First came the Sexual Revolution.
Our mothers and grandmothers fought at the end of the 20th century against guilt and sin, and also fought for their right to pleasure. Contraceptive and protective methods helped separate sex from reproduction, disease, and death.
In the 1970s, women claimed their sexual freedom, their right to choose motherhood freely, their right to enjoy and live a life free of violence. That's why they fought for our right to abortion, and against trafficking and prostitution, female genital mutilation, street harassment, public transportation harassment, harassment in educational and workplace settings.
They also exposed the sexual assaults suffered by women at the hands of our fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, cousins, husbands, and "trusted" family friends. Years later, they dared to denounce bosses, managers, priests, film directors, producers, teachers, and powerful men by name in the successive waves of the #MeToo movement.
We have come a long way in these years, although many people still raise their daughters to center their sexuality around men's needs, to strive to please and appease them, to feel guilty for the sexual violence they endure and to keep silent about it, to always live on their knees in front of men (in brothels, in the Church, or at home), and to teach boys to treat them as mere sexual objects to use and discard.
Today, our culture remains deeply patriarchal and misogynistic, just as it was 40 years ago, but women are not staying silent. We point out all the men who continue to promote the objectification of girls and women, and all the people who continue to defend the idea that poor women are free to rent and sell their bodies and babies, and to allow men to profit from them.
The Love Revolution now joins the Sexual Revolution:
We women are fed up with suffering for love: we have dethroned romantic love as the sole way to attain happiness. We want to free love from sexism and transform it from top to bottom, so that love doesn't hurt us, nor subjugates us. We want to rescue all the women who still believe that love is enduring pain, we want to put an end to the femicides that claim the lives of 137 women daily on this planet, women who are claimed to be loved.
Love can no longer be a path to oppression, suffering, and death; instead, it should be a joyful experience that allows us to weave networks of love where a partner is just one element, never the sole one.
As we have been conditioned to be emotionally dependent and addicted to love, we are unlearning all we were taught in order to be free. Because the more emotionally dependent we are, the more violence and abuse we tolerate from men. In the laws of some countries, women appear as free beings, full subjects of rights, but the reality is that millions of women are enslaved by romantic love, living on their knees, in service to a male.
How does romantic love enslave "free" women? Take a look at the statistics on how leisure time is used: working women have two shifts a day, one inside the house and another outside, and those with children bear the weight of three shifts, with no leisure time at all. Meanwhile, men have only one work shift and plenty of time to invest in their careers, to engage in physical exercise, to pursue their passions, to spend time with loved ones, to rest, to enjoy life, and to have as many lovers as they wish.
No woman is obligated to care for a man for a lifetime, but there are millions who live in service to their husbands. They have made us believe that unpaid labor is love, that we were all born to suffer and sacrifice, that only men have the right to be happy, that our function is to ensure they live like kings, and that at the end of our lives, there will be a reward for all our sacrifices.
Now that we have rebelled against this immense injustice, it is clear to us that if care is not mutual, it is exploitation.
What does the Love Revolution entail?
It is a fight by feminist women who are fed up with suffering and wasting our time and energy on romantic love. Since the beginning of the 21st century, we have been writing, reading, debating, and analyzing the romantic myth. We now know it's a scam that has subjugated millions of women, and we are working on our personal and collective liberation.
These are the keys of the Love Revolution:
Relationships not based on mutual care and reciprocity are relationships of exploitation and abuse.
Women have the right to enjoy life, which requires energy and free time for rest, pursuing our passions, and spending time with our loved ones.
We can no longer prioritize men's well-being and happiness: our needs, desires, and appetites are more important. Women's self-care is a top political issue.
We don't need kings to serve, what we want are companions. We can't live in unequal relationships: living subservient to a man is detrimental to our physical, mental, and emotional health.
We know it's better to be without a partner than in a bad relationship, and we will never be alone if we have a good support network.
It's not the same to relate out of freedom as out of necessity: we must cultivate economic and emotional autonomy to not depend on men and to prevent them from depending on us.
Autonomy requires us to continue fighting for all women to have decent jobs and incomes, as poverty and female emotional dependence are not personal issues but political problems.
We are clear that Cupid doesn't have total power over us, nor do any men, and we are the Women who no longer suffer for love.
Women are the owners of our love and our lives: we are responsible for our well-being and mental health, and we are free to make choices, decisions, and take control of our lives.
Women in love are capable of anything: we've proven we can fall out of love whenever we want and don't have to be prisoners of romantic love.
We are working to spare ourselves tons of unnecessary suffering because we increasingly value our time and energy, and we want to live better.
We have learned that other ways of loving, relating, and organizing are possible, and that by transforming our relationships, we can change the whole world.
Our personal problems are political: millions of women struggle with low self-esteem and suffer at the hands of men who treat them like trash. It's a structural issue: we're taught to tolerate abuse and believe violence is romantic. No more.
Women are engaging in loving self-critique to free ourselves from guilt, fear, jealousy, envy, anger, frustration, emotional dependence, and all the patriarchal influences within us. We want to be better people and contribute to building a better world through our transformation.
Women are learning emotional self-defense and using our power to prevent exploitation, abuse, and violence from men.
We are aware that romantic love is a drug, and we can seek help to break free from the childhood addiction that was imposed on us, and we can detox and liberate ourselves.
We no longer participate in the silence pact that protects men; we expose the violence we endure on social media, share information among ourselves, and support one another.
We know who benefits from our romantic suffering, and it's crystal clear: we're no longer deceived or manipulated.
We know that love can't fix everything, that we can't change men, and men won't change on their own because they have no need to: they're doing just fine. The only transformation possible is the one we make within ourselves.
We're clear that we weren't born to be watchdogs, policemen, or jailers, and we can only relate to honest men.
We also know they are scarce and we can't wait for men to become aware of the importance of working on their honesty.
We've learned that verbal violence is violence, and that verbal, emotional, and psychological violence is as serious as physical violence.
We know that men who benefit from our suffering are abusers, and we won't fall into the trap set by stories and movies: our love doesn't change any man, and enduring abuse has no reward or compensation.
We're freeing ourselves from the tyranny of "what will people say" and the roles and stereotypes that dictate how we should be, because we want to love freely and always be ourselves.
We've discovered that we don't need a man to be happy; we need a network of people who truly care about us.
We know that Man is not the center of the Universe, and we're learning to take care of ourselves and love ourselves independently of them: more and more women are loving themselves, and we're feeling increasingly free to enjoy each other.
We now know it's impossible to enjoy love with a man who doesn't know how to take care of himself, his spaces, or the people he loves.
We're becoming more disobedient and realistic: we no longer buy into the monogamy story, and we're removing the blindfold from each other's eyes.
We no longer tolerate the male privilege of leading a double life and having as many lovers as they want while we give up sex and love, confined at home.
We're convinced that we have the right to enjoy without giving up or sacrificing, and without enduring. We know that love isn't suffering, and if we're in a relationship, it's to enjoy, not to suffer.
We now understand that we shouldn't settle for men who don't meet the standards of being good partners because they haven't put in the necessary work on themselves.
We've learned that with most men, the best approach is to keep them as lovers, or with the masterful formula: you in your house, and me in mine.
We know that we can't do it alone: we need each other, and with good company, processes of personal and collective liberation are easier and more enjoyable.
We're fully aware that ceasing to suffer for love is revolutionary, as the main battle of feminism lies within our hearts and sexuality, in our beds and homes: we won't kneel before anyone.
We're crafting the tools we need for feminism to make us freer and to put theory into practice, and we're starting to reap the fruits of the seeds we've been planting so that all of us can live a Good Life.
Now that we know how to use our power, our lives are no longer centered around yielding and pleasing. We know what we want and what we don't want; we can say it out loud, we've learned to say no, and we can set boundaries.
Now that we're training in the art of assertiveness, we can establish a loving contract with our partners to set the conditions for loving each other well and building an equal relationship based on mutual care and companionship.
Women know we have the right to live a good life, free from suffering, and this right is universal and inalienable.
We dream of new love utopias where women and men can love each other well, in freedom and equality, in relationships based on care, solidarity, honesty, teamwork, and good treatment: companionate loves.
The Love Revolution is unstoppable, and there's no turning back: more and more women are enjoying these processes of personal and collective liberation. As we transform our relationships, we change the society we live in, because the romantic is political, and other ways of loving are possible.
Men can either continue to resist our liberations and end up alone, or they can start their own.
We have already come a long way and won't sit around waiting for them to catch up: we're already reaping the rewards of the seeds we've sown, achieving victories, and even though many may fear this revolution, we're growing in number.
Loving is caring, loving is enjoying!
And Love Revolution has already begin!
Coral Herrera Gómez
Fuente: La Revolución Amorosa