Post with 2 notes
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Drawing from radical feminisms, transfeminism, anarcha-feminism/anarchism, we will discuss ideas about what gender means in different contexts and how to end the coercive aspects of gender while freeing everyone to be who they are. Presented by stacy, editor of http://anarchalibrary.blogspot.com/, and author of “Gender Sabotage” in the forthcoming Queering Anarchism to be published by AK Press.
- Don’t tone police. It is NOT your right to dictate how someone should react to their oppression.
- Don’t demand a detailed explanation.* You’re basically asking the person to justify their call out. It’s exhausting, many resources are available, and often this is just a way to try and derail, start an argument, or discredit the other person.
- Don’t get defensive. A call out is not all about you as a person.
- Don’t take it personally. Calling out is not a personal attack. If someone calls you out, they’re trying to teach you something. Calling out is a way for people to educate others on how systems of oppression operate on a day to day, individual level.
- Don’t attack the person who’s calling you out. That’s just fucked up.
- Don’t assume the person calling you out is just “looking to get offended”. Nobody enjoys calling other people out. To call someone out, people often have to mentally prepare for serious repercussions. Calling someone out might mean starting an argument, during which many people will side with the oppressor by default (especially if you’re privileged over the person calling you out).
- Understand that being oppressive is not the same as being offensive or hurting feelings. The damage you’re perpetuating is part of a larger system of oppression.
- Realize that your intent is irrelevant when it comes to whether you were oppressive or not.
- Recognize the power dynamics that are in place between you and the person calling you out.
- Understand intersectionality. IE: Just because you are oppressed by classism, doesn’t mean you lack male privilege.
- Know that being privileged means being oppressive, but you can work to reduce the ways that you are oppressive.
- Genuinely apologize.
- Work on oppression reduction and being the best ally you can be. The point of calling you out is to draw your attention to how you’re being oppressive, so that you can work to change it. If you made an oppressive joke, there’s probably oppressive thoughts in place (conscious or not) that led you to think the joke was appropriate. Everyone has to unlearn the oppressive things they’ve absorbed from an oppressive society. We are all taught ways to keep marginalized people in their place, but the good thing is that we can identify these things in ourselves and change. And then we can start working on dismantling the kyriarchy, yeah!
Feel free to add to this or change as necessary.
Many White reproductive activists cannot relate to the experiences of Black women. They have never had to fight for the right to be mothers, or fight for the right to keep their children off the auction block. Unless the reproduction of a woman of colour is directly sanctioned by Whiteness, it is deemed an irresponsible act. Such language continues to occur in discussions of so-called third world Brown and Black women. Mommy continues to be defined as White, middle/upper class, able bodied, straight, soccer mom in a mini van. Undocumented workers are routinely accused of having anchor babies to secure citizenship, but when this is played out in the media, they most certainly aren’t referring to the undocumented workers from countries that are considered White. They mean the dangerous Brown and Black wombs reproducing at will. Women of colour are construed as a project in need of being saved, as long as the process does not mean truly acknowledging the role that race and class have played in our continuing oppression. Innovations like the pill and Depo Provera, that have been touted as life saving, and important to the advancement of women’s rights, were tested on women of colour, long before they entered the precious bloodstreams of White women. Yet, this history is erased to praise the ability of women to control their reproductive process. Once again, advancement for women was carried on the backs of women of colour. Even as I am writing this, I wonder how many blogs dedicated to reproductive justice have ignored this story and its historical significance, because it would mean confronting the horrible truth that reproductive justice is about far more than access to birth control, the right to have an abortion and supporting Planned Parenthood; its about validating the idea that women, and by women I mean women of colour, have paid the brunt of the cost in terms of violation due to the intersection or racism and sexism.
Phil Gordon said on the first night of the protest that he would come down and get arrested with us if the police were to arrest anyone. Immediately, his PR person contacted news agencies and some complied in taking down the quotation. The spokesperson said the mayor’s cause was SB1070, not (un)Occupy. Needless to say, the mayor never showed up to get arrested. In addition to this, the city manager told protesters that we had the okay to camp at Margaret T. Hance park. We found out that this actually wasn’t the case when riot police arrived with mass arrest supplies. Emphasis and details added by me.
Dear Mayor Gordon,
I was one of the 46 people arrested Saturday night with Occupy Phoenix. I came down to stand with the young people and to give them support. I’ll be 60 years-old on Thursday, and to say that I am disappointed to see what this country has turned into is putting it mildly. This is not the country I grew up in. Corporations are using millions of dollars to put the people they want into office, so that the corporations themselves are literally writing our laws. People have been losing their jobs, their houses, their pensions, their retirement savings. Young people can no longer afford to go to public universities because they graduate with a mountain of debt and no job waiting for them. No wonder they are speaking out.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has sparked a resurgence of democracy within the oligarchy we live in. These young people want basic human needs: the right to a job, the right to a good education, the right to healthcare. They want the money taken out of our elections. They want the super wealthy and large corporations to pay their fair share. Our middle class is dying and without it we will become a third world country.
Despite all the challenges this country faces, we have a group of young people who are operating as a true democracy, where everyone is taken care of and where everyone’s voice matters. These young people clean up the Earth because they care about the environment. This Youth Movement is not limited to America, it is global, and it cannot be stopped. The people of Earth are coming together in a way that I have never seen. It is the only thing that gives me hope for my grandsons’ future.
America trying to squash the voices of these passionate and committed young people is appalling. This is our next generation of leaders and they will not be silenced. For every one of them you arrest, two or three more will spring up in their place. You can throw them out of the park with 200 police in full riot gear and a helicopter circling overhead, but you will not squash this movement. These young people are here to stay and they need a space where they can communicate and express their ideas. Instead of having them arrested, why don’t you come to one of their events and see how amazing they are?
We have a right to be read The Miranda Act upon our arrest. Some of us were denied that right. We have a right to one free phone call in jail. We were denied that right. We have a right to be bailed out on a misdemeanor charge. We were denied that right. We have a right to have our belongings returned to us upon release from jail. We were denied that right. Not only were we denied that right, but when I went to pick up my belongings at 11:00 the next day, I was told I had to return at 2:00. There is no excuse for this. We were released from jail with no money, no driver’s licenses, no house keys, no car keys, no cell phones, nothing. Some people were not able to get into their homes Sunday night. [This includes things people need for health such as medication, glasses, etc.]
All charges against the 46 people arrested Saturday night should be dropped, including those who were coerced into pleading guilty. Too many of our rights were denied.
Mayor Gordon, let me remind you of our First Amendment Rights:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Please respect and protect our First Amendment Rights.
Please watch the footage of Occupy Phoenix in the moments before the arrests began, and then please tell me why so much money was wasted arresting peaceful people.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_ZS9EqjE90
Here’s a note from the author about a notice she got when sending the email (emphasis added by me):
When I went to sent this letter, this is the message I got: Please be advised that a copy of this message will simultaneously be sent to the Arizona Republic pursuant to a public records request for copies of all e-mails sent to the Phoenix Mayor and Councilmembers. Additionally, once sent, the entire content of your e-mail (including your e-mail address) is a public record that may become part of future public records requests.
And here’s a note from the author about the email she sent:
If you decide not to send this e-mail, simply close this window.
If you decide not to send this e-mail, but still wish to contact the Mayor or Councilmembers, please call 602-262-7029 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for live assistance or to leave a voicemail after business hours.
sylviac: The translation is not entirely accurate (but it’s really good!) - crucially, I would have translated what she wrote at the end as “We are ALL the 99%.”
I immigrated to the US a few years ago. I have 2 kids. I don’t speak English. Because of the environment change, my entire family is unhappy. I work in a garment factory for 19 hours a week. My boss doesn’t pay me minimum wage and overtime pay, nor does he give me rest breaks or healthcare. On top of that, he constantly verbally harasses us. This affects my emotions and my family. We are the 99%.
From Gideon Rose’s How Wars End, on U.S. public opinion toward Japan in 1944:
In response to a December 1944 poll asking “what do you think we sould do with Japan as a country after the war?” 13 percent of Americans wanted to “kill all Japanese” and 33 percent wanted to destroy Japan as a political entity. The poll’s comparable question on Germany did not even include the first option.
Of course it didn’t. Because killing all Germans? That would be monstrous.
The organic strength of Occupy Wall Street defies the standard dismissals from the corporate media’s predictably stale stable of pundits. For them, it is all about the divide between the Republicans and the Democrats, a divide the protesters have a hard time seeing. They see both parties captured by Wall Street. Richard Haass, head of the establishment Council on Foreign Relations, said of the protesters, “They’re not serious.” He asked why they are not talking about entitlements. Perhaps it is because, to the 99 percent, Social Security and Medicare are not the problem, but rather growing inequality, with the 400 richest Americans having more wealth than half of all Americans combined. And then there is the overwhelming cost and toll of war, first and foremost the lives lost, but also the lives destroyed, on all sides.
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