Resistenza Femminista: About us
In an era of neoliberal capitalism, feminism is under attack.
We strongly believe that political and economical aspects related to globalization are strictly connected with the exploitation of women and girls all over the world. The sex industry (porn and prostitution) is one of the most proficous business of this economic system. The ferocious undermining of feminism carried out by neoliberal capitalism assembles different strategies: the control of media images and messages is surely one of them and we think that contemporary media often controlled by international corporations have the power to forge the world around us, in particular to impose a new liberistic agenda in contemporary society.
Women are a privileged target for neoliberal capitalism. We think that Angela McRobbie definition of “post feminism” is essential to understand how capitalism shapes women’s mind, behaviour and ideology and works as a powerful backlash against feminist political agenda. As she explained in her illuminating work, “post feminism” is a sensibility, an ideology constructed by media and popular culture in which women’s identity is reduced to the paradox of a subject who freely choose to objectify herself. The process of self-objectification is portraited as a form of female empowerment. Key words of second wave feminism such as “free choice” are manipulated and trivialized by media and popular culture with the aim of encouraging female individualism. A capitalist version of “feminism” is incorporated by media to justify women exploitation under the rethoric of freedom or “commercialized” sexual liberation. The process of glamourizing violence in porn, prostitution and even in the private sexual choices of women is a fondamental part of this process. Free market looking for new consumer subjects finds in women and girl its favourite target.
The need for a new feminism, radical, leftist, anticapitalist which has the courage to say “no!” to the so called “liberal feminism” and recuperate the legacy of second wave feminism is a matter of urgency.
THE SYSTEM OF PROSTITUTION AS THE ROOT OF OUR OPPRESSION
Resistenza Femminista is a group of feminist activists coming from different parts of Italy, of different ages and backgrounds. We share the same political views regarding the way of ending discrimination and exploitation of women and girls in the world. We have chosen to focus our political action on the fight against trafficking, the system of prostitution and the sex industry because we believe that as feminists we cannot understand gender imbalances and discrimination if we do not consider prostitution as the first root of our oppression.
Prostituted women are considered second class, half-human beings whose role in the society is to fulfil men’s so-called needs. Patriarchal society, quite hypocritically, is now using the politically correct word “sex work” and its rhetoric of “prostitution is a job like any other”, to normalize and sanitized the violent reality of prostitution, masking the truth about prostitution which is, in Rachel Moran’s words, “the commercialization of sexual abuse”.
The root of any sexual violence and discrimination is the system of prostitution. As long as the commodification of women is accepted and promoted by society as a socially accepted and acceptable phenomenon, we will not have real equality, but only a masquerade of it.
Prostitution does not happen by chance. It happened and it is still happening in a world where women are economically vulnerable and dependent on their families and often abusive partners, where women are silenced, raped and exposed to traumatic experiences, which can lead to the exploitation of pimps (which are often the partners themselves) and where globalisation is depriving people from their fundamental rights such as the right for an education, job and health assistance leading to the feminization of poverty.
Sexual violence and economic violence combined are the grounds on which prostitution flourishes. As a group of women living in a globalized world, experiencing economic difficulties due to precarious work conditions, we want to stand up for our sisters worldwide in solidarity, sharing the same fate of survivors of violence and discrimination fighting for a better world.
Our political agenda is rooted in the recognition of the importance of the interconnection between gender, race and class. Trafficked women are women taken by force from their poor lands to serve the rich colonialist men. The patriarchal language of neoliberalism is using the expression “migrant sex workers” to describe poor women forced into an inhumane system of exploitation. We refuse this insulting language and we strongly support survivor’s voices which are silenced by mainstream media and politicians who perpetuate myths and stereotypes to defend the status quo.
In our fight against trafficking for sexual exploitation and the system of prostitution we are advocating for:
- Full decriminalization of prostituted people who have no responsibility in the violence they suffer and the creation of exit programmes which means financial support (such as accommodation, health assistance), education and work opportunities. Prostitution is not a solution for unemployment or the financial crisis. As far as economic violence exists we won’t be able to abolish prostitution.
- Demand needs to be addressed. The real responsibility for the exploitation in the system of prostitution lies with punters and pimps. Traffickers and pimps are the same people as survivors teach us: “Prostitution is the place where sex-trafficking happens, and the demand for prostitution is the reason why sex trafficking happens” in Rachel Moran’s words.
- We have created a safe space for the voices of survivors of prostitution. We are developing some projects together with other international group of survivors as SPACE international.
Feminism and animal rights (work in progress)