Next week, the queer folks of Denmark celebrate their identity and struggle for freedom, which ends at its highest point with the Copenhagen Pride parade on the 19th of August. Here, hundreds of rainbow flags, the beautiful symbol of queer struggle, will be visible, among thousands of queer folks and their allies. Thus, the Pride Week will reach its peak, the one week of the year when Danish queers have the ability to present themselves as human beings. Since the Pride is an event with a huge amount of participation from exploited people, even some of the most oppressed parts of the people, it demands a statement from the construction committee for building the Red Guards Copenhagen—it’s a necessity, because we as communists seek to serve the people with all of our blood, sweat and tears, and the queer folks of Denmark most certainly belong to the masses of people that we seek to fight for. As an organization which has many queer members, it’s particularly close to our hearts.
We Marxists-Leninists-Maoists uphold the idea that in order to understand something, we first have to study its history and analyze it. That is why a scientific, Marxist analysis of gender, sex and sexuality is required to reestablish the queer movement as a revolutionary movement in Denmark, as is being done in the USA, Canada and the Philippines—different to our view of gender and sex, though, is that we don’t believe that we can reform it to suit our needs, or that it’s enough to just smash the patriarchy—in order to liberate the people from gender and sex, we have to abolish gender and sex. Queer power is thus not a question of pride or identity, but a question of waging open struggle against the social constructs that keep us down. Every struggle for freedom must therefore be anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and anti-patriarchal, in a word communist.
Humans are at a basic level not men or women, and are not hetero- or homosexual. These are social categories—there is nothing about an individual’s body or genes that makes the person ”male” or ”female”. We admit that there is a form of biology that determines whether a person can become pregnant, make others pregnant or none of those, but that is not the same as sex—if it was, we would for example refer to menopause as a sex change, since those who undergo menopause become ”sexless” in the biological understanding, but the world doesn’t work that way. Thus, sex is social. We can see in primitive communist societies, for example in the Amazon or in Papua, that people who live out in the rain forest (away from class society” have not yet developed sex or gender. They live as they please, and have sexual and romantic relationships with whoever they want. This is extremely different from the patriarchal societies that most of us live under, among other places in Denmark, that have more or less rigid and binary systems of sex and gender that discriminate against all who don’t conform to gender.
Friedrich Engels showed in his book Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State that patriarchy developed as follows:
- Agriculture was invented in order to feed a growing global population.
- This led to a food surplus.
- This allowed some to live off the work of others.
- This led to the development of class society.
- Class society necessitates that inheritance must exist and be secured,
- which led to sexual control of those capable of reproduction.
The US American feminist Alyx Mayer identifies a seventh point on this list:
- This necessitated the creation of a social category, separating those who can become pregnant from those who can make others pregnant.
Thus, the system of sex arose, which got its own life through ideology (that is, subconscious ideas of how the world works).
”Some may object to Engels’ conclusion, stating that “even in pre-class societies gender [roles] still existed”, but this argument makes the mistake of falsely projecting current social relations into the past. There was a fuzzy and inexact “division of labour” (in the hunting/gathering sense) based on physical fitness and capability, and so it follows that the share of work would have fallen very roughly and haphazardly along the lines of what we’d now call “gender” in our current social context, but this was nothing like gender roles or gendered oppression, and didn’t constitute a category of domination or exploitation. Pre-class societies, having no surplus, required that everyone work exactly or near-exactly according to their physical capabilities because there simply wasn’t the productive capacity to allow for the inefficiency of gender roles caused by sex classifications.”
As Mayer demonstrates in their analysis of the origin of sex, the sex and gender system has not always existed—it arose to support class society. Gender and sex can be described as ideological concepts, that is, structures that are reproduced through unconscious thought systems, integrated into our minds through socialization. Gender and sex are forced upon children even before they’re born, right from the ultrasound, and the parents already then begin to decide the child’s name, pronouns, favorite color, romantic and sexual partners, friends, hobbies and even careers. In this way, children are ideological subjects right from before they see the light of day. Hereafter, they’re fed with sex and gender through TV, children’s books, kindergarten, school, friends and places of worship. We are indoctrinated with sex and gender from all directions, and accept it as a fact of life (even of biology!). Thus, the ideology of sex and gender is reproduced. That way, gender and sex liberation is also a matter of child power, as liberation from sex and gender will lead to greater autonomy and freedom for children and youths.
Gender, in the modern capitalist age, is different from sex. These are the two types of “gender” ideology [in Danish, there is only one word for sex and gender—køn]. Sex is an ideological construct based on biological differences between humans, whereas gender is an ideological construct that divorces the social role from biology, closely intertwining it with sexuality and self-expression, institutionalized in a binary form—under gender, it is acknowledged that queer people exist, but they are punished in the most gruesome manners for deviating. The relative acceptance that queer folks—that is, persons whose identity is politicized because it challenges the dominance of patriarchy—have attained in the 21st Century, is solely the result of the hard and bitter class struggle waged by queer folks against the sex and gender system throughout the 1900’s. And even then, it’s nowhere near every place and country that has such an acceptance of queer people, or even any form of acceptance at all.
There have always been people who didn’t fit into the rigid sex and gender system. In the Middle Ages, life was easier for many of them, since gender had not yet emerged— “homosexuality” was for example not yet a real concept, because the Church only saw the act of queer sex as sinful, not as any sort of category that people could be put into (as now). This also only really applied to those who are seen as men, and lesbian relationships were therefore fairly prevalent in Medieval and Iron Age Denmark. It was common knowledge that monasteries were full of people who would today be described as queer, and there was generally a much smaller focus on what went down behind closed doors. But it should nonetheless be understood that the repression of “sodomites” was brutal, and that queer men could expect castration and execution in the Middle Ages.
Under capitalism, the system of sex turned into the modern sex and gender system. The family was turned into a unit for producing new proletarians, and therefore had to run like a machine. Sexuality and gender were chained together, and gender roles changed. Now, people were always “men” or “women”, and some deviants were “homosexuals” or “transvestites”, later called queers, or “strange”. These queers were excluded from society, locked in prisons, thrown out of their families, humiliated, and even executed. This was, and still is in many places, the punishment for challenging the capitalist child factory. This was of course too much for the queers, so they rebelled, although it took the form of reform projects in many places. We should especially point out the riots in New York City in 1969, where queer folks made violent resistance against state repression after the queer bar Stonewall Inn was closed. This struggle was especially led by trans women of color, and the entire global militant queer movement can trace its roots to the Stonewall Riots. In Denmark, the Gay Liberation Front [BBF] was formed in 1971, which challenged the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois queer movement represented in the Circle of 1948, and forged close ties with the radical feminist movement. Lesbian Movement [LB] joined this force in 1974, among others. These organizations worked mainly through base groups, doing public information work in schools and workplaces—especially during the AIDS-crisis. Throughout history, transgender folks have been largely represented through organizations such as BBF or LB, but they’ve also suffered oppression from the bourgeois queers in the Circle, today LGBT Denmark (LGBT Denmark continues to show its disgust and hatred of trans and non-binary folks today, where it is actively negotiating with the Ministry of Health in the hopes of gaining influence over the medical treatment of binary trans folks, completely ignoring the needs of non-binary people).
Today, homosexuals have gained—through their bitter struggle against patriarchal police, law and psychiatry—some form of political and legal equality with heterosexuals in Denmark. The same can’t be said about trans folks, especially not non-binary people, who are still systematically denied access to medicinal treatment, and are subjected to humiliating psychiatric experiments, that have only been changed even slightly in the last few years. Treatment of gender dysphoria is run by the psychiatric system, especially the Sexological Clinic (which also treats pedophiles and rapist scum), without any possibility of a second opinion of one is rejected. Non-binary people are outright denied treatment. In addition, Denmark still allows systematic abuses of intersex persons shortly after birth. And all of these are just some political issues—the sex and gender ideologies continue to cause rape, murder, torture, discrimination and homelessness among queer people in Denmark, especially children and youths, suffering under a brutal and evil system. This is because ideology, the subconscious thought systems of sex and gender, make even parents or neighbors despise queers, all because their worldview has been shaped to correspond to what is good for the system. Herein lies the cause of transphobia-especially binarism—homophobia, asexual and pansexual erasure, and general queerphobia.
We see today how the bourgeoisie and their politicians attempt to appropriate the queer struggle, to make it weak and pacifistic and social-liberal through their NGOs (such as LGBT Denmark) as well as through their own ‘accept’ of homosexuals. The Pride parade thus has police participation, showing the organizers’ opportunistic character. The police has historically been the number one enemy of queer folks, and continues to be so today. The state’s violence against queer folks in the form of discrimination and repressive laws, is carried out by the police and bureaucracy on a daily basis. As a member of the police, each individual queer person has to face the question about whether or not they wish to be a lackey of a state which daily ruins the lives of hundreds of queer persons, and whether they really believe that such an organization can ever help liberate queers from that oppression. Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, has also opened up the State Ministry for Pride activities this year, in a pathetic attempt to appear progressive—but as a politician from a bourgeois party, a party which has refused to implement reforms benefitting trans people and intersex people, his words and actions are hollow. The Red Guards condemn the Prime Minister’s attempts at good PR, and wishes to make it abundantly clear that neither he nor the pigs belong in the Pride.
In Denmark today, we live under a system which can be divided into two different ideological concepts—sex and gender—and which is expressed in a political system—the patriarchy. Thus far, the communists during the three world historical revolutions—the Paris Commune, the Soviet Union and China—have succeeded in challenging patriarchy, but not sex and gender. This is because they did not have a scientific, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist view of the sex and gender system. As seen in the USSR under Stalin’s leadership, the patriarchy can be reestablished if its roots, the sex and gender ideologies, are not smashed. During the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution [GPCR] in China, it was established that capitalism can be reestablished through the dictatorship of the proletariat, from ideology, through politics and down to the economic base.Therefore, it remains completely necessary for the cultural revolution to attack the old superstructure in order to prevent the restoration of capitalism and patriarchy. Exactly as the current economic base feeds the superstructure, the superstructure also feeds the base, necessitating hard struggle against them both. If we seek to combat the patriarchal oppression of queer folks, it is absolutely necessary to fight bothcapitalism, patriarchy, sex and gender.
Today, we live under capitalism and patriarchy. This is a fact. Comrade Mao said that on the Chinese people, two great mountains lay, imperialism and feudalism, and the task of the communists was to begin digging them up, and the masses would eventually dig with them. In Denmark today, three mountains weigh down upon the people: capitalism, which weighs down the working majority of the population; imperialism, which weighs down the people of Greenland and the immigrant workers; and patriarchy, which weighs down all women, queers, trans folks, intersex folks and non-binary folks. The Chinese Revolution taught us that the abolition of capitalism not only required abolishing the old economic base, but also waging an eternal struggle against the ideologies that seek to restore it. Similarly, simply abolishing the economic and political structures of patriarchy is not enough, but we also have to completely destroy the ideologies of sex and gender. The women and queers of Denmark and the world cannot be freed in any other way.
“To use this terminology is not hyperbolic; the violence of gender cannot be overestimated. Each trans woman murdered, each intersex infant coercively operated on, each queer kid thrown onto the streets is a victim of gender. The deviance from the norm is always punished. Even though gender has accounted for deviation, it still punishes it. Expansions of norms is an expansion of deviance; it is an expansion of ways we can fall outside a discursive ideal. Infinite gender identities create infinite new spaces of deviation which will be violently punished. Gender must punish deviance, thus gender must go.
And thus, we arrive at the need for the abolition of gender. If all of our attempts at positive projects of expansion have fallen short and only snared us in a new set of traps, then there must be another approach. That the expansion of gender has failed, does not imply that contraction would serve our purposes. Such an impulse is purely reactionary and must be done away with. The reactionary radical feminist sees gender abolition as such a contraction. For them, we must abolish gender so that sex (the physical characteristics of the body) can be a stable material basis upon which we can be grouped. We reject this whole heartedly. Sex itself is grounded in discursive groupings, given an authority through medicine, and violently imposed onto the bodies of intersex individuals. We decry this violence.
No, a return to a simpler and smaller understanding of gender (even if supposedly material conception) will not do. It is the very normative grouping of bodies in the first place which we push back against. Neither contraction nor expansion will save us. Our only path is that of destruction.”
But how can this be done? Like the workers during the GPCR gained political, economic and cultural power, so they could fight the revisionist ideas and capitalist reforms of people like Deng Xiaoping, we’ll here have to arouse and empower women and queers, especially trans folks, to rebel against the sex and gender system in all of its forms. By struggling against sex and gender ideology in schools, media and families, by destroying the economic and social inequalities between people, by giving free and equal access to hygeine products and reproductive and transitional health, by conducting rectification campaigns against sex and gender—in all of these ways will we challenge the sex and gender system, and through that also fight and destroy patriarchy. This is cultural revolution.
In modern capitalist Denmark, the people isn’t capable of leading a cultural revolution. This requires that the masses hold political power in the country, which is currently held by a bourgeois and patriarchal upper class, feeding off our labor, and the labor of the Third World—in other words, a parasitic class with political power. Any attempt tp challenge their carefully built dictatorship will be met by the reaction of police and media, even military opposition once we gain real success. We have to realize these historical facts—any attempt at social reformsim has ended in the pathetic corruption of the labor movement, as with the Social-Democratic Labor Party of Denmark (Stauning went from ”setting the stage for revolution” through ”building socialism through reforms” to literally giving Denmark to Hitler), or has ended in a bloodbath without comparison, as in Indonesia in the 1960’s (where 1-3 million communists were slaughtered because they gained too much influence in parliament). And when we looks at how quickly the rights of women and queers can be destroyed, as happened in Weimat Germany in 1933 (homosexuality was legal and trans folks could get medical treatment—until the Nazis began systematically exterminatinf queer people), it becomes clear that we need a more militant strategy.
The working class, mainly queer folks and women with regards to patriarchy, must gain political power in Denmark. Any state is controlled by a ruling class, and our class, the proletariat, has historically been the only class to gain reforms and revolutionary change through its struggle. In China during the GPCR, women gained a huge influence on politics and ideology, and we rightfully celebrate Comrade Jiang Qing, who as Minister of Culture got several hundred million Chinese women involved in the struggle against revisionism and patriarchy. In the Philippines, the queer struggle has become integrated into the people’s democratic revolution, and mass organizations and militias exist for queer folks. In other words, patriarchy is being fought through war—People’s War. The Danish patriarchy has capital and weapons backing it, and only by making use of our (proletarian) overwhelming numbers and organization can we win power. That is why Danish queers need to organize themselves in queer mass organizations and militias, educate themselves as communists, and arm themselves when the time is right—the construction of the Danish Revolution, as Comrade Mao affirmed, requires a Communist Party, a People’s Army and a United Front—and do their part in the People’s War which must be built in this country. The abolition of capitalism, patriarchy and imperialism is the goal, and as Mao taught us, the oppressed masses are the driving force that shapes history. Thus, the Red Guards Copenhagen affirm our standwith regards to sex and gender liberation—any person who honestly seeks to be an ally of queer liberation in Denmark or abroad, must necessarily support a People’s War to free the queers. Reformism and more attempts at changing people’s opinions about sex and gender is not enough, because we are up against the state and the entire ideological apparatus, and they will not let us mess with their profits peacefully.
LONG LIVE THE QUEER STRUGGLE!
FIGHT SEX, GENDER AND PATRIARCHY!
LONG LIVE THE DANISH REVOLUTION!
ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
RED GUARDS COPENHAGEN