I think a lot of us are feeling pretty down right now. Covids, stressful political changes, lockdowns, having to wear a mask everywhere we go (and hardly ever leaving the house!) and I could go on. But if there is one glimmer of light in the midst of all this misery it is the remarkable success of feminism worldwide - in particular, of radical feminism-. Don't get me wrong: feminism still has its work cut out for it, whether in the ongoing fight for abortion rights in Argentina or the fight against spycam pornography in South Korea. But in these sad times some victories for the global women's movement might cheer you up.
RADICAL FEMINISM CONTINUES TO GROW IN SOUTH KOREA
Few places in the world have seen a resurgence of radical feminism like South Korea. Earlier this year, Jen Izaakson and Tae Kyung Kim reported on the intense protests against the "molka', a particularly invasive form of spycam pornography. Although South Korea has made this form of voyeurism illegal, enforcement has been virtually non-existent. In 2016, when a woman was killed by an incel in a mixed bath, South Korean women had enough. From 2018 over 360,000 women participated in massive protests against 'molka'., feminicide and other forms of male violence. In March of this year, the first-ever women's party. To the surprise of the South Korean establishment, the party won hundreds of thousands of votes, demonstrating the considerable influence of radical feminism in South Korea. Another victory for feminists in South Korea, abortion up to 14 weeks has finally been legalised (for whatever reason) in October this year. Although South Korean women continue to face obstacles in their fight for women's liberation, the future looks bright for feminists fighting in the country with boldness and without compromise. "We are ready to work together with other parties as long as we can agree on policies for women," said Kim Jayeon, a prominent feminist and founder of the Women's Party. "The Women's Party is neither left nor right.
FEMINISM INVADES LATIN AMERICA
Earlier this month Reuters reported that the women's movement is sweeping through Latin America because feminists have pushed Latin American governments to relax some of the world's strictest anti-abortion laws. In 2018, massive demonstrations for women's reproductive rights shook theArgentina, and this was the year in which they achieved results: Argentine President Alberto Fernandez recently presented a long sought-after bill to legalise voluntary abortions. At ChileFeminist activists are also pushing for a rewrite of the constitution to protect abortion rights in cases of rape, foetal non-viability and risk to the mother's health. The legislators of Chiapas, in Mexicoare adapting legislation to stop the prosecution of women who have access to abortion. But abortion rights are not the only issue at the forefront of feminist activism in Latin America. Mexican feminism, in particular, has become increasingly radical in response to the growing epidemic of feminicide. In February, Mexican feminists took to the streets to denounce the crisis and, frustrated by the ineffective response of their left-wing government, took control of a human rights building in Mexico City, turning it into a shelter for women and children. Yesnia Zamudio, a feminist activist whose daughter was killed in a feminicide in Mexico City, eloquently expressed the anger and passion that drives Mexican feminist activism there in a video that went viral this year: 'I have every right to put everything on fire. I won't ask anyone's permission, because I'm protesting for my daughter. Whoever wants to protest, protest. Whoever wants to rise up, rise up. Whoever does not, is not our ally".
WOMEN RISE UP IN POLAND
In October this year, the Polish Constitutional Tribunal ruled that abortions in the case of foetal abnormalities would no longer be permitted. The Catholic and conservative government could not have predicted what would happen next: Polish women took to the streets in one of the biggest protests in the country since the fall of communism. Calls "Strajk kobiet, o "Women's strike'These protests prompted the Polish government to delay indefinitely the publication of the Court's ruling. Now, reports the "New Yorkerfeminists are demanding more than just a backtrack on abortion restrictions: they want access to voluntary abortion in the first trimester to be fully legalised. The protests have faced internal dissent. Efforts have been hampered by a fierce backlash against feminists disagreeing with some of the issues advocated by the left, in particular transactivism. This month Kaya Szulczewskaan influencer and feminist activist, has been the subject of intense criticism for defending the use of the term 'woman' in discussions on abortion. But radical feminism is making progress. At the beginning of December Polish feminists and activists working on transactivism and its impact on women and homosexuals formed the Polish LGB Alliance to reject misogyny and left-wing homophobia within the movement. The scale of the protests caused international wonder and admiration. It is hard not to agree with the assessment of the "New Yorker': these protests are starting to look like a revolution.
AMERICAN WOMEN FIGHT LEFT-WING MISOGYNY AND SCORE BIG VICTORIES
The year 2020 was a year of notable successes for radical feminists in the US and Canada. In February Laila Mickelwait, head of the anti-trafficking group Exodus Cry, created a Change.org petition calling for the closure of Pornhub, which is responsible for the exploitation of women and children. Pornhub knowingly hosted child pornography and videos depicting violent rape of women, and investigators found dozens of child rape videos as soon as they accessed the site. A few months after the petition was launched, more than two million people had signed it. In early December, Nicholas Kristof of the "New York Times' published an article on rape and exploitation of women and girls. It was a turning point for Pornhub: thanks to increased pressure, the site agreed to remove videos uploaded by users. Even more surprising news: Mastercard and Visa responded by blocking their cards on the Pornhub site. The fight against Pornhub was not the only big success for American feminists this year. In January and February, the Women's Liberation Front (WoLF) hosted two conferences in challenge to the misogyny of the modern LGBT movement. Their bold criticism of the misogyny and incoherence of transgender ideology caused a storm on the Internet, leading to the Seattle Public Library's request to violate the First Amendment and cancel one of the meetings. The women of WoLF have not been intimidated and have continued to keep the issue at the forefront of American politics, have commissioned public opinion polls showing majority support for women's spaces and are working with legislators to defend women's rights. At the end of the year, WoLF's efforts were rewarded, when Democratic legislator Tulsi Gabbard introduced a bill to maintain sports reserved exclusively for women in public schools and universities. WoLF women will have a lot of work to do in the coming years with the election of a Democratic president who has promised to sign the equality bill that would make the "gender identity' a category protected by law, thus ensuring that sports and women-only spaces cannot be maintained. But these women have proved to be formidable feminist warriors and we have every confidence in their continued success.
GENDER CRITICAL FEMINISM WINS BIG IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
In the UK, radical and gender critical feminism has dominated the news this year. In January Women's Place UK hosted the conference Women's liberation 2020 which was attended by thousands of men and women interested in radical feminist and gender-critical thinking. And in June this year JK Rowling published a letter outlining her concerns about transactivism. The moving, elegantly written letter unleashed an immediate storm of death and rape threats against Rowling along with a torrent of criticism berating Rowling for daring to voice her concerns about the impact of trans activism on women and girls. Nonetheless, Rowling spoke out against the tide of abuse and by her example inspired many women to voice their opposition to gender ideology. Many of these concerns were confirmed last month when the case of detransitioner Keira Bell against the British NHS led the British courts to rule that minors are almost always incapable of consenting to puberty blockers: a significant victory for radical feminists that will hopefully spread within the medical establishment globally. Even after a difficult year, it is important to remember that we are moving forward and that women's passion, courage and activism really do affect change.
by K.S. Jolly, Feminist Current, the original article here (translation by Elisa Vilardo)