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1

José Luis Fdez. Casadevante “Kois” / Nerea Morán Alonso / Fernando Prats: Ciudades: lo utópico es pensar que todo va a seguir igual, published on Diario.es (February 2019):

“The Clock of the Apocalypse created by the Atomic Scientists Bulletin during the Cold War to warn society about the risk of total extermination, sample from the 50’s, the minutes that remain before midnight, in other words, the end of the world. In all of history, 23:58 had never been marked on the clock as it had it its most recent evaluation. It is a clock whose job is to act as a wake up alarm for social and political consciousness, but also whose task has become fruitless, given that it appears to be impossible to wake up someone who only pretends to be asleep.”

2

Yayo Herrero, Marta Pascual i María Gonzalez Reyes: La vida en el centro.Voces y relatos ecofeministas (Life in the center. Voices and ecofeminist tales) Madrid, Libros en Acción, 2018

3

Idem. Pag. 14-16.

4

Idem. Pág. 17.

5

Idea attributed to Angela Davis

6

Catherine Beecher Stowe i Harriet Beecher Stowe. The American Woman’s Home: or, Principles of Domestic Science: being a guide to the formation and maintenance of economical, healthful, beautiful, and Christian homes. New York: Arno Press, 1869.

7

Melusina Fay Peirce Co-operative Housekeeping; How not to do It and how to do It. Boston, James R. Osgood and Company, 1884.

8

Zaida Muxí Martínez: Mujeres, casas y ciudades. Más allá del umbral (Women, houses, and cities. Beyond the threshold) Barcelona: dpr-barcelona, 2018.

9

Jane Jacobs: Muerte y vida de las grandes ciudades (Life and Deather of Great American Cities). Madrid: Capitán Swing, 2011.

Reflections on March 8th, 2019: for Feminist Cities

The invisibility which women and their societal contributions have suffered is not only an injustice towards us women as a clear effect of a patriarchal and sexist system, rather it is what has taken us to, according to the clock of the apocalypse1, the time of 23:58, and we only have two minutes before the end of the night.

We are living in the period called anthropocene but it should be called andropocene, given that it’s not about the domination of one class of animals over another, rather it’s the domination of the males of one species over the rest of the living world, including over their female counterparts of the same species2. Consciousness of the changes that we have and that we are provoking on the planet, our only house, has to move us towards changes in our ways of living.

Feminist thoughts can drive us towards a more egalitarian world, more co-responsible with our species, and with all the rest, with the ecosystem which allows us to live:

We are ecodependents… a living species, but to exist and reproduce we depend on nature which provides us with everything that is necessary to keep living… ecodependent beings subjected to the physical limits of the planet which we inhabit.

We are interdependent… human beings … can only survive if they are placed in a space with relations that guarantee care and attention over the course of life … the life of each one of us in solitary is not viable3.

This necessary care has been provided mostly by women, and this holds true in the past and still in today’s modern world. Women have been undervalued and under considered in a society that has confused the value with the price. We have created a civilization that believes that the economy, politics, and culture have all been generated as supremes, without being contaminated by the accompanying undervalued everyday nature: “… making invisible and relegating non-prioritized marginal spaces to the cyclical task of taking care of and regenerating daily and generational human life.”4  And cities have been created and constructed from this belief.

Feminist cities are the consequence of an idea that has long been desired by women, since Christine de Pizan and her book ‘The Women’s City,’ which, in 1405, advocated a city where people could live in peace, where women were respected, and in which it was possible to lead a life of peace and harmony.

Cities in which the revolutionary idea that we as women are people ruled5, and that as humans we are nature, we are ecodependents. It isn’t a coincidence that women have been the first ones to recognize the necessity to preserve resources and to take care of the planet. Women, such as Catherine Beecher6 and Melousina Fay Pierce7 who in the 19th century rethought the idea of housing with the objective to save economical and energetic resources, at the same time reducing hours and domestic workload for women on an individual and collective scale.8

It was also women who first raised their voices against environmental destruction and social destruction through modernization without a soul. Rachel Carson (1907-1964) adverted us about using the Mother Sea as a garbage dump when our lives depend on her health, and she also reported utilizing DDT as a lethal pesticide for the planet, which eventually ended in the passing of environmental laws which have over time prohibited its use, protecting the planet. She did this through her books The Sea Around Us (1951) and Silent Spring (1964). Her position was based on the certainty that in nature nothing is autonomous and that any change, no matter how small it might seem, can transform everything. Vandana Shiva (1952) has fought and continues fighting so that women and men farmers in India can recover their seeds with reproductive capabilities, totally free of pesticides to avoid pillaging the biodiversity.

Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) in her book “Death and Life of Great American Cities” (1961)9, taught us to value that which is considered vulgar, recognizing the implied wisdom in the experiences of people who inhabit such places. Understand cities through three principal characteristics: the importance of a lived experience, not universal, recognizing multiple varied conditions that influence daily life; the comprehension of the city as a complex system that requires a diversity of wisdom to be able to take on urban problems; and that people are the center of urban decisions, there is no problem or necessity too small that doesn’t deserve attention. Reutilizing, rehabilitating, and rennovating, without massive destructions and tabula rasa.

All of these women were reluctant to accept the dominant logic, instead they wanted knowlegde free of preconceptions. Today, once again, free thinking women are showing us an inevitable change, among them Greta Thumberg who has mobilized young people from many different countries around the world or the brave movement ‘Chimbote de pie’ led by  Béberly Enriquez , demanding care and respect for our mother’s oceans.

These and many other contributions are the grounding experience of feminism and the successive waves that can help us to carry out a transcedental change for the planet. We hope that our society stops being patriarchal and sexist; we hope that they see us and they recognize our contributions.

See you in the streets for the March 8th Women’s Rights Protest!


Text translated by Kaitlyn P. Delaney
Notas de página
1

José Luis Fdez. Casadevante “Kois” / Nerea Morán Alonso / Fernando Prats: Ciudades: lo utópico es pensar que todo va a seguir igual, published on Diario.es (February 2019):

“The Clock of the Apocalypse created by the Atomic Scientists Bulletin during the Cold War to warn society about the risk of total extermination, sample from the 50’s, the minutes that remain before midnight, in other words, the end of the world. In all of history, 23:58 had never been marked on the clock as it had it its most recent evaluation. It is a clock whose job is to act as a wake up alarm for social and political consciousness, but also whose task has become fruitless, given that it appears to be impossible to wake up someone who only pretends to be asleep.”

2

Yayo Herrero, Marta Pascual i María Gonzalez Reyes: La vida en el centro.Voces y relatos ecofeministas (Life in the center. Voices and ecofeminist tales) Madrid, Libros en Acción, 2018

3

Idem. Pag. 14-16.

4

Idem. Pág. 17.

5

Idea attributed to Angela Davis

6

Catherine Beecher Stowe i Harriet Beecher Stowe. The American Woman’s Home: or, Principles of Domestic Science: being a guide to the formation and maintenance of economical, healthful, beautiful, and Christian homes. New York: Arno Press, 1869.

7

Melusina Fay Peirce Co-operative Housekeeping; How not to do It and how to do It. Boston, James R. Osgood and Company, 1884.

8

Zaida Muxí Martínez: Mujeres, casas y ciudades. Más allá del umbral (Women, houses, and cities. Beyond the threshold) Barcelona: dpr-barcelona, 2018.

9

Jane Jacobs: Muerte y vida de las grandes ciudades (Life and Deather of Great American Cities). Madrid: Capitán Swing, 2011.

Autora:
(Argentina, 1964) Vive en Barcelona y nació en Buenos Aires, arquitecta por la FADU-UBA en 1988 y doctora arquitecta por la Universidad de Sevilla en 2002; profesora del Departamento de urbanismo y ordenación del territorio de ETSAB-UPC. Entre 2015 y 2019 ha sido Directora de urbanismo, vivienda, medioambiente, ecología urbana, espacio público, vía pública y civismo de Santa Coloma de Gramenet. Especialista en arquitectura y urbanismo con perspectiva de género y feminista. Autora de entre otros: La arquitectura de la ciudad global (Gustavo Gili, 2004) Arquitectura y política. Ensayos para mundos alternativos (Gustavo Gili, 2011) y Mujeres, casas y ciudades. Más allá del umbral (DPR-barcelona, 2018)

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