NCP(LC) Statement on Patriarchy and Rectification of Gender Practice

The NCP(LC) seriously takes the issue of rectification on any given contradiction. It is important to rectify mistakes and errors before it becomes a problem that would be more difficult to deal with in the future if it hasn’t been addressed. The NCP(LC) is making an attempt at building a Maoist party in the United States and one of things we need to do in order to achieve that is provide leadership on the women’s question through proletarian feminist theory and practice. As a liaison committee the questions concerning proletarian-feminism are going through the process of line struggle as are other questions which are related to party building and developing socialist revolution in the US in the 21st Century.  But what we do agree on is that proletarian feminism is a theory and a practice that puts the primacy of class struggle within the struggle for women’s liberation and that if we don’t aim to destroy patriarchy while fighting against capitalism we are not fighting for socialism. Therefore we must set certain standards for a correct communist practice on gender. This is something we are not perfect in practice. We must be honest to ourselves, and to the masses, in order to learn from our mistakes and gain respect from the people.

In society, patriarchy exists as a contradiction among the people that can lead to antagonistic contradictions among the masses if not solved. Patriarchy precedes capitalism, so it is not itself a mode of production, but it is an ideological structure which changes and adapts to specifically historical modes of production as well as different cultures. Patriarchy structures gender roles (especially the gender division of labor), kinship relations, sexuality norms, and the institutions in class society which relegate women to a status which is less than that of men. In capitalism women face: 1) Commodification, both in the various types of sex-work, as well as in courtship and relationships (ie; slut-shaming criticizes women for not valuing themselves as a commodity to be exchanged in marriage.); 2) the Gender Division of labor in unpaid domestic work child rearing, and family duties; 3) Super-exploitation in wage work where women are paid less than men (helps lead to economic dependence), and; 4) Violence against women, from interpersonal domestic violence as well as organized violence from the state (ie militaries). We can turn to the late Anurandha Ghandy of the CPI(Maoist) on the question of patriarchy in capitalism:

“The Maoist perspective on the women’s question in India also identifies patriarchy as an institution that has been the cause of women’s oppression throughout class society. But it does not identify it as a separate system with its own laws of motion. The understanding is that patriarchy takes different content and forms in different societies depending on their level of development and the specific history and condition of that particular society; that it has been and is being used by the ruling classes to serve their interests. Hence there is no separate enemy for patriarchy. The same ruling classes, whether imperialists, capitalists, feudals and the State they control, are the enemies of women because they uphold and perpetuate the patriarchal family, gender discrimination and the patriarchal ideology within that society. They get the support of ordinary men undoubtedly who imbibe the patriarchal ideas, which are the ideas of the ruling classes and oppress women. But the position of ordinary men and those of the ruling classes cannot be compared.”

The NCP (LC) as a communist organization seeking to become a party is not excluded from patriarchy that exists among the people. This does not excuse comrades within our organization from participating in patriarchy and must be struggled out internally and among the people. Internally, historically, we have had problems with patriarchy and gender within the organization since we were in our predecessor organizations and failed to rectify collectives and specific individuals with practices that have been inconsistent with a proletarian feminist practice. In the New York City branch our gender practice has been poor impacting the development of women and the mass work overall. We had members criticized within the mass work and rectification processes for several errors in their gender practice. In the NCP (LC) and more specifically in the NYC branch we are still looking forward to not only rectify in practice but to undergo ideological development on the question of proletarian feminism.

A former comrade who was in the NCP(OC) and the NCP(LC), was expelled from both organizations. The OC had expelled this comrade for opportunist reasons because of political differences and holding a minority political line-along with their patriarchal practice and was brought into the LC along with a collectivity that initially had nothing to with the LC. This comrade was brought into the LC under the condition that he would undergo rectification for previous patriarchal behavior. That said, this comrade has not once been part of the democratic process of the NYC Branch or the Liaison Committee process as a whole, only a nominal member under discipline to deal with his rectification. If this comrade would have enthusiastically and willingly shown initiative throughout the rectification process, he would not have been expelled because the comrade would have proved he rectified his patriarchal practice thus becoming a full member in good standing. Unfortunately, that did not take place. Not only did this comrade fail to rectify, but his patriarchal practice had become worse over time putting other women in similar situations that exemplifies his sexist practice. The comrade in question has had a history of patriarchal and/or sexual misconduct for a few years. And it hasn’t been handled correctly for several reasons: 1.) criticism and rectification of this individual not on the basis of his practice necessarily but because he held a minority political line within communist organization; 2.) male chauvinism in the organization did not take the rectification at all times seriously enough; 3.) because the individual comrade has been seen as valuable and advanced on other questions except on the question of gender and; 4.) liberalism of friendships over politics. None are good excuses in the rectification of this individual are reflected in organizational liberalisms and not putting politics in command. If so we might have had the opportunity to “cure the sickness to save the patient”. But the blame does not fall exclusively on the organization but also must fall on the individual in question for not taking the rectification in a serious manner.

These are some major trends of liberalism that have manifested in dealing with the contradiction this individual had with other women until he finally had done almost nothing to show he would like to rectify his patriarchal practice and thinking. This individual had mistreated women who he was intimate or aimed to be intimate with in various ways. Physical abuse was not prevalent in all aspects, or even primary with all the women, but it was existent-to the point that it kept some of the women in a fearful state of the individual. Emotional abuse was prevalent with the individuals, as there had been times that he made his partners feel personally inferior to him. Also, with this emotional abuse came the use of sexist language to denigrate them or make them feel poorly of themselves, sexual misconduct, making sexual advances to an individual that was unwarranted and/or unwanted after consent was not given, and using the personal/intimate relationship for his own political gain and agenda. There were instances of this comrade trying to skip rectification by attempting to use his partner for his own political gain or bypass his rectification rather than do it himself. As the New York City branch of the New Communist Party (Liaison Committee), to practice transparency, accountability, discipline, and rectification, we are asking that those around us to ask the NCP (LC) any questions concerning this directly or anything else at NCPLiaison@gmail.com.

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