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Theonecommoninterestdoesnotexist!

Solidarityamongwomenisdiverseanddisputed.Kiel-basedpoliticalscientistBrigitteBargetzhasconsideredthesubjectindetailandsetsoutfivecentralkindsofsolidarity.

Women at a protest march
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WomeninWashingtonoutonthestreetsattheWoman'sMarch,aprotestmarchforwomensrightsandhumanrights,in2017.

Womenhavehadenough.SexualassaultsarenotonlynearlyadailyoccurrenceinHollywood,butarealsocommoninGermany:whetherinthepublicsphereorprivateenvironment,womenstillhavetooftendefendthemselvesagainstviolentassaultsandverbalabusefrommen.Itissimplynotacceptable,saidDrBrigitteBargetz,explainingthereasonwhythe#MeTooinitiativecameintobeing,amongothers,in2017.Manywomenshowtheirsolidarity,gotogetherintobattleagainsthierarchicalgenderrelationshipsonthestreet,protesttogetheronlineandonsocialmediaandtrytochangethings,explainedthepoliticalscientistattheInstituteofSocialSciencesatKielUniversity.

Solidarityamongwomenformsthebasisoffeminism,explainedBargetz,whoiswellversedinthesubjectoffeministsolidarity.LastyearsheandhercolleaguesAlexandraScheeleandSilkeSchneiderpublishedapaperaboutit(FeminaPolitica2/2019).Ofcourse,therearedifferencesbetweenwomen.Manyfeministsareunitedbythefightagainstpatriarchalviolencetowardswomenofvariedorigin,class,ethnicityandsexualorientation.Thatisnot,however,theonlyreasontoshowsolidarity.Feministsolidarityisdiverse.Womenarebynomeansonlycommittedtotheobjectivesofwomensmovements,butsupportvariouslydefinedminorities,showsolidaritywithwomenroundtheworld,lookafterrefugeesortaketothestreetsforclimateprotection.

Womenshowtheirsolidarity,gotogetherintobattleagainsthierarchicalgenderrelationshipsonthestreet.

BrigitteBargetz

MycolleaguesandIsetoutfivecentralkindsofsolidarity,explainedBargetz.Politicalsolidarity,thefightagainstpatriarchyandsexisminresponsetoinequalityandsuppression,isoneofthese.Institutionalisedsolidarity,bycontrast,describesthesupportofsociallyweakerpeoplebythesocialandwelfarestatetoensureparticipationinpubliclife.Theotherkindsaresolidarityasaconceptofexistence(therecognitionthatpeoplearemutuallydependent),solidarityasafeelingaswellassolidarityasapractice,inwhichlinksareestablishedoverdifferences.

Initsdiversity,feministsolidaritycontainsalotofpotentialforconflictandcontradictions.Solidarityisalwaysdisputed,too,Bargetz,ScheeleandSchneiderhavefound.Thereisnotonecommoninterest,theonecommonbattlefortheonecommongoodcause,theysaid.Thechallengeistofindanintersection,apaththatcanbetrodtogether,saidBargetz,knowingfullwellthatsolidarityamongwomenundersexist,capitalistandracistconditionsissometimeshardtorealise.

Stirringmomentscontributetosolidarity,too.MomentssuchastheWeinsteinscandal,whichtriggeredthe#MeToomovement:thefilmproducerissaidtohavesexuallyassaultedandharassedwomenintheAmericanfilmindustryoverdecades.Onetweetaboutitwentouttotheworld.UnderthehashtagMeToo,womenhavesincereportedtheirexperiencesofabusivemen.Therehavebeenmanymorewomen'smovementsoverthepastcenturies,saidBargetz.Withinthe1968movement,forexample,therewerealsosolidaritymovementsamongwomen.Thecriticaldiscussioninthe1970sabouttheparagraphsonabortionunderSection218oftheGermanCriminalCode(Strafgesetzbuch)alsocausedasolidaritymovementamongwomenwhocalledfortheirdeletionfromthecode.Thereisalsothemovementniunamenos(notoneless),whichwasfoundedinArgentinain2015againstthemurderofwomenandsexualviolenceagainstwomenandhassincegrowninimportancefarbeyond.Feministsolidarityisnotjustadiversebutalsoatransnationalfightforgenderequality,saidBargetz.Andthatisagoodthing.Solidaritywillprobablycontinuetobeafightand,atthesametime,bedisputeditself.

Author:JenniferRuske