"Feminism is the answer to this crisis of capitalism" | Society

When Nancy Fraser (Baltimore, 1947) remembers last March 8, visualize crowded streets and squares in cities around the world, but also an opportunity to establish coordination between women's organizations in different countries. That, says the philosopher and feminist theorist, is something relatively new, "the beginning of a base to internationalize feminism, from below". He alleges that the movement is experiencing a rebirth and is an alternative to this "capitalism in crisis" But not in any way. On March 5, the Herder publishing company published Feminism for 99%, that Fraser signs with Cinzia Arruzza and Tithi Bhattacharya and in which they review two visions of feminism. A liberal who sees "feminism as a servant of capitalism", embodied by women like Sheryl Sandberg [la número dos de Facebook] or Hillary Clinton. The other aims "to a just world, whose wealth and natural resources are shared by all, in which equality and freedom are real living conditions, not only aspirations."

The Philosophy professor at The New School in New York - who was last weekend in Madrid in a visit organized by the Reina Sofia Museum Y Medialab-Prado in coordination with the Critical Studies Group- talk about the "really extraordinary" moment for feminism and politics, on the necessary rupture with the previous current, liberal neofeminism, and on the ingredients of the reconversion of the movement: anti-capitalist, anti-racist, environmentalist, connected with the rights of the working class and emigrants. And that has to put an end to the key move of capitalism, a perverse valuation of social reproduction: Separate the production of human beings from the production of benefits, assigning the first task to women and subordinating them to the second.

The two last March 8 They have reflected the growth of feminism, something that does not always translate into changes in the system. What should be the next step of the movement?

This feminism is trying to draw a new path, recognizing that the established political models will not help us, that they have already reached a limit, which have led to a terrible deterioration of our living conditions. It's about going beyond elite corporate feminism to one that speaks for the overwhelming majority of women, picking up on the concerns of the poor, the working class, racialized women, queer, trans, lesbians, sex workers, housewives, women with precarious jobs ... We are talking about much wider social groups, with many more concerns that exceed those of liberal feminism, so this could be called a form of feminism of the working classes, provided that this idea is defined in a much broader way.

Will it do that we face on the other hand to a growth of that elite feminism?

We move from elite corporate feminism to feminism that speaks for an overwhelming number of women

We have thought of the class too narrowly in the past, because we have identified it with the white male worker, who belongs to a majority nationality, with the workers of the large industrial factories. That has been our image of the working class during the 20th century. But you have to understand the vital importance of social reproduction for the capitalist system. Capital is based on the social reproduction of non-wage labor, something that women do: raising children, creating bonds and social and affective bonds, caring for them, educating boys and girls that sustain the strength of work. So class relations are not formed only in the factory, they are formed in and through the spaces of this social reproductive work. That means that women are an integral part of what we call the working class, that do not receive a salary for it does not mean they are not working. They are working on the absolutely essential, without which you can not think of the standard idea of ​​the salaried worker or capitalism. Speaking of the social reproduction from feminism for 99% we are developing a broader picture of what it means to be part of the working class.

How can feminism achieve its goal in a world in which inequalities do not disappear?

Those forces of financialized capitalism that destroy the lives of women, that promote violence, climate change or impoverish with austerity are not really manageable at the national level. They have to be addressed ultimately at a transnational and even global level. It is obviously the case of climate change or financial speculation Y the increase in debt, which are engulfing the ability of governments to solve the problems of their own citizenship.

Does the movement have the opportunity or the responsibility to fight for the eradication of all inequalities?

The struggles are imposed on us by the situation in which we live. They are not chosen. I believe that 99% feminism must confront the current inequalities produced by neoliberalism and the current form of financialized capitalism through a learning process through the experience of the new feminist struggles so that what seems to be separated on the surface is perceived as really connected through the capitalist and patriarchal social system in which we live and, therefore, becomes the object of political dispute.

How can it fit feminism in this capitalism?

The context in which it emerges is in the crisis of this neoliberal, aggressive capitalism, which is exhausting our energies and our time to do the necessary reproductive social work, which is consuming and destroying its own background conditions, nature, ability of our governments to defend us, to solve our problems; are burned by the debt, which they use as an excuse to say that certain urgent social policies can not be implemented, to liberalize the economy and stop social spending. People feel that the parties and the dominant political narrative have failed them and brought us this situation. This 99% feminism is the response to that crisis, its objective is to clearly identify who is the enemy - and this is the form of capitalism - and it is the most ambitious movement, committed to reimagining a new society that will be built on entirely new bases .

That include speeches and plural needs ...

This feminism has a very broad agenda, covers all these issues of social reproduction, violence against women, the situation of sex workers or harassment, which has become a hot topic in part thanks to the outbreak of MeToo movement. I think people forget that the MeToo is, in effect, a class movement, a struggle for a workplace free from harassment, sexual assault, free from coercion on the part of superiors to their subordinates. Although the media they put the attention on Hollywood's glamorous actresses, the problem that the movement addresses is widespread and very acute among agricultural workers, hotel workers or domestic workers in private homes where no one is looking and the bosses can do whatever they want and impose abusive power relations over their workers All this is related to problems of class, power and capitalism. We could talk about the rent of bellies and we would also be talking about commodification and sex work. Both stories refer to the absence of good options for poor women of the working classes They have to feed their families and have few options and few resources to do it by other means.

Speaking of social reproduction we are developing a broader picture of what it means to be part of the working class

Is the movement strong enough to fight against external adversities and at the same time deal with the internal ones?

We have no choice but to attend to both. Here we are, the moment of crisis that has made possible our own growth and our own radicalization, is the same that has made possible the growth and radicalization of the right. We are offering our movement as an alternative. We have a vacuum of political leadership, since the main parties are collapsing, people are looking for a change, there are many actors who jump into this vacuum and offer different proposals. We are and must be there, offering ours. Of course we will have to fight against those who have others, but we are strong and we are growing. I do not see why we should not have a good chance to prevail.

How do you perceive the political evolution of that right (and extreme right) and the social composition of the current electoral situation in Spain?

I should not talk about Vox because I do not know him very much. But I could say a lot about [Donald] Trump and what made his victory possible: progressive neoliberalism. It is the alliance of symbolic capitalism -Wall Street, Silicon Valley Y Hollywood- with part of the new social movements and progressive forces, which now want to reinforce the neoliberal project by stirring up the fear of an imminent and threatening fascism, which in the strict sense is not yet real. The financial capital of this union precarious labor, destroyed the unions and reduced wages, destroying the living standards of the working class. People said they did not want that model anymore. In 2016, there were only two options in the United States: they chose Trump. It was not a good option. But Hillary Clinton was not either, represented the continuity with the progressive neoliberal forces, the same ones that had unleashed the current scenario of deep social crisis.

The strategy, now, is to try to recover important strata of the working classes that are now attracted to Trump in the United States or to Vox here in Spain, or any other party of the right or extreme right. I do not think we should discard them and say that they have been lost forever, they have to be part of an anti-system mass, an anti-capitalist movement that includes 99% feminism, workers' movements, environmentalists, anti-racists, in defense of migrants, social reproduction and the working classes. If we do not have an alternative of course that part of these social groups are going to turn politically to the right, but why should we give right to the monopoly on the big ideas for change?

Could a feminist movement produce a break in this political landscape?

I do not think that feminism can do it by itself, but I think that, for conjunctural reasons, it is the most visible, growing and radical force that we see. But it has to ally itself with the anti-system currents of other social movements and with the left parties that are on the scene and open to expand their idea of ​​the struggle of the working class, to reject sectarian dogmatism and to put women in the center.


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