Centre for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS)

"Feminism for the 99%"

13 April 2017

On 21 January, the massive Women’s March that swept across the globe took place. It is believed that the women’s cause and mobilizing women’s participation are the most effective ways to address crosscutting issues of social justice. Feminism for the 99% has the potential bring about solidarity, compassion, awareness, responsibility, and activism. Feminism of the future could become a tool for global political mobilization and social change.

On 21 January, the massive Women’s March that swept across the globe in a shared protest against the election of a misogynist American president left many astonished. Physical location, sex, age, social class, and ethnicity were not barriers to participation, and the overall unity of the movement, despite the internal differences and plurality that characterized it, surprised many. In fact, attendance at the protest went beyond all expectation, and, according to some observations, made it the biggest manifestation in the history of the United States. This demonstration extended well beyond North America, reaching all continents and making 21 January a day to remember for social movements.

Following the failure of other social movements to scale up their action, curiosity surrounds the future of this movement concerning whether the Women’s March will be able to institutionalize itself and produce actual systemic change. The leaders of the Women’s March are already working on this issue.

In a joint communication for The Guardian, the leaders of the movement asked participants to join the cause of feminism and sexual equity, as well as the fight against racism, war, authoritarianism, and ultimately against neoliberalism and its attacks on social justice. The already-diverse movement could find common ground in the current economic structure upon which to base each cause while contributing to a unitary aim: ideas of equity and justice that have been largely ignored by previous socio-political systems now needing to be relaunched through popular action.

It is believed that the women’s cause and mobilizing women’s participation are the most effective ways to address crosscutting issues of social justice. According to the article, “Feminism for the 99%” aims to defeat the multiple facets of women's exploitation and submission, such as domestic violence, but also those of the market, debt, poverty, discriminatory states, and intransigent policies with migratory movements. Feminism for the 99% has the potential bring about solidarity, compassion, awareness, responsibility, and activism. Feminism of the future could become a tool for global political mobilization and social change.

*****

Written by CSDS Intern Adele Ghiselli

References:

Linda Martin Alcoff, Cinzia Arruzza, Tithi Bhattacharya, Nancy Fraser, Barbara Ransby, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Rasmea Yousef Odeh, Angela Davis, The Guardian, 6 February 2017, “Women of America: we're going on strike. Join us so Trump will see our power” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/06/women-strike-trump-resistance-power

David A. Graham, The Atlantic, January 20 2017, “’America First': Donald Trump's Populist Inaugural Address” https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/trump-inaugural-speech-analysis/513956/

Published by  AISSR