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Going red for International Women’s Day…and its useful idiots

The call for this year’s International Women’s Day for a better “gender world” was a distinctly and fittingly red one.

(Screenshot: International Women’s Day website)

The ability of the communist left to consistently dupe an ever-wider group of suckers never ceases to amaze. It’s practically another constant of the universe.

wrote a few weeks ago about the now-infamous Women’s March, a parade of perversity and vulgarity that erupted after the Trump inaugural in January, where none other than Angela Davis — America’s longtime leading female Marxist revolutionary — was honorary co-chair and featured speaker. Comrade Angela fired up the female faithful as they donned ridiculous pink hats and cheered her revolution. Now, this week, the female front was enlisted again, this time going not pink but red — figuratively and literally.

Yesterday was International Women’s Day. If you know little to nothing of the history of this event, then you probably know more than the vast majority of young ladies and oblivious corporate sponsors tapped as dutiful foot soldiers.

The fact is that the origins of International Women’s Day are communist-socialist. That reality is so unavoidably obvious that the “About” section at the official International Women’s Day website candidly lays out the origins in touting this glorious “collective day of global celebration” and “calls on the masses” to “help forge a better working world.” Take a look at this surprisingly honest historical timeline provided at the website:

International Women’s Day timeline journey1909
In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. […]

In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day — a Women’s Day — to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs — and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament — greeted Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was the result. […]

On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women’s Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Women’s Day ever since. […]

On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for “bread and peace” in response to the death of over 2 million Russian soldiers in World War 1. Opposed by political leaders, the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The date the women’s strike commenced was Sunday 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was 8 March.

I must concede kudos to the International Women’s Day website developers for sharing this accurate history. This is spot on.

Readers will, of course, recognize many of these dates and names, especially the Russian ones. They may not identify names like Clara Zetkin. Old Clara was a big-time German commie — or, as leftists will prefer to call her, a socialist or “social democrat.” In fact, Lenin and Trotsky and pioneering cultural Marxists like Herbert Marcuse were also social democrats. Clara was a cheerleader for Lenin. I have clips from Working Woman magazine, the January 30, 1934 edition, which I copied from the Soviet Comintern files on Communist Party USA. This particular edition included a preview of the coming International Women’s Day of March 8, 1934. It featured a glowing review of Clara’s lovely book Reminiscences of Lenin, including praise for the late despot’s “warm smile,” “keen joy” for workers, “clear thinking,” and “masterly eloquence.” This was Clara’s valentine to Vladimir the killer in January 1924, at his death, amid her “hour of grief” and “deepest personal sorrow” at the “irreparable loss” of this “great man.”

Perhaps passages of this blast-from-the-past could be posted in the “About” section of the International Women’s Day website?

But there was much more to this year’s International Women’s Day. Its call for a better “gender world” was a distinctly and fittingly red one. Indeed, this is almost too delicious, but the January Women’s March organizers, who just happened to spearhead this year’s International Women’s Day, literally urged women everywhere to wear red yesterday. Yes, red, and to do so in “solidarity” with the “masses.” That call is issued without apology or irony at the Women’s March website, along with two other eye-opening exhortations:

Anyone, anywhere, can join by making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, in one or all of the following ways:

  1. Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor
  2. Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
  3. Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman

What a perfect color for this year’s International Women’s Day: red. The color of the revolution.

But the ironies don’t stop there. Consider the parade of duped organizations that this year’s comradely organizers managed to hook into their cause. No, I’m not talking about the usual suspects, such as those highlighted at People’s World, which I quote: “Backers include the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), Jobs With Justice, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Nurses United (NNU), Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC United) and the National Organization for Women(NOW).”

Those are just a smattering of the same-old-same-old; basically, the regular cabal of leftist grievance-mongers that rallied behind the classy Pussy Hats in Washington in January. No, look at this group of unexpected allies: The banner sponsors for this International Women’s Day included a select list of 10 prominent corporate partners that served up themselves as this year’s cast of useful idiots. The list includes Caterpillar, BP, MetLife, PepsiCo, and Western Union.

Wow, what a group of suckers.

Do the folks at the PR office at Caterpillar have any concept of what they lent their name to? Maybe they do. Perhaps Caterpillar has simply gone radical left. I’m wondering if the women who work at Caterpillar got the day off yesterday. If not, hopefully they didn’t get in trouble if they simply “took the day off.” And did the boys at Caterpillar don red on the assembly line in solidarity with their repressed sisters?

Hey, Caterpillar, here’s a follow-up idea for you, given that you appear to be on this communist-socialist kick: Clara Zetkin’s birthday is coming up on July 5. How about making this July 5 Clara Zetkin Day at Caterpillar? And don’t forget about this October. Gee whiz, that will be the centennial of the glorious Bolshevik Revolution! Ask yourselves: What would Clara do?

Vladimir Lenin is fortunate to get credit for devising the term “useful idiots.” It’s a shrewd label. And this International Women’s Day seems to have smoked them out nicely.

[This essay originally appeared on the American Spectator site and is reprinted here by kind permission of the author.]

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About Dr. Paul Kengor 54 Articles
Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His books include The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism, Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century, Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage, and, most recently, The Devil and Karl Marx: Communism's Long March of Death, Deception, and Infiltration.

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