As socialists, we know that the fall of capitalism necessitates the fall of white supremacy; it necessitates the fall of patriarchy; it necessitates the fall of all systems of intertwined oppression. As feminists, we fight for freedom from an oppressive gender binary that has been enforced and violently upheld by colonization. Our movement’s roots run deep — “…we are not just trying to fight oppression on one front or even two, but instead to address a whole range of oppressions” (The Combahee River Collective Statement). To that end, we know that we will not achieve the dismantling of all oppressive systems without the fight for queer and trans liberation. Colonization violently reinforced the gender binary, and sought to destroy Indigenous concepts of gender outside of that binary. To be a socialist feminist is to be anti-racist, anti-colonial, and abolitionist, and to fight for LGBTQIA2S+ freedom. There is no socialist feminism without it.
In his recent piece, “How Not to Unite a Working Class”, Felipe Bascuñán writes: “Workers don’t struggle against an abstract social relation, they struggle against oppression. It’s the experience of discrimination, of unequal treatment, of violence, of low wages and despotic workplaces, of living hard lives in intolerable conditions that move people to struggle to change the circumstances in which they find themselves. This is the real, living class struggle.”
To that end, the struggle for working class liberation is also inherently the struggle for queer liberation. Queer and trans folks are more likely to face workplace discrimination, poverty, police brutality, and unstable housing situations, and are more vulnerable to exploitation under capitalism. We cannot fight to dismantle capitalism without also fighting for the freedom and protection of those most affected by it.
As socialist feminists, we know that that the fight for free abortion on demand is only one part of the broader fight for bodily autonomy. We know that universal healthcare is only truly universal when we fight for access to abortion, reproductive care, gender-affirming surgery, hormone replacement therapy, and birth control. Wherever we organize, we do it for people of all oppressed genders because we know that dismantling queer oppression is part and parcel of dismantling capitalism.
The CDSA SocFem Steering Committee stands in solidarity with queer and trans comrades and remains committed to the liberation of all oppressed peoples. We affirm that there is no room for queerphobia or transphobia in the socialist feminist movement or in our Working Group spaces, and SocFem will continue to be a safe, welcoming, and affirming space for our LGBTQIA+ comrades. We will fight to dismantle oppressive systems of white supremacy, patriarchy, and transphobia, knowing that all oppressions are intertwined.
We cannot achieve freedom alone—we seize liberation together.
“…We are actively committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression, and see as our particular task the development of analysis and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking. The synthesis of these oppressions creates the conditions of our lives.” — The Combahee River Collective Statement
To sign on in solidarity, please add your name and pronouns here.
CDSA SocFem Steering Committee, August 2021
Riley B (she/they)
Ali C (they/them)
Jodie E (she/her)
Mandy M (she/her)
Kelsey W (she/her)
Bethany A (she/her), CDSA SocFem
Criage A (she/her) CDSA SocFem
Emma F (she/they) CDSA SocFem
Bridget G (she/they) CDSA SocFem
Rory G (they/he)
Rebecca H (they/she)
David V (any pronouns) CDSA SocFem
Madison Y (she/they)
Jordan M (he/him)
Emily H (she/they)
Amber Baker (she/her) Housing Justice Committee Co-Chair, Garden Collective
Bernadette (she/they), CDSA Creative Team