Recently I met a few women more active in Feminism which also made me think more about it. So I was so thrilled when one of the girls messaged me asking if I wanted to go to the women’s march in Rio de Janeiro on the international women day.
First of all, I think that it is really important to explain shortly the situation in Brazil. Even though it is one of the most diverted countries, regarding race and sexuality, I have ever seen. It is at the same time very racist, machista and homophobic. Furthermore, the current president stands against black, women, LGBTQ and poor people.
The march started from the church Nossa Senhora da Candelária and went in direction of the metro station Carioca. We observed the different groups with drums passing by, chanting „se cuida, se cuida, se cuida seu machista. A América Latina vai ser toda feminista“, women with words written on their skin or big earrings saying: „Só se eu quiser“, all different kind of banners and here the colour is purple. There was an absolutely incredible energy in the air! And there was one face that you would see on a lot of banners, one name Marielle!
Marielle Franco was a Brazilian politician, feminist, and human rights activist. She grew up in the favela Maré in the north of Rio de Janeiro. Young single mother, she studied and started being more active in human rights activism after a friend died from a stray bullet.
On the 13 March 2018 she and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, were shot by two men who were driving another car.
Only about a year after her death two suspects have been arrested. One of them lives in the same street than president Jair Bolsonaro and his son Flávio Bolsonaro used to date the suspect’s daughter.
Marielle was a black, lesbian woman. She was fighting for people from favelas, for black people, for women and for the LGBT community.
Only last year she attended exactly this march and a year later she cannot but Brazilian women and men won’t forget her. Marielle’s death is one reason more why the screams and chants were even louder this night „Marielle Presente!“ and even demand a Rua Marielle Franco in her honour.
Another name was mentioned as well but rather as a proof of disagreement, our president’s name Jair Bolsonaro. Such chants as „..Bolsonaro vai tomar no cu“ („Go fuck yourself or fuck off“)
As I am quite new to Feminism I am shocked whenever I realise that some women don’t include black women or women from the LGBTQ community into their Feminism. My Feminism is … about all woman, it is about unity. As long as there is violence against trans woman or black women get less paid. As long as girls in far away countries do not have the right to get free education, instead get sold off as child brides or cannot get a free abortion. As long as all women and girls, no matter their race, social class and education, sexual orientation, are not safe we should not shut up! **
A few days earlier was Carnaval and we did attend a Feminist bloco called Feminist Bloco Mulheres Rodadas 2019. This was my first 8M women’s march but not my last one! Thank you to all the strong women I met!
Find the chants from Dia das Mulheres 2019 in Rio de Janeiro here Os Gritos da Marcha das Vadias. I would love to hear your experience like first Women March or Gay Pride, experience with Feminism and more!
Some of the pictures were shot by my friend Belen G. Pedrini she does not have any blog or similar where you can find her pictures (even though I told her she should as her pictures are amazing!). But you can see some of her work in the project Planting Sunflowers from our friend Ieva Maria, where she talks about Rape Culture and her own story. Check it out!
** As already mentioned, Feminism should also include women of African descendants. One book I can recommend you is Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge. At the moment I am reading Ain’t I a Woman by bell hooks.
I am thankfull for any book suggestions about Feminism as well as Afrofeminism, about women empowerment, about understanding and dismantling racism, and about the LGBTQIA+ community.