Why I’m running for VPHE.
Today, The Guardian published an article highlighting more rape allegations in The SWP. Not only have more allegations come to light, but the way they’re dealt with internally has shown just how ingrained misogyny is in these kinds of organisations- organisations that lack a basic understanding of intersectionality, and are blatantly anachronistic in their politics.
According to the article, at least three women have come forward within The SWP with serious accusations of rape and physical abuse which have been followed by victim-blaming and rape apologism. Women have said that that within their inquiries, they was asked about their sexual reputation and alcohol consumption. This is not how revolutionary socialists should treat rape, one of the most visceral manifestations of women’s oppression.
I have the extreme displeasure of sharing a platform with an SWP member in my NUS Vice President of Higher Education election. I recognise and appreciate that there are combabes in SWP who are currently embattled with the Central Committee, and I commend their effort to reform The Party; I hope that they can change the SWP in to an organisation I would feel comfortable working with in future, but I do not currently feel that way.
Tomas Evans, (who is running for NUS VPHE) is running with the slogan ‘Education for Liberation’. I ask what he means by liberation? Is it for the freedom of older men to prey on younger women and have their ‘comrades’ cover it up? That certainly does not seem like any kind of liberation to me, and it is absolutely not my liberation.
The SWP claim to be socialists- I wish to re-emphasise that no socialism is possible without the full emancipation of women. Capitalism requires our underpaid and unpaid labour. It requires us to be unquestioning mothers and menial labourers. It requires us to fear our male counterparts. It requires us to reject our sexuality. Rape, violence against women, emotional manipulation and rape apologism facilitate capitalism’s oppression of women. One can not wish to overthrow capitalism, as The SWP wish to do, whilst putting women’s liberation on the back-burner.
I believe that a better world is possible. I believe in an egalitarian world, I am an anarchist. I believe that education is absolutely fundamental to any egalitarian society. I think access to knowledge is a human right. For this reason, I think education should be accessible (read: free) at absolutely any level. I believe that transitionally we should pay for this via progressive taxation. Ultimately, I believe we should expropriate the banks, destroy hierarchies, and organise our society along syndicalist lines. I want all humans to be as free as possible, to have all of their basic material conditions met, and then to be able to pursue the life they wish to pursue.
I believe that all humans have the right to live their lives free from oppression. Again, I think accessible (read: free) education is necessary to achieve this goal. The more educated a society it, the more free it’s women are. The more educated a society is, the more women are in their parliaments, courts, and schools. The more educated a society is, the more women have fewer children and reject roles patriarchy assigns for them. The more educated a society it, the fewer women die in childbirths and related complications. I cannot claim that this pattern extends to other liberation struggles, because it’s not something I have researched, but I would expect to see a similar trend.
I want to see The NUS dissolve. I want to see a radical, militant student movement. I want us to fight for our right to education like our combabes in Chile and Quebec are doing. I think destroying The NUS is necessary to fuel such a movement- especially whilst it is infiltrated by oppressive people like Tomas.
I absolutely encourage any socialists and feminists to condemn the actions of The SWP central committee and their sympathisers, which include the man running against me and Rachel Wenstone.
If you agree with the sentiment of this blog, and my vision for education, I also urge you to vote me #1 for VPHE.