March 8

Image: Elyeser Szturm
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By Camilla Moreno*

Information and recommendations on International Women's Day.

March 8 is a very difficult day for all women. It is not easy to understand yourself as a woman in a world that oppresses and kills women, to put up with sexist jokes, the equally sexist “tributes” of those who are not ready to change their position in the world.

Here is some information that everyone should know about this date:

1. Feminism is an anti-capitalist movement, which understands that women's freedom will only be achieved in another model of society. Under capitalism we can have specific advances, as long as they do not threaten the exploitation of labor and private property. Feminism is therefore necessarily class struggle.

2. You've possibly heard and will hear tomorrow that March 8 came about because of a fire in a textile factory in New York that killed more than a hundred workers. Now, this story is a legend that even erases the political and socialist origin of International Women's Day, the result of a proposal by the German communist leader Clara Zetkin. at the II Congress of Socialist Women in 1910 as a date of mobilizations for women workers' rights (she did not propose a definite day). March 8 became International Women's Day because on that date, in 1917, there was a strike by Russian women workers in the wake of the beginning of the Russian Revolution.

3. feminism is not girl power: Now that you already know that March 8 is a socialist date, you should also know that capitalism is smart and that once the date is disseminated, it tries to resignify it as a celebration framed by empowering T-shirts and a supposed sisterhood between women. Well, the stores and the big brands are not our friends, what they want is to sell.

4. If feminism is class struggle, it is also necessary to understand it as an intersectional movement, noting that there are women who are privileged and women who suffer an overlapping and intersecting of oppressions. No, women are not and cannot be treated as a universal subject. It is very important to follow the contribution of black women, value black feminism and act in an anti-racist way, fighting against everyday structural racism.

How to act on that day?

– No giving or receiving congratulations. Nor are little presents that generally contribute to reinforcing gender stereotypes. It is not a commemorative date. It's a day of struggle.

Do you want to do something? Read, listen to the women's words, go to the March 8 demonstration in your city or volunteer to take care of the child so that a woman can go to the demonstration or simply rest.

Don't romanticize women's suffering. The codename "warrior" usually derives from the accumulation of tasks, an unfair sexual division of labor and a lot of tiredness. Make sure that in your private sphere that fatigue decreases.

Don't make March 8 a date about the women in “your life”: your mother, your wife, your daughter. The date is not about you.

Camila Moreno is a Master's student in Literature at UnB and a member of the National Directorate of the Workers' Party.

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