TOWARDS A LIBERATION FEMINISM: queer, class-based and combative
On the eve of commemorating this year’s International Working Women’s day, we find ourselves amidst a highly dynamic scenario: with tidings of new imperialist wars, while the struggle in Wallmapu escalates, days away from the inauguration of a new State administration that promises a more compassionate and feminist capitalism, together with a constitutional process that – we keep being told – works toards the same. At the same time, the reality for women and queer people remains stagnant, if not more precarious than two years ago. The pandemic has only rendered more unstable and difficult conditions that were already precarious; women and queer people are those who have experienced the most significant losses in their income and access to the job market, while patriarchal violence only continues to escalate and important rights over our own bodily autonomy, related to reproductive rights, abortion, trans healthcare and more, get left behind in the public political agenda. In this context, we find it necessary to speak from a queer, revolutionary form of liberation feminism.
First of all, it must be said that even though the incoming government has already started to paint itself purple and green, this means very little in the real struggle against the patriarchy. We must not forget that total liberation, the conquest of our rights and our bodies, necessarily requires the destruction of all systems of domination and oppression, without mediation, because they are intimately related. The patriarchy, capitalism and racism will not fall because of the actions of the institutions that rule us. We firmly believe that all three must fall together, and the social democratic position of the incoming administration does nothing but push for class conciliation and cement and strengthen the current order, using liberal feminism and placing women in positions of power within the administration of the State and law enforcement to improve its image. As a counterpoint, the revolutionary position must not only question the very roots of the patriarchy and the way it has contructed a cis-heterosexual order reproductive of the system itself, but also be expressed through a praxis of direct action. We categorically differentiate our actions from the liberal feminism of the patriarchal State. We believe in direct action, in the self-organization of the people, in the people’s self-defense, and we do not tolerate the new government or any of the bourgeois class using our struggles as a trojan horse to defend their own interests.
We are, of course, on the side of deciding for ourselves over our own bodies. Who better than us to choose whether we want to gestate and parent? Abortion must be guaranteed, free and safe with no strings attached. We can no longer be subject to clandestine abortions, which are unsafe and leave us in the hands of a black market. Similarly, access to gender transition-related healthcare must be guaranteed to anyone who desires it, without the need to suffer medical violence or medicalize trans bodies. Finally, we do not tolerate the existence of conversion therapy, a torture designed to “correct” queerness.
We are tired of femicides, lesbicides, transfemicides and other hate crimes. As women and queer people, we are forced to face violence without support networks or safe spaces we can turn to. This is why it is imperative that we organize, in our territories, creating these safe spaces for ourselves and learning collective self-defense so that we have the necessary tools to face and stop patriarchal violence.
Poor women and queer people face the harshest cycles of violence, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the carceral system. 89% of incarcerated women are mothers who are separated from their children from age 2, and who have been the most affected by the pandemic, having faced the most precarious conditions – reduced visits, difficulty in accessing basic necessities and more. The cycle of patriarchal violence only grows within the carceral system, where women frequently die from medical negligence. We also must not forget the absolutely critical situation of trans women, transfeminine people and marikas locked away in men’s prisons, where they face a level of patriarchal violence much higher than most of the population, which has even driven queer people in men’s prisons to suicide.
The patriarchy and capitalism superpose over our bodies. The nasty consequences of the destruction of life and our territories involve us directly as women and queer people inhabiting and resisting from these territories. We are incarnating the resistance to a voracious, all-consuming capitalism. The violence we are subjected to has many forms, and the destruction of life and our territories is certainly one of them, in its most crude and colonial incarnation. We recognize an ancestral wisdom in our bodies, and we seek to rebuild what has been lost through centuries of colonialism imposing a domestication of the body. We want to reincarnate it; we know it has not been lost because it resides in our bodies, collective memory and struggle. Our body is our first territory and it is our primary place of struggle, the intermediary between the self and the community.
Nowhere is this connection between the body and the territory more apparent than in Wallmapu, where our lamngen and their children continue being victimized by the State. We stand in solidarity against the occupation, repression and violence that occurs in that territory. The prolonged state of exception is only a small demonstration of the abuses of power that the State seeks to submit us to. We will not tolerate a new government that continues and perpetuates these forms of oppression, and, in this sense, we look to Macarena Valdes and Emilia Bau, women assassinated by reactionary forces for their defense of life and their territories, as examples of struggle.
Finally, we cannot emphasize enough that we do not tolerate and we differentiate ourselves from this supposed feminism that espouses transphobic hate. We are on the side of our class, and we fight for the destruction of the heteronormative cis-tem, understanding the gender binary as a product of reproductive exploitation that nowadays chains down our entire society. This is why recognizing ourselves as queer becomes an attack against the very esence of the patriarchy. “Feminism” that leaves out those who transgress gender cannot be considered feminism: it only solidifies the patriarchy’s rigid categories; that is to say, it is a reactionary movement within feminism, and must be crushed as such.
It is only through a fully queer, decolonial, anticarceral, communist, feminist praxis that we will be able to struggle towards a liberatory tomorrow, where we can freely excercise control over our bodies and our lives, leaving behind the dual chains of patriarchy and capitalism.
Queer and feminist uprising against heteropatriarchy!
For the construction of autonomous queer feminist spaces!
Towards a liberation feminism: queer, antipatriarchal, anticapitalist, decolonial!
★ LIBERACIÓN ★
08 March 2022
 The original concept used here is “disidente” or sex-gender dissident, which is a term used primarily in the Latin American southern cone dating from the 90s, to denote a left-politicized and class-based understanding of gender and sexuality issues and the LGBTQ spectrum, similar to the use of queer in English-speaking circles.
 Purple and green are colors associated with the feminist struggle (green in particular with the pro-abortion movement) accross Latin America.
 Referring to a specific cultural LGBTQ identity found across Latin America.
 Word in mapudungun (language of the Mapuche people) which means either “sibling” (if spoken by a woman) or “sister” (if spoken by a man).