We’ve been told women are servants in a male-centered world, as men’s property. We’ve been shaped as objects of beauty and inspiration, deprived of our freedom, our will forced, our body designed; we’ve been erased from history. We refuse what has been created by men and we reject the worship of the phallus: we want to think, to create, to live beyond the narratives dictated to us.
The patriarchal system has found direct and indirect, visible and invisible ways to harass women, and compelled us to be silent about these ways that have been recognized as accepted and encouraged ways of interaction. Women are being raped and humiliated, our testimonies and experiences are being ignored and depreciated. The killings of women are systemic but seen as apolitical, singular, bureaucratized statistics.
We realize that the capitalist system is oppressing lives of working class people, but we also see that women are being oppressed by capitalism in full swing and in a multilayered reasoning․ The consequences of capitalist exploitation and deepening poverty are omnipresent toward women – from labor exploitation to being home servants. Feminism does not examine women’s issues apart from other systems of oppression; it is intersectional, that’s why feminist struggle cannot exist without the critique of capitalism.
Our sexual desires and pleasures have been suppressed to serve male imagination and lust. Women’s practices of refusing to serve men or resisting heteronormativity have been erased and continue to be erased from history; women’s lust is ignored, ridiculed, appropriated and commercialized by men. The system purposefully creates “normal”/dominant and “not normal”/marginalized forms of sexuality with the goal of keeping heterosexuality at the center.
The woman is perceived as a reproductive machine for the benefit of the nation, state, protection of the army and operation of the war machine. Intentionally marginalized identities and practices are a threat to the reproduction of this system, they are oppressed, demonized and othered.
We refuse the institution of virginity, we encourage free celebration of the body, the celebration of bodily autonomy; we are against the institutionalization of love and feelings, their authorization by state and religion, the punishment and regulation of sexuality by the authorities.
We reclaim our sensuality and the expression of our emotions, resisting the imperative of male rationality, but without necessarily seeing sensuality and emotions as “feminine” features.
We perceive gender outside the binary logics while considering the importance of practices that we have as women. When we say women, we mean both biological women and those who fully or partially consider themselves women.
We have been forced to suppress our anger and disagreement, to be humble or submissive. We have been perceived as shy, smiling, adaptable, non-conflictual, mediators that smooth out male aggression. Nevertheless, political anger and rage are the driving force behind our feminist struggle. We reclaim our anger back to us!
We question the border between the normal and not normal, and realize that the heteronormative system makes some identities marginal for the continuous reproduction of its power. Believing that the categories of abilities are invented, created for the benefit of the system, we don’t measure people by their ability, skills, expertise, mental and physical diversity.
We’re not guilty and we don’t feel ashamed for refusing, not being able, not succeeding, making mistakes, failing, not wanting, not pleasing, getting tired, feeling exhausted, not acting upon and letting go. The feelings of shame and guilt are infused in women from the day we are born. We resist.
We will not measure our importance, love, feelings, pain and thoughts with the system’s ruler. We break the measuring instruments.
We refuse the “human is the highest value” concept and we do not prefer humans to nature or to other animal species, we refuse the pyramid where the human is at the top, and other species are inferior and serve human’s interests. Many women are affected by the exploitation of nature: the feminist resistance is also an environmental resistance.
We are against authorities, borders, power structures that serve private and state-owned property, against military systems. We resist imperialism and colonialism – of body, language, culture and space.
We are against neoliberal-capitalist and institutionalized approaches to self-care which individualize self-care and put it on the shoulders of the individual, separating the individual from the collective consciousness. We believe that every woman’s self-care is in a chain reaction with collective healing and is not separated from the fight against capitalist exploitation.
One of our ways of resistance was the creation of FemLibrary which fights against systems, structures and hierarchies that perpetuate power.
We are against programatization and NGOization of feminism; at the same time, we realize that in order to protect ourselves from authorities we sometimes have to profit from or use legal guarantees and regulations. We don’t perceive ourselves as pioneers of feminism; our actions are subjected to review, resignification, examination; we are not afraid to fail, to make mistakes, to try (again), to resist and to believe in each other. We see our collective work as an experience, a way to learn.
We realize that calling ourselves feminist does not mean that we are liberated from patriarchal practices or that we succeeded to examine enough our possible privilege in the context of multiple oppressions; the liberation and questioning are daily hard work. It is important for us not to stop fighting against patriarchy in our personal practices and life experiences.
Individualism sets us apart and leaves us alone, guilty and responsible for our failures, which pushes us to ignore the sense of collectivity, to act individually and to be competitive. This is a tool of the system to keep us separate, to divide community resistance.
We accept that feminist books and literature are dangerous for the system. We consciously continue to be dangerous for systems of oppression, and consider the library a revolutionary place of resistance.
We consider the interweaving of feminist knowledge, activism and art to be the most important directions of resistance, but it’s important for us to deconstruct them to fall beyond the patriarchal logic. We perceive feminist academy outside the institutions, language, methods and practices adopted by the patriarchy. We practice feminist activism as a non-programmatic, grassroots, collective self-organization for resistance, and we see feminist art as political, revolutionary, non- aesthetic and marginal.
We refuse patri -archy.
We resist patri-archy.
We unlearn patri-archy.
We overthrow patri-archy within and outside ourselves.