Workingmen suffer from the helplessness of working women. They must compete in the same offices and factories with women who are unable to protect themselves with proper laws. They must compete with women who work in unsanitary rooms called homes, work by dim lamps at nite, rocking a cradle with one foot. It is to the interest of all workers to end this stupid, one-sided, one power arrangement.
The laws made by men rule the minds as well as the bodies of women. The man-managed state so conducts its schools that the ideals of women are warped to hideous shapes … Nearly all the opportunities, educational and political, that woman has acquired have been gained by a march of conquest with a skirmish at every post.
We shall not see the end of capitalism and the triumph of democracy until men and women work together in the solving of their political, social, and economic problems, [and thereby] hasten the day when the age-long dream of liberty, equality and brotherhood shall be realized upon earth.
Helen Keller (revolutionary socialist and life-long fighter for the rights of the disabled).
Helen Keller is writing here (circa 1913) in reference to the immediate fight for women’s electoral suffrage, but I think her tactical approach to this question is broadly applicable as the way socialists ought to generally look at the task of winning working-class men to understand the importance of helping to fight for an end to the oppression of women, in all of its forms.
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