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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire AL #301 - Class, "race", gender: For an intersectional antipatriarchy (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Mon, 20 Jan 2020 08:58:34 +0200


A feminist tool, intersectionality allows all women to be taken into account, at a time when it is a question of being critical of militant practices and understanding that racialized women are not necessarily found in certain currents of feminism. This is why it is a question of having a more inclusive approach which is based on a materialist analysis. ---- Coming from the black feminism of the 1970s [1], intersectionality is a conceptual tool aimed at revealing the plurality of discriminations of class, sex and "race". ---- It is a question of making visible the multiple forms of domination, discrimination or stratification that a society can subject to a person. These historically recognized dominions of sex, "race" and class will crisscross more or less strongly for the individuals at the intersection of these dominions. We choose in the following not to speak of sex, but of gender. Gender is a social construct that defines the differences between men and women. It thus appears to us that this term is closer to intersectional realities and also more inclusive, since it takes into account non-binary, trans, etc. people.

It is up to us to use this tool to add to the triptych gender, race, class, other discrimination such as that related to sexual orientation or disability.

Originally Afro-feminism
As bell hooks already pointed out: " When we speak of black people, attention is drawn to black men; and when we talk about women, attention is focused on white women ". Thus, intersectionality must not remain confined to feminist and antipatriarchal struggles because, it is at the junction between anticapitalist, antiliberal, antivalidist, antiracist, antifascist, anticolonialist, and LGBTI struggles.

If intersectionality makes it possible to make visible the phenomena of domination, what matters is not to take into account all the oppressions at all times, but to evaluate which oppressions influence according to the situations so that those concerned can continue to control their existence.

Angela Davis also specifies that the accumulation of oppressions does not only produce the simple addition of these, but generates specific oppressions [2].

Thus it cannot be denied that a racialized and homosexual proletarian is at the intersection of several oppressions which are not the same as those undergone by a white proletarian or by a racialized heterosexual cis-gender man [3]. In no case is it to deny the oppressions experienced by individuals and even less to prioritize them.

A materialist approach...
We must use intersectionality through the prism of materialism. In this reading, one cannot forget the preponderant place of the class, and therefore of capitalism, in the modes of socio-economic domination. This taking into account makes it possible not to fall into the flaws of those who brandish in a simplistic way the theory of privileges without referring to the class.

Our discourse is not to lock individuals behind labels by assigning them privileges and oppressions which they and they cannot be rid of when that does not correspond to their reality. To overcome this, it seems necessary to keep a class reading, the latter being too often absent from the current application of intersectionality. Social class often determines the choice of education, social construction ...

Likewise, it is not a question of giving pride of place to identity and religious claims, nor as advocated by certain feminists to militate with people or individuals who oppress. We fight against all domination, we cannot fight alongside oppressors and we cannot be complacent in the face of nationalisms, ethnicisms and religions which oppress women and LGBTI people. Just as we cannot accept a person being discriminated against on the basis of his religion or the way he dresses.

... And libertarian
Our libertarian contribution is also to bring an anti-statist critique of intersectional domination. The state, because it is patriarchal, racist and capitalist, is at the origin of intersectional domination. The State decides on laws, education, freedom of movement, access to work, medical care, housing and identity papers, the right to contraception, abortion, policies ethnocentric and cis-heterocentric natalists. The state can also ban certain sexual practices, homosexuality, relationships between white and racialized people, etc.

These states, overwhelmingly controlled by men, have a police force which has legal violence which also aims to attack women, as is the case for example with prostitutes [4], or to silence them when they are victims of male violence. In addition, there is no denying the gender-based and sexual violence by the police and the prison, just as there is no denying the extreme violence it exhibits against racialized men.

This state violence is part of a racist and social segregation policy, as shown by the ghettoization of certain peripheries as well as current migration policies. These policies are part of the continuity of colonialism. The state is historically a system of domination whose aim is to protect the bourgeoisie, thus perpetuating its oppressive mechanisms of domination. Beyond a social fact, it is therefore indeed a creation by the State of practices of domination, oppression, appropriation and exclusion as well as political and media harassment.

Within UCL and outside, intersectionality is thus a necessary tool which cannot be deprived of a libertarian reading in order to deconstruct and fight against patriarchy and its various manifestations.

Anna (UCL Allier), Beryl (UCL Auvergne Sud), and Sarah (UCL Bordeaux)

[1] Kimberlé Crenshaw, who conceptualized the idea of intersectionality in a law article written in 1989 how she tried to understand why black women find it difficult to have justice recognized for the discrimination they suffer at work. Crenshaw then insisted that black women were not discriminated against as women or black, but that they were discriminated against as black women.

[2] Angela Davis, Women, Race, & Class , (1983)

[3] Cis-genre signifying that the individual recognizes himself in the gender that was assigned to him at birth.

[4] The State placing the weight of the prohibition on prostitution on prostitutes, without placing it on clients and even less on pimps.

https://www.unioncommunistelibertaire.org/?Classe-race-sexe-Pour-un-antipatriarcat-intersectionnel
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