Chilean hip-hop artist Ana Tijoux has penned a forceful call to re-empower the concept of feminism. In it, she calls for “another feminism” that is at the same time anti-patriarchal, anti-capitalist and anti-fascist.
Perhaps best known for her tune “1977”, which featured in the hit TV series Breaking Bad and FIFA 11 video game, Tijoux – who recently played at the WOMADelaide 2017 world music festival held over March 10 to 13 – has consistently wielded her music and hard-hitting lyrics as weapons against oppression.
She has been a vocal supporter of many causes, in particular the Ni Una Menos (Not One Less) movement against gendered violence that has gained momentum in various Latin American countries.
In her article, “Another feminism”, published on the RVF website to coincide with this years’ International Women’s Day, Tijoux writes: “We’re facing historic moments in which the speed of the market and its depraved nature are gnawing down the essence of humanity, turning the world toward a fascism exacerbated to unprecedented levels”.
“In addition”, she notes “being provoked is a tremendous barbarism of genocide perpetuated for centuries against women. It’s a naturalized, state-sanctioned, normalized and deepening fascism, whose waves of violence seem to measure the strides of a giant.”
Faced with this, Tijoux says a key question we need to answer is: “What do we mean when we speak of feminism?”
For Tijoux, “Feminism cannot be defined at the surface level, when there is an [economic] model that seeks to rob it of the essence of its strength. Feminism is not a T-shirt you can buy in a department store.
“This struggle is much larger than a TV slogan.
“It’s a struggle that is only renewed by restoring the historical memory of our women fighters, those who have been forgotten in the dustbins of revolutions, and by texts that awaken our thought processes, against a patriarchy that is reproduced in our bodies and in our lives, in school, in our social lives, even in the smallest and most intimate parts.
For this reason, Tijoux says, “We cannot think of a feminism, an anti-patriarchy, without anti-capitalism, without anti-fascism, without anti-racism and without class struggle. All of these struggles are one struggle, and they require a historic political push with perfect coordination.
“It’s our imperative to take on the task of re-empowering the concept of feminism, and to break the chains of misleading and victimizing publicity. Women fighters have their skirts on, so to speak, fighting a war perpetuated throughout all of history, and for all of the women who went before, it’s our turn to ally ourselves, deepen our commitment and act.
“Feminism is liberation, and for that reason we must liberate ourselves from the oppression of capital. ‘Another feminism’ isn’t a slogan, it’s a daily act, simple but strong. It’s transformation, it’s community. It’s freedom.”