For a feminism of the 99 percent!

nov. 2016 left voice womanThe following statement was initiated by International Women’s Strike.

We are calling for Feminism for the 99% contingents in the upcoming Women’s Marches of January 19.

This past year has confirmed that corporate feminism, that is afraid to challenge the prerogatives of capitalism, has no solution to the crisis that women and LGBTQIA communities are facing globally.

In the US in particular, growing income and racial inequality, rising Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, renewed attacks on reproductive rights and on the unions, expose the feminism of Hillary Clinton and Sheryl Sandberg to be particularly grotesque. Their ‘Lean In’ feminism claims to fight the wage gap, but defends the system that creates low wages.

A Feminism for the 99% must win equal pay but also union scale wages for all.  We must preserve and expand abortion access, including the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, but  in the complete way that only universal health care can provide. For us, reproductive justice means not just free abortion on demand but access to public resources to raise our children without the fear of mass incarceration, deportation or violence.

How can we build such a feminism? The process has already begun. The #metoo and #timesup movements have not just exposed the prevalence of sexual violence in women’s lives, they have shown that we can fight back against this system that protects the perpetrators of that violence. Meanwhile, strikes in education, hotels, and health care, ranging from West Virginia, Washington State, Boston, Chicago to San Francisco, and many more, have highlighted the leading role women and people of color will play in rebuilding a fighting working class.

But while women have led the current strike wave, we understand that women’s work is not limited to the formal sector alone. Women’s labor in the home and in the community, done without pay and often without any social support, is crucial to capitalism’s functioning. This is why a feminism for the 99% does not limit its demands to better wages alone.

We demand that the system overturn its priorities from profit making to making investments in childcare and medicare for all, in affordable housing and in a fully funded public education system. We demand clean water that capitalism’s racialized neglect denies us and clean air free from the system’s greed for fossil fuels. Our feminism fights as hard for the health and future of our communities as we fight for the health and future of our planet.

We are aware that the system’s violence is not contained within national borders alone but linked to US militarism abroad. Therefore our feminism is founded on solidarity with those forced behind bars and into detention centers within this country as well as with those facing the brutal effects of US imperialism from Central America to Palestine.

It is with these politics in mind that we are calling for anticapitalist, Feminism for the 99% contingents in the coming Women’s Marches.

We are calling for you to march with us on January 19 and we are calling for you to build with us an internationalist and new class struggle feminism.

Signatories

Organizations: International Women’s Strike, Campus Antifascist Network, Freedom Socialist Party, International Socialist Organization, Radical Women, Socialist Action, Socialist Alternative, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

Individuals: Linda Alcoff, Cinzia Arruzza, Tithi Bhattacharya, Angela Davis, Zillah Eisenstein, Liza Featherstone, Nancy Fraser, Kshama Sawant, Barbara Smith, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Cornel West

Photo: Left Voice