NewEpoch Media

CHILE - Declaration of the FERP: For a class line in the feminist movement!

May 20, 2018

 

 

We share this declaration by the FERP:

 

 

"Analisis and opinion of the FERP on the women's struggle, which has exploded in many universities and high schools in our country and is directed against the patriarchy, harassment, abuse and sexist education.

 

Only a couple of weeks before the change of government a feminist mobilisation has started in universities and highschools in the whole country, which is directed against harassment, abuse and sexist education. It advances threateningly, dealing blows to the reactionary governemtn of Piñera-FMI.

 

This struggle sharpens the fights between the sectors of the dominant classes. On one hand, the governement has been lacking in its response to these manifestations, to the point that minister Varela even belittled the harassment and abuse problem as "small humilliations". Other authorities try to wash their image by talking about "gender equality" when all they represent and defend is a patriarchal and reactionary old state.

 

On the other hand, the "opposition" (Nueva Mayoría and Frente Amplio) tries to take advantage of this struggle to set itself apart from the right by making use of an "agenda of values" that's more "progressive". They use the problem with abortions, rights of sexual minorities and others, to set themselves apart from the right, since those are the only aspects where they are different. Economically speaking, both have already shown to be equally at the service of imperialism.

 

It was in this context that in the midst of April the feminist struggle in education exploded. It started with the occupation of the Austral University of Chile that took place because of a profesor, who was a sexual harrasser. Later, in the law faculty of the UCH another occupation was initiated because of the same reason, setting aflame the rage of women everywhere, occupations and strikes being initiated in over 20 universities and high schools of seven regions, many more joining by each passing day.

 

This mobilisation is shaking and moving a growing number of women, who for the first time in the student's struggles are becoming the protagonists. The scene of spokeswomen and female leaders at the march of the 16th of May in Santiago is a great example of this. From the Ministries of Gender founded in 2014 due to the same problem and from the self-organized women's assemblies that are constantly growing in size, they are bringing forward this historic feat, while facing a life of always being relegated to an auxiliary place, of seeing their struggle as a "secondary struggle".

 

And like with all spontaneous rebellions born out of great amounts of accumulated anger, where a single spark is all it takes to set aflame, it has required demands, programs and forms of organisation about the march, while the main enemy and main demands still remained diffuse within the many petitions.  

 

In the current situation, we see three possible outcomes on which the old state might bet in order to quench the women's anger: Betting on the attrition of the mobilisation, waiting for the ocupations to wear out and fall on their own; to push for a law of utmost urgency (as it's being planned after this week's march) in the style of a "great national agreement", masquerading de problem a little bit, but leaving everything the same (as it happened in 2006); or bet on division, focusing the protests in each establishement on the resolution of the most emblematic cases of harassment and abuse.

 

We thus exhibit, in the heat of the dramatic mobilisation, our position on this struggle and the classist way we believe it has to follow to make leaps, to put an end to the plans of the old state and to conquer more victories.

 

1.- We salute the comrades that are fighting and resisting the patriarchy with great vigor, showing that women's anger is a powerful weapon capable of shaking this old society from head to toe. This women's rebellion is justified, because it shows publicly the clientele structure of universities, where friends of the dean can do as they please without suffering any reprisals, no matter how many protocols and rules may exist; it exposes the oppression that women suffer in education and how deep-rooted the idea of the "deficient nature of women" is inside of these institutions; and lastly, why neither the state nor the education institutions are taking charge of the harassment and abuse problem in their establishments, as it also happens with other problems such as authoritarism, the lack of scholarships, the crisis of public education, etc.

 

2.- We consider the harassment, abuse and sexist education to be a reflection of the backward and patriarchal economic basis of our country, qhich oppresses poor women for its sex and its class. We take position, because the oppression of women has its origin in the division of society in classes and as such the only way to get rid of the patriarchy is through a New Democratic Revolution, which should is to move in direction of a classless society.

 

3.- This is why it's important to unite with the emplyees of the university, who are the most oppressed women in the universities, incorporating into the petitions their demands such as an end to work-related harassment, to unpaid overtime or subcontracts, to push forward assemblies and bistratum meetings . With this to move forward in the union with the workers of our people, who in their majority are women, and towards a women's movement that is to the service of the people, of the struggles men and women are faced with for rent, for land, for a fair salary, etc. The barriers that prevent half of the population of joining the people's struggle have to be swept away. For all of this, we see it as necessary to push forward circles of class feminism looking to unite the poorest and most oppressed women with this struggle.

 

4.- A petition has to be unified nationwide, that incorporates the demands that have been pushed forward already, like the destitution of the harrassing academics, sanctions of the sexual and work-related harassment and abuse, prevention protocols and company for the affected comrades, etc. But understanding that the problem will not be solved with protocols alone, it will be necessary to incorporate a tristratum co-government in the demands, which will allow for a university to be appointed to the service of the students and will take care of problems like harassment and abuse and many others. Only that way will we deal blows against semifeudalism in our education, which nowadays expresses itself in cronyism, the harassing academics and the retrograde nets among other things.

 

5.- We have to develop combative struggle methods for our demands. The comrades from Concepcion are a good example, they have already established protest schedules and street courts. We have to get rid of the nefarious idea that women cannot fight, that the overflow and the revolutionary violence is something a "men's thing". oon the contrary women have shown throughout history her capability to fight, with great revolutionaries like Teresa Flores, Paulina Aguirre, Norma Vergara and many more. This is a fundamental ideological leap to stop being a victim of the patriarchy and to pass to the offensive against it.

 

6.- We understand that it's inevitable that there will be separatism. For thousands of years our comrades have been put on the second plane and today when they happen to become protagonists it doesn't surprise us that they look for places that are safe and of trust. Just as Chairman Mao Tse Tunge established, it cannot be expected for a rebelion to be an ordered, harmonic movement. It's rather something stormy, fast and there will always be some amount of excess, the course of the movement itself will be the one to show the right form of organisation. We see the necessity of circles and assemblies of women the same way, for they generate the conditions for an active in-depth participation of the masses of women, so they can take on leading tasks, that are normally taken by men. Since the emancipation of women will happen with the emancipation of the whole class, we consider that the great majority of men are allies in the struggle, that they can support and carry out vital tasks for the mobilisations.

 

7.- We separate ourselves with the oportunism and revisionism principally of the Frente Amplio, who is only looking to use this struggle to win more votes on the next elections, taking on a representative and protagonist role, which they don't have, pushing forward pacifism and passing over the dozens of self-organized assemblies of women that lead this struggle.

 

Finally, we call for a development of a class line in the women's movement, to continue generating this struggle, getting more and more women to stand up and to unleash the fervent revlutionary anger, which expands growingly between the popular women everywhere, that middle of the people that is demostrating, that since they are double oppressed, they are also double revolutionary. The facts are confirming this: Without women there is no revolution!

 

The emancipation of women will be the work of women!

 

Long live the growing women's movement!

 

Rebellion is justified!

 

Frente de Estudiantes Revolucionario y Popular - FERP"

 

 

 

 

 

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