In Brazil, the 2016 coup against Dilma Rousseff and the Worker’s Party (PT), and the subsequent jailing of former PT President Luis Ignacio da Silva (Lula), laid the groundwork for the 2018 election of ultra-conservative Jair Bolsonaro. In the perfect storm leading up to the coup, the conservative elite drew on deep-seated misogynist discourses to oust Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s progressive first woman president, and the Worker’s Party she represented. Imprisoning Lula and preventing him from running solidified the effects of the coup and opened the field to the right wing. In this article, we track the roots of the elite’s 2016 power grab back to colonization and through various stages of Brazil’s political history. Tracing the contours of women’s movements alongside this history of domination reveals both the configurations of feminist agendas in Brazil and transformations of power. We draw on our experiences as scholars and activists to argue that Brazil’s current crisis has created an opportunity for solidarity that has drawn academic and activist feminists closer. Namely, amidst this crisis, we see a coming together of various women’s movements including Afro-Brazilian women, peasant women, indigenous women, and student groups. The unity among movements is made evident through the 2017 Women’s Worlds March for Rights, which the authors of this paper organized and attended, as well as #EleNão and 8M. In post-coup Brazil and throughout Latin America, women have been the face of the resistance to an encroaching fascism; this battle will require sustained opposition and continued deepening of solidarities.
Snyder, Cara K. and Wolff, Cristina Scheibe
The Perfect Misogynist Storm and The Electromagnetic Shape of Feminism: Weathering Brazil’s Political Crisis.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 20(8), 87-109.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol20/iss8/6