100 Days of Socialism: Socialist-Feminist

Welcome to the next installment ofthe National Political Education Committee’s landmark 100 Days of Socialism, a dynamic alternative to all that chatter about the Biden Administration’s “first 100 days.”  Exploring what the first 100 days of a socialist government might look like, we began with the NPEC’s own Sanjiv Gupta and Daphna Thier, continued  with  Krystle Okafor’s essential vision from the Afrosocialist Caucus, and then 100 Days of the Green New Deal by Ashik Siddique. This week, we hear from the Socialist Feminist Working Group; below, Alexandra Walling explores the deep links between the struggle against patriarchy and that against capitalism, and how 100 days of socialism help create a feminist future. Stay tuned for more – and let us know what you want to see in such a future! (Ed.)

Socialist feminists know there can be no socialism without liberation from gender-based oppression. Breaking the shackles of patriarchy will be a generations-long struggle, but much important work could be accomplished in the first 100 days of socialism.

Socialist feminists know that abortion should be available free and on demand. In our first 100 Days in office, socialists will: 

  • repeal the Hyde amendment that prevents federal funds flowing to abortion providers
  •  end the global gag rule that prevents foreign aid from going to abortions abroad
  • ,Ensure that Medicare for All legislation explicitly names abortion as a form of healthcare that will be free at point of service and covered for all people in the United States.

Socialist feminists also know that reproductive justice means that people should be free to raise their children in safety and free from poverty. For this reason, we call for:

  •  legislation that would guarantee paid parental support to all parents in the first years of their children’s lives regardless of gender and of the employment status of the parent. 
  • We also call for free universal childcare; the universal pre-K legislation recently passed thanks to the organizing efforts of comrades in Portland DSA should be a model.

Socialist feminists support the efforts of sex workers to organize and demand the decriminalization of sex work and workers’ rights for all sex workers. We also know that socialists have not always led the way on these issues: Bernie Sanders voted for SESTA/FOSTA, legislation that has made sex work more dangerous for sex workers. In the first 100 Days of a socialist administration, socialist feminists advocate for the repeal of SESTA/FOSTA and the full decriminalization of sex work.

Socialist feminists wholeheartedly support the efforts of survivors of sexual and domestic violence to seek justice. Survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault face high economic burdens in the aftermath of violence due to healthcare costs, lost wages, loss of housing and moving expenses, interruptions in education, and more. 

  • As socialists, we know that the best protections against this kind of economic injustice will be universal benefits programs like medicare for all, decommodified housing, and free public education and student loan debt forgiveness. 
  • These kinds of universal programs would ensure that no survivor would have to prove their victimization in order to have enough money to live safely and recover fully. 
  • However, in the first 100 days of office, socialist feminists also support an overhaul of victim compensation funds, which typically require victims of violence to cooperate with law enforcement in order to have access to cash aid. As socialists, we know that police too rarely help survivors of sexual assault and frequently commit sexual violence themselves. For these reasons, we support legislation which would remove the requirement for victims to file a police report or cooperate with police in order to access cash aid.

At the Socialist Feminist Working Group, we know that our country cannot achieve socialism without liberation on the basis of gender – and that we cannot end patriarchy without engaging in class struggle. 

We will fight and we will win!

Alexandra Walling, whose voice you can hear in the above episode of Revolutions Per Minute, is a feminist biologist  at the American Museum of Natural History and co-chair of DSA’s Socialist Feminist Working Group.