Archives de Tag: Silvia Federici

Federici (en français) sur le sexwork, le stigmate, le féminisme

(question) ok, l’institutionnalisation de la prostitution, c’est quelque chose qui est permis par la constitution européenne. On ne voit pas des femmes brûlées comme au Bengladesh, mais nous voyons en revanche des bordels à la frontière de l’Autriche et de la République Tchèque, et je pense que c’est une lutte très importante, la complaisance avec la prostitution institutionnalisée

Silvia Federici : Je pense qu’il y a une continuité ici avec les années 80 et le processus de mondialisation, et, dans un sens, sa phase initiale – la période qui a vu le développement des rapports capitalistes. Ceux de vous qui ont lu Caliban and The Witch sauront que je parle de massification de la prostitution. Une des premières conséquences de l’expropriation des terres a certainement été la massification de la prostitution. Alors même que la prostitution était en effet acceptée socialement tout au long du Moyen Âge, elle est devenue criminalisée et toutefois, bien entendu, c’était une issue à laquelle les femmes recouraient, suite à la fin, notamment, de l’accès aux communs. On voit le même processus aujourd’hui. Il y a en effet une massification de la prostitution comme du travail sexuel à travers le monde.
Je pense que dans une certaine mesure, dans une certaine mesure, mais je pense dans une mesure limitée, que l’augmentation du nombre de femmes qui se tournent vers le travail sexuel a aussi à voir avec le mouvement féministe. Il a contribué à ébranler cette forme de stigmate moral attaché au travail sexuel. Je pense que le mouvement des femmes a aussi donné le pouvoir, par exemple, au prostituées, de se représenter en tant que travailleuses du sexe.
Ce n’est pas un hasard si à la suite du mouvement féministe vous avez le début d’un mouvement de travailleuses du sexe, à travers l’Europe par exemple. Avec le stigmate, les féministes ont vraiment attaqué cette hypocrisie : la mère sainte, cette vision de la femme, toute à l’auto-sacrifice, et la prostituée, qui est la femme qui réalise du travail sexuel mais pour de l’argent.
Elle se fait payer, ce qui est en effet une violation de a première règle : que tu travaillera pour rien. Et vous avez cette séparation entre la « mauvaise femme » et la « bonne femme ». Le mouvement des femmes a vraiment remis en question cette séparation et en ce sens donné aux travailleuses du sexe la force d’avancer. Ainsi, une part de l’augmentation dans le nombre de travailleuses du sexe… il y a de nombreuses femmes – des étudiantes, mais aussi des mères de famille, que je connais, aux Etats-Unis – qui exercent le travail sexuel à côté, pour compléter d’autres formes de travail salarié qui ne paient pas assez. Ou pour payer leurs études, font du travail sexuel à côté. Je connais beaucoup, beaucoup de femmes qui font ça. En particulier maintenant que vous pouvez exercer le travail sexuel en ligne, vous pouvez en effet l’exercer depuis votre chambre, vous savez ; du sexe interactif, par exemple. Je ne sais pas, si vous voyez cette forme de travail sexuel. Mais le sexe par téléphone, le sexe interactif, tous sont des moyens par lesquels vous pouvez intégrer le travail sexuel dans votre routine, pendant que vous préparez votre repas. Mais ce qui a aussi beaucoup à voir avec l’augmentation du nombre de travailleuses du sexe, c’est aussi les conditions de vie. Au final, le travail sexuel paie mieux que de travailler comme domestique. De nombreuses femmes…j’ai fait du travail, du travail de recherche, sur des femmes qui ont migré comme domestique, travailleuses de la santé…et dans de nombreux cas, après un ou deux ans, si elles peuvent elles optent pour le travail sexuel parce que qu’elles peuvent gagner dans un temps beaucoup plus court beaucoup plus.
Evidemment, au sein du travail sexuel vous avez toutes formes de coercition, toutes formes de brutalité, l’industrie du sexe est une des plus violentes industries. Mais ce n’est pas la plus violente. Si vous travaillez dans une zone de libres échanges votre vie est beaucoup plus en danger que si vous travaillez dans un bordel ou dans la rue.
Je pense qu’il y a un problème majeur – qu’il y a eu un problème majeur dans le mouvement féministe. Le mouvement féministe a été très divisé sur la question du travail du sexe. Et je ne sais pas comment c’est ici en Croatie, comment c’est dans les Balkans, mais je sais que j’ai eu de très nombreuses discussions avec des amies, et certaines féministes, qui ne veulent pas entendre parler de travail du sexe. Elles pensent que le simple fait de parler de travail du sexe revient à valider un type d’activité qui est contraire aux droits des femmes, qui est fondamentalement contraire à l’image transformatrice des femmes.
Et d’un autre côté, il y a de nombreuses autres féministes qui voient le travail du sexe comme un type légitime de travail parmi les options disponibles pour les femmes, et je me situe moi-même dans ce second groupe. Je pense que critiquer particulièrement les femmes qui optent pour le travail du sexe est une vision qui manque de perspective, parce qu’elle découle vraiment d’une position moraliste, dans la mesure où il y a de nombreuses autres formes de travail aujourd’hui qui ont vraiment… qui exposent les femmes à une situation dangereuse similaire. Et peut-être dans certains cas même plus – exposent les femmes à des situations qui les mettent vraiment dans une position de totale subordination, et c’est une position qui les rend vulnérables à la violence.
OK, je vais m’arrêter là. Et j’aimerais bien entendre, peut-être, des commentaires, venant de vous (geste vers l’audience), sur cette question
(silence)
(facilitatrice) des commentaires, s’il vous plait. N’ayez pas peur de la thématique sexuelle
(un autre silence)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enpTFJsswWM à partir de 1:10:23

transcription Ellis Suzanna Slack, traduction Morgane Merteuil.

Publicités

Federici about sexwork, stigma and feminism

(question) ok, the institutionalising of prostitution. something that the European constitution is complying to…We don’t see burning women in Bangladesh but we certainly see bordellos in the border of Austria and the Czech Republic and i think this is a very important struggle with the compliance of institutionalised prostitution…

Silvia Federici: I think there is a continuity here with the 1980s and the globalisation process and, in a way, the early phase – the period that saw the development of capitalist relations. Those of you who have read ‘Caliban & the Witch’ will know that I speak of the massification of prostitution. One of the main first consequences of land expropriation was certainly the massification of prostitution. At the very moment when prostitution had actually been accepted socially throughout the Middle Ages, it became criminalised and nevertheless, of course, this was one of the avenues that women resorted to with the end of, basically, the access to the commons. We see the same processes today. In fact, there’s been a massification of prostitution as sex work across the world.

I think that to some extent, to some extent, but I think to a limited extent, that the increase in the number of women who are turning to sex work has also had to do with the feminist movement. It has given a contribution to undermining that kind of moral stigma attached to sex work. I think the women’s movement has also given power for example, to prostitute -to represent themselves a sex workers.

It’s not an accident that with on the wake of feminist movement you have the beginning of a sex worker’s movement, throughout Europe, for instance. So that the stigma, the feminists, they really attacked that hypocrisy: the holy mother, that vision of women, the whole self-sacrificial and the prostitute, which is the woman who does sexual work but for money.

And she gets paid, so she is in fact in violation of the first rule: that you work for nothing. And you have that separation of the ‘bad woman’ and the ‘good woman’. The women’s movement has really challenged that separation and in that way given power for the sex workers to move.

So part of the increase in the number of sex workers…there are many women -students, also housewives, I know, in the United States – who do sex work on the side, to complement forms of wage labour that don’t pay enough. Or to pay your tuition, to do some sex work on the side. I know many, many cases of women who do that. Particularly now that you can do sex work electronically, you can actually do it from your bedroom, you know; interactive sex for instance. I don’t know if you have this form of sex work. But sex by phone, interactive sex; these are all ways you can integrate sex work into your routine, as you’re cooking your food. But much of the increase in the number of sex workers has to do also with the conditions of living. In the end, sex work pays better than working as a maid. Many women – I’ve done work, research work, on immigrant women who migrate as a maid, as healthcare workers..and after in many cases after one or two years if they can they may opt to do sex work because what they may earn in a much shorter time is much more.

But of course as part of sex work you have all forms of coercion, all forms of brutality, the sex business is one of the most violent businesses. But it is not the most violent business. If you work in a free export zone your life is as much in danger as if you work in a brothel or on the street.

I think there is a major problem – there has been a major major problem in the feminist movement. The feminist movement has been really split on the question of sex work. And I don’t know how it is here in Croatia, how it is in The Balkans, but I know that I have many many discussions with feminist friends, and often they are on the opposite side, because I have some friends, and some feminists, who do not want to hear about sex work. They think to even speak of sex work is to validate a kind of activity that is contrary to women’s rights, that is contrary to basically the transformative image of women.

And on the other hand, there are many other feminists who see sex work as a legitimate type of work among the options that are available to women, and I place myself in that second group. I think that to particularly criticize the women who opt for sex labour is very short sighted, because it really stems from a sort of moralistic position, given that there are many many other forms of work today that have very…..expose women to the same dangerous situation. And perhaps in some cases even more – and expose women to situations that basically put them in a completely subordinate position, and it’s a position that makes them vulnerable to violence so..

OK. I will leave it at that. And i would like to hear, maybe, some comments, coming from you (gestures to audience), on this question.

(silence)

(facilitator): comments please. don’t be afraid of the sex topic.

(another silence!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enpTFJsswWM à partir de 1:10:23

transcription Ellis Suzanna Slack

proletariat do …

proletariat do not unite and fight because first there is all kinds of divisions within the proletariat itself. Divisions that have to do with race. divisions that have to do with sex. and these divisions are structural […] for example sexism is a structural necessity of capitalist society. because sexism is the ideological justification for the fact that women have to be subordinated to men […] one of the first pamphlets I wrote begin with this statement : they call it love. we call it unpaid labor. and I think, there is love but I think we’ll experience it when we are free when we’ll be able not to have to sell our bodies in order to get a meal or something similar »

Silvia Federici https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enpTFJsswWM (autour de 52’30)

Along with impo…

Along with impoverishment, unemployment, overwork, homelessness, and debt has gone the increasing criminalization of the work- ing class, through a mass incarceration policy recalling the seventeenth century Grand Confinement, and the formation of an ex-lege proletariat made of undocumented immigrant workers, students defaulting on their loans, producers or sellers of illicit goods, sex workers. It is a multitude of proletarians, existing and laboring in the shadow, reminding us that the production of populations without rights—slaves, indentured servants, peons, convicts, sans papiers—remains a structural necessity of capital accumulation.

Silvia Federici, « The Reproduction of Labor Power in the Global Economy and the Unfinished Feminist Revolution » (2008), in  Revolution at point Zero : Housework Reproduction and Feminist Struggle, p. 105

In other words,…

In other words, as in the neoliberal scheme, in Marx’s account too, all that is needed to (re)produce labor power is commodity production and the market. No other work intervenes to prepare the goods the workers consume or to restore physically and emotionally their capacity to work. No difference is made between commodity production and the production of the work- force.

Silvia Federici, « The Reproduction of Labor Power in the Global Economy and the Unfinished Feminist Revolution » (2008), in  Revolution at point Zero : Housework Reproduction and Feminist Struggle, p. 93

Globalization a…

Globalization aims to give corporate capital total control over labor and natural resources. Thus it must expropriate workers from any means of subsistence that may enable them to resist a more intense exploitation. As such it cannot succeed except through a systematic attack on the material conditions of social reproduction and on the main subjects of this work, which in most countries are women.
Women are also victimized because they are guilty of the two main crimes which globalization is supposed to combat. They are the ones who, with their struggles, have contributed most to “valorizing” the labor of their children and communities, challenging the sexual hierarchies on which capitalism has thrived and forcing the nation state to expand investment in the reproduction of the workforce.3 They have also been the main supporters of a noncapitalist use of natural resources (lands, waters, forests) and subsistence-oriented agriculture, and therefore have stood in the way of both the full commercialization of “nature” and the destruction of the last remaining commons.4
This is why globalization in all its capitalist forms—structural adjustment, trade liberalization, low intensity warfare—is in essence a war against women, a war that is particularly devastating for women in the “Third World,” but undermines the livelihood and autonomy of proletarian women in every region of the world, including the “advanced” capitalist countries.

Silvia Federici, « Women, Globalization, and the International Women’s Movement » (2001) in  Revolution at point Zero : Housework Reproduction and Feminist Struggle, p. 86

In many cases, …

In many cases, what arms could not accomplish was achieved through “food aid,” provided by the United States, the United Nations and various NGOs to the refugees and the victims of the famines that the wars had produced. Often delivered to both sides of the conflict (as in the Sudan, Ethiopia, and Angola), food aid has become a major component of the contemporary neocolonial war-machine, and the war-economy generated by it. First, it has entitled international organizations other than the Red Cross to claim the right to intervene in areas of conflict in the name of providing relief (in 1988 the United Nations passed a resolution assert- ing the right of donors to deliver aid).17 It is on this basis that the U.S./ UN military intervention in Somalia in 1992–1993 (“Operation Restore Hope”) was justified.
But even when it is not accompanied by troops, the delivery of “food aid” in conflict situations is always a form of political and military intervention, as it prolongs the war by feeding the contending armies (often more than the civilian population), it shapes military strategy, and helps the stronger party—the one best equipped to take advantage of food distributions—to win.18 This is exactly what took place in the Sudan and Ethiopia in the 1980s, where, by providing “food aid,” the United States, the United Nations and NGOs like CARE became major protagonists in the wars fought in these countries.19
In addition, food aid contributes to the displacement and the relocation of rural communities, by setting up feeding centers organized around the needs of the NGOs; it also undermines local agriculture by causing the prices of locally marketed produce to collapse; and it introduces a new source of warfare, for the prospect of appropriating large food supplies and selling them locally or on the international market provides a new motive for conflict, creating a war-economy especially in countries that have been radically impoverished.20
So questionable has food assistance been in its effects, so dubious its ability to guarantee people’s livelihood (which would have been better served by the distribution of agricultural tools and seeds, and above all by the end of hostilities), that one has to ask whether the true purpose of this initiative was not the phasing out of subsistence farming, and the creation of a long-term dependence on imported food—both being center-pieces of World Bank reform, and conditions for the “integration” of African countries into the global economy.

Silvia Federici, « War, Globalization and Reproduction » (2000) in  Revolution at point Zero : Housework Reproduction and Feminist Struggle, p. 80