various feminist intersections

some excellent and thought-provoking recent pieces via Bitch Magazine blogs:

“Feminist Intersection: On hipsters/hippies and Native culture”

Lately I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with the hipsters and hippies, as well as the hippie/hipster “culture” at large, and have become increasingly annoyed at their depiction/co-option of my ethnicity as a First Nations person. […] I know my parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles have had to deal with this in their time and it’s certainly not a new thing –but it’s 2010 and not only does it still continue strongly to this day – it’s taken some interesting turns down the erasure of true origins road. …

“Adventures in Feministory: Sara Estela Ramírez”

Called the “muse of Texas” in her 1910 obituary, Sara Estela Ramírez was a poet and activist in the politically-charged border town of Laredo, and used her words to inspire workers and women alike.
Born in 1881 in Coahuila, Mexico, she helped raise her younger sister when her mother died early on. They moved to Laredo, Texas in about 1897, where Ramírez began teaching. Although Laredo had always had a mostly Mexican population (seeing that it was part of Mexico a few decades earlier…that’s another story), when the Mexican revolution began in 1910, its population swelled as more Mexicans left the country seeking refuge and work. …

“Free Speech. Hate Speech.”

Sex slavery yields around $12 billion a year and harms about 4 million women, girls, and young boys around the world. On April 23, 2010 Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law the state’s undocumented immigration law (aka “breathing while brown”). Psychology professor Kevin MacDonald continues to receive attention for promoting anti-Semitic arguments and remains the darling of white supremacist bigots. Between 2006 and 2008, violence toward queer and transgender people increased 26 percent.
Connecting these global dots is the fact that hate-speech, hate-motivated violence, and gender-based crime can incite widespread fear, frustration, isolation, and anger, even among those who are not directly victimized. …

“Autostraddle Roundtable: Becoming Queer Feminists (Part 1)”

Though it’s officially defined as a belief in gender equality, the word “feminist” seems to mean different things to different people…
Who doesn’t believe in equality? Assh*les, that’s who. But tell that to your brother when he wants you to stop pointing out every misogynistic moment in Two a Half Men, or your Mom when she wonders why you’re so angry or Scott Baio, who thinks feminists are all lesbian shitasses.
Maybe you get judged for being a feminist, maybe you don’t bring it up with your family, or maybe you’re way past that and you’re introducing feminism to your own children. Or maybe you don’t even identify as a feminist at all.
Autostraddle was founded way back in March 2009 in part to push our radical lesbian feminist agenda, obviously.
But for those of us who do, especially those of us also campaigning actively against racism and homophobia in our own lives, we often wonder: What is the purpose of all this shouting and “consciousness-raising”? How do we turn our anger into activism? How do we make it work? …

The Splendid Table Radio: Why are there no famous female chefs?

“Writer Charlotte Druckman talks with Lynne about what she sees as the dearth of great female chefs.” Druckman does a great job here talking about the ways in which female chefs are marginalized/tokenized by the mass media.

“Raising Trouble: Does Pink Really Stink?”

The merchants of pink would have loved School Picture Day at my son’s preschool: hardly any other color was visible on the little girls. Naturally I was thrilled to learn about an organization called Pink Stinks, a UK-based project – founded by twin sisters, both mothers of girls — seeking to challenge “the culture of pink which invades every aspect of girls’ lives.” This group has, among other achievements, successfully pressured Sainsbury’s, a major UK clothing retailer, to stop gender stereotyping in its kids clothing sections. Awesome, obviously. I wish there were more groups like this everywhere.
But I’m curious what we should think of the vilification of pink. …

“european person of the year 2010”: iana matei

“‘Europeanul Anului 2010’ este o hunedoreancă născută în municipiul Orăştie”

Iana Matei a fost recompensată de o revistă de talie mondială pentru lupta sa împotriva prostituţiei juvenile, dar şi pentru salvarea victimelor traficului de carne vie.
De la o adresă secretă din Piteşti, voluntarii organizaţiei „Reaching Out” salvează vieţile copiilor care cad victime traficanţilor de fiinţe umane. În fruntea lor este Iana Matei de 50 de ani, preşedinta şi fondatoarea organizaţiei, care şi-a dedicat şi chiar riscat viaţa pentru salvarea acestor copii.

(via c.)

“Europeanul Anului 2010 este romanca Iana Matei”

“‘Européenne de l’année 2010’: Iana Matei, l’ange des persécutés”

“‘Europäerin des Jahres 2010’: Iana Matei, der Engel der Verschleppten”

“Romanian named European Person of the Year 2010”

The 19-strong jury of the Reader’s Digest magazine, offered the title of ‘European Person of the Year’ to a Romanian, a first in the 15-year history of this award, a hero who has dedicated and risked her life to save the girls who fell victim to traffickers in persons.

It’s been 11 years since Iana Matei, aged 50, founder and executive director of ‘Reaching Out’, has been using her organization as a weapon against this most cruel form of modern slavery.

Reaching out, a shelter for trafficked girls

The Evil Behind The Smiles

Published: December 31, 2008
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia 

Nicholas D. Kristof/The New York Times
On the Ground

Western men who visit red-light districts in poor countries often find themselves surrounded by coquettish teenage girls laughingly tugging them toward the brothels. The men assume that the girls are there voluntarily, and in some cases they are right.

But anyone inclined to take the girls’ smiles at face value should talk to Sina Vann, who was once one of those smiling girls. Continue reading

some recent things of interest/citeva lucruri recente

  • Dates for the 16 Days of Activism for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
    25 November to 10 December 2008

    25 Nov International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
    01 Dec World AIDS Day
    06 Dec Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre
    10 Dec International Human Rights Day

  • Norway to introduce “Swedish model”

    Dear Friends,
    I just received the news that the Norwegian Parliament passed the legislation that prohibits the purchase of a sexual service – 44 votes vot, 28 against. The Law will come into force on January 1, 2009!!!

    This is indeed a great victory for all of us. Congratulations to the all the women in Norway and internationally who worked to hard to get the law passed!!!!
    Warmest greetings to all of you!
    ———— ——— —
    Gunilla S. Ekberg
    Co-Executive Director/Co- Directrice Exécutive

    Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International/ Coalition Internationale contre la Traite des Femmes (CATW)
    International Secretariat/ Sécretariat International
    Mailing address/Adresse: rue Washington 40, B-1050 Brussels, BELGIUM
    E-mail address/Adresse de courriel: gsekberg@catwintern
    Phone/Tel.: +32 2 346 2350
    Fax: +32 2 344 2003
    Website/ Site Web:

  • RO: femeia europeana 2008, fwd nicoleta bitu, via crina

    Fostul ministru al justitiei, Monica Macovei, a fost aleasa miercuri “Femeia Europei” in 2008 de catre un juriu format din europarlamentari si jurnalisti, relateaza NewsIn. Premiul urmeaza sa-i fie decernat de catre presedintele Parlamentului European, Hans Gert Poettering.

    Monica Macovei fusese desemnata candidata Romaniei pentru acest premiu la 16 iunie de catre un juriu format din 25 de reprezentanti ai societatii civile si jurnalisti romani. Contracandidatele ei din Romania au fost Anamaria Marinca, actrita care a detinut rolul principal in filmul “4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 zile” castigator in 2007 al trofeului Palme d’Or al Festivalului de la Cannes, Margareta Matache, activista pentru drepturile minoritatilor, Iulia Motoc, expert in drept international, si Marta Petreu, profesor de filosofie la Universitatea Babes-Bolyai din Cluj.

    Pentru a desemna reprezentanta Romaniei, juriul a avut in vedere anumite criterii cum ar fi activitatea dedicata promovarii valorilor europene si a rolului Europei in lume, angajament si initiative personale pentru sustinerea procesului de integrare europeana sau initiative originale si eficiente ale candidatei.

    Apreciata de europarlamentari pentru reformele in domeniul justitiei si luptei anticoruptie, Monica Macovei a fost ministru al justitiei in perioada 2004-2007, in prezent fiind consultant special al premierului Republicii Macedonia pe probleme de combatere a coruptiei. De asemenea, este expert al Comisiei Europene in domeniul pregatirii personalului de specialitate din tarile candidate ale UE in domeniul combaterii coruptiei si reformei sistemului juridic.

    Printre reformele care i-au adus aprecierea in UE, dar si critici acerbe din partea parlamentarilor romani, s-au numarat introducerea obligativitatii declaratiilor de avere pentru demnitari, infiintarea Directiei Nationale Anticoruptie, care pentru prima oara a inceput anchete de coruptie la nivel inalt.

  • Ads target men who use trafficked women

    MEN who buy sex from women trafficked into Ireland for prostitution are being targeted for the first time in an advertising campaign that warns they could go to jail.

  • Woman Fed To Dogs: Taslim Solangi and an End to Civility

    I am grown up enough now to believe that not every Pakistani household has its own feudal lord – though a significant amount of them are at the mercy of some lameass patriarchal messiah of sorts -and I am also firmly aware of the bitter truth that a very stringent sort of sexism prevalent in a large part of that country (as in mine) means a daily, almost ritualistic, persecution and defilement of women – emotionally, mentally, physically – as well as a thorough disregard for women’s rights.

    Despite my usual preparedness for the abnormally grim, stories like Solangi’s still manage to scare me insane and fuel unbridled rage within me. Wrath is what I can feel right now, rising from the absolute pit of my stomach. Unadulterated and unmitigated anger. And I want to use this anger in a way that pulverizes the very core of our enforced patriarchal inheritance. I want my anger to be as brutal and as devoid of mercy as these murdering charlatans are.

    I need revenge. We need revenge.

    I could have chosen to satirize in my usual blasé manner because I find in humor – especially dark humor – a rock-hard and unshakable crutch. But this is not the time to seek crutches, it’s the time to demolish.

    I beseech those academically fortified women amongst us, who love to deliberate about ethnocentric feminism’s strides in the warm comfort of their Ikea-decorated living rooms, to stand up and address this. Now. Without politeness and political correctness corrupting their ire. Because when young girls are left for dogs to feed on, very little room is left for civility.

  • Obama Expected to Overturn Global Gag Rule

    The new president is also expected to lift a so-called global gag rule barring international family planning groups that receive U.S. aid from counseling women about the availability of abortion, even in countries where the procedure is legal, said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he rescinded the Reagan-era regulation, known as the Mexico City policy, but Bush reimposed it.

    “We have been communicating with his transition staff” almost daily, Richards said. “We expect to see a real change.”

    The Global Gag Rule literally kills thousands and thousands of women every year by putting already over-stretched clinics in an impossible position. They must generally choose between either having no money to provide life-saving care, or providing care while breaking doctor-patient trust and actively doing harm by deceit. What the hell do you choose?

    Different organizations have different answers, but the fact is that it shouldn’t be a question. Doctors should be able to answer their patients’ inquiries honestly. Abortion should be treated as the routine and sometimes life-saving medical procedure that it is. And women deserve quality reproductive health care, whatever their needs. No woman should die because “pro-life” organizations on another continent have a superiority complex and think their tax dollars should only go to providing care for women they deem worthy enough.

    Repealing the Global Gag Rule is only a start, but it’s a huge first step towards a real culture of life — one that respects and cares for the lives of women. And it’s absolutely at the very top of my list of things President Obama can do quickly and decisvely to make the world a better place within his first hours in the Oval Office. If he intends to live up to his campaign promises to protect women’s health and show the world that we’re more than a bunch of self-absorbed ideological assholes, he absolutely must do it. And I eagerly look forward to the moment when he does, because it will not come a moment too soon.

Concerns over trafficking at Euro 2008

The Women’s Rights Committe at the European Parliament is tackling football and sex trafficking in two days of debate in Brussels. There is concern that Euro 2008 hosted by Austria and Switzerland is tempting traffickers to force more women into prostitution. The parliament committee will ask the European Commission what it is doing to prevent this. An EU plan adopted in 2005 includes details of specific actions to be regularly reviewed and updated.

Two years ago, before World Cup in Germany, the committee launched the Red Card campaign against forced prostitution – claimed as a success. Slovakian Christian Democrat Anna Zaborska says: “This initiative came at the urging of German NGOs, warning us what’s being prepared, and that transport is being organised to bring in young women especially for this event.” The host cities are eager to make Euro 2008 a happy experience for fans. But Austrian Socialist MEP Christa Prets, noting that organised crime was ready, willing and able to spoil the good clean fun, said: “Trafficking in women is a Europe-wide crime and an extraordinarily cruel form of modern slavery.” The International Labour Organisation says more than two million people are trafficked worldwide every year, and four out of ten of them are believed to be forced into sex.

Source: euronews

also: “Europe Reconsiders Prostitution as Sex Trafficking Booms”

the SAGE project / great statement re: legalizing prostitution

fwd sarah l., londonfeministnetwork list

Standing Against Global Exploitation (SAGE)

“The mission of the SAGE Project is to improve the lives of individuals victimized by, or at risk for sexual exploitation, violence and prostitution through trauma recovery services, substance abuse treatment, vocational training, housing assistance and legal advocacy.”

SAGE was founded by Norma Hotaling, a woman who had experienced homelessness, addiction and prostitution, and in their own words: “Many of the STAR Center staff are survivors of sexual exploitation and/or are recovering addicts. Some of us also have incarceration experiences.”

Q: Does SAGE support legalizing prostitution?
Continue reading

Scrisoare deschisa re: legalizarea prostitutiei

… Asociaţia Caritas Bucureşti împreună cu o puternică reţea de organizaţii non-guvernmentale au iniţiat un amplu program de informare şi conştientizare care atrage atenţia că prostituţia este o nouă formă de violenţă asupra femeii. Statisticile arată că rata mortalităţii şi morbidităţii femeilor implicate în prostituţie este de 40 de ori mai mare decât cea a populaţiei generale şi că aceste decese sunt aproape întotdeauna de tip violent, provocate de proxeneţi, traficanţi şi clienţi. Rata ridicată a mortalităţii, bolilor şi traumelor fizice şi psihice, demonstrează că guvernele trebuie să ia toate măsurile necesare pentru a elimina prostituţia, care este o formă de violenţă împotriva femeii şi o crimă împotriva demnităţii umane. …

— Intreaga scrisoare deschisa AICI (Open letter in English HERE)

si cateva resurse pe subiect aici


Call for papers:
Please distribute widely

Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference
At Manchester University
June 27, 2008

In association with Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies/ University of Leeds Migration and Diaspora Cultural Studies Network
Department of Theology and Religious Studies/University of Leeds Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies/University of Manchester

This one day postgraduate conference seeks to examine issues of gender and borders/boundaries across a range of critical perspectives. We want to encourage innovative and interdisciplinary dialogues and welcome postgraduate students from a variety of disciplines, such as anthropology, cultural studies, gender studies, religion, sociology, psychology, politics, geography and social
Continue reading