Speech given at the 29th EGP-Council. Berlin, 23rd of November 2018
by Brigitte Foppa (Vërc)
You asked me to speak about feminism.
So, I brought you something. What is this?
Usually this is simply a panty. But today it is not. Today, after that in an Irish court of justice was brought forward the argument that a woman who wears a thong is open for sexual encounters and therefore the claim of rape can be excluded, today this is an invitation to violence!
This is not the first time that something like this happens. In 1998 in Italy a judge sentenced that a young girl couldn’t be victim of a rape because she was wearing blue jeans. Now every year on May 27th women from all over the world remember this incredible fact wearing blue jeans on the “Denim day”.
Because we do not forget.
But we have to admit that times, they are not changing.
Now the question is: do we have to talk about violence when we speak about feminism? For many years I didn’t think so. I thought that there were other important issues I could work and fight for:
- more female representation in politics.
- equal pay, equal work, equal pension.
- a gender quota in the boards of the companies.
- more justice even in the language.
We can find all these topics in the Manifesto of the European Greens. They are so important, and we will continue fighting for them – always remembering that Green Parties are the only parties which are obviously and explicitly feminist. Which is not so easy, because usually ad-experts tell us that insisting on gender topics is the best way to lose elections. This is a problem. Gender politics are now the most revolutionary and unpopular politics when they really retold the capability to change the world, to change power structures, to change the distribution of welfare.
Within this capability we have potential and danger at the same time.
Danger? Yes. We observe actually a wave of hate against women. We usually try to explain this as the backlash of feminism, but I think there is more.
Because this wave of hate has a battle-field: our body.
There are different typologies of hatred:
When we (our bodies) are being laughed at.
When we (our bodies) are minimized.
When we (our bodies) are sexualized at all.
At last when we (our bodies) are destroyed.
Last year, in my small land in the Alps with half a million citizens, 4 women have been killed, in Italy 94, in Austria 16 – just because they were women! This is the reason why we have to speak about violence.
We can suppose that the origin of this hate lies in fear. There is always fear at the bottom of hate. In this case there is a lot of fear. Fear of losing the power. Fear of change.
We have to keep working and fighting for gender politics.
But I think we need to go beyond and develop something bigger. We have now to start working on an EXIT STRATEGY FROM PATRIARCHY, from the power system which created submitted women and unhappy men.
Let’s think about it. Men and women together.
For more justice. For more respect. For a better world.