Women Move

women, migration, women refugees, women migrants

Women leav­ing their home coun­tries, flee­ing war, domes­tic and social vio­lence, pover­ty and polit­i­cal, gen­der and reli­gious per­se­cu­tion, find that even their jour­neys are fraught with vio­lence, abuse and exploita­tion. Eighty per­cent of women and girls leav­ing Cen­tral Amer­i­ca for the US are raped or abused. It is such a com­mon occur­rence, they take birth con­trol along to avoid unwant­ed preg­nan­cies. Women in many parts of the world, set­ting out for a new life, are grabbed and caught by elab­o­rate net­works of sex traf­fick­ing, one of the three most lucra­tive illic­it busi­ness­es inter­na­tion­al­ly (the oth­er two are drugs and ille­gal arms deal­ing). Sure­ly safe pas­sage is an impor­tant issue for fem­i­nists.

Women Walk

water shortage, women, water carriers

Every day women around the world spend 200 mil­lion hours col­lect­ing water for their fam­i­lies. While they walk, pri­vate own­er­ship of water, exces­sive use of water for vast mono-cul­tur­al agribusi­ness­es, deforestation/desertification prac­tices, and cli­mate change go unchecked, cre­at­ing and wors­en­ing this sit­u­a­tion. Their paths are not roman­tic, safe or easy. They can walk for hours then trip, fall and lose their days work. Their backs, inter­nal organs break down from the inces­sant, cum­ber­some weights they car­ry, some­times three times/day at all hours. Sure­ly, this is some­thing that must be attend­ed to.

Women live…

feminism, anti-war, international women, solidarity, sisterhoodIt won’t help us to elect women to offices of pow­er, if they turn around and vote for huge mil­i­tary bud­gets. This recent­ly hap­pened in the vote for the US Nation­al Defense Autho­riza­tion Act of 2017, the largest “defense” bill in his­to­ry which passed 89–8 in the Sen­ate.  Of the 21 women sen­a­tors vot­ing (16 Democ­rats, 5 Repub­li­cans), only one Demo­c­rat woman vot­ed against it. That means 15 Demo­c­rat women betrayed, and made inse­cure, women here and around the world. There are approx­i­mate­ly 3.8 bil­lion women in the world; 126 mil­lion in the U.S. For whom does our fem­i­nism stand?

 

 

Beloved Sister

Beloved Sister

We are sup­posed to iden­ti­fy with nation above human­i­ty or sis­ter­hood, to sup­port end­less wars, to not-see our gov­ern­men­t’s crimes dressed up in “human­i­tar­i­an inter­ven­tions.” Let’s not. We should be out­raged that women and their loved ones all over the world are being relent­less­ly tram­meled by the injus­tice of our wars. Wars, now, not just led by men, but also by women of great pow­er and decep­tion.

My Sister Would Never

war, peace, feminism, sisterhood, internationalism,protest,

I’ve said it else­where on this site, but feel com­pelled to repeat this mes­sage over and over. Women mov­ing into key posi­tions of pow­er under the name of fem­i­nism, then push­ing the but­tons of impe­r­i­al wars, no mat­ter what name they give those wars is an out­rage. It is not an advance of women or fem­i­nism, it is a pro­found loss. I hear women say it helps us all when women get in these places. It’s the oppo­site. We helped them get in pow­er as they claim vic­to­ry in sis­ter­hood. It’s a twist­ed mock­ery of sis­ter­hood. Let’s make it real, deep and inter­na­tion­al.

Rape

RAPE, women, gender, hate crimes,

Vio­lence against women is a hate crime and should be clas­si­fied as such. Yet, accord­ing to the FBI’s Hate Crime Sta­tis­tics (2012)  hate crimes are based on race, sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion, dis­abil­i­ty, ethnic/national ori­gin, and reli­gion. Gen­der is left out. Why? Rape is not sex out of con­trol. It’s an act of hatred, con­tempt and destruc­tive­ness against a spe­cif­ic class of peo­ple — women and girls. Mis-cat­e­go­riz­ing is not an inci­den­tal issue as it has an impact on how rapists are viewed and pun­ished and it lim­its wom­en’s con­scious­ness and sol­i­dar­i­ty as a tar­get­ed peo­ple.

Support Not Punishment

SupportNotPunishment

There has been a stag­ger­ing increase in the num­bers of women in prison in the last few decades, large­ly due to the “War on Drugs”  Many of these women began their jour­ney as bat­tered women seek­ing solace in an envi­ron­ment devoid of sup­port ser­vices. They turned to drugs or alco­hol to numb pain and then to pet­ty crimes to pay for the numb­ing. Do they real­ly need prison? Or do we need stronger economies, com­mu­ni­ties and sup­port­ive social insti­tu­tions?

Sisterhood is Refusing

sisterhood, feminism, anti-war, peace

A few decades ago, one of my favorite posters was “Sis­ter­hood is Bloom­ing Spring­time Will Nev­er Be The Same” by the Chica­go Wom­en’s Lib­er­a­tion Union. It cap­tured the excite­ment and opti­mism of the wom­en’s move­ment at that time. I still smile when I think of it. Yet, I am dis­tressed to see so many women who call them­selves fem­i­nist ignore, sup­port — and in cas­es of women in pow­er, wage — war against oth­er women all over the world. So I decid­ed to bor­row from this ear­li­er poster to make a new state­ment on sis­ter­hood.

Women Are Not Targets

WomenNotTargets

Here’s anoth­er image I bor­rowed from the Chica­go Wom­en’s Lib­er­a­tion Union’s great poster “Women Are Not Chicks.” Their orig­i­nal mes­sage still needs shout­ing out as the objec­ti­fi­ca­tion of women is still around (although “babe” is the more con­tem­po­rary word). Again, though, I am bring­ing up the anti-war mes­sage. The mas­sacre of women and girls by our weapon­ry has got to be opposed. I real­ly believe that a “fem­i­nist” agen­da that is not anti-war is not tru­ly a fem­i­nist agen­da at all.

Walking

Walking

Walk­ing. It’s sup­posed to be good for us, if we are able. Sup­pos­ed­ly, doc­tors rec­om­mend 10,000 steps a day. Let’s think about this. If you take 10,000 steps and mul­ti­ple it by the num­ber of peo­ple on the plan­et, even fac­tor­ing dif­fer­ences in the walk­ing capac­i­ties, maybe work­ing in a for­mu­la for rolling, that’s a lot of steps. Now, the impor­tant ques­tion, how many of the sum total of steps tak­en all around the world would be done in safe­ty? For how many peo­ple does walk­ing turn out to be not so good for them because while they were walk­ing they were in the wrong skin, wrong gen­der, believ­ing the wrong things, lov­ing the wrong peo­ple, liv­ing in the wrong place?