Posts tagged War on women.
I have been meaning to write up a blog… Last week, but since then there has been so much going on. Anyway, back to this blog about this wall. On the evening of August 21st, I alongside a group of local artists and activists worked until 4am creating a masterpiece of a wall on 11th and Pine… The message was simple. We, the people, are tired of the everyday violence and oppressive tactics used against women, and all oppressed and underprivileged people for that matter. The list of inspiration/reasons are literally endless: CeCe McDonald, Trayvon Martin, Pussy Riot, Romney, Todd Akin, Danny Chen, etc.
The main message: “WOMEN OF THE WORLD ARE UNDER ATTACK BY LEGISLATORS, THE MEDIA, MEN ON THE STREET, POLICE/THE COURTS, OUR COMMUNITIES, AND OURSELVES. FEMINISM IS NOT DEAD. IT IS OUR LIFE LINE. DON’T BE AFRAID TO CALL PEOPLE OUT ON THEIR SEXIST, RACIST, ABLIST* (supposed to be ableist, many apologies for misspelling, I was rushing), HOMOPHOBIC, AGEIST, THINIST, CLASSIST, TRANSPHOBIC BULLSHIT. STAND UP… FIGHT BACK!”
We wheat pasted over a thousand sheets of feminist symbol and pink pages of hand-written responses of why social justice/feminism matters. As we were working, we drew in many curious spectators and pedestrians and encouraged them to participate. We wanted it to be interactive so we included blank sheets of paper and tied crayons to the wall so that more community members could add to it. Some people even came back hours later just to see our finished product. With the amount of unexpected thanks given to us, it was apparent that it was really getting people to think, not only about the livelihoods and oppressions of others but their own roles in which the system operates. Ultimately, that was our mission. We tagged it Grrrl Army.
Less than 6 hrs later Poster Giant, a local corporation known for its ruthless bullying tactics and history of covering up artwork/murals all over town, chose to cover over 2/3 of our project, including our main message despite free space two walls down. Their posters are for PAX Prime, a gamer convention scheduled to happen at the Washington State Convention Center starting August 31st - September 2nd, which has been sold out for MONTHS.
I’ll spare the details of the “war” we’ve started against Poster Giant, but in the words of xunlearnx:
“this is not about poster giant or their tactics, after all they are only one small part of a culture that attempts (and far too often, succeeds) in silencing women, queers, people of color, trans folks, and many many more people who feel the weight of oppression daily. We will not be silenced. Ever.”
“Grrrl army was not created- it birthed itself from the frustration and dedication of normal people who believe in real change. Grrrl Army is a material backlash to burn-outs and shit-talkers that have shelved their energies. Grrrl army is YOU.”
Grrrl Army is…
You, the anti-racist,
You, the feminist,
You, the survivor,
You, who believes in free speech and freedom,
You, who won’t stand for inequalities,
You, who won’t stand for bullying and harassment.
You, who disproves of catcalling,
You, who calls out your fellas when they say a bunch of oppressive bullshit,
You, who consciously refuses to use descriptive identity adjectives as negative discriminatory statements,
You, who believes that everybody has a right to feel safe and have their physical and emotional boundaries respected.
You, who believes in a world where legislators and political leaders should have responsibilities to ALL PEOPLE and not just the wealthy,
You, who understands that gender policing is wrong,
You, who is tired of racial profiling,
You, who is tired of color/gender-blindness,
You, who is tired of rape culture,
You, who is against police brutality,
You, who tolerate others even though their faiths may not necessarily align with yours,
You, who don’t identify yourself as a feminist but stands for all of these things and more,
You, who not only see oppressive systemic forces at play but constantly and consciously check your own sets of privileges and how they contribute to the system,
You, who will not be silenced,
You, who will get out there in November and VOTE,
YOU ARE GRRRL ARMY.
I don’t understand why deciding not to have kids has to be so fucking controversial. Like, fuck off. I decide when/if/how I have kids, not you.
For the past few weeks, international media is buzzing with news about “the war on women”. Mostly they refer to the GOP attacks on reproductive justice in the US but they have also started using the expression to refer to somewhat related initiatives popping up within the EU. However, this same media hardly ever qualifies what this “war on women” means because really, this “war” is nothing new. There are billions of women whose bodies have always been treated like they are a target for war:
- Forcibly sterilized Black/ Indigenous/ mestiza women (not just in the US, but all over the Americas and some of them in Europe as well)
- trans women subjected to daily, unspeakable violence
- Undocumented immigrants and their children sent to inhumane detention camps
- Asylum seekers denied their request and deported to places unknown
- Working class mothers demonized for their lifestyles
I could go on and on with this list (which is in no way meant to be comprehensive but merely illustrative of some of the women who have always been targets of a war on their livelihoods). Just because this “war on women” has now been somehow expanded to include white, middle class women, it doesn’t mean the rest has not been part of it since times inmemorial.
Eight female state senators in Georgia walked out of the Senate chambers on Thursday to protest two bills that hinder access to abortion and contraceptives. All eight female democratic senators left the chambers together after two bills they oppose passed the Republican-led Senate. From Atlanta’s WXIA, the legislation:
- Prohibits state employees from using state health benefits to pay for abortions
- Does not allow employees of private religious institutions to demand that their insurance policies pay for contraceptives
“We stood together to protest what we feel is absolutely a war on women here in Georgia and we want to sound the alert to Georgians,” said Sen. Nan Orrick.
Republican state senator Joshua McKoon said of the legislation, “What I would say is the war that’s being waged is on a relative minority in this country that has strong beliefs that are protected by the First Amendment.”
The bills now heads to the House, whereboth are expected to pass.
The senators who walked out: Sen. Gloria Butler, Sen. Gale Davenport, Sen. Nan Orrock, Sen. Freddie Powell Sims, Sen. Donzella James, Sen. Miriam Paris, Sen. Valencia Seay and Sen. Horacena Tate. Looks like I’ll be spending my Friday night emailing these senators to thank them for taking a stance on an incredibly important issue.
..did I reblog this already? Well, doesn’t matter, I’m going to reblog it again…
Look at their faces. They’re furious. Also, why is “War on Women” displayed as a puzzled inquiry? It should go without saying that women are suddenly under attack.
GOP Rep. Wayne Christian when asked about his support for abortion restriction and regulations, and whether they’re “a war on birth control.”
In the United States a massive legislative campaign against abortion rights is taking its toll on a woman’s right to choose. ‘What Every Woman Should Know’ is a report by Susie Cagle on the war that’s being waged against women’s health in the United States.
“The Virginia Board of Health passed the most severe abortion clinic regulations in the nation on Thursday, which health advocates say could effectively close down all 22 abortion providers in the state. The regulations, commissioned by the state legislature and written by the Virginia Department of Health, are largely unrelated to patient health and safety. They would treat abortion clinics as if they are hospitals if the clinics provide five or more first-trimester abortions a month and would enforce architectural design standards that will be almost impossible for most clinics to meet. For instance, a clinic must have 5-foot-wide hallways, 8-foot-wide areas outside of procedure rooms, specific numbers of toilets and types of sinks and all of the latest requirements for air circulation flow and electrical wiring. Each clinic must also have a parking spot for every bed, despite the fact that first-trimester abortions don’t require an overnight stay. Further, Department of Health employees will be allowed to enter an abortion facility at any time without notice or identification.”
And the war on women continues…
Women’s rights campaigners see the creeping criminalisation of pregnant women as a new front in the culture wars over abortion
…“Women are being stripped of their constitutional personhood and subjected to truly cruel laws,” said Lynn Paltrow of the campaignNational Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW). “It’s turning pregnant women into a different class of person and removing them of their rights.”
White House Communications Director Dodgy When Asked About War on Women
…this clip, filmed at Netroots Nation earlier today, is of Daily Kos Associate Editor Kalli Joy Gray questioning White House Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer about Obama’s response, or lack thereof, to the legislative assault on women across the nation. And it is truly stunning.
I have been a political junkie since I was old enough to understand the democratic process, and never in my entire life have I seen a White House Communications Director be so clueless, so tone deaf, so wildly and hopelessly out of touch with the largest constituency of a sitting president.
And it’s manifestly evident the problem isn’t with Pfeiffer’s competency. The problem is that the entire Obama administration is structurally and institutionally clueless, tone deaf, and wildly and hopelessly out of touch with their largest constituency, and Pfeiffer is just doing his job—communicating the White House’s position.
This is the clip every progressive feminist will remember when they walk into a voting booth (or don’t) in 2012. Absolutely breathtaking.
[transcript, with some commentary, can be found in the link]