We hereby publish an unofficial translation of an article by the democratic newspaper,Yeni Demokrasi,New Democracy, from Turkey:

Organizing women’s struggle only against male domination in the current system and reducing liberation to gender oppression will be incomplete in terms of the free realization of women’s identity. In fact, we must recognize that this approach feeds many misunderstandings. This approach comes to the point of seeing the areas where women are disadvantaged due to their gender identity within a boundary. In this perspective lies the desire to make the existing system suitable for women under the headings of women in the family, women in the state mechanism and women in society. Here, class strata and gender contradictions in the imperialist capitalist system are ignored and the struggle for women’s equality with men, to whom they are opposed, is waged. However, it is a fact that proves itself constantly that gender equality is not possible in the existing system.


With the transition to capitalism, we see that the positions of women and men in the household economy have begun to change and the place of women in social production has begun to expand. In our country, however, women’s place in the home economy remains complex as a result of the semi-feudal social structure. The still strong influence of feudal values continues to confine masses of women outside the social sphere, concretely at home. The home economy provides us with data on the subordinate position of women in society and production. We can see the reflection of production relations very clearly here. We draw attention to women in the home economy because the moment when women start to participate in social production is the same moment when they start to leave the home. In other words, the capitalist mode of production is a positive step forward towards the emancipation of women. But this should not lead to the idea that there is equality between men and women in terms of participation in production. We have seen reflections of this idea in the world women’s movement: With the development of capitalism, policies based solely on identity began to be produced and class contradictions became obscured. This, in fact, led to a lack of understanding of the exploiter-exploited relationship between men and women. The distinctions between bourgeois women, proletarian women and women from other oppressed class strata were overturned and demands were unified. In these commonalities, the oppression of women in the class to which they belonged was turned into an argument, and the emphasis on sexual oppression as the most inclusive characteristic of women was brought to the fore. Agendas such as paid and unpaid labor, the care of family members, and the socialization of housework were shelved as if these problems had been solved.

These problems, which coincide with class oppression under capitalism, have not been solved. So what was the source of this change in women’s movements? Neoliberalism. The discourse that some issues are above ideologies, which followed the cry of the end of ideologies, also targeted the question of women’s liberation. We don’t separate this from the return to socialism, the defeats of the socialist movement, the decline of social liberation struggles, because this problem, which is a question of revolution, was bound to have its share of these setbacks. The “increase” in mass mobilization while being subjected to an ideological-political regression seems absurd, but it is understandable. Here two anti-Marxist ideas point to the same place: The attitude of the bourgeois women’s movement is almost identical to the new design that the rulers have prepared for women, half of the society. The rulers deceive the women they don’t want to be among their “gravediggers” by creating a system that suits them. And bourgeois democracy exhibits the rarest examples of this!

Although the women’s movement has been in decline for some time, it has achieved a serious mass mobilization. The mass mobilization of women’s actions is not a bad thing. It is only important that the masses are aware of what they are taking action against or what they are against. Politicization exists, albeit as a tendency at the beginning of this process, and a political women’s movement is inevitable with systematic work; but as long as the masses of women who have not become a “movement” are preoccupied with the “foam” agenda, it will fizzle out like its agenda. The silence that followed the abortion rights protests in the US and Poland is proof of this. Again, the individualization and reduction of women’s liberation to the individual is one of the most common phenomena. A “consciousness” is pumped around the experiences of a single woman – usually a well-known, famous woman. The interests of that woman are then discussed, the women’s liberation struggle is exploited and attributed to a person or a group of people. It is an indication that it is more about the contradictions in the individual woman’s own world rather than the apparent gender contradiction in society and in the masses of women in particular. Yes, women are also oppressed within their own class. But here it is incomprehensible not to see this fact: Bourgeois women, whether they are bosses, artists, public figures, are consciously voicing gender inequality in order to gain sympathy and support among the masses of the people and especially among the masses of women. They say that they are subjected to inequality of opportunity because they are women. If they have a problem with the male domination of the system, it is because they cannot get the position they want in class exploitation! If there is also a bourgeois women’s movement backing them, the consciousness of the masses will continue to blur. Most of the time it is the bourgeois women’s movement itself that puts this on the agenda of the masses! We have experienced this with Meral Akşener, but the problem we are talking about is not only a problem in Turkey. In fact, it is the reflection in Turkey of the bourgeois women’s movement that continues to develop in the US and the West. Such approaches, which distract the masses of women from their main agenda, continue to create more space for themselves under the influence of neoliberalism. It is obvious that the spaces we are talking about belong to the system and are far from the class attitude. In other words, no matter how much the slogan “not feminism that divides the class” is propagated, the expression “feminism that unites the classes!” would be more accurate.


The essence of the bourgeois women’s movement is anti-Marxism. Therefore, when addressing the question of women’s emancipation, it does not aim at the abolition of private property and its practices do not serve this goal. Being anti-Marxist prevents it from analyzing and understanding the contradiction. Without examining all sides of a contradiction, no correct conclusion can be drawn about that contradiction.

The problem of women’s liberation in capitalist countries and semi-colonial, semi-feudal countries is not the same. Although it is essentially based on private property, it has specific aspects. For example, the problem of women’s liberation in the USA and Turkey cannot be solved in the same way and by the same method because the contradiction is not in the same form. In semi-colonial, semi-feudal Turkey, in order to abolish private property, it is first necessary to get rid of imperialist domination and the remnants of feudalism. Because one of the specific aspects of the problem of women’s liberation in Turkey is feudalism. This specific aspect will also change after the revolution, as Mao said: “Processes change, old processes and old contradictions disappear, new processes and new contradictions emerge, and the methods of analyzing contradictions change accordingly.”

In terms of women’s emancipation, it is just as much subjectivism and dogmatism to claim that women’s emancipation in countries at various stages of revolution will have the same characteristics as it is to seek a total women’s commonality/unity. Like every problem, the women’s question has to include class differences, and like every revolution, the liberation of women in different countries has particularities. Each contradiction is unique and the emancipation of women in each country will be determined by the revolution of that country according to the contradiction it has…

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