Extracts from the text “Against white violence, the home as the only refuge”

Originally published on "Domani" in March, 2024

by Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfau and Marie Moise

(…) The space of the home has long been analysed by Western white feminism as the primary place of segregation for women, confined to domestic work, reduced to the role of mothers and wives. It has been considered the private space par excellence, within which what happens is not to be considered public domain.

Claiming that “the private is political”, feminism has broken the locks of the home, and denounced the domestic space as the main source of patriarchal violence, which could act undisturbed because of its classification as a personal matter.

It is on the basis of this moral order that women’s experiences within the home were long erased from analyses of systems of domination. But which houses are we talking about? Which women? From an anti-racist feminist perspective, it remains fundamental to claim that the personal is political, but reducing the domestic space to a terrain of violence and exploitation means narrowing the gaze to the experience of white bodies and elevating it to universal law.

In a racist society, the walls of the house are the perimeter of the only safe place, the only space in which bodies exposed to racial violence escape the principle that structures the hierarchy of humanity and that distinguishes between the lives that have worth and those who, considered inferior, are exposed to premature death. This is the condition of entire social groups and peoples who in five centuries of colonialism have historically seen themselves deprived of the land called “home”: uprooted, deported as slaves, forced to migrate and search for refuge, buried under the rubble of bombing who even as we write, redefine the concept of genocide and ethnic cleansing under the name of a defensive war against “human animals”. (…)

So... is this getting serious?

Subscribe to our newsletter: you will find all the news on what we do, what we like and where we want to stay.