Friday, July 01, 2011

Lenin to women: cease your infernal girlish prattle.

The following gem was mined from my choice of in-flight entertainment, “Socialism: A Very Short Introduction” by Michael Newman*. It concerns an exchange between V.I. Lenin and Clara Zetkin, who was in charge of the Communist International Women’s Secretariat.

[S]oon after the Bolshevik Revolution, Lenin admonished [Zetkin] for encouraging women members of the Communist Party to discuss sexual matters, rather than the fact that the ‘first state of proletarian dictatorship is battling with the counter-revolutionaries of the whole world.’ He thus told her, ‘I could not believe my ears’ when informed that ‘at the evenings arranged for reading and discussion with working women, sex and marriage problems came first.’

No matter what the movement, guess who gets to take a number and stand in the back of the line? You got it. If you answer "What have our male comrades ever done for us?" with "diddly fucking squat," you win a coupon for your own liberation redeemable after the apocalypse.

To a man, they never get it. The vanishingly few who do (Arthur Silber comes to mind) have experienced marginalization, often in several dimensions, and have generalized from that experience, rather than concluding that Oppressions Can Be Ranked and Mine Comes First. The rest will bully, badger, nag, and blame you, but never treat your political aspirations as anything more than a girlish fit of pique.


The book in question: Socialism: A Very Short Introduction

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