SWEDEN—According to the feminist movement, the basic principle of feminist thought is that women should be equal to men politically, economically and socially.
Even though feminism did not become a household name until the 1970s, the first wave of feminism was already expressed in the early nineteenth century, mainly in places such as the United States, France and the UK, where we see the birth and emergence of the oldest feminist movements.
To quote a well-known feminist and founder of the Suffragette Movement, Emmeline Pankhurst:
“If it is right for men to fight for their freedom, and God knows what the human race would be like today if men had not, since time began, fought for their freedom, then it is right for women to fight for their freedom and the freedom of the children they bear.”
It is crucial to emphasize that the feminist movements during this time where led by and involved white women only.
On that note, historically, feminism as such was born as an expression from white women to have the same rights as white men.
Meanwhile African women were on the plantation producing wealth for the white nation.
Feminism incapable of liberating the African nation
This goes to show the contradiction of using any kind of feminist ideology as a strategy to further the liberation struggle within the colonized African nation.
We have seen many African women fail to recognize this as they adhere to feminist principle and thought.
This does not mean, however, that not embracing feminist ideology diminishes or denies the special oppression of African women as some people assume.
What it does mean is that feminism, which presupposes that gender is the basis of the oppression of African women, is false and incorrect.
As African Internationalist ideology, developed by Chairman Omali Yeshitela, shows the basis of the oppression of African women has its root in parasitic capitalism because the whole white nation benefits from the oppression of the African nation.
The development and emergence of what is known as Europe today came into being as an attack on Africa and the rest of the colonized world.
Due to this relationship, African women face a totally different reality than white women.
This fact exposes the vagueness of the term “women in general” since you have women of the oppressor nation and women of the oppressed nation, the former living at the expense of the latter.
White women have lived at the expense of African women for over 600 years
The feminist movement emerged in the form of white women in a struggle to get a piece of the stolen loot from Africa while they articulated it as a “fight for their freedom and to have the same rights as (white) men.”
It did not challenge white women’s allegiance to the white power structure and complicity when it comes to the overall oppression of African people.
As a response to this white narrow narrative, there has been an increasing emergence of what they refer to as black feminism or “womanism” from a certain sector of the African population.
Many black feminists understand the limitations and contradictions within the (white) feminist movement since it does not include issues like capitalism or class into the discussion, leaving African women out of the equation.
Black feminism still presupposes gender as basis of oppression
Even though black feminists might talk about capitalism, they still presuppose that gender is the basis of the oppression of African women.
This stream of thought, however, only serves to protect a certain sector of the African population: the African petty bourgeoisie.
What black feminism does is try to find a “safe” space for African women within this oppressive system which is rather contradictory since the exact same system––which they claim to be against––is responsible for the oppression of the whole African nation itself.
This is evident when we also look at some influential people within the black feminist movement throughout history like Bell Hooks, Angela Davis and Audre Lorde, among many others.
Among them, the discourse of the discussion usually goes something along the lines of “African women are more oppressed than our men” or “African men must take their responsibility” without even criticizing the basis of our condition and the white power State itself.
Comrade sister Yejide Orunmila, President of the African National Women’s Organization noted in the “Harriet’s Daughters” column, “Under the banner of feminism, African women align themselves with petty bourgeois, colonial and oppressive forces, because it identifies patriarchy as the enemy instead of colonialism.
“This is a primary reason why Africans continue to be conflicted about how to struggle against oppression.”
In several instances we see black feminists trying to bring up the struggle of the African working class woman, such as women being raped on a daily basis in the Congo, single motherhood and how this affects the African woman in isolation.
They do not, however, analyze nor recognize how these instances are tied directly to the colonial condition of African people.
Therefore, black feminists are not able to solve the problem.
Revolution under the leadership of the African working class is the only solution
African Internationalism recognizes that there are two nations—the oppressor and the oppressed nations.
The main contradiction that the oppressed African nation faces is colonialism.
Within the oppressed nation there will be several contradictions, because that is what colonized means—contradictions!
The question then becomes, how do we resolve this?
African Internationalism shows us that the main contradiction is our relationship with the white imperialist State, which is antagonistic in nature and can only be resolved through the overturning of the system itself.
It has no redeeming qualities. Its genesis is genocide and slavery, and it has to keep looting and oppressing in order to sustain itself. It is parasitic.
Then there are the contradictions within the oppressed nations. These contradictions are inter-personal and non-antagonistic.
This means the violence within our own communities can be resolved through education and persuasion. This is unlike the violence from the State that must be crushed.
Feminism cannot and does not have the intention to address the relationship that we have with the white imperialist State nor the nature of the relationship we have amongst each other as African people.
The African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) has been very clear since its beginning on the fact that the whole African nation—men, women and children—must work together in order to bring this system down.
The revolution that the APSP is waging is a revolution that will change the living conditions for all oppressed peoples in the world.
It’s not just a revolution to free African women because the fact is that African women cannot be free unless the whole African nation is free.
African Internationalism organizes all African women and men who want to see a liberated Africa free from white power imperialism!
The APSP has, through trial and error, made it possible for African men and women to work side by side towards a common goal, which is a free and liberated Africa under the leadership of the African working class!
Join the ASI!
Join the African People’s Socialist Party!
Freedom is ours!