Julieta Kirkwood, weaving feminist knots

Sociologist Julieta Kirkwood is a major precursor of gender studies in Chile and founder of the Feminist Movement in the 80s, which he gave a full theoretical discourse but actively participating in groups and initiatives in defense of the rights of women.

Kirkwood was born on April 5, 1937 in Santiago and during his university education at the University of Chile soaks revolutionary ideas of social and student movements that are born under the influence of the May Revolution of 1968 in France. During the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) his speech was based on the union of political resistance and feminism. For her, you can only achieve real democracy with the full participation of women in society. In the context of censorship and violence of this time, the maximum is blunt: “No democracy without feminism.”

“Democracy in the country, at home and in bed.” (Julieta Kirkwood)

Sociologist and Political Science, its contribution marks the beginning of a second phase in the history of feminism in Chile after the crisis of women’s organizations in the first half of the twentieth century, whose main objective was to obtain the right to vote for Chilean and gradually were integrated into political parties. A first step represented by elena caffarena and other members of MEMCH, with whom Kirkwood and other young feminists Circle Women’s Studies (later House of Women La Morada) contact to retrieve the memory of the feminist struggle of his country and rescue the contributions of women to history, totally silenced.

“Just as the story of the conquest of America have had to learn through the pen of the conquerors and very rarely by the testimony of its original inhabitants, well, all the history relating to women have had to know by the pen and the rod of men. and so they have told us of prostitutes, witches, saints or martyrs-mothers … never of real women in real worlds. ” ( ‘Weaving rebelliousness’ Julieta Kirkwood).

Julieta Kirkwood published in the 80s the three books that meet their theoretical contribution: Ser policy in Chile: feminists and parties, Tejiendo rebelliousness and Feminarios. They question the hierarchical and social patriarchy structures, gender stereotypes, different political and religious ideologies (especially reflects on the relationship between class and gender), the custom and sexuality “private world” sexist education and the role of women in politics.

Besides professor and researcher at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) since 1972 (specializing in women’s issues since 1980), it is part of the founding team of the magazine Furia and 1983 drives creaciĆ³ the Feminist Movement opposition Dictatorship, under the slogan “Democracy in the country and at home.”

That same year he made his most important theoretical contribution: the concept of “knots” that formulates after attending the II Latin American Feminist Meeting in Lima (Peru). It is to go the knots of existing knowledge and spinning feminist knots (recover or develop feminist scholarship) for, through them, to form feminist politics.

“Every day I made a new synthesis. I sank in the order of philosophy, I sought the order of science, I inmiscuĆ­ in ancient religions as history, the privilege indeed true of the three orders gorged with pollen, words, me multiplied lacked the line that could converge traffic jam that use another style letter I made my dearest discovery… my license feminist knots “. ( ‘Weaving rebelliousness’, Julieta Kirkwood)

Kirkwood died of cancer on April 8, 1985.

(Source: Chilean National Library of Chile Memory-DIBAM.)