Acknowledgement for yesterday, solidarity for tomorrow: Proposal for a solidarity-based approach to feminism
| By Tatiana Sibrián
There are things that we as feminists ignore, and we ignore them because we take for granted that certain “privileges” – which we now enjoy as rights – were at one point in human history just that.
There are other matters that we as feminists let lie, and we do this because we don’t believe it’s necessary to insist and run the risk of losing what so many women have won for us, compromising the future of women to come.
This is what our feminist activism and proposal for solidarity is about: resisting forgetfulness, misinformation, and invisibility of women’s participation in so many spaces and diverse roles throughout history; defending rights won in order to achieve more; and always remembering that our common goal is women’s emancipation.
This means that all feminists must stand in solidarity. Solidarity is synonymous with feminism. Feminism and solidarity feed and influence one another. Both come together to free us from all that enslaves us.
That is why we stand in solidarity not only with the women of our generation, but also with those who have come before us. We must reflect on what solidarity means and practice it toward the past and the future: toward the past, in solidarity with the first feminist struggles, preserving the memory of women who took the first steps within our movement toward women’s liberation and securing our rights. And toward the future, repositioning those same struggles, so that new feminists do not lose sight of the shackles that still bind us, and how they continually take on new forms. We must not diminish the intensity of our efforts to free the world from all forms of oppression and denial of rights.
We also stand in solidarity with and defend diversity.
We understand that the feminist movement cannot be driven by and for a homogeneous group of women, and that within feminism there is no such thing as homogeneity nor uniqueness. We owe this understanding to the women who split off from the original feminist movement, opening up possibilities for rethinking, understanding, and building a better feminism. Differences must be respected and upheld in order to avoid flattening anything that might seem different, and to incorporate new paradigms into feminism which may enable us to make progress in the direction we would like to go.
Within the context of a global human rights and women’s rights crisis, our role as feminists is of fundamental importance. We must defend our rights and always remember that there are diverse ways of doing so. It is urgent that we join forces with all whose work seeks to radically improve our condition in a world of oppressions.
We are feminists because we have consciousness, because we collaborate to raise other women’s consciousness, and above all because we know that the feminist movement, with all of its ups and downs, has since long ago been fundamentally about solidarity.
Tatiana Sibrián is a lawyer and graduate student in Human Rights and Peace Education.