In the United States, today (August 26) is Women’s Equality Day, a celebration of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which guaranteed women the right to vote.
It is a mere 89 years since the ratification of that right to vote so it seems somewhat negative to point out at the time Emma Goldman dismissed the suffrage movement by saying the equivalent of, “If voting actually changed anything they would make it illegal.”
The march to equality is never finished. It is like many things an ongoing struggle to erase many millennia of systematic oppression. The struggle for women’s equality shares much in common with struggles against racism and classism as well as the struggle against anti-LGBT/T bigotry.
The struggle for women’s equality is a struggle against misogyny and male supremacy. It is a struggle against institutions such as religion that serve mainly to prevent people from seeking justice within this life span.
It is a struggle against Corporate Capitalism that reduces women to demographics of consumer units to be marketed to and targeted as buyers of specialized and often times exploitatively over priced items.
It is a struggle against the Corporate marketing industry that sells us insecurity and creates fears by telling us to worry about things we had never thought to worry about. This same marketing demands a rigid division of gender roles telling men they are superior because they will go out and indiscriminately murder the men, women and children of another nation in the name of patriotism but in actuality because these murders called war are in the interests of the rich owners of the corporations.
The struggle for equality is a struggle for equal liberation not for equal oppression or the ability to join the rich boys at the top of the ruling elites in the oppression of the people of the lower classes be they women or men.
Emma Goldman was right getting the vote did not solve much of anything, it merely marked a milestone in the struggle for liberation from the forces of oppression.