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Issue #1907      March 16, 2020

War is women’s business

Before the last great war, war was mostly a man’s business. It was fought by men. But with the last war a vast change was made.

It was then found necessary to have an army of men behind the front lines, ready to take the places of those killed.

Therefore, it was necessary to have someone to take the place of these men at home.

Industry had to go on. Food and clothing, more bombs and bullets were needed to keep the war going, so women and children were organised and drafted into industry.

Women thought they were doing well by helping their men; they also were helping their country defeat the enemy.

They never realised that the capitalist class was merely exploiting their labour; that their men were getting twice the wages that they were.

It was impossible to buy many of the commodities of life during that time. Then the men came home, wounded and broken in spirit, weary of war, anxious to start again where they had left off four years before.

They expected their wives or sweethearts would go back into their homes again, and they, the men, would once more be breadwinners.

But they found disillusionment instead. They found the boss wasn’t inclined to pay double the wages he was paying women.

The workers began to realise that the war had not been a war to end war, but a war that forged the chains of slavery stronger still.

It had been a bosses’ war, making profits out of the lives of the men of the country.

But now there Is a different feeling among women to that which prevailed in 1914.

Then, many did their best to make the men join up immediately, now we are eager for peace.

We know that we can go on to Socialism with peace, and one of the most important jobs which we have is to make women realise that this is an imperialist war, and that we must use all our energies in striving for peace, even though Mr Menzies in his National Security Act prohibits us from even talking of peace.

The struggle for peace must be paramount within as.

This article originally appeared in the Tribune, December 1939

Next article – Stop the war bring the troops home

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