My Feminist Manifesto: Down with Patriarchy!

feminism patriarchy
Frida and a friend laughing, circa 1945 | Photograph: Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera Archive, Bank of Mexico, Fiduciary in the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museum Trust | Source: The Guardian

I am a feminist. As a feminist I am involved in a worldwide revolution. Today is the Eighth of March, 2016. Today is International Women’s Day. I am a woman and therefore today is the perfect day to give birth to this manifesto.

This is my Feminist Manifesto and my battle cry is: Down with Patriarchy!

1. My feminism is intersectional

I fight sexism. I fight racism. I fight all discriminating -isms. Why? Because the binary portrayal of human nature is a reductionist construct based solely on a dichotomy between so-called innate, determined and therefore unalterable »natural and cultural essences«. Essences such as:

  • »Masculine« versus »Feminine«;
  • »White« versus »Black« or »Colored«;
  • »Western« versus »Oriental« or »African« or »Asian«;
  • »Young« versus »Old«;
  • »Rich« versus »Poor«;
  • »Heterosexual« versus »Homosexual« or »Lesbian« or »Bisexual« or »Transgender« or »Transsexual«;
  • »Able-bodied« versus »Disabled«;
  • »Secular« versus »Religious«;
  • »Christian« versus »Islamic«.

These binary constructs have led to the creation of the Other. The Other with a capital O. The Other that never is a subject but only an object. A reduced human being that therefore can be regarded as property and be misused as a means. A reduced human being that can be oppressed, discriminated against and even be exterminated. After all the Other is nothing more than an objectified body branded with a deficiency that signifies »not-enough«, »not-fully-human«. A corporeal deficiency that seemingly transcends the body and occupies the mental abilities of this Other who is marked for life. Branded with one or more deficiency marks such as »feminine«, »black«, »colored«, »homosexual«, »religious«, »disabled«, »poor«, »alcoholic«, »addicted«, and so on.

Every binary construct always is a prejudice, never a truth. It neither reflects reality, nor does it in any way live up to the lived experiences of individual human beings.

This is why my feminism is intersectional.

2. My feminism is global

I am an earthling. My home is Planet Earth. Borders and nationalities are ambiguities characterized by arbitrariness. Never ever can they fully represent any person’s identity. Thus my nationality never is my identity.

Dividing the Earth into nation states that come with borders — physical ones such as high walls and injurious barbed wired fences — signifies a fragmented and reductionist world view. Nevertheless, since roughly the eighties of the last century, there is this talk of Globalization. Globalization has become one of the key ideas for business theory and practice.

Yet all I see is borders. All I see is nationalities and nationalism. All I see is global inequality. All I see is climate change and climate emergency. All I see is militarization and an increase in armed and violent conflicts. All over the world. And I see an ever-growing number of displaced people. An ever growing number of undocumented people who are also being named illegals. How can a once born and therefore living, breathing, thinking and sentient human being ever be illegal? How? Just chew on this one for a moment. Take all the time you need.

All these devastating issues are not separate predicaments. They are interrelated. They are interconnected symptoms of a global crisis. Symptoms that can neither be fought as disparate issues, nor merely on a national or local level. Why not? Because it is exactly this global neoliberal economic system that is heading into an utterly dangerous collision with the natural physical limits of the Earth.

This is why my feminism is global and never national.

3. My feminism is anti-neoliberal and anti-capitalist

I perceive the global neoliberal economic system to be a religious ideology with at its core the fata morgana of indefinite material growth. But here’s the thing: this indefinite growth is literally and physically impossible. Nevertheless the people who cling to this fatal illusion — mostly white heterosexual men — simply refuse, against their better judgement, to give up this irrational delusion. The consequences are dire: an ever-growing inequality between the rich and the poor; right-wing extremism, hostility and violence against immigrants and Muslims; increased racism and the persistent inequalities between women and men.

The neoliberal dogma, with its insatiable addiction to fossil fuel, and its unstoppable mass damage and destruction to our planet and its ecosystems, goes hand in hand with a fragmented and reductionist binary world view. Neoliberal capitalism has a never ending tendency to exclude, divide and ‘Otherize’, and its deeper structure is constituted by patriarchy.

Yet, the planet is no property and certainly not the property of the creators and upholders of neoliberal capitalism.

This is why my feminism is anti-neoliberal and anti-capitalist.

4. My feminism is anti-patriarchal

I explicitly am a FEMINIST — and not a humanist — because I specifically fight patriarchy. Patriarchy has created a gendered world that is pervaded by systemic misogyny. Even now, in 2016, the gender dichotomy is still the most dominant binary division of human beings. A dichotomy based on social and cultural myths that have been created around the biological sexual difference between men and women.

Androcentrism and therefore systemic misogyny is being displayed all over the world. Both overtly as covertly. Male dominance has been created by patriarchy and is being upheld, perpetuated, confirmed, endorsed, sustained, validated, justified, approved and supported. Systemic misogyny manifests itself in a variety of cultures, languages, ideologies, world views, laws, healthcare systems, government formations, peace treaties, partnerships, working and education opportunities, working conditions, salaries, art, literature, philosophy, academia and many other institutions that affect the life and lived experiences of women all over the world and throughout history.

This is why I am a feminist and this is why my feminism is anti-patriarchal. It’s high time patriarchy came to its definite end! Therefore I shall fight tirelessly and my battle cry shall be: down with patriarchy!


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