by Sonia Corrêa
October and November 2015 will be marked in the Brazilian calendar as a colorful time of feminist occupations. Feminist bodies, voices, lemmas, writings, images have invaded the streets, social networks, the male writers op-ed spaces in the mainstream press. Feminist voices of all ages and social strata arose everywhere to make clear that we have had enough.
Feminists have taken the streets across the country to contest the blatant conservatism installed in the political system, which keeps pushing down the throats of society shameful legislative proposals as it is the cases of PL5069, that aims at restricting access to abortion in the case of rape. On November 25th they occupied the room of the Committee ON to present a petition against the provision signed by around 100.000 people. Young feminist gathered around the blog Think Olga launched the #o primeiroassédio (#the firstharrassment) twitter campaign to scream loudly against a grotesque episode of web based sexual preying that targeted a 12 year old participant of a TV program on teen agers chefs de cuisine. Black women have taken the central Brasilia esplanade to protest against overlapping racism and sexism. A successful mobilization was also launched #AgoraÉQueSãoElas (#NowItIsByWomen) to have women’s voices taking over occupying the male blogs and mainstream media op-ed spaces. As if capturing the spirit of the time, for the first time ever, the 2015 annual exam that screens the access to public universities — although prepared few months back – requested participants to write on gender based violence and included a question on Simone de Beauvoir theories.
Even observers, like us, who systematically keep track of the Brazilian feminist landscape, could not have predicted the diversity and spread of these recent feminist flares. Although since March 2015 SPW has been signaling towards the maturation of feminist resistances to conservatism, the October – November feminist occupations were unexpected. They can be portrayed as ‘events’ (evenements), a trail of social and political eruptions whose genesis may elude us and that “even if temporarily, suspend the ballast of contexts and structures Bensa and Fassin (2002) . Feminist rhisomes have spread across the Brazilian social fabric in 2015. This is what matters even when we may not know what comes next.