For Marxists, the root cause of all forms of oppression consists in the division of society into classes. For many feminists, on the other hand, the oppression of women is rooted in the nature of men. It is not a social but a biological phenomenon. This is an entirely static, unscientific and undialectical conception of the human race. It is an unhistorical vision of the human condition, from which profoundly pessimistic conclusions must flow. For if we accept that there is something inherent in men which causes them to oppress women, it is difficult to see how the present situation will ever be remedied. The conclusion must be that the oppression of women by men has always existed and therefore, presumably, will always exist.

We reproduce here an article from 1988 which examines the position of women in the former USSR. It exposes the Stalinist caricature of the question of women and the family, and explains the real attitude of Marxism towards the emancipation of women as expressed in the writings of Lenin and Trotsky.