Monday, May 16

For a true ecofeminist revolution

Today I was busy with my daily tasks when, looking out the window, I noticed the dull color of the sky. “What strange weather!” I thought. Seconds later, I imagined the apocalyptic scenario in which we could be submerged in a few years. You may be wondering how one can be so melodramatic at five in the afternoon on a Monday. And I go further: it is not that this melodrama has occurred to me, just like that, without meaning or justification, it is that we really already live in a worrying situation that we do not want to accept. We still enjoy a series of privileges that mislead our conscience: finding fruit and vegetables any day of the week, that the sun rises and does not burn in December or that we can bathe in the sea, among others. I wonder how much more time we have left and what a desolation it is to see that, in fact, the film don’t look upwhich has been talked about so much, or the series Years and Years, can come true.

The population lives submerged in its day-to-day problems: what if inflation, what if unemploymentyes war… Endless factors that justify fatigue and apathy to embark on a path of action. We have become accustomed to the defeatist discourse in which nothing is possible, just waiting for things to happen. “There are many interests up there,” they say. “There are many things we don’t know, better focus on your life.” I wonder if all this discursive framework will get us out of the precariousness, of the anxiety that young people experience, of the environmental destructionfrom the agony of not being able to plan the future and of rise of the far right in Europe. Hasn’t history shown us that with political and civil will you can and win? I go back to concrete facts:

  • I start at the end, that is, the most recent. Yolanda Díaz was able to approve the labor reform after so many impediments imposed even within the Government. It is also true that there are many arguments for and against within the left itself due to the fact that certain points have been left in the inkwell, such as subcontracting and other important issues in relation to ERTE. However, if we go to the point, the unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 2008. Temporary employment has decreased by a percentage that we had not imagined since those years of PP decrees instigated by the supposed pressure from the European Parliament. For the record, I say alleged not because it is not true, but because the will of a government may or may not accept compliance with those European instructions that are harmful to the country.
  • During the pandemic, precisely because of the policies contrary to those that were implemented in the hard years of the financial crisis (which just five years ago were impossible according to the political discourse of much of Parliament at the time), we have been rewarded as a country in European aid. Spain was the first in the European Parliament to receive ten billion euros from the Next Generation Recovery Plan.
  • If we talk about social mobilization, we cannot leave behind the recent agreements with the transport sector or those that have made it possible to negotiate situations in which the workforce was at risk, such as the case of the Bershka employees. Or the demonstrations that took place against the war in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, reaffirming the anti-militarist culture of the population, setting the political agenda for almost twenty years afterwards.

The taste is bittersweet in many cases because the necessary structural changes are not achieved. Even so, we must focus on what is really important: mobilization always creates precedents and awareness. We have as an example the enormous 15M movement; Many voices say that all that clamor has definitely disarmed, leaving only the ashes of that great fire. It cannot be said no, but it can also be argued that, thanks to that citizen outcry, a new independent digital journalism. The feminist movement grew, also the debates that derive from it and that are put on the table. And the environmental awareness of the political and educational agenda is finally beginning to be a reality (although it is clearly insufficient).

Social mobilization is essential to influence political decision-making, those that govern our lives. The struggles that formed the backbone of the 20th century are no longer the same, today we have open fronts that other previous generations did not have, such as climate change. Ecofeminism has come to pose new challenges and put ecology and equality at the center of the debate.

Gender inequality is structural and affects many areas of women’s lives: from wage gap in the same jobs up to the amount of pensions they receive. Facts that condition being able to assume the electricity bill, reach the end of the month or fill the shopping basket. Likewise, they are the main victims of climate change, as shown by the data from numerous reports, including those published by the Women’s Institute in 2020 and by ECODES a year before. The latter shows that in those places where the effects of climate change impede survival and, therefore, people are forced to migrate, women They are the ones that in most cases do not have the minimum resources to leave. Worse still for those who are mothers, since they are the ones who remain in the care of the family, while they undertake the exodus.

One of the factors that deteriorates this situation every day is the lack of female representation in decision-making, which means that, after a natural disaster, they do not obtain the necessary help to continue their lives with dignity. the sahel, located in North Africa, near the Sahara, is the territory on the planet most affected by migratory flows caused by climate change, and women make up a very high percentage. Women who suffer not only forced migration, but all the violence that the process entails: rape, imposed marriages, physical and psychological abuse…

The great emporiums that finance polluting projects worldwide, such as banks, oil or electricity companies, are run, for the most part, by men. There are few women holding managerial positions, despite the percentage increase that has been experienced in recent years. Therefore, we remain outside of the key decisions regarding climate change, among many other areas of power.

Ecofeminism is not only a neologism that defines a philosophical, political and social current, but also a lifesaver in the midst of this extractivist and patriarchal chaos. Climate change is no longer a distant reality, it is part of our daily lives and, unfortunately, we suffer from its disastrous consequences: cancers caused by air pollution (99% of the population breathes polluted air); loss of terrestrial biodiversity due to both monocultures and the contamination of aquifers by chemicals from the agricultural industry, etc.

To all this we must add the structural inequality suffered by women, be it the dedication to care, the hypersexualization of our bodies or the lack of resources in many vital aspects. The obvious result is a society whose economic base is built on different types of violence, such as the continuous dispossession of many native populations from their lands for the construction of supranational megaprojects.

Apathy and absolute delegation to political decisions cannot be a solution to this achievement of evils that we are experiencing in 2022. History has shown that it can be done through individual and collective mobilization and that, through social pressure in its different forms, from changing habits at home to political demands (with trade unionism, voting, citizen cooperation and perseverance), we can undoubtedly change dramatic situations to less dramatic ones, more prepared and save lives.

Ecofeminism is not a theory for deluded people. There are many projects in all fields, scientific, political and social, that show that things can be done differently. Precisely, what is expensive and unnatural is to plunder the planet that sustains us, not to put life at the center through the pacification of peoples and to protect the biodiversity that makes us healthy and strong. Now, with the warmongering logic of the war in Ukraine, we will have to pay attention not to fall back into a regression of our democratic rights: the increase in military spending may cause us to stop investing against the effects of the climate and pandemic crises. Peacemaking must be the only short- and long-term objective: establish diplomatic ties that help resolve armed conflicts that for many reasons we cannot afford, advocate for the agreements that have already been made within the UN, and demand the imminent demilitarization of countries, as well as definitive nuclear disarmament. And allocate all that amount of military money to real problems like green energy or the development of cleaner and cheaper industry.

If we do not attend to what is really coming our way and advocate an unprecedented revolution, we will be headed for disaster. Let’s not lose the north, now never better said.

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