As many of you know, both the Occupy Patriarchy and Feminist Peace Network websites are an act of love and commitment. I receive no salary and costs are a bare bones minimum. That said, there are costs associated with running the sites–webhosting, internet connection, office supplies, printing, phone, etc. While I don’t like to ask for money, sometimes when I tote up the bills it seems like a good idea. If you can help out, it is most appreciated. You can donate by going to the Feminist Peace Network and clicking the donate button on the right sidebar. Please do note however that because of the very political nature of this work, it is not tax deductible.
(Thanks to the reader who noted the incorrect donate link that I’ve now corrected in the post.)
Please, please, drop what you are doing and watch this beautiful film from the wonderful website, Join The Conversation that talks about the connection between rape and sexual assault, and the corporate culture and why it is essential if the Occupy movement wants to confront the latter, they must confront the former. Exactly what we’ve said on this website, said in words that are beyond eloquent. Watch:
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.
Update 2: And done, thanks for your patience, took a wee tad longer than expected, please leave a comment if you notice anything that isn’t working properly.
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.
Slovenian activist Tea Hvala offers us this thoughtful analysis. From Slovakia comes this commentary (easily translated via Google Translate). And from New Zealand:
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.
Talking about the need to confront patriarchy and insist that women’s voices be heard and women’s needs be met within the context of Occupy or any radical or progressive movement can feel like a lonely pursuit, but the good news is that actually a whole lot of people are working to do exactly that. All around the U.S. and throughout the world there have been a number of very empowering actions and statements. Here is a wrap up of some of the things that have been happening in the U.S. and later this week, I’ll do another post that links to actions in other countries. If you know of something that should be added to this, please do so in the comments.
The Women’s Caucus of Occupy Philly issued a statement calling out the Mayor and police and well as the media in Philadelphia for their statements regarding the safety of women at Occupy Philly,
The recent demonizing and vilifying of the Occupy movement in the media is a scape-goating of the problems and violence that plague our communities and cities daily. Rape happens every day, murder happens every day and Suicide happens every day. These tragedies are not symptoms or creations of the Occupy Movement, nor are they exclusive to the Occupy Movement; they are realities of our society and of our everyday lives.
In Providence, RI, an Occupy the Night event was held, “An evening of feminist and queer action, conversation and community. Because the fight against corporate power and inequality is hollow until all forms of oppression are raised to the center of the struggle. ”
Gender Discrimination: Gender harassment and discrimination at Medgar Evers College have reached an all-time high under the leadership of President Pollard and Provost Johnson. Complaints are mounting. Women are filing complaints with the Equal Opportunity Commission, hiring attorneys and allegedly taking this present administration to court for charges of gender discrimination and sexual harassment . CUNY Chancellor has yet to call this administration to task and hold it accountable for its campaign of intimidation against women. More must be done to validate and protect women against these attacks by the administration and their confederates other than to hold a Zero Violence Seminar.OccupyMedgar says: Stop the Violence! Stop the campaign of intimidation against women at Medgar Evers College and restore those women who have been removed from their positions of leadership to their rightful place.
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!