a cross-class alliance – and support the struggle for an autonomous movement that is not co-opted by the state, capitalism and privileged classes that try to dominate the LGBTQ movement.

Through this, we challenge heteronormativity and the assumption of standardised expressions of sexuality and gender and support the free development of people’s identity and relationships. Both LGBTQ and women’s oppression are part of the same system, and from the same root cause, and as such we oppose the oppression of queer and transgender people. We do this by confronting patriarchy in social movement spaces and defending reproductive health for all genders.

We stand in class solidarity with organisations of women and LGBTQ people as a critical area of anti-capitalist struggle. The interwovenness of class exploitation and gendered oppression means one cannot be overthrown without the simultaneous overthrow of the other. The defeat of patriarchy is a victory for working class people of all genders and sexualities.

Anarchist Communists Meanjin organise on the occupied lands of the Jagera, Yugara, Yugarapul, and Turrbal Nations. We pay our respects to elders past and present. Sovereignty was never ceded.