Marxist IQ: Women’s liberation struggles

March 17, 2020
Marxist IQ: Women’s liberation struggles


March is Women’s History Month, and this IQ is dedicated to the struggle for women’s liberation and the role of Marxists, socialists, and communists in advancing that struggle.

1. Marxists, socialists, and communists have been at the forefront of the struggle of gender equality since the founding of the socialist movement in the mid-19th century. From their point of view, this struggle has centered around

a. defending the nuclear family with a male breadwinner and a female homemaker.
b. uniting the working class and eliminating both male chauvinist abuse of women and the super profits the capitalist class gains by paying female workers significantly less than male workers.
c. fighting for women’s right to  serve in and be promoted in the military.
d. fighting so  that  women can  become high corporate and governmental leaders.

2. The first “affirmative action” labor contracts which gave women a higher wage increase than men because of past discrimination were negotiated by

a. the Communist-led United Electrical Workers Union (UE) in the pre–Cold War era.
b. the New York City Board of Education in the 1950s.
c. the Carpenters Union  in the 1960s.
d. Wal-mart in the 1990s.


3. Since the downfall of the Soviet Union and its allies at the beginning of the 1990s, virtually all sociological studies show that the status of women has

a. improved thanks to the greatly increased role of churches on questions of reproductive rights and women’s place in the home.
b. improved thanks to vacuum cleaners, microwaves, and other labor-saving household appliances which are now imported from abroad.
c. improved because of the significant role of women in  the new capitalist class, called “oligarchs” in many countries.
d. plunged as the percentage of women in leading positions in all areas of life has dropped very sharply, and women have been major victims of  both increased sexual harassment and the elimination of socialist full-employment policies.


4. Many Marxists and feminists in the United States see the gain that female workers have made relative to male workers in recent decades (from around 50% of a male worker’s  annual income to around 75%) as a result of

a. employers’ appreciation of women’s abilities.
b. the positive effects of affirmative action policies, partly due to the negative effects of the creation of millions of cheap-labor, formerly female service jobs, today done by men and women.
c. the increasing strength of the trade union movement in recent decades.
d. the pro–women’s rights policies of Congress and presidents from Reagan to Trump.


5. Women’s rights and place in society under the Trump administration has seen

a. a significance rise in the number of women in cabinet and other executive positions.
b. the president and the administration’s active support for the Me-Too Movement’s campaign against sexual harassment in the workplace and society at large.
c. the role of the president’s daughter, Ivanka, as a powerful symbol of women’s equality.
d. a sharp decline in the number of women in the executive branch of government, along with both a negative response by federal agencies in implementing women’s rights cases and the open incitement by the president of crude forms of male chauvinism.

Answers here.



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