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From: The Socialist issue 932, 18 January 2017: Resist Trump

Search site for keywords: Donald Trump - Women - Sexism - Inequality - US - Violence against women - Oppression - Republican Party - Domestic violence - Abortion

We can stop Trump's sexist agenda in its tracks

Socialist Alternative Seattle city councilwoman Kshama Sawant speaking to anti-Trump protesters

Socialist Alternative Seattle city councilwoman Kshama Sawant speaking to anti-Trump protesters   (Click to enlarge)

Kelly Bellin, Socialist Alternative

The election of Donald Trump is a call to action for women. His glorification of sexual assault is an insult to the courageous struggles over the last years to combat violence against women.

At the same time, the Republican sweep of the House and Senate puts attacks on women's rights squarely on the agenda in 2017. And Trump's early appointments confirm that we should expect a fiercely right-wing administration that we need to fight even more fiercely against.

There's widespread recognition in the US that violence against women is a serious and deadly problem. The protests against sexual assault at universities, the outcry against the National Football League's failure to address domestic violence, the #YesAllWomen Twitter storm, and the Slutwalks, are all examples of a growing determination to end the truly endemic violence that women face.

Democratic failure

The outcome of this election did not represent the majority of Americans agreeing with Trump's misogyny. In fact, a majority reject blatant sexism. Rather, it was a failure of the Democratic Party. Clinton openly represented Wall Street and the billionaire class, and that's in painfully obvious contradiction with representing the interests of ordinary women.

But this is not a new or coincidental problem. The Democrats' loyalty to big business keeps them from squarely fighting the profit-driven policies that consistently drive poverty deeper, slash social services, and reinforce income inequality.

Was right-wing Democrat Hillary Clinton a good choice for women just because she is one?, photo Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)

Was right-wing Democrat Hillary Clinton a good choice for women just because she is one?, photo Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

The Democratic Party's defensive approach to women's struggles has allowed the right to define key issues like reproductive rights for decades. For us to fight the oncoming attacks from the right, we need to build mass resistance.

The Women's March on Washington the day after Trump's inauguration shows the immediate potential for this, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to attend. There are also sister marches taking place in cities around the world.

Reproductive rights

Trump has already promised to nominate a Supreme Court Justice who would vote to repeal Roe v. Wade (the judgement which legalised abortion). We need to build a mass movement to oppose a reactionary appointment. If the Democrats are serious about defending women, they should use every tool in congress to stop him.

The Republican Party has already proven its determination to rip apart reproductive rights, particularly in the Southern states they have controlled for many years. We need determination to defend and extend them.

Unions have a key role to mobilise against Trump's sexist agenda. Young women want to fight back against inequality and the corporate control of politics.

We've been at the forefront of all key movements of the last period, from fighting for a $15 minimum wage to the ongoing struggle against racist police murders.

This is also why a majority of young women supported Bernie Sanders and his campaign's call to fight the billionaire class.

Despite Trump's platform for hateful ideas, fierce movements of working class women are on the horizon. Through a united mass struggle, we can push back Trump's agenda.

Trump's despicable attitudes towards women are a reflection of the vicious sexism that capitalism ferments, and is constantly reinforced by systemic gender inequality. To truly end sexism, we need to take on the entire system that holds working class people hostage under varying forms of oppression.

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