The Century of Feminist Enlightenment

Stella Calloni

In a world context of widespread violence, where the many demons of war have been unleashed, there is a flame burning and expanding its fires: the great rebellion of women expressed in a variety of feminist movements, daily demands and solidarity that is increasingly widespread in the face of the awakening of a collective consciousness that demonstrates that the 21st century is our century.

This is the century of liberation, and the goal behind this awakened volcano is that we women stand up, determined to regain our place in the world, challenging not only gender injustices, embodied in the abuses that are being increasingly publicly exposed, and the multiple femicides that represent the responses of the most sordid of men (without banal generalization) that still continue in the caves of patriarchy.

Our journal appears in the midst of the conflagrations generated by the decline of an empire, whose greatest expression is the application of state of global terrorism, before the failed attempt to dominate the world, which leads to the most brutal expressions that humanity has witnessed in recent years.

As women in this 21st century, we neither want nor accept terrorism of any kind, nor invasions, genocides, the appropriation of territory by any means whatsoever, coups d’état, blockades, blackmail or extortion of peoples and governments to surrender countries, psychological warfare, nor media terrorism. We do not accept any more wars where the first victims are women, children and defenceless peoples.

In our memory are engraved centuries of struggle of women victims of all forms of slavery and domination, which fuel our imagination and are behind our steps and our banners of struggle. Women burned at the stake, at every conceivable place. These are also centuries of struggle by the peoples of the world against a system that is permanently recreated, with increasingly perverse methodologies, which we are now seeing unmasked, naked and brutal.

This March 8 the world’s squares will be filled like never before, and in our America the popular resistance is advancing and women are one of the most active and creative fronts, as we have seen in Chile, where the people have been in the streets for more than four months, under a repression that in no way has to envy what was done during the past dictatorships.

In Bolivia too, where they are defying a coup d’état accompanied by medieval racism and where, despite the terror, the attacks on the women of the pollera, the culture of survival of the indigenous majority of the original peoples, from whom they seized territory but not their cultural memory, which has resisted for seven centuries.

In Colombia, where there is a real army of native occupation and where the war against the people has been perpetuated for almost a century, the violence and crimes continue, violating the State’s hard-won peace agreements, women and children are also victims of the military from the foreign bases that occupy that country, who rape and kill with impunity, because there are agreements that guarantee them immunity.

Latin America is under an imperial counter-insurgency war that takes different forms and characteristics in Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, and Central American and Caribbean nations, with governments acting as gravediggers of the dreams of every truly democratic and independent project that would free us forever from ominous dependence.

We must understand that it is time for a women’s organization that contains all our expressions. The American philosopher, sociologist and feminist theorist, Nancy Fraser, proposes coordination between women’s organizations in different countries as a beginning “of a basis for internationalizing feminism, from below,” at a time when the movement is experiencing a renaissance and is an alternative to capitalism in crisis.

Along with other feminists, Fraser speaks of two visions of feminism: one liberal that she sees as “a servant of capitalism,” embodied by one type of woman (she names Hillary Clinton among others) and the other that points “to a just world, whose wealth and natural resources are shared by all, where equality and freedom are real living conditions, not just aspirations”.

Also a professor of philosophy at The New School in New York, Nancy considers this a truly extraordinary moment for feminism and politics, in terms of “the necessary rupture with the previous current, liberal neo-feminism,” and of the ingredients of the movement’s reconversion: anti-capitalist, anti-racist, environmental, connected to the rights of the working class and immigrants, “which must put an end to the capitalist game and to all forms of subordination.

A feminism that, from her point of view, is attempting to chart a new course, recognizing that the established political models will not help us, that they have already reached their limit and have led to a terrible deterioration in our living conditions. “It’s about overcoming elite corporate feminism in favour of one that speaks for the overwhelming majority of women”.

A feminism that takes up the concerns of the poor, the working class, racialized women, transgendered women, lesbians, sex workers, housewives, women with precarious jobs. “We are talking about much broader social groups with many more concerns than those of neo-liberal feminism,” says Fraser.

In a fascinating article that also opens the debate and encourages reflection and action, Fraser talks about the possibilities that feminism can achieve its objectives in times when inequalities are deepened by the erosion of wars such as the one that the United States is waging against Our America, through coups d’état as well as attempting to destroy peoples and countries that are resisting through hunger and economic isolation.

We are seeing this with the illegal measures that violate international law, human rights and the rights of peoples, in the imperial war against Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and any country that defies their mandate of unconditional surrender, to transform us into mere 21st century colonies.

Fraser reminds us that “those forces of financialized capitalism that destroy women’s lives, promote violence, climate change or impoverish with austerity are not really manageable at the national level. They have to be ultimately addressed at the transnational and even global level.

Thus, in order to address the great inequalities currently produced by neoliberalism and the current form of financialized capitalism, a process of learning through the experience of new feminist struggles is necessary “so that what appears to be separate on the surface is perceived as actually connected through the capitalist and patriarchal social system in which we live and thus becomes the object of political dispute.

That is why, with the plurality of voices in our journal, we are demanding that the feminism of these times be infinitely creative, surprisingly effective in its achievements, as well as extending a definite cultural battle as colonialism, as the ultimate goal of the empire in times of anger, tries to plunge us into another lost century.

Women united in full awareness of our rights are the greatest hope of the peoples of the world, and even more so in the context of such a profoundly aggressive crisis.

The 99% feminism is the answer to that crisis, aimed at clearly identifying who the enemy is – and it is precisely this form of capitalism – and it is the most ambitious movement, committed to re-imagining a new society that will be built on completely new foundations.

The word re-imagine refers to the need for greater creativity in confronting the mediocrity of emerging signs of power. We are the only ones whose actions and united voices can stop wars, terror and build peace while recovering memory, history and the beauty of our own language.

Editorial for Humanidad en Red Magazine

Translation by Internationalist 360°