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But We Included A Woman

November 10, 2011

One of the ongoing battles of feminism has been to debunk the notion that as long as as one woman is included in whatever it is that is being discussed, then problem solved, there is no sexism. It is pervasive and systemic, even on the left. And unfortunately it is also happening within the Occupy movement.

I was reminded of that today when I saw the map of OccupyDC that is in the print edition of today’s Washington Post which shows the names given to the various walkways in the McPherson camp.  Gandhi Ave., Che Guevara Ave., Malcolm X Ave., Martin Luther King Ave. and phew–they remembered the women, Angela Davis Ave.

Meanwhile over at Freedom Plaza in what is now known as OccupyWashingtonDC, an Occupied Super Committee for the 99% was held the other day.  Panelists included: Kevin Zeese, Andrew Fieldhouse, Carl Conetta, Kenneth Peres, Dean Baker, Gar Alperovitz, and don’t panic, they remembered to include a woman– Margaret Flowers.

In what way is this sort of systemic sexism  an alternative to the world we are occupying?  I’m not saying either of the above examples were deliberately meant to under-include women,  but that doesn’t make it okay and we need to be making sure that this sort of thing is called out and that we are insisting that the sexism of these sorts of occurrences be addressed.


11 Comments leave one →
  1. Elaine Charkowski permalink
    November 10, 2011 7:10 pm

    Yep, it’s the same old same old. Include a token woman and everything’s OK. There there is the usual “women are just as bad as men-what about Margaret Thatcher, etc.

    Under patriarchy, women are blamed for their own degradation (being violent, collaborating with men against women, etc.) As Mary Daly wrote in her book “Pure Lust, (p.365) “Within the Virulent State of phallocracy, women have been attacked and divided against our Selves. From the earliest times of the patriarchy, countless mothers have been broken and the resulting broken daughters have carried on the chain of fragmentation. . . .
    “They have been reduced to responding to the fettered/fathered urge to reproduce their altered–(that is, patriarchally identified selves)– in an endless circle of Self destruction. Such forcibly altered women have appeared to be normal within the man made milieu.”

  2. November 11, 2011 7:15 am

    I’m so glad we have this website. As far as I can tell, Occupy Patriarchy is the only website that is relentlessly attacking misogyny and garden variety male chauvinism in the Occupy movement. Again, thanks.

  3. Carolyn Dixon permalink
    November 11, 2011 8:57 am

    I’ve been upset, ever since I started keeping in touch with what’s happening at OWS, by the obvious sexism in the way males were over-represented in interviews, videos, and photos. I joined WOW, Women Occupy, Occupy Patriarchy and Code Pink and read their articles and posts. I posted several times about the David Sauvage video interviewing 9 occupiers, 7 of them men, and how I felt that subjugation of women is the template for the subjugation of all other groups. I mentioned how happy I was to see Ketchup acting as moderator on Stephen Colbert’s show.

    So I’m SO happy to read in this article and several others that women in OWS are beginning to label all these ways of dismissing women’s issues, as part of the rape culture that is the core and most important form of exploitation that exists in our culture and which must be the first one confronted by OWS, or nothing else OWS accomplishes will make any real difference.

  4. November 11, 2011 1:13 pm

    Yep, seeing just the same thing here in Occupy Carbondale. Agreeing wholeheartedly!

  5. Noticed permalink
    November 15, 2011 9:53 pm

    Speaking of under-including women, today’s NPR story had 6 guests, all male.

    It’s not like there aren’t female spokespeople they could have reached out to.

    • Carolyn Dixon permalink
      November 19, 2011 6:13 am

      On 11/16 The Daily Show had a segment interviewing about a dozen OWS people, ALL male.

  6. November 18, 2011 3:45 pm

    At least they had the token women. Check out the #endallmalepanels twitter hashtag to find out about (UK) women refusing to participate in policy development unless they pro-actively ensure women’s participation

  7. bemused1946 permalink
    November 28, 2011 9:19 am

    I am so happy you started this forum. Thank you, thank you, for creating a space where we can have a discussion that doesn’t have to continually stop and wipe the noses of the snotty faced boys who keep interrupting the free flow of information and creativity.
    I was thinking – if a corporation is a group of people who get together to plan how to get more of whatever it is that they want (usually cash) why can’t occupypatriarchy become a corporation and we can play by the same corporate rule that says as a group we don’t have to follow nations’ or religions’ laws. It would be worldwide in scope and all stockholders would be post-menopausal women and we would decide how to best support our stockholders – the post-menopausal women of the world and their daughters.
    I would like to get together in person with a group of “ops” (occupypatriarchy’s stockholders) to discuss this idea. I am on SF BART line.
    Someplace else on this site I wrote about a way for us to meet and be visible – We could bring our aluminum walkers with attached seats and form a circle in a sunny spot and start to figure out where the human race goes from here.

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