The massive women’s marches of 21 January may mark the beginning of a new wave of militant feminist struggle. But what exactly will be its focus? In our view, it is not enough to oppose Trump and his aggressively misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic and racist policies. We also need to target the ongoing neoliberal attack on social provision and labor rights.
While Trump’s blatant misogyny was the immediate trigger for the huge response on 21 January, the attack on women (and all working people) long predates his administration. Women’s conditions of life, especially those of women of color and of working, unemployed and migrant women, have steadily deteriorated over the last 30 years, thanks to financialization and corporate globalization.
Really? Life has got worse these past 30 years?
Anyone got any evidence of this?
30 years ago is 1987. By what measures is life worse? And we’ll make this easier too, we’ll exclude all those women of colour, those migrant women, out there beyond America’s borders. For that would just be too easy, pointing out that the world has become immeasurably (although, oddly, we can measure it) better for some billions.
Lean-in feminism and other variants of corporate feminism have failed the overwhelming majority of us, who do not have access to individual self-promotion and advancement and whose conditions of life can be improved only through policies that defend social reproduction, secure reproductive justice and guarantee labor rights.
That’s a snowflake buzzword I’ve missed out on. “Social reproduction” is what now?
Violence against women, as they define it, has many facets: it is domestic violence, but also the violence of the market, of debt, of capitalist property relations, and of the state; the violence of discriminatory policies against lesbian, trans and queer women; the violence of state criminalization of migratory movements; the violence of mass incarceration; and the institutional violence against women’s bodies through abortion bans and lack of access to free healthcare and free abortion.
Capitalist property relations had to get a look in there, din’t it?
The women’s marches of 21 January have shown that in the United States, too, a new feminist movement may be in the making. It is important not to lose momentum.
Let us join together on 8 March to strike, walk out, march and demonstrate.
Those women who are rather happy about those capitalist property relations, you know, the ones who realise that the reason they’re not spending their lives dropping babies into the footprints of the water buffalo they must guide through the paddy is that very capitalism, might want to counter demonstrate. Which leaves open just what acts would drive this lot into paroxysms of rage.
Demonstrations of cupcake baking? Oven cleaning lessons? Pole dancing Barbie posters? Making a sammich in public?