Accumulation by Dispossession and Gang Rape: peas in a pod (canada in guatemala)

30.03.2011 § Leave a comment

A group of 11 women from Guatemala is suing a Canadian company and its subsidiaries, claiming $55 million for alleged gang rapes in 2007 during efforts to clear people from lands near a mining project.

See article Here.

We think of Federici, who talks of state-sanctioned surges in rape during primitive accumulation, of Mies, who writes about the use of rape and sexual violence to produce race and class hierarchy during european colonization…

Also to follow our killability thread – in this article we see an example of men who are most  subordinated (racialized, marginalized) as killable while “their” women are rape-able and killable:

The lawsuit filed Monday is not the first in connection with the project in Guatemala.

Angelica Choc, who is one of the alleged rape victims, has sued HMI and HudBay for negligence in an Ontario court over the 2009 death of her husband, Adolfo Ich Chaman. That case alleges he was beaten and shot by security forces at the mining project.

 

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The Black Anti-Abortion Movement; Killability; Black Women’s Historic Pro-Abortionism

30.03.2011 § Leave a comment

Interesting article from colorlines about the black anti-abortion movement — totally fraught, but some nice historical points:

In 1941, the National Council of Negro Women became the first national women’s group to endorse birth control. Prominent female political figures in the black community came out against the rhetoric of their male counterparts when it came to reproduction. “Black women have the right and the responsibility to determine when it is in the interest of the struggle to have children or not to have them and this right must not be relinquished,” declared Frances Beal, head of the Black Women’s Liberation Committee of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the civil right movement…

More broadly, there is the crucial point that criminalizing abortion actually poses a greater threat to the African-American lives. Before the procedure was legalized, “Illegal abortion was the cause of 25 percent of the white women’s deaths due to pregnancy, 49 percent of the black women’s, and 65 percent of the Puerto Ricans’,” as Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman in Congress and a strong supporter of reproductive rights, wrote in her memoir. In addition, the legalization of abortion resulted in significant improvements in maternal and fetal mortality rates. “Maternal mortality in New York City dropped by more than half during the first year [abortion was legal], to an all-time recorded low. Infant mortality also dropped to a new low,”

The article ends up just caving into The Standard Non-Analysis. While really there are so many continuities to follow. excluding the young lords, almost every single nationalist poc group in the sixties held this exact same line. women of color have historically not only lacked reproductive control, but things would happen where they’d go to the hospital and come out without a uterus. to be black is to be killable. (See Wilderson)

obviously, the article frames this campaign has completely ideological, having to do with a woman (wtf is that?!)’s right to her ‘own’ fleshsack. but is there a way that we can take these histories into account and develop a more rigorous position or critique?
Important is the smothering of radical black  feminisms. Diane K Lewis wrote in a 1977 footnote:
“A 1972 Poll showed that black women were more sympathetic than white women to efforts to upgrade women’s status in society (62 % to 45 % respectively) and that black women were also more supportive than white women of the attempts by women’s liberation groups to do so (67 % and 35%, respectively)”

Gay couples more socially acceptable than single moms.

24.03.2011 § Leave a comment

In a Recent survey, “The Decline of Marriage and the Rise of New Families.” Of the 2,691 Americans who took this survey, 43 percent considered an increase of gay and lesbian parenting to be ‘a bad thing’ while 69 percent thought the same of single mothering.

WHUT DOES IT MEEEEAN?

so obviously, as the writer points out, this is raced and classed from the get. The gay couple featured is white and male. Single moms are predominantly women of color in the US.

As long as you are white and rich, you’re okay? Or that people value the ‘normalcy’ of 2-parent households, whiteness and middle-class-ness more than they understand/respect/whatever the situation or role of single mothers? plus the implied racialization of “single mothers” as women of color turns this into a telling example of how strong the notion of “woc = poor, bad mothers” still prevails.

and the idea that cismen can just do it better, queer or otherwise?  If I recall correctly single dad households weren’t targeted in this dialogue. It seems like in addition to considering white, wealthy, two parent households the “norm/ ideal/ best/ etc” there is this implication that not-men can’t parent unless there is a white, wealthy cisman involved.

Yuck-o.

Pew’s executive summary tells us, point blank, how these attitudes shake out:

“Where people stand on the various changes in marriage and family life depends to some degree on who they are and how they live.

The young are more accepting than the old of the emerging arrangements; the secular are more accepting than the religious; liberals are more accepting than conservatives; the unmarried are more accepting than the married; and, in most cases, blacks are more accepting than whites.”

Full article here

Gendered torture of women protesters in Egypt

24.03.2011 § Leave a comment

So people are up in arms about the fact that arrested women protesters in egypt were strip searched, abused, harassed, given “virginity tests” (which must either be the police guards sticking something up their cunts or peering up there with a flashlight, right?).

Though that ish is pretty standard.

What is more interesting, perhaps, is putting the blast on the movement itself, which apparently did not react with support. As Nawal El Saadawi said, “We participated in every part of the revolution, and then as soon as it ended we were completely isolated.”

article here. But it’s pretty crap – last line reads “And if these allegations are true…”

“IF”

Young African American women are the fastest growing population of incarcerated young people. This is not an accident.

23.03.2011 § Leave a comment

This world, we must destroy.

Efforts to stop mass incarceration focused on black girls are almost nonexistant in government policy, the media, foundations and academia.

This his also definitely true in radical political activism. We aren’t suprised.

“I’ve been studying this for decades,” said Chesney-Lind. She added, “We have never seen these kind of numbers before. National policies like zero tolerance are responsible for the school to prison pipeline. And a dual justice system that treats white girls differently from black girls is disproportionately impacting African American girls.”…

“The shackles of slavery endured into other eras, including convict leasing systems and chain gangs,” said Prisicilla Ocen, a professor at UCLA’s Critical Race Studies.

“In order to sustain these systems, de-humanizing stereotypes of black women were created to maintain the difference between white and African American women,” she said. “Black girls are still dealing with racial and gendered stereotypes that were used to justify punishment.”

Ocen continued, “These historical stereotypes laid the groundwork for the creation of a dual criminal justice system – one where African American women and girls are treated differently for the same behaviors.”…

Krisberg went on, “Once in the criminal justice system, African American girls are treated with brutality, so much emotional and sexual abuse.”

This can only be explained adequately with a unified theory that locates  race and gender as necessary structural social relations,  like class, and  not as contingent historical add-ons to capital that just happen to be really sticky…

More nurse resistance: Warsaw Nurses Occupy, Strike, Starve.

23.03.2011 § Leave a comment

Casualized Nurses, Tenants….  The Precariat is rising up….

 

A group of nurses have occupied the gallery of the Polish Parliament (the Sejm) to protest the casualization of their profession…

Besides the protest of angry nurses, tenants activists disrupted the City Council yesterday, telling the politicians that they should go home. ZSP and the Tenants Defense Committee recently announced that they would boycott meetings with city authorities who don’t intend to change anything and reiterated that they do not recognize the legitimacy of the local government. They are calling for popular control of public housing and informing that it would help people who cannot get housing to set up home in vacant units.

Tensions were particularly high after the murder of a housing activist from the Warsaw Tenants Association, which also took part in yesterday’s protest. The tenants groups blame the politicians for pushing through more and more inhuman turbocapitalist acts and chanelling the budget and their energies into projects beneficial for a small elite.

Besides these two actions in Warsaw, there has been an increase in labor protests this month, with large protests of postal workers and miners and serious threats of strikes on the railways, some educational institutions and in the Fiat plant in Tychy.

Read full article here: Warsaw Nurses occupy

 

When women intervene, something more than class relation appears… (Feminized Labor unrest in Kenya, Indonesia, Pakistan, Zambia)

22.03.2011 § Leave a comment

“A struggle of women, even with ordinary demands which
are themselves not particularly “feminine” (wages, working
conditions, layoffs…) is never just a struggle or a strike, but
always a struggle or a strike by women. In fact, the contradiction
between men and women is never absent, whether it is
addressed as such or just present in the themes. All women’s
movements bring to the table (or just make apparent) the
question of the separation of the private and public spheres
(to challenge their separation is to challenge their very existence,
which is nothing if not separate) constituting the
wage relation; the question of subsistence, of solidarity and
of unproductive-reproductive labor, that is to say, the organization
of life despite exchange; the question of sexuality (an
ostensible public appearance is always attached to a deviant
sexuality); and finally the pleasure of being together not only
as female workers or employees, but as women….

In their own struggles or in that of male workers, when women
intervene, even in the direct expression of ordinary demands,
a different dimension, something other than the reflexive
game between the classes, always appears.”

— TC: “Comrades, But Women”

Nurses and midwives are staging-go slows and inciting strikes in Kenya and Indonesia; women faced with the paticular oppressions of feminized labor in Pakistan and Zambia are pissed and rising up:

The 180 nurses at the hospital staged the go-slow on 16 March to protest at being overworked and the withholding of their uniform and other allowances by the hospital’s management

— KENYA: Nurse’s go-slow

Eight nurses and midwives have been arrested in Jayapura for their
involvement in a strike that resulting in a halt to services at the
general hospital in Jayapura. They face charges of inciting their
colleagues to take part in a strike.

INDONESIA (Jayapura) Nurses and Midwives arrested for inciting strike

Sindh Labour Minister Ameer Nawab said home-based workers, an overwhelming majority of whom were women, were not only paid less but they also did not have any job security. Besides, since they were not considered workers in the legal term, they could not get registered with various social security schemes of the government.

— PAKISTAN: Policy for Home-based Workers Sought

“Many women have been flocking our office with numerous complaints of alleged poor condition of services. Many have complained that they were working under harsh condition of services and in some case they were dismissed without any benefits despite the years they have served,” she said.

Mrs Tonga appealed to the ministry of Labour and Social Security to intervene in the matter.

And Chipata Muslim Association of Zambia vice chairperson Aiyub Mogra said his association had not received such complaints from the maids.

“Maids have never complained of their alleged poor conditions of service to the association. We are not aware of complaints,” he said

East Women’s Lobby Bemoans Poor Work Conditions for Domestic Workers

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