Manifiesto 8 de marzo del 2021
For our daughters and granddaughters
In the previous manifests we have focused our line of action and we have made a synthesis of the situation of feminization of poverty in the world and the effect on pensions of the impoverishment of older and non-elderly women from disadvantaged sectors.
Now we will include a special emphasis on making a call to active women workers, in the informal sector or at home in order to understand that they are the target of our demands, because they will be affected by the success or failure of our struggle. It is obvious then, that success will go hand in hand with the union of their forces and ours.
In the world the economic, financial, energy and political crises, natural catastrophes, wars, terrorism, coups, climate change, diseases and epidemics are getting worse and the worst consequences are always suffered by the most unprotected sectors, including children, the elderly, disabled and women. Poor and sick elderly women, often disabled, bear the brunt.
The sex segregated statistics show that the serious health crisis, which the world went through due to COVID 19, affects mostly older women in health as well as in the economic and emotional aspects. After a lifetime of care, they have to be either confined to protect their health or alone, without care if they are infected, or without any nearby company in hospitals or nursing homes, whether they are on the hospital ward or in the ICUs (Intensive Cure Units) and what is worse, if they are dying.
The governments of this egoist capitalist and globalized world are trapped in the defense of economic functioning and hide the subordination of the care of life to the interests of capital. The working class is suffering, as always, the severity in health and in social and economic aspects. Women more often. The older ones more often. The economic crisis will affect future pensions and will increase the gap.
As if this process were not serious enough, we run the risk of losing the rights acquired in 300 years of feminist struggle, since we suffer the global aggression of an exacerbated and misnamed intersectional feminism that dilutes and standardizes the different aspects to be claimed, leaving them without force.
From the fusion of the class, sex and race, aspects, the 21st century was approached by the dawn of a neoliberal postmodern discourse with the capacity to drag a new false and social democratic left political wing to it. This left wing has been trapped today in a pseudoscientific discourse, and it collaborates in the elaboration of laws, if we do not prevent it, which will go far beyond invisibility, economic impoverishment, and health neglect. The consequences of these laws, they approved in other countries, will erase real women and the tools obtained to do them justice. Understanding how this could have happened involves understanding the different resignifications that the concept of woman has suffered throughout the history of feminism.
In 1967, when Simone de Beauvoir wrote the Second Sex, with the intention of advancing in the feminist struggle, World War II had shown the capacity of women in all sectors of the economy, and also in all needs that de War caused. Their return home sparked the nameless disease - the restlessness of women reduced to housewife consumers- discovered by Betty Freedam, then Beauvoir's existentialist demand made its way. The analytical category of gender had not been coined yet, but the title of the work and the sentence that summarizes it, you are not born a woman, you become one, contains the seed of that category that was highly fruitful in the following decades. The meaning of the phrase is: the girl is born with the female sex, but then patriarchal society, by the mere fact of having been born with that sex, will indoctrinate her to blend in with those stereotypes. Patriarchy decided it in order to play the role of domestic subordinate who have reproductive and care functions, those which are necessary to the system to maintain and renew the workforce. The set of stereotypes, roles, functions, and assessments that will transform the girl into a "woman" will be called gender later. Gender is thus an analytical category that shows the oppressive and devaluing mask that patriarchy imposes on human female because of her sex. Feminism will firmly pursue the abolition of gender.
With the arrival of postmodernism and the relativity of stories, the gender category is redefined, making it synonymous with sex and, in defense of non-heteronormative sexualities, gives way to a multitude of generic identities. From working firmly for the abolition of gender, a category that explains oppression, we move to the multiplication of genders as if they were disguises, to choose the genders to determine identities, to the self-determination of gender / sex outside the verifiable bodily reality, to the erasure of the sex. Any human can self-determine woman just by wanting / feeling it. With this linguistic acrobatics, sex-segregated statistics, compensatory political actions, sport teams by sexual categories, recently initiated medical research on specific diseases in women, etc., no longer make sense. All this distorting Beauvoir's phrase because according to this trend, women are born regardless of the assigned sex, they are born with the female gender and the sex is assigned before knowing the desire of the person born, consequently male sex can be assigned to a human being who later on can express his desire and will say that he is a woman. This theatre play requires new terms: menstruating body, bearing vagina, bearing uterus, pregnant body, lactating body, surrogacy, sex work, pornography consumers, recognition of infantile sexuality, hormonal and surgical transitionality, 'they'. What to do if 'they' murdered her? And what about older women who are not menstruating, not pregnant, not prostitutable, not pornagrafiable? Are they just asexual, sterile, useless, and disposable bodies? Do they serve only as caregivers? Where will they deposit their work, affective, sex and social experience? which dignify them?
After the resignifications that have led us to the danger of woman erasure in the laws, in statistics and the appearance of new language in favor of the market, we cannot abandon our duty to clean up those resignifications of the twisting of language. This language, beyond the absence of national accounting by the invisibility of their first place in the production chain, has created the absurdity of substituting desires for realities. From making ourselves invisible to erasing ourselves, women, and all the conquests achieved in 300 years of feminism.
According to Silvia Federici, it is important to remember the history of patriarchal oppressions that the capitalist system has known how to take advantage of and feed so well. Federici reminds us that the persecution of the witches was the origin of the expropriation of the body, of the strength and of the knowledge of women in the violent process of original capitalist accumulation. And that, in other times and another continent, they were the slaves who were the expropriated ones to make possible the accumulation and they were necessary to produce on large estates and to reproduce children for sale in the market.
To keep in operation the first link in the production chain, it was necessary to reform the institution of marriage, where women are responsible for the sexed jobs, that is care and domestic jobs, as she is alienated from her body which is intended for worker reproduction. This work is invisible in national accounts so as to delete it as the first link in the production chain, and it is the great forgotten, even for Marx. The nuclear family model guarantees the state the disciplining of women by the pater familias , thus assuring the system with their unpaid work. The violence exerted on women does not come from any pathology of the aggressor, but from the predatory structure of the patriarchal and capitalist system, which is managed by the bourgeois state.
The sexual exploitation of prostituted women becomes necessary in bourgeois society to ensure the purity of the heir descendants and for the profit of the big business of the sex industry which insists on being legalized, beginning by imposing the sexual exploitation the false name of sex work.
But old women are no longer good for procreation or for the brothel. They are only useful for care, not to be cared of. Condemned to poverty, loneliness and disrepute and embodied in the folk image of witches, with this image of grisly old woman, the true history is erased about patriarchal and capitalist violence exerted to women in the primitive accumulation by dispossession of their bodies and expropriation of the common. Today this devaluation is intensifying in an explicit oppression that we call ageism which hypersexualizes girls, adolescents and young women and reduces older women to disposable asexual bodies.
We repeat: the violence exerted on women do not come from any pathology in the victimizer, but in the oppressive nature of the patriarchal system and the predatory structure of the capitalist system, managed by the bourgeois state.
So, we could rewrite the famous phrase of Kate Millet in the following way:
IT IS NOT PERSONAL, IT IS POLITICAL!!!!
Only the abolition of patriarchy, functional to capitalism, and the defeat of capitalism can liberate older women from the specific structural oppression to which they are subjected and that produces their devaluation, their discredit, their economic, emotional, and sexual poverty, their physical, psychological, symbolic, and social violence, also invisibility and finally, they produce woman erasure with loss of the weak rights acquired with hard and long struggles. The COVID has shown the current deplorable
situation of older women around the world with all its hardness, leaving them die in total neglect and poor medical assistance.
DOWN WITH PATRIARCHY AND CAPITALISM!!!!!
LONG AND WORTHY LIFE TO OLDER WOMEN FROM ALL OVER THE PLANET!!!!