A feminist-anarchist voice from the “South”: María Galinda and the critique of “Women’s Day” …
The 8th of March, how disgusting!
(Página Siete, 07/03/2018)
It is clear that Women’s Day, Indigenous Peoples’ Day or Persons with Disabilities’ Day are absurd days, that like so many others, usually serve those who govern in the interests of the white, healthy, heterosexual, Catholic males, to address the “others”, to congratulate us, to remind us that they have granted us this or that rhetorical and peripheral right, which does not affect the pyramid of privileges of the system, and to remind us that their policies of inclusion, equality and other trite subjects are proposals that require our infinite patience, so as to assume that we are on a correct path towards a situation that will one day be better. They become days when we are practically told to our face that no revolution is necessary to change things, that a list of demands is enough.
Women’s Day has reached the limit of ideological toxicity, because it also serves to justify international organisations’ waste of money and their lucrative salaries, in the name of women’s poverty or of the violence that we suffer at the hands of men. Even companies take advantage of the occasion, to market and sell us something. In Bolivia on Women’s Day, we are applauded for our sacrifice, we are even applauded for not having time to go to the bathroom and we are reminded that in the whole history of Bolivia there are only two women who bear their own names: Juana Azurduy and Bartolina Sisa.
And they are recognized only because they stormed their way into the male version of history with weapons.
Those of us who understand the feminist struggle as an everyday event, as a practice that involves all thought and feeling, we see with some uneasiness the efforts of feminist organizations that mobilise on a world scale, for a day, and whose strength and resistance barely accomplish that, to mobilize for one day. They appear on March 8th and disappear on the 9th, like a shooting star.
Those of us who understand the feminist struggle as a planetary phenomenon present today at every corner, in every culture and latitude of the world, we understand that there is not one feminism, but many different feminisms and that the women of the south are not heirs, nor daughters, of the suffragettes, nor do we have a historical connection with the workers burned in the factories of the Industrial Revolution, which the 8th of March evokes.
The women of the south are the disposable bodies and dreams of the world.
We are women anchored in the struggle of survival, we are not women with space to seek better wages or better working conditions; we are the ones without work, so that we invent life every day, outside of any labour or salary.
We are not Hollywood stars who woke up from their long dream to say enough to sexual harassment in front of thousands of cameras; we are girls always harrarssed, suffering multiple rapes, who learned to run without stopping, who learned to kick and who do not have a window from where to denounce something that we would not know how to begin to start telling.
We are not the victims of underdevelopment, but rather the disposable victims of the development policies that turned our mothers from the unemployed to debtors and us into the chronically insolvent. Our problem is not self-esteem, nor what we want to be when we grow up.
The word discrimination does not summarise the place that we occupy, nor does the word equality summarise what we are looking for.
There is a moment on this path when we realized that this place of the pariah, of the breeder, of the 24 hour servant, that this place of servitude, of changing appearance, of ugliness, has to do with the economy, with the culture, with politics and with everything without exception.
That is why our struggle is political, not because we are parliamentary representatives or mayors, for these women do not represent us because what they represent are the interests of their respective parties and leaders.
Our struggle is political because it has to do with the society we want to build. We have to resolve this struggle together, for the kind of society we want to build, starting from what we are, and that question does not fit within a March 8. It is a question that covers 365 days of the year and the best of our most daring dreams.
María Galindo is a co-founder of the bolivian feminist collective, Mujeres Creando. A video introduction (in spanish) …