Violence: Feminist Struggles Against Victimization to Set Fear on Fire




The concept of violence is regularly used in our discourses around political struggles, but often without being questioned ethically and politically. In this text, Verónica Gago takes on the term by describing how feminist movements in “Améfrica Ladina” have engaged new forces in understanding the patriarchal, extractivist, and exploitative violence they are facing, and how to organize against it.

Cid Gago Funambulist 1
The eighth Ni Una Menos mobilization in the square of the National Congress in Buenos Aires on June 3, 2023. / Photo by Analía Cid (Buenos Aires based photographer and feminist activist).

The Ni Una Menos (Not One Woman Less) movement emerged in response to the multiple and specific forms of violence faced by women, lesbians, trans, travestis, and non-binary people. By occupying the streets at a mass scale, in Argentina and in Abya Yala more broadly, the question of violence has escaped from its enclosure under the concept of “domestic violence” and the modes of its domestication through the responses attempted by institutions, NGOs, and philanthropic and paternalistic forms of management.

The strikes launched in Poland and Argentina in 2016 were tied to mobilizations that had only recently started, such as Ni Una Menos, which had begun in 2015, and gave them a greater push.

The strike, reinvented by the feminist movement, produced a constellation in terms of praxis against violence: you can strike against femicides and, at the same time, against the looting of land and resources from territories, against heteropatriarchal hierarchies, and against precarious labor.

In this way, it challenged neoliberalism in the household and on the streets. This was how, in many countries, the feminist strike expanded, diversified and adapted to the needs of stopping and sabotaging different realities of oppression and exploitation.