FEMINISM IS NOT POPULISM
We have formed Feminist Women International in response to the convening document of the so-called “First Founding Meeting of Feminist International”.
Denying that women are the political subject of feminism is not feminism; to replace the word “women” with erasing circumlocutions such as “menstruators, birthing people, gestators, cervix owners…” is misogyny.
Feminism, since its inception and like any political theory transforming reality, has had an internationalist vocation, because inequality between women and men is present in every culture, country, ethnic group, religion, age, and social class. It is a tangible reality that asymmetrical power relations between women and men are adapted to cultural, racial, national, religious, generational contexts, but beyond the specificity with which they may be expressed, they all reveal a social and sexual hierarchy where women find themselves in a subordinate or dependent position relating to men.
In contrast, a text is circulating on social media announcing a so-called “First Founding Meeting of Feminist International”. The manifesto states that feminism is “a transnational political project”. The replacement of the word “international”, which announces the title of the meeting, for the word “transnational” in the text is striking. Replacing the word “international” with “transnational” is an attempt to skip the women’s rights framework endorsed by CEDAW and to challenge what was unequivocally stated in the CEDAW treaty: that the cause of women’s and girls’ inequality is sex-based, because they are born female, and that its consequences being gender, or the set of sexist and gendered attributes, norms and stereotypes, must be actively battled.
The use of the word “transnational” is intended to elude this international framework of the feminist agenda in exchange of a terminology belonging to political populism. The group of leader women in decision-making positions and signatories of the manifesto intend, by using the word “feminism”, to convey a populist political ideology that absolutely clashes with the feminist agenda. It is organised anti-feminism and they are its spokespersons.
That is the reason why, from the Feminist International Women, we declare:
- Feminism is not a “transnational political project”. On the contrary, transnational is indeed the prostitution business that does not hesitate to cross borders to use women for sexual exploitation, prostitution and trafficking. Feminism is abolitionist.
- Transnational is the egg market at the service of surrogacy and transnational are the law firms and clinics that sustain the business of reproductive exploitation. Feminism is against reproductive exploitation and surrogacy.
- Transnational is the pornography business and girls trafficking for forced marriages. Feminism rebels against all forms of sexual exploitation. In the same way, wars are transnational and their first victims are always women and girls, so is every kind of violence against women.
- Feminism is internationalist and because of its internationalism precisely denounces those transnational phenomena and practices that turn women into interchangeable things and goods from country to country for the service of the patriarchy.
From Feminist Women International we underline:
- Feminism affirms that the cause of the inequality that we suffer as women is sex-based. Therefore, Feminism is NOT to intentionally replace the category “sex” with “gender gap”. Feminism fights both biological essentialism – being born female cannot limit our life expectations – and “gender identity” or the extreme social constructivism that perpetuates and stabilises sexist and gender stereotypes as relevant.
- Feminism actively fights the belief in “gender identity”. If there is one thing women know, it is how the belief in “gender identity” has limited women’s lives and solidified gender inequality. It is not Feminism to insist on the existence of a “gender identity” or the belief that being a woman is a choice and a feeling. Defending “gender” as a human identity and redefining the meaning of the word “women” is the new face of misogyny.
- Feminism is articulated in an agenda with strong abolitionist roots against pornography, prostitution, surrogacy and the whole gender-related social constructivism. It is an active fight against the different types of violence around women’s lives, from poverty to obstetric violence, from physical violence to cultural violence, from the objectification of women’s bodies to the laws that make us invisible. On the contrary, it is not Feminism to string together words, mantras echoed: “popular, intersectional, class-based, anti-capitalist, dissident, decolonial, anti-racist, ecologist and antipunitivist” to avoid designing an agenda that describes the women and girls´ specific problems: masking, fragmenting and depoliticising the specific struggle of women and girls in a totum revolutum or catch-all that only benefits patriarchal populism.
- Finally, Feminism denounces the repressive practices of exposure and cancellation that populism is exercising on feminists for maintaining a feminist agenda that points out these all-and-nothing policies based on the purest identity relativism. It is not Feminism to give a green light to accusations of transphobia nor to endorse laws that establish a punitive regime if, as feminists, we do not bow to “trans” identity relativism.
Therefore, as The Feminist Women International, we reiterate:
- Feminism is a reality-transforming political theory with a clear agenda. It is not a conspiracy of sisters, nor a dream. Feminists are preferably women in struggle against patriarchy, but also against imposture and substitutes.
- It is an indisputable fact that every society and every culture assign resources, property and privileges to people according to sex, which ultimately leads to the subordination of women. This reality is called patriarchy and fighting this unfortunate reality is feminism. And this is the only Feminism’s international agenda. Anything else is nothing but the imposture of populism practised by entryism in the International Movement of Feminist Women.