International Women’s Day 2020

Today is International Women’s Day and marks Feminists in Struggle’s 1 year anniversary!  We want to thank everyone who has joined us in the struggle to reignite a strong women’s movement in  order to finish the job First Wave and Second Wave feminists began.  We are so grateful for their sacrifices and contributions and we acknowledge all the women working for the global liberation of women around the world.

We particularly want to recognize the women of the #MeToo Movement who took personal risk to come forward to hold sexual predators accountable, the women behind the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights, and the efforts of organizations like Equal Means Equal that have worked tirelessly to bring the Equal Rights Amendment to the finish line.  It was 100 years ago this year that First Wave feminists won the right to vote, and 97 years after its first introduction that the ERA reached the milestone of the 38th state for ratification!!

We look forward to many more accomplishments of present-day feminists to fight back against the enemies of women’s freedom and autonomy.  Please join us at Feminist Struggle and help us continue the struggle for the liberation of all women!

FIST and Equal Means Equal on Joy of Resistance Radio Show

Our own Ann Menasche appeared on the Joy of Resistance show on WBAI hosted by Fran Luck talking about our Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act which make a distinction between rights based on sex and rights based on gender non-conformity and sexual orientation.  Ann articulated the reasons for the feminist amendments as many rights for which women have fought would be eroded under the Equality Act.

Another very important topic was covered on the show–the ratification of THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT BY BOTH VIRGINIA STATE HOUSES TODAY, January 27, 2020!!  Kamala Lopez of Equal Means Equal was interviewed on the show who explained that there is no need to pass legislation to do away with the imposed deadlines on the legislation because no deadline was included in the legislation, it was a separate bill on which the states did not vote, that Congress did its job in 1972, and we should not get mired down in more Congressional action, as some suggest, by pursuing the passage of legislation doing away with the deadline because the deadline does not matter.

She stated that the Alabama Attorney General filed suit asserting that the archivist should not record Virginia’s 38th state ratification, even though the same archivist recorded the last two states, Nevada (2017) and Illinois (2018). Equal Means Equal has filed suit to make sure the ratification is recorded and will be pursuing various cases across the nation to make sure it becomes part of the U. S. Constitution at long last.  It will be making a Federalist Originalist argument outlined in the Constitution, which will be very difficult for the conservative court to rule against.

Kamala Lopez explained that without the ERA, we will never have equal work for equal pay and that strict scrutiny regarding discrimination under the ERA will finally be required on the basis of sex as it has been for religion, nationality, and race.  She urged listeners to go to Equal Means Equal and sign up for their newsletter and to show up in Richmond, VA on March 8, 2020, International Women’s Day and the centennial of women’s suffrage, to march in the ERA Parade to celebrate it’s ratification.

The show also briefly covered the WoLF events which were scheduled at two public libraries, Seattle and NYC, and how NYCPL cancelled their event while Seattle has refused to cancel theirs.

More about this program at WBAI

ERA JUST GOT RATIFIED IN THE 38TH STATE!!

We are thrilled to learn that on January 15th, 2020 the Virginia legislature has voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment!  It’s about time, Virginia, but thank you for finally acting on behalf of the women of the United States to end our second-class citizenship!

The Equal Rights Amendment reads as follows:

“Section 1: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Section 2: The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Equal Means Equal and other groups were there to ensure that the Virginia legislature did not forget its promise to vote to ratify the ERA nearly 50 years after it was introduced in the U. S. Congress in 1972 and almost 100 years after it was first introduced in 1923 as the Lucretia Mott Amendment.  Many of us marched for the ERA and were disheartened when it did not reach the critical 38 states in 1982, but some of us never gave up the fight.  We wish to thank our sisters for their hard work and perseverance in pursuing ERA ratification!

Though there are still a few hurdles to its being enshrined in the Constitution as the 28th Amendment, it is way past time that women’s rights be fully recognized!  We will continue to fight until that happens!!

Feminists in Struggle 13 Principles

Feminists in Struggle (“FIST”) is a national female-only radical feminist network, democratically run, and composed of individuals born female and affiliated female-only feminist organizations.  We aim to bring together women from diverse radical and revolutionary feminist traditions. FIST welcomes women of every racial, ethnic, and class background, all ages and abilities/disabilities, whether lesbian, heterosexual or bisexual, who share a common set of feminist principles (see below). We are committed to organizing a serious fight-back against the attacks on our rights from multiple quarters.

  1. We affirm that women and girls are oppressed based on our biological sex, i.e., the female capacity to bear and birth children. 
  2. We fight for all females, not just the privileged few, and oppose not just male supremacy but also white supremacy and class hierarchy.  
  3. We are gender role abolitionists seeking an end to socially-imposed roles based on sex that enforce male supremacy.
  4. We demand an end to all forms of discrimination and harassment based on sex, including the wage gap and de-facto job segregation. Pass the Equal Rights Amendment now! 
  5. We fight to end racism and the system of white supremacy that oppresses women of color. 
  6. We struggle against all forms of male violence against women whether it takes place in the home, on the street, at work, or in colleges or universities. 
  7. We work for the abolition of prostitution and pornography; we support the criminalization of traffickers, pimps, and sex buyers and the decriminalization of prostituted women and girls (“Nordic Model”).
  8. We support complete sovereignty over our bodies and reproductive lives, including free unimpeded access to safe, legal abortion and birth control and no forced sterilization.
  9. We defend our fundamental right to female-only spaces, programs and organizations that allow us to collectively resist our sex-based oppression against serious challenges by forces within the transgender movement.
  10. We call for free childcare, paid parental leave, and other community supports needed to end the double day and empower women to live independent lives. Fund human needs, not war.  
  11. We demand an end to discrimination and stigma against lesbians and other women who have intimate relationships with women. 
  12. We reject any alliances or collaboration with the male supremacist religious Right or the white supremacist, anti-immigrant Right.  
  13. While the mission of FIST is to build a women’s liberation movement to oppose that which oppresses women because of male supremacy, we recognize the existential threat that the capitalist-induced climate crisis and risk of nuclear war pose not only to the possibility of women’s liberation, but to the whole of humanity, and life on this planet.

For the full unabridged principles, see the “Principles” page. https://feministstruggle.org/principles/

The Fight for Women’s Rights

The first women’s rights convention in the U.S. called by women met in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848, over 170 years ago now. The five women who organized the convention, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Mary McClintock, Martha Coffin Wright, and Jane Hunt were all abolitionists. Their founding document, The Declaration of Sentiments, outlined 19 “abuses and usurpations” cemented in law, including the inability to own property or vote, and asserted the equality of women in private and public life including politics, education, and religion.

The woman’s suffrage movement, which focused on securing the right to vote, required women’s unflagging commitment and the endurance of hardship and abuse before women were granted the right to vote by the 19th amendment in 1920, 72 years after the convention in New York.

The Equal Rights Amendment, written by Alice Paul and originally called the Lucretia Mott Amendment, was first introduced into Congress in 1923 but was never passed. Paul rewrote it in 1943 to read: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex,” and it was finally passed in 1972 but has still has not been ratified by 3/4 of the states. Thirty eight states are needed to ratify the amendment so it will become part of the U.S. Constitution, and only 35 had done so up until 2017 when Nevada finally ratified it, and 2018 when Illinois finally did, leaving 1 STATE LEFT needed to ratify! The states that still need to ratify the ERA are listed below. Help us get the ERA ratified by their state legislatures!

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Utah