March for a feminism for the 99 Percent

January 3, 2019

The historic Women’s Marches that followed Donald Trump’s inauguration have become an annual event in Washington, D.C., but also in cities across the country. Huge numbers of people came together the past to years to speak out against the sexism fueled by the Trump administation, but also take up the many fronts in the administration’s multipronged attack on immigrants, Muslims, people of color and the LGBTQ community.

Some of the highlights of the emerging movement for women’s rights in 2018 were fast-food workers going on strike to demand an end to sexual harassment; local organizing in defense of reproductive rights and against attacks on our clinics; and the mobilizations that opposed the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This fight is far from over, and our side still has a lot of organizing to do. We hope that the January 19 Women’s Marches can be another step toward building this opposition — so socialists, feminists, and other radicals and activists are coming together in contingents at the Women’s Marches. In this statement, several groups, including the International Socialist Organization, and individuals invite you to join us.

WE ARE calling for Feminism for the 99 Percent 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.

Taking to the streets in solidarity during the 2018 Women’s Marches
Taking to the streets in solidarity during the 2018 Women’s Marches (Moodycamera Photography | flickr)

In the U.S. in particular, growing income and racial inequality, rising Islamophobia and antisemitism, and 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 Percent 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 Percent 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 U.S. 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 U.S. imperialism from Central America to Palestine.

It is with these politics in mind we are calling for anti-capitalist, Feminism for the 99 Percent 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
U.S. 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

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