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(en) France, UCL AL #347 - Antipatriarchy, March 8, 2024 - Let's disarm the patriarchy! (ca, de, fr, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Thu, 11 Apr 2024 08:19:34 +0300

March 8 is an important date of mobilization for the feminist movement. This year, and this is a first, a broad inter-union call for the March 8 strike further anchors feminist issues in union concerns. In our unions, with the feminist movement, let's take advantage of March 8 to organize the disarmament of patriarchy! ---- Even if we do not yet know the real impact of this broad appeal, it is positive. Even more so in the reactionary context we are going through: Macron's speech during his "wishes to the French" with masculinist, racist, authoritarian and patriotic overtones is worrying. So is the latest report from the High Council for Equality (HCE) where "more than one in five men aged 25-34 consider it normal to have a higher salary than their colleague in the same position".

The feminist strike
This year, feminist organizations like the unions have given themselves the means to make this day of strike a success. The national unified call "March 8, 2024: faced with attacks from the government, the right and extreme right, women everywhere are resisting" is widely shared[1]. The column broadcast by Nous Tous denounces this same reactionary climate and the ongoing backlash in our society: "We must be silenced because we constantly remind ourselves that gender violence is systemic and that the State is complicit in its perpetuation."

An inter-union call (CGT, CFDT, FSU, UNSA, Solidaires) to strike on March 8 was published on February 19, making this date a day of inter-professional mobilization[2].

The CGT at the confederal level takes full advantage of this date and has produced quality material. These impulses "from above" will certainly be translated concretely at the local level in various ways. But they give real momentum and legitimacy to activists to build this strike on the ground with union resources.

The question of women's work and that of the sectors in which they are the majority remains preponderant[3]. The patriarchy is so accustomed to relying on the free labor of women to function that when women continue the work they do at home (care, education, cleaning, shopping) on a paid basis, they are underpaid, insecure, and their devalued social function. These professions which are essential to society are also those which are very arduous and the cause of the development of numerous diseases. How long will women have to sacrifice their lives for the benefit of those of others?

The last two major mobilizations against pension reform have highlighted the issues of low women's pensions and salary inequalities, and the covid epidemic has highlighted the care and connection professions, occupied mainly by women[4]. Questions around feminized sectors strongly emerged at that time, became democratized and are finally seen as being able to be part of the necessary balance of power against employers. A vast project has opened and Macron's recent declarations on "demographic rearmament" immediately open up many others. If we could avoid replaying the belly strike...[5]

Paris on April 6, 2023, during a demonstration against pension reform
Macron's warlike rhetoric
In his last speech, Macron developed a whole warlike rhetoric around rearmament. Through the use of the term "demographic rearmament", he returned women to their reproductive function but not only. We must put this speech into perspective with the latest Darmanin law, the announcement from the Mayotte Regional Health Agency saying that tubal ligations would be offered to young mothers arriving at the hospital, or the recent questioning of the law of the soil in this territory. The government states between the lines that it is necessary to both limit immigration and support the reproduction of white women and French heterosexual families.

Every March 8, we participate in the construction of the feminist strike. That day, it's about going on strike at work and at home, refusing to produce and reproduce. With all the ongoing armed conflicts, and the populations who suffer the fury of their leaders, we can only place ourselves in an internationalist perspective and show our solidarity with all those who live in a country at war[6], or who are suffering the full brunt of repression.

But faced with Macron's new pronatalist injunctions and all the bellicose vocabulary of rearmament that he is spreading, whole sections of reflection are being added, such as for example: the place of the State and its sovereign functions in our society, the abolition of deadly institutions such as prison, police and army, the link between patriarchal logic, logic of war, militarization of society and domination imposed on women[7].

If it seems fundamental today to continue to imagine other models of kinship and other ways of creating a family, it seems just as fundamental to consider other ways of creating a society. Faced with the reactionary political and cultural propaganda of the moment, we must disseminate an emancipatory counter-discourse, getting rid of capitalism, its infrastructures, its state institutions. To disarm them, we will have to fight together and this March 8 can be a step.

Anne (UCL Montpellier)

To validate

[1]We are signatories to this text which you can find on our site or on Grevefeministe.fr.

[2]Refer to the websites of the various unions and in particular to #UnJourSansNous.

[3]UCL has produced a brochure about feminized sectors in 2022.

[4]An IRES CGT study highlights the challenge of revaluing these sectors for gender equality

[5]At the end of the 19th century, the neo-Malthusians called for a "stomach strike", in order to stop constantly recomposing the contingent of "boss fodder", "cannon fodder", "pleasure fodder", destined - the factory, the war or prostitution - reserved for the children of the proletarians.

[6]The UCL leaflet published on November 25, 2023 addresses the question of war and patriarchy.

[7]Refer on this subject to the work of Andrée Michel, to the feminist struggles of the 70s and 80s against the military-industrial complexes. See also the book Women Against Missiles, by Alice Cook and Gwyn Kirk, Cambourakis editions, 2016.

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