We Breed, We TheorizeBy Lapiko Kritikoa • Jun 6th, 2016 • Category: Albistekaria
Jule GOIKOETXEA, Kattalin MINER & Irantzu VARELA*
The Left wants women and men to have the same cultural, symbolic and economic capital without men losing space, voice, positions, projects and prominence. It is like trying to lose weight while stuffing your face, all at the same time. Many adhere to the fifty-fifty parity principle but no one is prepared to relinquish their position. Some even acknowledge that they need more training, that they need to learn how to keep their mouth shut and step out of the way. Poor souls. It seems to us that the Long Life Learning from our feminist great-grandmothers, grandmothers and mothers did not bear much fruit, after all. They were unable to convince these men that being unpaid caretakers, cleaners and servants while men always charged for these services amounts to divine grace at its wonderful purest. Poor souls. They were taught to be protagonists. This is why 84% of those claiming for parental leave are women.
On account of the above, only two possibilities stand the ground: practically every family in this country is Rightwing and Catholic-Apostolic or, else, these men are all too simply patriarchal. No cursing needed here though, for figures show it loud and clear: in the Basque Autonomous Community 30% of the GDP stems from work that women carry out entirely for free – which in all probability also means that in most households (yours included) there is no relation between equals, but between destitute plebs and posh landlords. The fact that the majority of this country defines itself sociologically as belonging to the Left confirms, all too simply, that the majority of this country lie through their teeth.
It is curious that Left parties, movements and trade unions point to capitalism as a mechanism of exploitation. Yet they systematically omit the exploitation they reproduce themselves, day in and day out, by exercising the privileges they possess simply for being men. Not only do they omit patriarchy, they are also unable to explain it. It is like talking about the current economic system without naming capitalism. (LOL).
You call upon us to discuss about the issue of “precariousness in the female sector” (which really means “exploitation for having a vagina”), about surrogate pregnancies and wombs for rent. Yet, when it comes to discuss about democracy, justice, economy, culture, conflict, sport and technology, the vast majority of discussants are always men, and the theoretical framework is also structured around the white, middle-aged, heterosexual male.
“There are no women in this area of expertise” you say, while you tack your balls right in the middle of the public sphere.
“No women” you say, when the majority of this country, and 60% of graduates are women since way back.
“No women” because you refuse to hand authority and power over to us. It is pretty straightforward. It is not the work of God to stage the whole patriarchal set up, it is not God’s daily routine to distribute humiliation and indifference in the media, organizations, companies and institutions that you manage, inhabit or praise.
No, we are not dealing here with the usual bigheaded idiot, what we face instead is naked patriarchy covered under progressive and revolutionary cloths. 80% of guest speakers at events organized by unions, the academia, social movements and leftist parties are men; and 99% of the intellectuals that these fervent champions of diversity and equality keep at their bedside tables are white heterosexual males. But heterosexuality, dear comrades, is not a drive. And heteronormativity is an ideology.
Still yearning for equality? Civil disobedience you said? And we, what do we crave for? Buy us a drink, will you?
It now turns out that for these men, the new subject of sovereignty, participatory democracy and revolution is the same subject of the French Revolution: the white, middle aged, straight man organized in a hetero-normative family, property inheritance and deep sense of provenance included. What happens next is that should we not agree or identify with this “normal” political subject, that is to say, should we disagree with these men and their universal proposition, then, surely, feminism is a ghetto. (LOL).
Disobedience is a practice against oppressive (and regulated) normality. The ‘normal’ subject for us is the hegemonic man. There are many different ways of being a disobedient body, and many also to be hegemonic bodies. If our asses do not fit, or do not wish to fit in your seats (organizations, projects, rhythms, patterns) you should replace your chairs, not our asses.
It is obvious that where you see particularity and partiality we see emancipation, and where you see universality, articulation or disobedience, we only see cocks.
We know that some of our comrades have a problem with reality – Especially with this one. And we know that reality is made and unmade, especially if one is endowed with means and power – as well as the right set of physical features to find his way through, because look at me, here I am.
The vast majority of the invitations, projects, salaries, properties, praise and prestige you receive are not because of your talent. It is rather because you are endowed with this set of physical features that you are also the protagonists of History and your life: Subjects and Objects of science and wisdom. First you had God (surprise-surprise: a middle-aged, straight, white man), then the truth (something that bit more ticklish than God) and now you have the postmodern subject (the new kid on the block). In short, not only you have the right set of physical features to run credit unions, trade unions, parties, the media, companies and even governments. You also have greater wages, more public space, more contacts, more diplomas, more money, and more structures in place.
However, there is one thing your physical outlook will never let you have, and this is our legitimacy.
Your indifference or systematic segmentation in regards of what we say and believe (including in activism, in the workplace, organizations and institutions, in the academia, the house and the street) is patriarchal. It is sexist. It is misogynistic. It is political. It is not liberating or disobedient nor is it democratic. In any case, it is certainly not to you to decide what patriarchal politics are or are not. We decide that. We define that.
Very much the same as we do not grant employers the authority to either define or decide what decent working conditions should be.
* This article is undersigned by the following women from the field of politics, trade unions, social movements, university, culture, journalism, business and Improvisation: Zuriñe Rodriguez, Danele Sarriugarte, Onintza Enbeita, Irati Sarasua, Leire Palacios, Maialen Aranburu, Malen Aldalur, Josebe Iturriotz , Estitxu Garai, Günes Öztürk, Nagore Uriarte, Andrea Etxenagusia, Nagore Iturriotz, Ana Iruretagoyena, Elena Sanchez, Bea Egizabal, Irati Urkiola.