Feminismos / editorial / Noviembre de 2019

Guadalupe Nettel

Traducción de: Alejandra Mena


It is impossible to establish the origin of feminist movements with precision. We know about poets from antiquity who imagined a world ruled by women, and about ladies who demanded equality during the Middle Ages. During the French Revolution, Olympe de Gouges drafted and proclaimed the “Declaration of the Rights of Women and Citizens”—given that the Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen did not include our gender—and was beheaded for it. Since then, the struggle has passed through different periods, some of them calm, others more incendiary, but it has never stopped. A few years ago, stemming from reports of sexual harassment in the United States, as well as in Latin America and Europe, it gained new momentum. There was an explosion of indignation and a push for the end to violence and inequality. Mexico is one of the countries where the lives of women are at greatest risk. According to some NGOs, 9 women are killed here every day. Official figures report only two feminicides per day. The protests of this past year are unequivocal proof that women are outraged by this situation and will no longer tolerate it. There is no single feminism, instead there is great pluralism of them. Their demands are many, and they vary depending on nation, worldview, social class, and generation. The most urgent is without a doubt the right to live, but there is also the right to physical and psychological integrity, to autonomy over our own bodies, to income equality, to break the glass ceiling in the workplace, to gain public visibility, to access to political roles, to a different distribution of domestic, care and parenting work, to respectful and equitable romantic relationships, to name but a few. While the feminist struggle is global and legitimate in all latitudes, it is not the same to be a part of it in Manhattan as it is in Ecatepec, in the Sierra Mixe, in Beijing, or Tucumán. Our stance in publishing this issue was to take the periphery and the margins as our starting point; to focus first and foremost on the resistance of women who, apart from demanding their human and civil rights, find themselves immersed in other kinds of struggles—for racial justice, for autonomy, or democracy. The authors brought together here are mostly Latin American. It was important to us that reflection originate in our societies, so as to reflect on what is happening within them. In this sense it is important to highlight the essay written by Yásnaya Elena A. Gil, a Mixe author and regular contributor to our magazine who asks herself: “To what process do we, indigenous women, affiliate ourselves when we call ourselves feminists?”. She answers her own question: “In the world of feminisms a niche seems to be emerging for what is called intersectional feminism, or the feminism that racialized women embrace.” We have also included a text by Francesca Gargallo in which she provides an overview of the feminisms of Abya Yala. Bolivian María Galindo and Sinaloa-born Frida Cartas speak to us from other margins: one of prostitution as a space of rebellion and another of the people who have decided to break with gender. In order to connect with the struggles of other cultures and latitudes, we also included two previews of forthcoming Spanish translations: Citizen: An American Lyric written by the Jamaican poet Claudia Rankine and Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China by Leta Hong Fincher. Leila Slimani writes about the situation of women in Morocco in “An Identitarian Debate: The Western Countermodel.” The issues of maternity, the right to lawful abortion, as well as surrogacy, are essential to the feminist struggle in our continent and in the rest of the world. For this reason, they had to be addressed. The way in which men are brought up, as well as the expectations and mandates that weigh on them, underpin the patriarchal system in which we live. Gabriela Wiener’s “Incandescence,” and Rita Segato’s “Pedagogy of Cruelty: The Mandate of Masculinity,” help us to understand this predicament. This issue is accompanied by fragments of manifestoes published in very different periods: from Mina Loy’s, written in 1914 as a parodic response to Marinetti’s futurist manifesto, to the “Word of Zapatista Women,” and stopping along the way at the Combahee River Collective Manifesto, written by black American women, and the Xenofeminist Manifesto published by Laboria Cuboniks in 2015. This selection was carefully curated by Gabriela Jáuregui. We thank her and Jazmina Barrera for their counsel and companionship in the creation of this issue. In the art section, we look at Radical Admiration, a series created by Lydia Hamann & Kaj Osteroth, which depicts other feminist painters from different countries in scenes of struggle and camaraderie. For the first time in this new era of the Revista, the sections of Panopticon and Criticism also address the topic of the Dossier. In the Criticism section you will find book, film, and TV recommendations made from a feminist standpoint. In reading the texts brought together here, it is evident that in every social group, be it marginalized or powerful, in the Capitol or in the most remote Andean village, women continue to be subordinated. “The moment when a woman realizes that she lives in a patriarchal society and decides, from the place she has been assigned, to no longer be functional in that system, is the moment she is born as a feminist,” writes Liliana Colanzi. Have you asked yourself what stage of that process you have reached? Regardless of how many centuries this struggle has existed or how long it might take to achieve equality, women will attain it, and we are willing to do whatever it takes.

Imagen de portada: Santiago Arau, Ángel de la Independencia 2019. Cortesía del fotógrafo