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We are going on strike together: young women are organizing to change everything

Thursday 8 March 2018, by Julia Camara, Vivi Arana

“It would be a shame if we go to the streets all happy and then return home and do not combine this moment with the construction of something different.” - Silvia Federici

When we think of radical action, cohesion, mutual solidarity and the capacity for mobilization, the purple color comes to mind almost immediately. And the media reach that the feminist movement has received in recent years is undeniable: hundreds of demonstrations, protest statements, hashtags of denunciation, rallies in support of those sisters who are victims of sexist violence, the Oscars and Hollywood, massive demonstrations of 25N, the unstoppable wave of March 8, the Goyas [1], Argentina, Mexico, United States, MeToo, "We are the pack" [2] every time there are more fists that raise consciousness of the oppression by a system that excludes, belittles, mistreats , isolates and even murders us.

Women who did not live under the dictatorship or the Transition, who were born after decriminalizing abortion and who were only girls when the comprehensive law against gender violence was passed, have had sold to us the notion that we live in a world where the problem of machismo has already been solved. No one prevents us accessing technical studies, and therefore we should not mind that only 24% of students in scientific careers or engineering are women. The law does not allow direct wage discrimination, so we should not challenge the wage gap that makes us "work for free" an average of 54 days a year. We do not know if formal equality has been achieved already, but what we do know about the thousands of young women who have taken to the streets in the last months is that discrimination and violence are still very real in our daily lives.

We grew up with stories of pink princesses, blue princes and happy endings, as we grew up, realizing that pink is not our favorite color, how much we are frustrated by the communicative deficiencies of the prince, that unwanted kisses are not romantic but abusive and that happy endings will not be possible while capitalism exists. That being mothers is not our goal in life, that the kiss we wanted was that of the princess and that, if we are asked, we would prefer to see the end of archaic and patriarchal institutions like the monarchy.

While it is true that the feminist movement stands out because of the plurality of subjects that create it, young women have played a significant role in all the recent mobilizations. We have created non-mixed collectives in universities throughout the state, promoted feminist assemblies in many institutes, opened the debate about the lack of female role models and the need for a feminist education, and we have reappropriateour self-organized parties to defend ourselves collectively from sexual aggressions and sexist violence. There are those who look at us with surprise, but this increase in mobilization in the sectors of younger women is nothing but a clear indication of the fatigue, frustration and need to break with the old regime that the new generations are showing.

The questioning of the status quo transforms our social identities to the point of generating a state of rupture between what we should have been and we will never be. It is not enough to understand the injustices and oppressions that await us in a class society marked by power relations: we need to create bonds of sisterhood and concrete experiences of self-organization to empower and liberate ourselves together. We need to make feminism, even more than it is already, a massive social movement that includes all women and that puts us in contact with women whose material situations are different from our own. We need to establish ourselves as our own subject capable of breaking with a system that humiliates us, makes us invisible, despises us and exploits us. For this and much more, the student women, the precarious young women, who gather on park benches, the ones that are tired of not being able to dance without being harassed, the ones take care of our grandparents, the ones that face pressure over our appearance and the that do not understand why we are expected to subordinate ourselves to our partners, we will strike on March 8.

This March 8 should not be understood as the end of a long history of mobilization, rebellion and feminist insubordination, but as a reason and a time to build something much bigger. The feminist strike is an opportunity to get in touch, to weave alliances between collectives and assemblies, to recognize each other and to advance collectively. Let’s build a strike together that is capable of bringing together a great diversity of realities and subjects with the same objective, and that wants and knows how to give continuity to this purple pack. A strike that does not have as its aim the mere mobilization and denunciation of a system that we cannot and will not support, but that understands the potential of rupture that is offered to us if we know how to look beyond this Thursday.

The creation of solid networks that aim to create common spaces of struggle and solidarity becomes a necessary condition for the continuity of this experience and for the strengthening and intersection of resistance. Breaking the isolation of the struggles and the individualism that is imposed on us is a priority if we want to have a decent life. Therefore, young people from different towns and cities have united in the Open Gap process, a call to deepen the crack open by the feminist and LGBTI movements against machismo and patriarchy, articulating an anti-fascist and anti-racist response to those who sow hatred , xenophobia and homophobia. Because youth have always played a fundamental role in social transformations, and we are demonstrating this again from the feminist movement.

This week millions of women will take to the streets around the world with the same goal: to end patriarchy. Millions of women with the same color, purple. Millions of women who know we are aware that if we strike together, we hit harder. And that, if we coordinate and organize, the 8M will not be the end of anything but a springboard from which to jump with more force. Radical, supportive, rebellious, diverse, united and disobedient: because we are the pack, we go together to strike, compañeras.


[1] Like Oscar’s in the Spanish state

[2] In 2016 there was a young woman was raped by 5 men at once, who bragged of their involvement on WhatsApp saying we are the pack, a slogan which was then taken and used by women protesting against their actions.