We take to the streets on March 8th for a different way of living and loving. Our struggles that come together on this day have always been against attempts of appropriation and degradation, against attempts to control our bodies and our desires. In these times, war and its logics are the tip of the iceberg of patriarchal violence and appropriation, the tip of cis-heteronormative conditioning and control. All the more reason for our (queer) feminism to remain anti-militarist!

Anyone who wages war, who wants to militarise entire societies and make them fit for war, needs discipline. This means the retraditionalisation of gender roles and the reinforcement of the gender binary: women* are supposed to be mothers, providers and the social glue of society, while men* have to defend national interests from above. High military spending means falling social spending and precarious working conditions, i.e. more unpaid work by female labour. If one wants discipline, one needs patriarchal control in order to get a grip on feminist struggles and rebellion. Domestic violence and feminicides are part of the social realities of discipline. All those who fall through the binary grid of the sexist division of labour, who evade or resist, are exposed to queer-hostile violence or repression.

However, the logic of war is not only a logic of the gendered division of labour and its violent protection, but also one of appropriation. It is no coincidence that bodies affected by patriarchy become the explicit target of violence in wars and armed conflicts. Rape has always been a weapon of war. The seizure of territories, land and material possessions is an elementary part of the logic of war and interlocks with the male notion of the right of access to the female* body. Violence against women* and queers is an attempt to control and submit, whether as a means of demonstrating power in armed conflicts, as is currently the case in Israel, Palestine and Ukraine, or in the supposedly safe home. This can also be seen in the Hamas massacre on October 7th, which was not only characterised by massive anti-Semitic violence, but also by sexualised violence on the most horrific scale. The patriarchal appropriation is evident here both in the later denial of this violence and in its instrumentalisation for the war against the people in Gaza. The sexualised violence against Israeli, Jewish and other women* and queers is to be repaid with the seizure and destruction of territories and bodies - including through rape - of the Palestinians.

But it is not only the Israeli campaign of revenge, which is becoming more brutal and genocidal every day against the population of Gaza, that is hypocritically legitimised with the vocabulary of feminist struggles. Representatives of a self-proclaimed "feminist foreign policy" such as Annalena Baerbock stage themselves as saviours of women* and queers affected by violence, especially in the Global South.

But the "feminist" recruitment of women* and queers for the Bundeswehr under the cover of neoliberal diversity is also driving militarisation, while at the same time there is a social reference back to the image of the housewife* and mother. The supposed diversification of the armed forces does not resolve the dynamics of war. The "feminism" of those in power is nothing more than a fig leaf in front of their own authoritarian violence. We constantly experience this instrumentalisation, for example when feminism and the fight against anti-Semitism are used to legitimise racist repression, as well as when Germany continues to deport "on a grand scale" to countries that are known for their structural violations of human and women's rights. "Feminist" foreign policy means: Germany's own prosperity, which is based on (neo-)colonial and always patriarchal exploitation of land and bodies, is defended with walls and fences.

The warlike state of emergency, the friend-enemy-logic and the authoritarianisation of entire societies that goes hand in hand with it are not only trying to control or appropriate emancipatory and feminist struggles, but are also swallowing them up in the black hole of polarisation. We have experienced this, especially in recent months, among our own comrades and friends. We have seen how difficult it has been for some to condemn the Hamas violence of October 7th for what it is - anti-semitic, patriarchal, reactionary Islamist. Others, on the other hand, have allowed themselves to be drawn alarmingly quickly into the maelstrom of a supposedly feminist logic of revenge and seem to have lost all empathy for the people in Gaza and their struggle for survival and against displacement. Queers living in Palestine, for example, have repeatedly had to refer to their own existence, as the Palestinian population was perceived as anti-queer terrorists in the course of the racist escalation and - in some cases by their own community - made invisible. Again and again, even among our own comrades, feminism has to be used to delegitimise the other pole, which is marked as "wrong".

(Queer) feminism in these times means breaking off the militaristic tip of the patriarchal iceberg. We refuse military discipline, we defend our bodies against patriarchal control and warlike appropriation. We evade the binary grids of the sexist division of labour just as we desert the polar camps of the logic of war. We oppose the false feminisms of those in power with our (queer) feminist anti-militarism. If we have to choose a side, let's choose the side of all those women* and queers who are fighting against war and violence and for a different, peaceful, caring society based on solidarity. Let's break the ice of cold militarisation with the heat of our diverse desires.

Interventionistische Linke Frankfurt, March 2024

x: @iLfrankfurt
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