The First Act of Violence

“The first act of violence that patriarchy demands of males is not violence toward women. Instead patriarchy demands of all males that they engage in acts of psychic self-mutilation, that they kill off the emotional parts of themselves. If an individual is not successful in emotionally crippling himself, he can count on patriarchal men to enact rituals of power that will assault his self-esteem.”

-bell hooks, “The Will to Change”

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The problem with “mansplaining”

Subtitled: “Who cares about facts when you can conform to conventional gender stereotypes?”

Yes, guys like this pick on other men’s books too, and people of both genders pop up at events to hold forth on irrelevant things and conspiracy theories, but the out-and-out confrontational confidence of the totally ignorant is, in my experience, gendered. Men explain things to me, and other women, whether or not they know what they’re talking about. Some men.

Every woman knows what I’m talking about. It’s the presumption that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard when they dare; that crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world. It trains us in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men’s unsupported overconfidence…

-Rebecca Solnit
Read the entire article, here.

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Recreating Oppression in OWS

-From Anarchists and the Occupy Movement:

“[At OWS,] Patriarchy and white supremacy reared its head constantly, as white male organizers were consistently given more credibility than female organizers or organizers of color. As a result, many of our most experienced queer, female-identified and organizers of color dropped out in the first few months of Occupy Wall Street and a trickling loss of talent continues to this day.

In Occupy New Orleans, where I lived and organized for a little over two weeks, a group of experienced anarchist organizers (majority female-identified people of color) who helped start the occupation were pushed out by a group of predominantly white male ‘anarchists’ who would loudly disrupt general assembly and mock the women of color facilitating.

Eventually, this group successfully pushed out the experienced anarchists; they stopped participating in the project. The conflict started because the one group were completely resistant to acknowledging white privilege or patriarchy, were infuriated at the women of color who brought up these concepts, and then used all of their privilege to launch verbal and physical assaults until they had won some kind of twisted power-struggle. When, weeks later, my female partner and I attempted to have a quiet, civil conversation with them about the importance of these concepts, she left in tears after being screamed at by a hulking, shirtless man who loudly proclaimed her to be a ‘cunt’.

…If our movement is to grow, we must learn to create safer spaces for systemically marginalized organizers and activists to work and thrive in.”

While I don’t know exactly who the “anarchist organizers” mentioned above refer to, such oppressive dynamics were not uncommon at Occupy NOLA  and the concluding prescription is spot on.

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What About the Men? Why Our Gender System Sucks for Men, Too

The problem of gendered, sexist expectations of men is enormous, and deeply ingrained into the culture. How are we to even begin dismantling such profoundly entrenched and damaging ideas? By using the same skills and tools that have worked before…

Keep reading

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The Dark Side of Chocolate: Free Movie Showing, Thursday 7/19

Thursday, 7/19, 7:30pm

Zeitgeist Arts Center

1618 O.C. Haley Blvd.

“A team of journalists investigate how human trafficking and child labor in the Ivory Coast fuels the worldwide chocolate industry. The crew interview both proponents and opponents of these alleged practices, and use hidden camera techniques to delve into the gritty world of cocoa plantations.

Discussion to follow on labor trafficking in Louisiana, ways to identify potential victims, and how to work to save these victims on a systemic level.  FREE Fair Trade Chocolate Tasting on a first come-first serve basis.”

Sponsored by Catholic Charities

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From Bourbon Street to the upcoming Super Bowl,  human trafficking is a reality in New Orleans. Come to this free movie showing to learn more about the gritty realities beneath the surface of our daily practices.

Curious about how your own consumption habits relate to modern-day slavery? Take the Slavery Footprint Survey.

For more information and resources about human trafficking, visit the Campaign to Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking website.

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You might be a manarchist if…

You might be a manarchist if you tell women that it’s their fault their voices aren’t being heard.

Tip o’ the hat to Allyson Mackay for the link
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