Slut Walk Goes South

01.07.2011 § Leave a comment

There has been much discussion around the feminist blogosphere about the resonance of Slutwalks among women of color. Andrea Plaid recently weighed in on the debate at Alternet. Ileana Jimenez of Feminist Teacher interviewed Gabriela Amancaya, one of the organizers of Mexico’s first Slutwalk in the capitol city, adding more vibrancy to the conversation about Slutwalks across nation and race.

Amancaya weighed in on the question of Slutwalks and women of color:

“We have to acknowledge our privilege in all cases, as there is no excuse. When we decided to hold a Marcha de las Putas in Mexico City, it was because we knew that machismo exists all over the world but within different contexts. In Mexico, the rates of gender-based violence are alarming, and while the intersections of race, class and ethnicity are different here than in the U.S., and while we recognize that raising our voices against the silence that has surrounded sexual abuse is still a privilege that not all people in our country have, it is important to break the silence around it wherever possible.”

From Feministing (In situ)

Strauss-Kahn’s defense team questions his victim’s credibility

01.07.2011 § 1 Comment

From the Wall Street Journal:

Prosecutors are expected to reveal in court that the maid told them she had been the victim of a gang rape in her home country of Guinea, and later admitted that she had made the story up, a person familiar with the matter said.

The revelations about the witness also involve her interaction with a man jailed on drug charges with whom she was taped in a telephone call, one person familiar with the situation said. Prosecutors and defense lawyers met Thursday to discuss the issues.

The issues regarding the maid’s credibility were reported Thursday by The New York Times on its website.

The May 14 arrest of Mr. Strauss-Kahn, an international political figure, at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport as he prepared to depart on a flight for Paris, has generated headlines and debate around the world, cost him his job at the helm of the IMF and has apparently dashed his hopes for a run at the French presidency.

It has also fueled speculation in Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s home country of conspiracies against him driven by politics and profit.

Prosecutors had previously said in court that the maid, a 32-year-old immigrant, had immediately cried out to witnesses upon leaving the room, indicating the veracity of her story. Investigators also found DNA evidence from Mr. Strauss-Kahn at the scene, law enforcement sources have said.

But the defense lawyers had indicated they would argue the encounter was consensual, and hired investigators to scrutinize the woman’s credibility.

Full(y nauseating) article here.

NYC Cuts All Adult and Family Literacy Programs, RALLY TOMORROW

01.06.2011 § 1 Comment

The NYCAL Rally is Thursday, June 2nd
11:00-12:30 pm at City Hall

Bring banners and signs if you can, and remember that there will be undocumented immigrants and children participating in the rally, and that we are trying to foreground the participation of these communities and ensure their safety and comfort.
WHAT ARE THEY CUTTING AND WHO IS EFFECTED
                      The City of New York made the decision to eliminate all Family Literacy programs funded by the Department of Youth and Community Services. This decision came suddenly, and although the final budget will not be ratified until June 30th, the city seems determined to end all funding to family literacy. This will affect not only my program, but all of the 20-odd programs that rely on the DYCD for their funding around the city. An example is Family Literacy program at PS 92 in EastElmhurst, Queens. The program provides English-language instruction to immigrant parents, arts and literacy instruction to their elementary-aged children, and whole-family arts and literacy instruction, as well as art therapy, educational case management, and other supplemental services.
                  This comes as a huge blow to the families who have come to rely on these programs. Considering that most of our participants are undocumented women of color and children, it seems like this decision is more of an act of political expediency on the city’s part rather than well-considered budget policy. As is the case with budget cuts and austerity measures occurring worldwide, the city seems to be targeting the populations that are already the most marginalized, and that are perceived as being the least likely to resist. This is also not just about one program. Important services are being cut everywhere. Adult literacy and homework help programs are being eliminated at the library immediately around the corner from the school that is losing the PS 92 program. Taken together, these cuts constitute an assault on working-class and immigrant families, as well as the mostly young, non-unionized educational and social service workers who staff these programs.
               Family Literacy programs in the city are holding a rally with the New York Coalition for Adult Literacy to resist cuts to Family Literacy, ESOL, GED and Adult Basic Literacy programs across the city. This rally is important not only in order to attempt to reverse these decisions before the budget is ratified, but to support program participants in claiming political power in the face of callous political decisions that assume the complacency of workers, students, immigrants, and women of color.
.FORWARD WIDELY.

Two recent posts hating on Slutwalk (thnkgod)

17.05.2011 § Leave a comment

Two recent articles online critiquing slutwalk, one on the basis of some police-state-apologist white-supremacist bullshit, and the other on the basis of where the fuck’s the feminism this is gobbledywack.

Slutwalk: a stroll through white supremacy

This post points out that the cop who originally spurred the enormous response in Toronto was in fact INVITED TO ATTEND AND PARTICIPATE IN A CAMPUS MEETING ON SEXUAL ASSAULT. WHAT?  And that slutwalk was in fact geared towards reforming and repairing the police system. The author draws out some moments in the media hype around slutwalk to show the pretty obvious white supremacist vibrations emanating from the recent slutwalk upsurge. Also points out by contrast some effed up facts from new orleans about how “sex crimes” are dealt with (of course completely targeting women of color for repression, exploitation and death).

As Trymaine Lee has reported, black, poor and transgender women are being disproportionately and systematically branded as criminal “sex offenders” on an online database for engaging in “survival sex” in New Orleans. Under the cover of an obscure, slave-era legal term called “crimes against nature,” police officers target those who engage in oral or anal sex-for-money. Those targeted for a second time are charged as felons (vaginal sex-for-money, meanwhile, is considered misdemeanor prostitution). 40 percent of those who appear on the sexual predator database are there because they were accused of committing a “crime against nature;” more than 80 percent of those are black women.

The author reiterates that there is a deep blindness and disavowal of women and trans feminists of color in the mainstream debates, an erasure of movements against both the patriarchal and racist criminalization of sexuality, and against the police and state forces of capital… Not a surprise, but great concise breakdown.

We’re Sluts not Feminists: Wherein my Relationship with Slutwalk gets rocky

The author of this post starts out making the important points about why something like slutwalk is initially exciting and potentially important for the radical feminist conspiracy:

One moment I feel like YEAH! WOMEN GETTING MAD. Because, hey, women should be mad. Victim blaming is one of the most insidious, abusive, and traumatic experiences a woman can go through. Not only have we been assaulted, had to come out and admit/describe the assault (terrifying in and of itself), but then we are treated as though we somehow instigated, deserved, or imagined the assault. It is sick. I have witnessed it and I have experienced it.

The author goes on to express their intial suspicion – come – total – disgust with slutwalk as bourgeois anti-feminism par excellence (“par excellence” in that it is cast as womens liberation).

what I found over and over again was not only a refusal to align with feminism, but, often, an outright aversion to it. I saw numerous attacks on radical feminism and radical feminists and I witnessed the reinforcement of negative and untrue stereotypes about feminism (you know the ones: man-hating, misandrist, no-fun, sex-negative, etc). While I do believe the organizers had good intentions, desiring that Slutwalk be inclusive to all, it began to look a lot like the “funfeminist” — NO NO WE’RE THE CONVENTIONALLY ATTRACTIVE FEMINISTS. THE FUN ONES. WE’RE OK. WE LIKE PENISES AND PORN AND LOOKING SEXY kind of feminism that, in the end doesn’t successfully challenge much of anything, and simply repackages sexist imagery in “empowering” wrapping paper.

But what of the  contrast of these two texts? Do they speak to each other? do they conflict with one another?

JURYSOUT

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

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