“In a context of debt, precariousness, unpaid domestic work and lack of decent wages: In what feminist moment are we?, says the question that arrives on WhatsApp and leaves me hesitating for a while in front of the screen. I don’t know if the confusion is because of the description of the context or because of the question itself. I have no recollection of having lived without debt, without anxiety, not to mention that care tasks, reproduction of life, have had a value in terms of remuneration. Can an almost permanent situation mark a particular moment for feminisms? I immediately realize that there is something right in the question, it is in the question itself where the answer lies: the feminist agenda links this short description of the way in which our lives are conditioned by everything we have to do to live, just like that
Almost at the same time, a query from a colleague from India arrives whom I met at a feminist meeting in which we continue to hatch connections that do not always result in agreements but allow us to vibrate at the same time on days like today. She asks me what are we going to do for 8MI tell him that we are going to take to the streets, that in the multiple ways that we can, we are going to return to the feminist strike. I also tell you about the fatigue that is felt in the body due to the permanent crisis to which we get used to? do we resist? They are also tired, she tells me, of the daily construction, of the pain of the world, “but we are going to have a big march of workers on the 8th, asking for living wages, decent jobs and freedom of association”. I couldn’t ask him about freedom of association, the daily precariousness forces us to do too many things at the same time and the instantaneousness of the messages that accumulate does not help conversations. The brief exchange, however, gives an account of what is agitating on the planet.
In what feminist moment are we? The question continues to resonate, beyond my rushed response to another journalist. Some of that questioning appeared in a talk about political violence that I shared this week as part of the cycle We move the world organized by the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity during the month of March. They also participated Lucía Portos, a Peronist militant according to her own presentation -although she is also part of the Ministry of Women and Gender of the province of Buenos Aires- and Marisa Herrera, lawyer and researcher at Conicet. Of course it was in the foreground judicial persecution of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the lack of response and the naturalization of the assassination attempt against him, the prison that still suffers Milagro Sala and her companions of organization precisely for this reason, to organize. And also another question: Why does it seem that feminisms run parallel to macro politics? Why did decision-making spaces become so masculinized after the pandemic and especially after the 2021 midterm elections? Just as now a large part of the increasingly extreme right promises to put an end to “everyone” -to simplify- and advance on achievements such as the right to abortion, a large part of the popular camp seems to agree that the policies that open up the possibilities of being and being in the world outside the invisible but iron rules of patriarchy are a nuisance, a waste of time and power at the electoral level. This is how Cristina appears as unique, “that” powerful woman, without equal. And loneliness, in politics and militancy, is never good company.
In what feminist moment are we? It is worth insisting and asking yourself because if there is something that also does not stop there is a need to continue expanding, enchanting, falling in love. Feminisms can dispute the disenchantment that seems to be the Pandora’s box of the right-wing votes. Because by definition we face all forms of oppression, that of hunger and permanent indebtedness, that of racism, that of gender, that of compulsory heterosexuality… and yet it seems that so many times we incubate the bug’s egg that bites its own tail. The massiveness of feminisms that began in 2015 and continued without pause in 2016 with the first National Women’s Strike, in 2017 with the start of the International Feminist Strikes every 8M, in 2018 with the historic mobilizations for legal abortion that we won in 2020 was an overwhelming machinery, a party for the militants, an open house to describe the discomfort, to share the duel and also to alleviate it in the party of being together, of fighting together. But also and at the same time, how much did it cost and how much does it cost to narrate our lives as women, lesbians, trans, or binary, transvestites in terms of violence? How much does it cost right now to keep repeating “stop killing us” putting all of us in the place of the victims? Are we nothing more than survivors who inhabit that first person plural and continue to breathe? Do we count how much the escraches cost the social fabric of feminist adolescents? Why do you insist on arguing with sex workers that they cannot be workers? How is it that biologist discourses that try to explain oppression from the genital and reproductive anatomy appeared among young women? Why do we point out the pedagogy of cruelty imposed by the patriarchal system and barely flinch in the face of certain life sentences? Punitiveness, this illusion that punishing solves social violence, this illusion that some can be segregated as if the rest were saved, is one of those snake eggs that we incubate. Occupying each and all the place of the victims is another. Because patriarchy is a system of oppression, but we are not just victims. We oppose this system because we reveal it and at the same time we invent leaks, we try, we fail, we mess up, we enjoy any political correctness in the wrong way, we try other ways of taking care of ourselves, we fail, we recognize ourselves in others, in others, we fail.
The “feminist moments” are not stable, at the same time that a union tool is taken to denounce and sue against the precariousness of our lives there will be speeches about the advantages of entrepreneurship, personal empowerment and the need for more female CEOs in extractivist companies . At the same time that the democratization of the Judiciary is demanded and for the cessation of the judicial persecution of political leaders, there will be demands for harsher penalties for crimes against sexual integrity -as has already been requested at some point, even castration was requested!-, For example. Or they will continue to insist on asking, as if that were Justice, that life imprisonment be applied. Not on our behalf.
It remains then to insist on the question: At what moment are we? How do we dismantle the naturalization of cruelty? How do we also dispute the party of fighting together for another world? How we rob the right-wing of an idea of the future that is not at the cost of excluding, canceling, punishing. How we defend the freedom to plan how to take the sky by storm.