Happy International Women's Day!
Hi! We are members of the New York City chapter of AF3IRM--a national organization of women engaged in transnational feminist, anti-imperialist activism. Join AF3IRM & War Resisters League today as we celebrate our herstories and engage in a collective retelling of history to include women, queer, and trans community members.
As we reflect, we question the choices available to us as women. How has the freedom to choose one’s clothing, partners, jobs and career path liberated women as a whole? What choices do women from the working class, in both industrialized nations and the Global South, have? What does liberation for women look like? And, how is my liberation different and intertwined with another woman’s liberation? How does feminism create a path towards the kind of humanity we envision?
“Choice is only possible when everything is equal,” says AF3IRM founder Ninotchka Rosca.
Yet, public policies and initiatives attempt to hand us the kind of feminism that perpetuates the very systems that stifle our ability to choose. Let's take for example, the Women’s Tactical Association, a national organization of female officers, military personnel, and civilians who promote and encourage training among female law enforcement to enhance and refine skills in the areas of firearms, combat mindset, and fitness.
Is this the kind of choice we need to lead towards collective liberation? No! This is a #FEMINISTFAIL!
Militarization, war and imperialism disproportionately impact women and the global south. The freedom to pull a trigger does not address rampant global inequality or create access to jobs, education, or physical and emotional safety.
For nearly a month, members of Congress from across the aisle have been debating to extend draft registration to women. This comes at a time when the Supreme Court must decide on the constitutionality of draft registration for men. The Supreme Court decision would impact the choice to register or not. However, the debate has moved from the constitutionality of the draft registration to women’s rights to choose to register for the draft. Essentially pointing to sexism and exclusion of women as a basis for not only maintaining but extending draft registration. American consciousness has spoken on this issue and in the 1980s there was a groundswell of resistance to draft registration. The United States government is silencing the voices of resistance that say no to preparation for war. We call this another #FEMINISTFAIL.
We challenge the mythology of choice surrounding the opening up of the military and expansion of the draft to women and members of the LGBTQ community. Military bases hypersexualize and commodify women as comfort and rest and recreation for soldiers. While high rates of sexual harassment and sexual assault of women and LGBTQ soldiers is used as a tool of war.
As transnational feminists of color, we recognize that our struggles here at the local level are connected to other women’s struggles across the globe. Our feminism must move across nations, land, and borders to be truly intersectional and purposeful.
For the past 25 years AF3IRM has worked tirelessly to dismantle the systems of oppression which have historically and continue to marginalize and deny us a say in creating the options to make choices between.
Stand in resistance and in celebration with us as we remember our journeys as women & transnational feminists.
AF3IRM, New York City Chapter