Today, the day has come, 8th March. Our day. Our day of celebration. All over the world, demonstrations and actions are taking place to celebrate our struggles, to make us aware of our strength and to gather energy for another year of struggle. No matter where we look, everywhere in the world we are rising up, everywhere huge protest movements and feminist organizing are emerging, in Argentina, Chile, Afghanistan, Sudan, Kurdistan…. We cannot and will not be ignored!
No wonder that we are confronted with more and more repression everywhere in the world. The states are afraid of us – and they should be! We are the ones who change the world, we are the ones who lead the revolutionary movements worldwide in search of a different life.
In Rojava, of course, we also celebrate 8th March; after all, we live in a women’s revolution. It’s women who are building up a life, away from states, capitalism, and patriarchy. But 8th March here is different from 8th March in Europe. It has a different meaning. In Europe, 8th March is the day of the year. It is the day, when so many alliances and groups spent hundreds of hours of preparation in order to put hundreds of actions into practice. It is THE day of gender liberation. In Rojava, we also celebrate, of course, but it is not THE day, it is a day. One of many. After all, the phrase: “Every day of the year is 8th March”, has been made a reality by thousands of women here. If you want to rebuild a whole life, if a whole society wants to self-organize and free itself from patriarchy, you cannot rest a day.
8th March is a day to celebrate, but it is also a day to remember that we are under attack not just on one day but every single minute of our lives. It is a day to say no. It is a day to make every person in the world aware that we will not accept for even a single minute the conditions under which we live. It is a day to show that we will not allow one more assault, one more femicide, one more rape. It is a day to remind ourselves that it is our daily practice, our daily struggle that will destroy patriarchy.
Yes, in the end, it comes down to our daily practice. And it is important to understand that patriarchy is not only attacking us `from the outside`, not only in form of police, states, and violent men. Patriarchy attacks us in every place of our lives. In our friendships, in our political organizing, in ourselves. Every moment that we stand in front of the mirror and feel ugly is an attack. Every day that we secretly see our best friends as competitors is an attack. Every moment that we feel small, stupid, and worthless is an attack. And also every day that we feel lonely is an attack.
Patriarchy is not only the obvious violence we see every day on the streets and at home, but also all the small unspectacular moments. Patriarchy is much more than brute force, It is a part of every aspect of our lives.
It is a way of relating that determines who we get to be and how we can relate to each other, how we conduct friendships, what we feel and don’t feel, and ultimately how we relate to ourselves and who we are.
Patriarchy separates us from each other and makes us enemies.
8th March is a reminder that our whole life is a struggle. A struggle in every part of our lives, against the attacks from outside and a struggle against the attacks from inside, against all the little ugly feelings that we don’t talk about because we are too ashamed of them.
But, 8th March is also a day to remind ourselves that we have much to gain. That another life is possible, and that this other life is our life.
It is a day on which we should sit together, dream, and talk. We are looking for answers to so many questions.. What is a free life? What exactly does it mean in practice ? How do we want to relate to one another? Who are we when we are no longer determined by the desires, feelings, and expectations of patriarchy? How do we want to live together? What means love? How should we struggle?
In search of answers, theory is not enough for us; we are not satisfied with slogans.. We are searching for more! After all, another life is not just possible in 100 years. Another life is possible now, if we dare to fight together, to challenge ourselves and each other. Every day and in every aspect of our lives, against the enemy outside, but also against the enemy inside, against envy and competition, against worthlessness, against loneliness, against the hundred things that separate us from each other.
8th March started with Clara Zetkin and Şehîd Sara – Sakine Cansız made every day of the year an 8th March. Now it is up to us to continue the struggle. In Kurdistan and all over the world.
Jin Jiyan Azadi