Temporary blog of the CWI

Mexico: Socialist Feminism to fight sexist violence!

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 25th November 

In the last year, millions of women have taken to the streets to denounce the injustice and violence that the system exerts against them. From #MeToo to the inspiring Green Tide that travels through Latin America initiated in Argentina for the decriminalization of abortion, feminism has shaken the entire world. Mexico has not been the exception; on the contrary, thousands of women have mobilized to combat the violence of the system. 

Alternativa Socialista – CWI in Mexico

According to the UN, nine women are murdered every day in Mexico. From January to September of this year alone, 2,034 femicides have been registered in the country. If this data were not chilling enough, it is also estimated that in the country a little more than 60% of women have faced some form of gender violence, and 40% have been victims of some sexual aggression. To put this into proportion, it is enough to point out that there are 22,749 open investigations underway for sexual violence against women. This year, 10,522 cases have been reported, which represents a 30% increase over the previous year. To this must be added the many aggressions that are not reported for fear of retaliation. All this without considering the trafficking of women for the purpose of sexual exploitation, which is the third most profitable crime worldwide and which constitutes the largest source of income in some municipalities, such as Tenancingo, Tlaxcala. In other words, women face an open offensive against their physical and psychological integrity and their very lives. 

This situation largely explains the radical nature of the women’s movement in Mexico. The example of the mobilizations in mid-August, which was sparked by the case of a 17-year-old girl who reported being raped by four police officers in a public prosecutor’s office, is symptomatic. The mobilizations connected with the feeling of thousands of women who live, in the flesh, physical violence and the indifference of the institutions of the system, which only intensify it. 

This was shown by the unacceptable statements of Claudia Sheinbaum, head of the government of Mexico City, who at first denounced these mobilizations as a provocation of the right. Hence the honest and understandable rage of hundreds of women who, faced with the indifference of the Mexican justice system and the regrettable statements of the head of government, took to the streets with the slogan “they don’t take care of me, they rape me”. 

Machismo, like racism, is only part of the gears of a violent and unjust system that seeks to divide, crush, and aggravate the situation of those of us who struggle every day to improve our living conditions. That is why for Marxists, the struggle against machismo is part of our daily struggle against capitalism. This does not mean putting one struggle before another, but recognizing that these are part of the same struggle against the system that exploits us, denies us rights, violates us and murders us. At the same time, it allows us to draw a broader horizon, pointing out that endemic macho violence will not end without the construction of a more just society in all fields, a socialist society. 

This is why, from Alternativa Socialista (CWI in Mexico), we propose a socialist feminism against gender violence. This is nothing more than recognizing that women’s struggle against violence requires collective organization against machismo in schools, workplaces, on the streets and in society in general. A struggle which puts forward its demands as part of the demands of the struggles of young people and workers, of which we are a part. At the same time, that we see in our male comrades in struggle, allies to advance in our demands. Unlike “radical feminism”, socialist feminism does not look upon men as the enemy even though many reproduce the macho violence against which we fight. The system is our main enemy. It is not surprising that people like Trump or Bolsonaro, who represent the interests of capitalism, are the ones who have declared an open war against women. The struggle against male violence against women is therefore a struggle for a more just society in which women are not the object of any kind of aggression just because they are women. It is therefore part of the struggle of the workers, in Mexico and the world, against capitalism. 

For a Socialist Alternative for the feminist movement against gender violence and capitalism!