The Occupy Patriarchy website is moving to a new server. That means that the site will be a bit dysfunctional for a few days. If you want to add a comment to a post, please hold off until the move is completed (which I’ll post about when it is all done) or go to our Facebook page and comment there instead in the meantime. Thanks for your patience!
Update: The good folks at Iglou.com tell me you are free to add comments over the weekend, the actual downtime will take place on Monday.
The struggle against patriarchy is a global one. And the recent awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkol Karman reminds us that women’s activism is crucial. But as women in the Middle East who have participated so fearlessly in the uprisings of the Arab Spring have discovered, the success of progressive and revolutionary movements does not guarantee gains in women rights. And so women everywhere continue to rise up and to insist upon those rights and calls to occupy patriarchy are being heard around the globe.
On Nov. 25, The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Italian women marched to call attention to austerity as a form of violence against women, citing policies that “de facto” require women to work multiple jobs, paid and unpaid. Marchers also were protesting Italy’s very restrictive abortion rights policies. And in the Philippines, women recently decided to “Occupy RH” (reproductive health) to push for passage of crucial reproductive health legislation with chants of, “RH delay, 11 deaths every day”.
In England, numerous actions have taken place. In Exeter, women raised awareness about patriarchy with art. And in Bristol, women experimented with “Carrying Our Safe Space With Us” in order to empower women at General Assemblies (the daily organizing meetings that are held in most Occupy locations). Feminists Occupy London has a Facebook page here and women at Occupy Warwick put up an Occupy Patriarchy tent!
The aim of the Occupy Patriarchy tent was to provide an anti-sexist space for students to talk about gender, the impact of the cuts on women and the role of feminism in the anti-cuts movement.
The Organization for Women’s Freedom In Iraq, whose members have been beaten by the police for their participation in Arab Spring actions in Iraq, issued a statement supporting Occupy Wall Street pointing out the connection between the cause of the 99% and U.S. imperialism in the Middle East and the Arab Spring.
But there are other risks associated with this movement, internal rather than external threats. Reports of rape in Cleveland and Glasgow circulate online. Occupiers in Wellington debate how to react to the presence of fascists in the city, and potentially at the occupation itself. It’s become increasingly obvious that by including those who behave oppressively, we automatically exclude others.
This de facto exclusion, particularly of women and those on the trans* spectrum, limits the development of Occupy politics.
The global call to end patriarchal control both within movements for change and the world as a whole have never been louder. It is time to heed those calls. If you know of other actions and commentary from outside the U.S. that should be included here, please add links in the comments section.
Robin Morgan Talks About Feminism And Occupying Patriarchy On The First Episode Of Feminist Peace Network Radio
On the inaugural episode of Feminist Peace Network Radio, I had the pleasure of talking with feminist shero Robin Morgan about feminism and the role it plays in the Occupy movement and as Robin so aptly pointed out, the role Occupy should play in the feminist movement. You can listen to it here.
My great thanks to Allie McNeil of A World of Progress Radio (AWOP) for helping with the chat room and providing much needed support for my pre-first show jitters and to everyone who listened in. For those of you who are wondering, yes there will be more shows after the first of the year, stay tuned!
Feminist Peace Network Director and Occupy Patriarchy co-author Lucinda Marshall will be a guest on KPFK’s Feminist Magazine, Tuesday November 30th between 7:00-8:00 pm pst talking about how feminism fits in the Occupy movement and how Occupy fits with feminism along with Alternet’s Sarah Seltzer and Occupy LA activists Dava Juno, Sheila Nicholls, Alex Banks, and Regina Quetzel Quinones. You can listen to the program here.
I’m delighted to announce the premiere episode of Feminism Now, a new podcast co-produced by Becca Wilkerson, Catherine Barbarits and myself. On this first episode Lucinda Marshall and I engage in a dialogue about Occupy Patriarchy. We also talk to a feminist activist at Occupy Houston who has a poignant and fiery story to tell about sexual politics at that site. We interview long-time Filipina feminist and transnational activist Ninotchka Rosca. Finally, Becca Wilkerson introduces our regular feature The Feminist Commentator. Check out the web-site where Becca’s commentary and my own “Manifesto: installment 1” for the podcast is also published in print.
This is the press release sent to us by the coalition that is organizing this event.
Facebook Event: http://on.fb.me/sHzun8
WOMEN TAKE LIBERTY: STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Women’s Assembly, Speak-Out & Rally at Foley Square, March to Liberty Plaza
November 25, 2011, New York, NY: Boycott Black Friday! March Instead of Shop! On Black Friday, November 25th at 1pm women from across New York City will gather at Foley Square for a Women’s Assembly, Speak-Out and Rally to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, then “Take Liberty,” marching to Liberty Plaza (Zuccotti Park), making the connection that the unregulated exploitation on Wall Street is violence against women. Clear Action for/by Women (CLAW), the organizing coalition comprised of several women’s organizations and unaffiliated women organizers, calls for the elimination of all types of violence against women and demands respect, equity, compassion, peace, security and healing for women, our children, our communities and our world.
Everyday around the world women-identified persons survive different forms of violence. Physical violence leaves women with traumatic scars. Economic violence causes women to struggle to feed their families. Sexual violence in our homes and on our streets causes women to feel shame. Political violence silences the power of women’s voices to make decisions in society. Military violence divides nations of women who want peace. Women’s bodies are regularly disrespected with street and workplace harassment, rape, and other forms of physical and sexual violence. One in 6 American women has been a victim of attempted or completed rape (RAINN). Media corporations make billions with music and films that disgrace women’s bodies, minds and spirits. Women do two-thirds of the world’s work, earn 10% of the world’s income, and own only 1% of the world’s wealth, according to a 2010 UN report. Corporations get nearly 70% of their profit from women workers who earn $2 a day, and women of color are 70% of the global poor. In the U.S., women make as low as $0.52 for every dollar a man makes.
Boycott Black Friday by refusing to shop at corporations that commit acts of violence against women, whether by using physically violent factories abroad or failing to provide health care to workers or paying unlivable wages around the world. We raise our voices to promote a fair and just economic system! March Instead of Shop!
Assemble at Foley Square on November 25, 2011, 1:00 pm
CLAW Coalition Members: AF3IRM/GabNet, ANSWER, Black Women’s Blueprint, Feminism Now Podcast, SisterSong NYC, Trust Black Women, and several unaffiliated organizers
Facebook Event: http://on.fb.me/sHzun8 Twitter: #WomensAssemblyOWS