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Opinion: Humanity cannot be free without women’s liberation

Austin Mann

Austin MannThis past week, I had a very interesting conversation. One of my friends voiced support for President Barack Obama, a position I take major offense with. After telling her about the Obama Administration’s horrible civil and human rights abuse both here and overseas, I was greeted with a response that shed new light on the way our political system is perceived.

Her response was that, even though she did not love supporting Obama, he was better than Gov. Mitt Romney. This made little sense to me, as both sported nearly identical agendas: the continued support for big business and imperialism. However, I failed to see things from her point of view, soley because I don’t think like a woman.

While I would not classify either the Democrats or Republicans as feminists, there is a certain distinction to be made between their positions.

While the Democrats advocate some form of liberal feminism, the Republicans advance the cause of backward gender roles, seeking to strip away women’s rights and freedoms.

While it is true that liberal feminism has resulted in positive change for women, it has its limits.

Even with a new sense of freedom and relative equality, women still are a minority and in an oppressed condition.

Women have the unique ability to bear children, and this lays the basis for modern patriarchy to flourish. Because of their status as generational producers, women are denied the right to control their own bodies and are oppressed by economic inequalities.

Today’s patriarchy is a fusion of class oppression and gender oppression, where the class system causes women’s suffering and oppression.

There are two parts to solving this problem: legality and accessibility.

Women must have control over their own bodies, and this includes the right to an abortion. But, legalizing abortion will not solve the problem. What of the millions of working-class women who cannot access abortion?

We must guarantee equal opportunities for women, and the only way to do this is to abolish the class system. Abolishing the class system will not only benefit women, but will also benefit all those who have to work for their wages.

The bottom line is this: we cannot liberate humanity without liberating women.

Mann, a freshman computer science major from Raleigh, is an opinion writer.

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