the feminist consciousness

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By LILA MARÍA FELDMAN*

We are not moved by desire. Feminist consciousness moves us

A young woman asks for help in front of the slow and tired gaze of people on the street. She flees from her killer and pursuer. It's the end of a series of tortures. He stabs her in the chest in front of everyone. What has to happen, what else is needed, so that these unbearable scenes are not real everyday life in the face of an anesthetized tolerance that is lamented, or not even that, and is waiting for the next one?

What would the numbers be if we counted each one of us, how many would that be?

Being a woman: becoming one, wrote Simone.

Don't stop doing it, either. No longer being a body destined for mutilation, sales, exchanges, invisibilities. No more the murdered of history. We will be when this open-air brutality, which seems to be so easily tolerated, ends. We fight to be repatriated to the category of citizens with equal rights. We are not yet.

To which you give What resists. What runs away The one asking for help. What not. The one who fights, the one who gets tired of doing it, the one who blames herself for doing it, the one who tolerates punishment. We want the proper name for the proper life. Not for the endless list of murders. A long time ago we got rid of the category of “crime of passion”, however, Justice continues to function as if it existed. Femicide is the name.

We speak of femicide to specify the logic of oppression and distribution of power in the same term. Feminicide, almost equivalent to homicide, does not have this specificity. Saying femicide implies situating these crimes as crimes against humanity and making visible the responsibility of the State as a facilitator or propitiator of impunity. Marcela Lagarde explains that femicide refers to crimes, disappearances, violence against women, which the State allows, by action or omission. They are crimes motivated by hatred and contempt for women for being women.

O slogan “Stop killing us” is part of the problem.

Stop allowing it in any case, stop encouraging it, tolerating it, endorsing it. Stop those who have some, a little or a lot of responsibility.

Power is an accomplice and part.

Feminist consciousness. Awareness of a certain way of managing power, in visible and invisible ways, awareness of the system of oppression that operates on us from outside and inside (this is patriarchy).

Revolutionary transformation of culture, theories and practices. About bonds, love, sexuality and care. But so much is missing. We need to stop being murdered. It's not the dead. They are the murdered women who, in each of their first names, embody the fact that being a woman is an endless search and conquest of oneself, always under threat. It remains to stop living under a permanent wake, as Marianella Manconi says.

Women have never been able to do, desire or think anything. Our power was and continues to be struggle and conquest. And we are reviewing everything: the fairy tale of Prince Charming and the myth of romantic love, the perfect and selfless mother, the idea of ​​feminine nature, the representation that fixes the feminine in being a mother, and in establishing herself in the renunciation of her own life, all the versions that make the women's body a captured space of work for the happiness of others. Body condemned to be the object of exclusive possession for man's desire, often for a death wish.

Feminism is a political theory and a logic of activation. Feminisms dismantle the logic of submission, dismantle them, fight against them.

They kill us like discarded pieces, and killing us is also a way of disciplining us with guilt and violence. We check again and again the threat, the danger. Susceptibility and submission are also built and learned.

Feminist consciousness is not a gender perspective. It is not “a” perspective. It is to draw attention to the inequalities of which the world is made. In all plans that act on us, that shape us. It is realizing that patriarchy is a way of subjectifying women and dissent in a logic of oppression. Disarming it implies a singular and collective work of reviewing and transforming these sexist logics embedded in our subjectivity.

We are once again confronted with a version of Negationism. I mean doubting our perceptions and conforming to denial. Justify and sustain the oppressor. Turning the victims into exaggerated subjects, diminishing or altering the truth of what happened and what is happening, would we do that with the victims of the Holocaust? Or state terrorism? Would we dare to blame them for what they suffered? Do we have to prove your innocence? Being a woman means living from beginning to end in a testing ground.

We have to be very attentive to this nothing new but very current trend of psychopathologizing or calling for “containing” feminicides, which is also a form of re-violation. Violence against women is not a disease, it is not a “pandemic”. It is a genocide throughout history, a genocide made invisible as such.

It is necessary to reform not only the judicial system. All those systems in which being a woman means having this basic state of alertness as an agenda that we incorporate from childhood in the form of representations of crime and punishment (“deserved”). We are always being questioned, and often condemned.

We have new names and words that make visible unconscious or naturalized devices for sharing and distributing power. The fight for the legalization of abortion was also a fight over words: the word life, for example. Feminism is the work of constructing a new political subject, and it produces language revolutions, sometimes with the risk of falling into trivializations or Slogans empty of content, or distracting.

We are not moved by desire (in any case, it moves us all, even murderers, says Cristina Lobaiza). Feminist consciousness moves us.

(Thanks to Cristina Lobaiza and Marianella Manconi. From Cristina Lobaiza I took the term “murdered” [“killed”] and so many other things, which fed and built my own feminist consciousness).

*Lila Maria Feldman is a psychoanalyst and writer.

Translation: Fernando Lima das Neves

Originally published in Página12

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