speech for the demonstration on 1st of may in Lüneburg by fem.ini

: deutsche Version :

When we talk about work, we start thinking about people who go to their workplace in the morning and come home late, people who have a regular income and use it to cover their basic needs. With work we usually mean a job you get payed for. But a big part of our daily work is taking place apart from that.

Cooking, cleaning, raising children or caring for relatives, but also sending birthday cards or just being there for other people- all of this we call reproductional work. This means all the work and tasks, which are needed to create and recreate a human being. If we think about this kind of work and who is usually in charge of doing it, it instantly occurs to us, that they are mostly categorised as women. For no reason reproductional work is meant to be done by women*. The opinion, that this division is matching the natural abilities of women*, is still widely spread. Women* are supposed to be considerate, unselfish and loving.

The idea about employment being the only „real“ kind of work, is covering the importance of reproductional work. Furthermore it is made invisible again and again. As reproductional work often takes place in one´s own four walls and is therefore private, it gets invisible. Through this systematic separation it is difficult for women* to organise themselves and fight for their rights. Even today there are women* missing here for this reason.

Reproductional work is not only about gender-issues: You rarely find rich, white people who wash their own dishes, raise their own children or care for sick relatives. Therefore reproductional activities are typically suppressive relations. That´s why it is so important to focus on these kind of work and point out, what is going wrong. We want to do that out of a queerfeminist perspective. By Queerfeminism we mean not only to disapprove men ruling over women. We disapprove every form of suppression. So Queerfeminism is against homophobia, discrimination of transgenders or persons, who don´t want to or are not able to classify themselves as men* or women*. In addition, Queerfeminism disapproves racism and any discrimination based on the social background or on body norms.

Nowadays it is considered to be normal that women* in Germany and other countries of the global North are working in payed jobs. That didn´t change them being responsible for most of the reproductional work. Therefore women* are often highly strained in two ways. That leads them to employ persons for doing their reproductional work as soon as they´ve got the spare money. Less privileged women*, like women* of colour, women* from eastern Europe or black women*, are usually the ones to take these tasks.

All this work, in the household, in nursery schools, in crèches, in the nursing service, needs to be well paid and take place under good working conditions. That´s what our colleagues from the educational work fought and striked for in the last years.

The queerfeminist aim shouldn´t and mustn´t be to help particular women* gaining a better position while other forms of suppression are kept or even strengthened. Queerfeminism should stand for our joint fight against sexism, racist attributions, the capitalist exploitational system and every other form of suppression.

Reproductional work is work. It has to be payed equally and shall be valued by society. And at the same time we have to point out, how damn wrong it is, that this work is still meant to be done by women*. And we are far from abolishing this genderspecific division of labour.

Now we go on to another form of work. We do also understand our queer feminist protest as work, the work of radically changing the existing social conditions. This year in Hamburg, there will be the so called 20 most powerful, economically and politically, states coming together. Parliamentary governments, authoritarian regimes and torture-states sitting at the same table, coordinating their geopolitical claims and their global capitalist exploitation represented by their heads of state. From our point of view the presence of women* amongst them didn´t lead to emancipatory improvements. Central topics on this agenda are women*, suppression, refugees and health. How does it fit together, when European and national law changes cause more and more deaths of women* and children on the run, who just left war, suppression and climatic catastrophes behind them? How does it fit together, when women* loose the right to abort, as the AfD and others demand? How does it fit together, when women* in Germany work statistically 77 days a year without getting payed?

As women* we experience every day, that rulers cling on to their privileges and their patriarchal forms of suppression. The existence of G20 shows very obviously, whose interests should be protected and strengthened. It´s never about women´s rights, safe living conditions or the protection of health.

We demand that you and we all oppose this arbitrary structure and create new social conditions, every day and by protesting in July in Hamburg. Resistance is handicraft/ manual work.

We are many people! Together against sexism and patriarchy! Together for solidarity and feminist fights! We don´t fight for flowers! Shut down privileges! Sisters united!