The leadership of other women … is our only road to muscular mass action and fundamental social change.
— Clara Fraser
Mass performances of “A Rapist in Your Path” have run like wildfire since the anthem’s birth in the middle of the current movement for regime change in Chile. The lyrics and choreography created by The Thesis have been replicated in 50 countries, throughout Latin America but also Turkey, India, Czech Republic, Poland, Mozambique, Holland, France, Australia, and the United States.
The women’s revolution is underway. Women on a global scale demand the fundamental conditions for a dignified life and expose violators no matter how strong they are. Not only do we mean powerful individuals, as in the #MeToo movement, we also point to the police, the judicial system, the education system, the church, and all the capitalist institutions that dictate their policies.
All parts of the state machinery continue to restrict women’s freedom to control our bodies and to blame us for our own misfortunes, while the sexist horde continues to violate us and produce thousands of fatalities. But women have never given up. We remain in the line of combat. Violence is not enough to silence the many manifestations of the courage, determination and clarity of women who resist, change and build their reality. Kurdish women’s militias, tides of green scarves for legal abortion, Chilean student occupations and calls for a general strike for their own demands and those of the entire people — these are some examples of the multiple forms that women’s organizing takes. Our sisters, as members of oppressed sectors and indigenous nations, fight deadly austerity plans and racism, inhumane walls and refugee camps, and relentless violence towards queer and trans people and dissenters.
Every day it is clearer that written words are not enough to protect us, that even with legislative reforms we do not have real freedom, that major mobilization is necessary just to maintain the gains we have made. Such a low-scale defense allows setbacks such as the closure of clinics for safe abortions in the United States.
In the words of Berta Cáceres, the murdered Honduran environmentalist, “Capitalism is contrary to life.” As The Thesis sings, “The oppressive state is a male rapist.” For these reasons, a social and economic revolution is necessary that stops the degradation of the environment, the exploitation of the working class and the violence towards us. No matter what mask it uses, capitalist greed has no limits. Drinking water, fertile land, the body and the human mind itself are all fair game. Stopping capitalist barbarism is the only hope.
In 1910 in Copenhagen, at the International Conference of Socialist Women, the German Marxist Clara Zetkin proposed to establish March 8 as the “International Day of Working Women” in homage to 129 textile workers in New York City who died when the sweatshop where they worked went up in flames. Zetkin’s resolution passed within the framework of a strike in which more than 40,000 seamstresses demanded a workday of eight hours and cessation of child labor.
We, the organized working women, are the hope — not the NGOs, not the agents of the bourgeoisie and their political parties, not the academy or the laws alone. The success of “A Rapist in Your Path” is no accident. For centuries the patriarchy has separated us and divided us to make us submit. But we know that our strength is the unity to fight in the streets in every corner of the planet: No one will conquer our freedom for us.
Get organized this March 8 at work, school, and in your neighborhood to realize a life free of violence and exploitation!