8 martie 2015 – reimaginand feminismul

Reimaginând feminismul de ziua internațională a femeilor
(Reimagining feminism on International Women’s Day)

de Harsha Walia

În fiecare dimineață îi citesc fiicei mele de un an dintr-un fabulos abecedar pentru copii. Când ajungem la litera F, spunem: “F vine de la Feministă, Vrem să fim plătite egal”. Desigur, o carte pentru copii este limitată în cât de bine poate exprima o analiză cu mai multe niveluri de nuanțe, dar uneori mă întreb cât de relevantă este aceasta articulare a unei versiuni particulare de feminism pentru ea.

Feminismul liberal dominant a cerut în mod uzual drepturi egale pentru femei. Chiar și valurile ulterioare care au adus cu ele o reprezentare mai largă a diverse femei si persoane trans în același cadru feminist rareori au schimbat premiza “egalității” ca primă forță de organizare feministă, lăsând astfel nechestionată relația dintre heteropatriarhat și alte structuri de putere sociale, economice și politice. Pariarhatul nu este secundar capitalismului și imperialismului; bazele pe care capitalismul, colonialismul și violența statului sunt structurate în relație cu, și prin patriarhat. Femeile marginalizate, asfel, nu îndură numai violența de gen la cote ridicate, ci o și îndurăm într-un mod calitativ diferit.

Feminismul: prieten sau inamic al statului?

În ultimul deceniu a apărut o explozie de dezbateri despre strategiile feministe împotriva violenței care se bazează pe stat. Strategii anti-violență, precum legi de condamnare mai dure și creșterea activității poliției, au fost criticate pentru contribuția la criminalizarea care deja afectează în mod disproporțional comunitățile de culoare, comunitățile sărace și persoanele trans. Continue reading

assimilation vs liberation

“Assimilationists want nothing less than to construct the homosexual as normal – white, monogamous, wealthy, 2.5 children, SUVs with a white picket fence. This construction, of course, reproduces the stability of heterosexuality, whiteness, patriarchy, the gender binary, and capitalism itself. If we genuinely want to make ruins of this totality, we need to make a break. We don’t need inclusion into marriage, the military, and the state. We need to end them. No more gay politicians, CEOs, and cops. We need to swiftly and immediately articulate a wide gulf between the politics of assimilation and the struggle for liberation. We need to rediscover our riotous inheritance as queer anarchists. We need to destroy constructions of normalcy, and create instead a position based in our alienation from this normalcy, and one capable of dismantling it.”
— Toward The Queerest Insurrection, via Son of Baldwin

Gay Pride™ is subordination to the State and Empire.
Gay Pride™ is homage to capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy.
Gay Pride™ is co-optation of queer radicalism by liberals, Democrats, academics, hipsters, and NGOs.
Gay Pride™ is the eradication of trans bodies and narratives, and queer militancies.
Gay Pride™ is gala events for the elite.
Gay Pride™ is walking past homeless queer youth.
Gay Pride™ is assimilation into straight society.
Gay Pride™ is corporate.
Gay Pride™ is destruction of queer histories of mutual-aid, resistance, shame, promiscuity, creativity, humor, love, community, brutality, poverty, and disease.
Gay Pride™ is “we’re just like you”.
Gay Pride™ is safe, privileged, accommodationist, vanilla, temporary, and very boring.
Gay Pride™ is to ignore trans women of color being beat by police and murdered by street bigots.
Gay Pride™ is to achieve equality and sameness, to settle and be conditional, to compromise. Nothing more. Always less.
Gay Pride™ is forgetting about those affected by HIV/AIDS.
Gay Pride™ is “straight-acting”, “masc only”, “promise I’m not that gay tho”, “sry no effeminate guys”, “not into Asians”, “prefer white guys”, “no fatties or trannies”.
Gay Pride™ is gender binary.
Gay Pride™ is on the sidewalk, obeying the police when they say the party is over.
Gay Pride™ is neglecting all of the queer and trans prisoners held captive by the State.
Gay Pride™ is marriage and military.
Gay Pride™ is poor people of color being pushed out of their neighborhoods by a white gay gentry.
Gay Pride™ is refusing to avenge religious fundamentalists who cause young queers to commit suicide.
Gay Pride™ is “things aren’t that bad in Russia.”
Gay Pride™ is being able to participate in the military-industrial complex, kill and rape people in other countries in the name of “freedom”, yet be fired from a minimum wage job in the US because of your sexuality and/or gender identity.
Gay Pride™ is giving a shit about corporate media and entertainment.
Gay Pride™ is pretending electoral politics will bring about social change.
Gay Pride™ is a rearranging of the existing social order only to accommodate a few, as opposed to collective liberation and dismantling of oppressive systems.
Gay Pride™ is nationalism.
Gay Pride™ is to water down and tranquilize – to make “normal”.
Gay Pride™ is men and women who arm themselves to kill people who are deemed criminals, deviants, and terrorists by the State.
Gay Pride™ is business casual or muscle tees.
Gay Pride™ is the invisibilization of people of color.
Gay Pride™ is to dismiss queer Palestinians being murdered by the Israeli apartheid state.
Gay Pride™ is gay men being misogynist pigs and committing verbal, physical, and sexual violence against women and it being “okay” since they’re gay.
Gay Pride™ is obscuring histories of Western colonialism and silencing Indigenous voices.
Gay Pride™ is “speak English or go back to your country”.
Gay Pride™ is a mythology and an opiate.”

how to be an ally to your straight friends

The ever tumblr_inline_mr6nivu6uO1qz4rgpincreasing trend of oppression against straight people in LGBT and queer communities has been worrying any person with a fragment of a conscious left unharmed by extreme heterophobic propaganda. It’s time for us to stop it! It’s time that we learn how to stop insulting straight people, how not to question their heterosexuality, how to learn to love their privileges (Because hating is bad! And it gives you ulcers!), and in short: how to be their allies. …
4. Learn to acknowledge straight people’s privileges. And to love them. The fact that straight people have privilege doesn’t mean that those should be challenged. Learn to love straight people’s privileges, and to appreciate that despite their many privileges, they are still willing to allow you to exist. Remember that thanks to straight people’s privileges, they can also contribute much more to the LGBTQ struggle than you ever could, because as opposed to queer people, they in fact get listened to. …
“How to be an ally to your straight friends” @ Bi radical

voices of clients over those of sex workers

I Don’t Care About Clients
by Olive Seraphim
aclientally“… The point I am trying to make here is that if clients were contributing something valuable or even something innocuous to our movement, I could deal. Instead, they are perpetrating whorephobia. I fear that people who don’t know better will see posts like this and think these men somehow have more knowledge of our lives and the realities of our work than we do. After all, the conversations surrounding punters and activism are largely cisheteronormative, and most of these men bring their male privilege to the table, while not even being aware of these advantages.

Beyond that, this issue seems to cause a divide between sex workers and, as evidenced by my anon friend, makes those of us who don’t subscribe to this thinking feel isolated, as if we’re doing something wrong. As if it’s our responsibility to listen and care about what men have to say. After all, it’s part of our socialization as women and marginalized people to listen to men, just as it’s part of our male clients’ socialization to speak over us and for us. How can we even begin to broach the subject of clients’ input regarding our rights if we’re not examining the dynamics of privilege? In addition to the gender differences at play here (remembering that not all sex workers—or clients—are cisgender), as sex workers we’re routinely silenced by everyone from fauxmanists to governments and police and even, sadly, our own communities. By radical feminist logic, if we’re able to assert any conviction of our rights, we’re too privileged to be representative. Of course, if we agree with them, then that privilege goes out the window. Thankfully, they don’t listen to punters’ self-involved bullshit either, but their influence—and silencing—is effective against us all too often, another hardship which clients never experience.

Those of us who have additional marginalized identities in addition to being sex workers are probably more aware of the problematic nature of self-declared ally status than the more privileged workers among us. Alliance always comes with a few fundamental problems. Firstly, an ally is always going to be approaching a marginalized person from a point of view that has internalized toxic shit against us, and having that privileged position means they can still act on those views in ways that harm us. When we then allow them into our spaces and into our conversations, we’re increasing their power both by giving them credibility to outsiders and also by giving them access to, well, us. The other major problem is that their voices inevitably drown out ours. Their experience of sex work is always going to be more valid than ours to society because non-sex workers are considered more valid than we are. We end up in a situation where people more powerful than us, whose ideas are skewed with bias, are representing us, speaking about realities they’re only vaguely aware of.”

“… Sadly, being a true ally is more than most clients, or most people, want to deal with; it requires too much effort, too much examination of one’s own internalized prejudice, too much thankless work. I would like to suggest—while knowing that this is very difficult in and of itself—that our families would be much better poised to do this sort of P.R. than clients are. While I have no statistics on how many sex workers are ‘out’, I think it’s a fair assumption that most sex workers have at least a few non-sex workers in their lives whom they’re close to and who know what they do. It’s these people who love us, support us, care about us, and share this world with us.I would like to see a blog written by our mothers, our daughters, our husbands and wives. They are the best shot we have of being seen as actual people outside of stereotypes, because they love us and see us as actual people who exist outside of the benefits we provide them.They are more invested in our humanity and in our safety than clients can ever be, and perhaps they can be the missing link we so sorely need.”

“… Mia McKenzie, editor of the Black Girl Dangerous blog, compiled an amazing list of attributes and behaviors that sincere allies possess. Clients of sex workers who actually wish to support us, rather than giving themselves an ego boost while prioritizing their own rights ahead of ours, could learn a lot from it.”

on those “toxic” feminist disruptions and digital gentrification

… Only those with presumed safety in dominant society fear losing their privilege of comfort, along with possession and control over discourse in online spaces. People of color face real violence on the basis of their skin color. Black, brown, and gender non-conforming bodies even face police brutality, which shows that a lack of protection is normalized. In a world where whiteness means presumed innocence, safety, and entrance there is born a fear of anything contrary to unquestionable authority. The reaction white feminists are having to women of color feminists entering Twitter tends to problematize those who point out racism rather than question the integrity of the framework being critiqued.

The invoking of “toxic” is particularly instructive in that it normalizes online spaces in absence of these “polluting influences.” Seemingly ignoring the daily violence directed at women of color online, claims about the tranquility of online spaces in absence of these intrusions belies the facts on the ground. Dr. Brendesha Tynes, et al., in “Online Racial Discrimination and Psychological Adjustment Among Adolescents,” found that between 30-40% of youth of color experience racism online. According to Dr. Marcia Dawkins, “These young people were more likely to become depressed, anxious and, possibly, less successful academically.”

The Internet is toxic and violent, yet the recent narrative seems to reimagine virtual reality as a democratic nirvana seemingly disrupted by angry, disruptive, and divisive feminism. …

… In the discussion of Twitter feminism, the deployed language of “toxic” or “polluting” feminism is striking given the desire to reclaim these spaces because they are “toxic” and a blight on Feminism or progressive causes. Just as middle-class whites are returning to neighborhoods, previously abandoned and “left behind” – resulting in environmental hardship – these “crusaders” are now seeking to “clean up” the Internet at the expense of already marginalized voices.

Whereas others seem to be focused on “cleaning up” or otherwise ridding the Internet of those undesirable intrusions, there remains a community of people committed to creating a more just on- and off- line space. The desire to “clean up” these spaces through displacing or silencing women of color, those critical yet marginalized voices, embodies a form of digital gentrification. …

“In Defense of Twitter Feminism: Call-out culture, gentrification on social media and the politics of feminist discourse online.” by Suey Park @ MODEL VIEW CULTURE

d.i.y. feminist spaces

We’d like to build spaces without harassment, without having to worry about jerks, and more ambitiously, with active encouragement to explore. The culture we’re developing supports making, learning, and teaching, which is a goal we share with many other hackerspaces. Ours is starting with a few extra values; intersectional feminism, support for feminist activism and strong respect for personal boundaries. We’re trying to build structures that help us form strong social ties and share responsibility.

It’s very exciting. I know what you’re thinking. You want a feminist hackerspace full of creative, talented non-jerks near you!

“The Rise of Feminist Hackerspaces and How to Make Your Own” by Liz Henry @ MODEL VIEW CULTURE
— via aic

The Global Women Wikipedia Write-In #GWWI

The Global Women Wikipedia Write-In #GWWI by the Rewriting Wikipedia Project: April 26, 2013, 1-3pm EST

Wikipedia Meetup Page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/globalwomen

On April 26th, the Rewriting Wikipedia Project will host the Global Women Wikipedia Write-In #GWWI. This virtual event is designed to encourage internet users to write entries about women from around the world into Wikipedia and to improve existing entries on these topics. The Rewriting Wikipedia Project is now a working group supported by Global Outlook::Digital Humanities (GO::DH).
Continue reading

feminism and labor – and more

some essential reading:

National Hyatt Boycott Unites Workers, Feminists, LGBQT Activists, and More

Worker rights are a feminist issue and should be considered as such, but often they get short shrift in feminist spaces. Let’s not forget that International Women’s Day started as International Working Women’s Day, and that some of the earliest feminist agitators were fighting in the front lines of factory strikes during the Industrial Revolution. Fierce seamstresses and other workers striking for better working conditions inspired wealthier women, some of whom decided to take up their cause after being inspired by seeing them hold their ground for days and weeks, even in the face of intimidation from police as well as thugs hired to break their strikes. Women involved in the fight for suffrage also helped organise women’s unions, and played an active role in labour advocacy.

The connections between labour and feminism should be obvious; many workers are women, women are often mistreated in the workplace, and fighting for not just fair wages but fair conditions should be an obvious extension of feminist ethics. This holds especially true in the case of low-wage workers, who are particularly vulnerable to abuse. Low-wage workers in agriculture, the hospitality industry, health care, and among household staffs tend to be immigrant women, some of whom are making less than minimum wage, many of whom are afraid to report any abuses they experience in the workplace because they need to retain their jobs and are terrified of harassment or deportation.

Yet, the modern feminist movement has been falling down on the job when it comes to supporting workers; there’s a lot of discussion about how women can ‘have it all,’ which focuses on aspirational middle class ideals of success and says virtually nothing about the lives of low-income women. There’s also a lot of conversation about the wage gap, which is an undeniable problem, but it’s a problem that hits women of colour and women with disabilities particularly hard, especially at the low end of the payscale, and that’s not discussed as frequently.

There’s less discussion of the grueling working conditions for the immigrant women who make the United States tick, moving silently and invisibly through our lives. The women who get up before dawn to pick produce in the fields of the Central Valley, the women who process poultry in crowded, unhealthy conditions in the Midwest, the women who lug heavy cleaning carts down the carpeted hallways of hotels from coast to coast, cleaning room after room after room and leaving chocolates on the pillow as they go.

Union UNITE HERE aims to change that with a nationwide boycott targeting Hyatt hotels which started today. The union has been involved in anti-Hyatt actions across the United States on a primarily local and regional level, but today, it’s taking the boycott center stage and demanding that Hyatt treat its workers better. And the union is being joined in a coalition that includes major feminist and LGBQT leaders among others; this is a collective effort to fight for workers that goes beyond labour organisers, and aims to include everyone with a stake in the fight. […]

@ Tiger Beatdown

femei alergatoare

apropos de femei si alergat:

In 1967, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston marathon. After realizing that a woman was running, race organizer Jock Semple went after Switzer shouting, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers.” However, Switzer’s boyfriend and other male runners provided a protective shield during the entire marathon.The photographs taken of the incident made world headlines, and Kathrine later won the 1974 NYC marathon (women’s division) with a time of 3:07:29.

“Kathrine Switzer (born January 5, 1947) is the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry. She entered and completed the race in 1967, five years before women were officially allowed to compete in it. Her finishing time of approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes was nearly an hour behind the first female finisher, Bobbi Gibb (who ran unregistered). She registered under the gender-neutral “K. V. Switzer”. It was not done in an attempt to mislead the officials; she had long used “K. V. Switzer” to sign the articles she wrote for her college paper.” — Wikipedia: Kathrine Switzer

mai multe pe site-ul lui Kathrine Switzer, profilul ei (video) pe makers.com si un eseu: “LIFE IS FOR PARTICIPATING”