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Susan Green

Of Special Interest to Women

(24 November 1941)

From Labor Action, Vol. 5 No. 47, 24 November 1941, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Society dames and club women are running around like a lot of headless chickens simply outdoing themselves and each other in their willingness to “sacrifice.”

Wrapped in expensive furs and adorned in hats of original design, upper class women sign pledges not to waste this, that and the other thing, while – not too obviously of course – they show off their finery and smiles to good advantage when the cameras click.

Women who never have to deny themselves a single whim enter contests for making meals out of so-called half-empty larders which any working class housewife would consider a veritable bonanza of food.

All this is hypocritical and disgusting, and has no rhyme. But it certainly has reason – and plenty. Watch and see.

Read what a Washington business service writes its, clients:

“The government has no hope of preventing a general rise in prices ... People must plan ahead for a constantly rising price level. At least 25 per cent average wholesale prices sometime in 1942. At least 50 per cent higher average level sometime in 1943. These prospects are admitted privately by ALL authorities here, and some estimates are even higher. We understate rather than overstate.”

Regard also the plans for taking 15 per cent right out of every worker’s pay envelope before he even gets it. Think of the whisperings to extend the income tax to even lower brackets and to increase the rate. Add to the above the prospects of more and more young men, now contributing to the support of their families, being taken into the army.

Oh, yes! Sacrifices will be made in this inter-imperialist war for world domination – BUT NOT BY THE SOCIETY DAMES AND CLUB WOMEN. War profits will take care of them in more than the style to which they are accustomed.

The reason why the rich now play so hard at the game of “sacrifice” is that they want to fill the eyes and ears of the poor so full of the idea of sacrifice, that working class housewives will take as NATURAL all the burdens that the warlords will unload upon them!


Mothers who have been keeping their fingers crossed and thanking their lucky stars that their boys were born later rather than sooner because they are still too young to be drafted, have a new flock of worries descending upon them.

Word comes from the makers of our destinies in Washington that the draft age will be reduced to 18 “when the time is ripe.” General Hershey, head of the miltary draft machinery, is doing spade work in Congress – where the wishes of the war gods are expected to become law.

Also, women who have been relying upon Roosevelt’s promise that American boys will not be sent Over There should know that the above-mentioned Washington business service advises its clients:

“AEF NEXT YEAR. It is an open secret in military circles here that there are plans for an AEF ... and it’s thought they will be used.”

Roosevelt’s promises are political quicksand for naive people to be caught in.

On the recent trip of Viscount and Viscountess Halifax through the midwestern industrial section of this country, they were served – not in edible form – tomatoes and eggs by mothers and wives of men in the army camps.

These notables were also picketed by women carrying placards with slogans such as “Drive the British from Washington Again,” “Give Us Back Our White House,” “Wake Up, Paul Revere – the British Are Here,” And one bore the truism, “Halifax believes in freedom of the Seize” – as do also the untitled rulers of America.

Newspapers reported that these Britishers of the upper crust took all this in their aristocratic stride, only commenting that in their country they have no tomatoes and eggs to throw away.

These members of Britain’s ruling class, who are making the British people fight for the preservation of their ill-famed empire, have amply earned the hatred of the working people not only of Britain, but of America; and of the entire world. BUT DRIVING THE BRITISH FROM WASHINGTON STILL LEAVES THERE THE SERVANTS OF AMERICAN IMPERIALISM.

Not in response to British pressure and propaganda and not for the altruistic purpose of saving the British Empire have the American people been railroaded into the bloody morass. THE MASTERS OF AMERICA HAVE THEIR OWN IMPERIALIST INTERESTS THAT WE SERVE WITH OUR FLESH AND BLOOD.

Furthermore, militant women determined to keep their men from destruction, must not make the mistake of supporting the Lindbergh pro-Nazi forces. The Nazis certainly are not more scrupulous about human life than the other war-makers. IF THEY TALK DIFFERENTLY, IT IS ONLY WINDOW DRESSING.

The sacredness of human life can be established FOR ALL TIME only by the workers of each country getting rid of their own imperialist robbers.


In pursuit of “national unity” – an evasive and unattainable will-o’-the-wisp because of the opposing class interests of the masses, and the bosses – radio team Pearson and Allen have offered a novel, if minor, contribution.

Why, they ask, should the bottle of champagne be broken on the nose of a new battleship by the wife or daughter of a captain of industry or government? This, they suggested, should be done by the wife or daughter of a workingman who helped build the vessel.

This idea is considered a good one by the chasers after “national unity.” At least one shipbuilding company has already adopted the Pearson and Allen suggestion.

So hereafter naval and other craft may be launched and good liquor served to the unappreciative fishes not by ladies in mink and orchids, but by women who may have to stop payments on the furniture to get a decent cloth coat for the occasion.


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