The call for a women’s strike has been attacked in the mainstream media with vicious arguments. As socialists, we defend this call for action and recognize that much more is needed to have a real strike of all working women, but the limitations of our present capacities are by no means ground to dismiss our end goals.
What is appalling is that an editorialist of the corporate press wants to preach the “privilege” and “working class” line to its readers. Their end goal is to discourage women who were thinking of taking action by guilt-tricking them and demoralize the majority of working class women that indeed will not be able to go on strike. And for that reason alone, this reactionary line of argument needs to be called out.
It may be a fact that most women will not be able to strike. However, it is also a fact that in order to organize a real strike of all working class women, we need to develop a strategy to appeal to local unions, and put national pressure on the AFL-CIO leadership to step-up its game and organize the 10.7% of the workforce that it represents. There is no doubt about that.Yet, all general strikes are the result of an accumulation of small strikes from the most militant and organized sectors (not necessarily the most privileged) that give increasing confidence to the rest of the class that it is possible and necessary to fight back. A general strike, that is to say a strike of a significant sector of the working class that stops the whole country, has never occurred out of a first call, but is actually the result of a series of mobilizations (including small strikes) that build for it. The deep ignorance of the meaning of a strike in the first place, and labor history in the second, should be truly embarrassing for those righteous Democratic Party columnists.