Yes!, do not believe that there are “left-wing” or “liberal” feminism. These categories do not exist are just part of political partisan manipulation with no responsibility. Feminism is the search for equality. Simple as that. It doesn’t need an ideology and cannot be identify as an ideology in itself. Is precisely a position, an struggle, that its above any ideology and must be kept in that terms for becoming –finally- effective.
With this and more reflections I´ve started my presentation last week in Portugal in the Women Economic Forum for the panel: “Change is on the way. The New and the old model of Sustainable Economic Development. The bitter lessons from the Eurozone crisis.”
Exploring the “new and old” on sustainable models I found on feminism the perfect example of the lessons that we have truly learned, the ones that not and what add valued do we need to definitely enter into innovative perspectives. A healthy exercise that makes me reflect that real success relies on the capacity to harmonically combine old and new for giving birth to an innovative model.
The old Feminist model was once the greatest for a Sustainability framework of living, much more than the search for equality but of stability and balanced relationships at all levels. Unfortunately we still live thorough that old model based on activism and that ´s the main reason to be manipulated during political campaigns, for short-term electoral goals, exposure that it’s a model that is not been updated. A new model is not based on activism; but women as advocacy leaders acting on all layers of society, from personal initiative, to private sector, to Parliament. Not more a matter of mobilization for specific causes on specific places at specific time.
This new model doesn’t need a political partisan voice but its part of all voices that on a joint action basis react defensively on each discriminatory situation that arise. The old model was extremely successful but has already achieved its goals: change the law, approaches, quotas, etc. Now and thanks to all that ladies, we have the law, the approaches are focused on a gender perspective and there are important advances on quotas, however, they were not able to change cultural codes. Indeed, still we ”walk” a thorny path in which there is not a complete acceptation of it but just imposition from law.
A new model must be focused precisely on change cultural codes, under the idea that when there are democratic guarantees we do not need “feminism” just monitoring processes. Those political parties that use it for their own goals are perfectly aware and see on the old model of feminism an opportunity to re-birth –under new names- pure defensive activism. However, we do not need it and we must be AWARE, ALERT and ACTIVE not to see on political partisan feminism or an ideological feminism, resilient solutions. The answer is Advocacy, not activism.
We still work and live through old models and as a consequence, our expectations are focused on political parties and not in our own position as empowered advocacy leaders. Political leaders must make sure that there are democratic guarantees in which each woman is legitimated and feel supported not as a consequence of an activist movement but of an advocacy system.
This failure happens because even women, have not changed their own cultural code and trust on the old model of doing feminism from a weak and threaten position. Abandoning the old model is it also a matter of changing the approach towards the search for equality by focusing on new and empowered positions and not the traditional need of “political leaders” that represent “our interest”
That is the reason why I have seen on the Women Economic Forum the perfect place to reflect about this disempowered aspect that weaken the feminist movement. The Forum address global crises from a woman perspective not from an activist feminist position. The result is indeed resilient and sustainable on the long-term. This is representative of the new model that uses innovation on the shape and approach and “disconnect” from partisan politics or/and ideologies that have nothing to do with a goal on equality but part of the own marketization.
Lets get rid of old patterns by looking at new landscapes –although from the same window- as this “woman at the window” by Salvador Dali; his less surrealist painting but with a metaphorical sense that goes beyond reality.
Printing with advocacy a world of extreme feelings and sensationalist communication codes that are driven into ineffectiveness, weakness and sense of disempowerment.
From a woman perspective…..
*See Spanish version: https://thesustainabilityreader.com/2019/04/07/feminismo-no-es-cuestion-de-ideologias/