From the January 1926 issue of the Socialist Standard
We do not profess a special indignation over the degrading sex relations Capitalism begets. We fail to see that the degradation of armies of women in this respect is worse than that of their sister domestics or of those in the Jam Factory, the Mills, or the Millinery and Dressmaking sweat dens. The recent Morris case is an instance of the contempt in which our Masters hold the Workers and serves to emphasise our claim that social evils have their being in class domination.
It was the necessity of obtaining a living that placed these hapless girls—and children—in the toils of this wealthy roue. The evidence showed that the dazzle and display of wealth coupled with threats of dismissal, served to weaken the resistance of his Working Class victims in order that he might gratify such desires as a wealthy idler would consider it an impertinence to question. It may be claimed that such cases are unusual, but disclosures made on past occasions, together with the evidence forthcoming as a result of recently raided West End night clubs, show that there is an organised ‘“traffic” drawing its clientele from those in the “best social positions.” Society people crowding the divorce courts bear striking witness to the words of Marx, written over 80 years ago :—
Our Bourgeois not content with having the wives and daughters of their proletarians at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each others wives (Communist Manifesto).
It is interesting to note the difference in sentences passed upon Morris and his accomplice, and that upon a man and woman for burglary with violence reported in the same issue of the “Daily News” (18-12-25). The latter appealed unsuccessfully against seven and three years’ penal servitude respectively, the man to receive twenty lashes with the cat. In the latter case the violence consisted of gagging and binding with threats, but it was a crime against property, and it is well known in legal circles that the punishment for such crimes is relatively greater than that for crimes of other natures. Even the smug “Daily News” Editorial (Ibid) says “‘the contrast between the two sentences constitutes a challenge to the common sense and to the moral sense of the community.’’ The truth is that it is the contrast between the standards that exist in private property society.
Labour Leaders like Mr. J. H. Thomas ought to display great moral indignation considering that when Colonial Secretary he justified the procuring of native girls for the use of the navy in the brothels of Hong Kong on the grounds that it would afford protection for European white women. We wonder how he and his Capitalist friends would have liked their own daughters to suffer a like fate or how they would have liked them to be protected by a “white man” as was the fate of these working class girls in the Morris case. Only the Social Revolution can free women, like men, from economic servitude with its consequent evils. Then no woman will need to sell her sex and no man will have power to coerce her affection. With a ruling class whose mentality is circumscribed by the buying and selling nature of their plundering system, relations of sex cannot be understood by them beyond those that exist as a result of the present private property basis of society. Like the Christians, they treat such subjects either as unclean, or with hypocritical silence. The Free Love of mutual affection that must arise as a result of the removal of property and class domination is therefore ever an enigma to our would-be moral reformers.