Friday, September 30

Global feminism for pending challenges: “None of us will be safe if we are not all”

Abortion, care, motherhood, co-responsibility, intersectionality, sexual violence. There are many pending issues for feminism, which has become a mass phenomenon in recent years, and all of them have been discussed this Friday on the second day of the elDiario.es Festival on the occasion of its tenth anniversary, which is being celebrated these days in Valencia. It is one of the ideas that has focused the table under the name ‘The fourth feminist wave shakes the world’: to continue claiming a feminist movement for all and in all areas.

“None of us are safe if only some of us are,” said the American writer and essayist Mikki Kendall. The author of neighborhood feminism She has appealed to a feminism that not only stops at breaking glass ceilings, but also pays attention to the precariousness of those who are not thinking of moving up in the company, but of “surviving”. Kendall has been accompanied by the Argentine writer and journalist Luciana Peker, the Secretary of State for Equality, Ángela Rodriguez, the founder of the Club de Malasmadres, Laura Baena, and the DJ Ley Dj, who also closed the first day of the festival on Thursday.

Moderated by the editor-in-chief of Gender, Ana Requena, the speakers have addressed the right to abortion as another of the great issues in which advances and setbacks are taking place. The paradigms the two countries from which Peker and Kendall come. Thus, the Argentine journalist has claimed the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, whose decriminalization was achieved there in December 2020, as “the great identity symbol of the struggle in the 21st century” that demonstrates “that the political struggle today is still possible”.

Taking to the streets, demonstrating and litigating in court are the recipes that, on the other side, Mikki Kendall has launched in the face of the setback that the revocation of the historic ruling that guarantees the right to abortion has meant in the United States. A ruling that “does not mean that we stop fighting”, said the essayist, who has defended that “it is enshrined in the Constitution” and women “we are going to continue fighting for this right, no one is going to take away control over our bodies ”.

The conversation has landed in Spain with the Secretary of State for Equality, Ángela Rodríguez, after the Government sent the reform of the Abortion Law to Congress a few weeks ago. Rodríguez has claimed “comprehensive sex education” after this Thursday the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, was the victim of a campaign to decontextualize one of her speeches to accuse her of defending pederasty. “We need to tell minors that even if their father is a homophobe, it is okay to love another man. That even if your father is a fascist, you have to learn what consent is. That is feminist education”, the Secretary of State has settled.

“It is impossible to be a mother and grow professionally”

Care and conciliation have also emerged as central themes of the round table before an enthusiastic audience despite the sun over the recently pedestrianized Town Hall square where the festival is held. In the words of the founder of the Malasmadres Club, Laura Baena, “in Spain today it is impossible to be a mother and grow professionally”, which is why she has called for a new social model that “puts care at the center” and a system “that does not penalize” women “when motherhood arrives”. Because the labor market “is failing”, she has sentenced her.

She has been caught by the witness Law DJ, who has said that she became a mother four months ago and is currently turning with her daughter, something that she believes “is starting to look a little more natural in some way.” However, the music laments that being a mother and standing out in the industry is at the cost of “a number of superhuman efforts not to disappear from the map”, since “we cannot afford to leave for a year, your career is over”. On the contrary, if instead of women mothers, the artists are men fathers, Ley DJ pointed out, “the same thing does not happen”.

In this sense, Requena has questioned Rodríguez, who before the negotiation within the Government before the next General State Budgets has demanded a strong investment in conciliation. “How can we be clear that in order to change the energy model we have to invest billions and not so clear that in order to change the care system we have to invest billions? Is the answer machismo? ”, She has snapped questioning the Executive to which it belongs. Baena has also pointed directly to the feminist movement. “She has a challenge in Spain: socially recognize mothers and protect them,” she said.

MeToo and the “feminism of enjoyment”

How feminism should address men has been another of the issues to which the speakers have referred, who have agreed on the importance of them being the ones who question each other. “We women are not your interlocutors in this, they are other men. We are talking about breaking the gentlemen’s agreement, that there are men who tell their partners: don’t laugh at that woman in this way. Until they take that step, it is difficult”, summarized the Secretary of State for Equality.

There have also been a few minutes to review the MeToo movement after the jury ruled in favor of Johnny Depp during the trial with Amber Heard. In Kendall’s opinion, this case cannot serve to discredit the entire movement despite the fact that “some want us to believe that all other women lie” and has wanted to frame the breaking of the silence on sexual violence not as an individual story, but “global”, focusing on the fact that “women are killed every day around the world by their own spouses”.

And in the face of sexual violence, “feminism of enjoyment”, as claimed by Peker, who closed the day with an applauded speech: “We are opposed to this violence because we want to enjoy, mother, play records, play politics…. Our desire to the center and it is not to go back”.



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