Lily Madigan, Women’s Officer

27 Feb

Reported as deleted within ten minutes after conversation.

 

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Callouts At Dawn

12 Feb

I’d been warned about these people. We’d been fighting them for months now, and now that we’d become partially disabled due to a not entirely unexpected betrayal, they’d come after us.

I got to the closed Facebook page first. I wasn’t prepared for what happened next.

“We know who you are!” proclaimed the first vanguard. “You are her!”

I said “Huh?” I typed “What?”

“You are Wisteria,” they answered. “We figured it out awhile ago. You’re her sock puppet. ‘Fess up.”

I will admit that my first reaction to this turn of events was dismay at my apparent complete lack of originality. I adored Wisteria, but to be mistaken for her creation was a bit more than I could correctly handle.

“You’re never both around during the same hours.”

Well, yeah. Wisteria lives a ways north and is trying to run some kind of elderly hippie ranch so she can’t pull these all-nighters I do.

So then Wisteria pulls in and she posts some video of “76 Trombones” as in 76 names, because she has perused all this previous web-based content and thinks it is funny as fuck.

“O.K.?” I say. “See? We’re different people.”

“Hmmm. It takes a certain bit of time for her to sign out of the one account and into another.”

“Why? Why don’t you believe me?”

“Well, you just showed up all of a sudden.” True. My previous account had turned into a Gordian knot, as they do. So I’d started a new one and here was Wisteria with all these people on her ass, so I took on her battles. As one does.

Wisteria and I kicked their asses amongst much amusement. But I never quite shook that sense of Internet humbledness, that there are likely no end of people out there who might think me a sock puppet, or worse. And that I could stumble across them like so many hidden time bombs in my path, and that this, too, is part of the bargain of living in these times, these Internet times of confusion.

Old girlfriends

5 Feb

My relationship with rage started early probably what with all the
Back and forth.

And then there was more of that displacement and later
A lot of wtf

Later, I found dreams and hopes that
Got dashed into the metropolitan Los Angeles apartment cube carpet
With my girlfriends.

We had ideas, we did. That, somehow, somewhere we might matter
As in for keeps.

I never really wound up for keeps
I don’t know that my girlfriends did either
One is long dead
And one is too scary now, at this late date
After all the children
Her eldest who showed me
An imaginary Valium for her mother
My friend
And that was thirty years ago

I hear she’s still around, here on Facebook
The “blonde biker bitch”
Whom members of my family
Allowed to be raped, at an early age
Like 13
I should know
I was there
I was the assigned observer

Rachel survived being the Blonde Biker Bitch
She survived slavery
She survived heroin
She survived prison

And now that I am an old woman, I find myself wondering
What become of her, and her Valium children
What became of all those women
Who might have turned out family
If this culture had been more kind to us
If it had ever really occurred to everyone
All at once, even for a minute
That we mattered.

QotD: ‘The India Effect’

1 Feb

Anti-Porn Feminists

This season has seen the phenomenon turned up to eleven however, and me riveted to all and any interaction between India Willoughby, a news presenter, journalist, and trans woman, and the various other housemates. Now I do realise, yes, that trans women are not a monolith, and I don’t doubt there are many in the trans community have been watching Willoughby alienate as many viewers and potential allies as possible from between their fingers, just wishing she wouldn’t. But still, she has, and the uncomfortable truth is that in her behaviour, I can recognise instantly a near perfect microcosm of some of the larger trans activism I have been observing over recent times.

For seven days I have remained glued as a group of adult women, all trying their camera ready best to be as respectful and supportive as possible, attempt to deal with a sulking, bullying, manipulative, and aggressive…

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Pronouns

29 Jan

This culture is increasingly obsessed with worrying about what pronouns male humans want used about themselves, to the point where it’s enacting legislation making it a crime not to obey these dictates, however bizarre.

This same culture is still, however, just fine with referring to all individuals of life that is not human, as “it.”

Really says a lot about priorities.

 

WOMEN RESIST IMPERIALISM

29 Jan

International Women's Alliance

Keynote address of Coni Ledesma

Solidarity and Fight Back Conference

Toronto, Canada

5-7 August 2017

Good morning dear kasama, comrades and friends,

After that rousing welcome with the singing of the IWA Hymn, let me share with you  stories of women who have resisted imperialism.

Let me start by telling you the story of a Makibaka activist.

She was an activist in the 1970’s.  In the early 1980’s, she was arrested by the military.  There  was still  Martial Law in the Philippines at this time. She was  gang raped by the military.  When she told me her story, she said that some of the military were even watching the rape from the upper floor,  laughing and jeering at her. When they had finished raping her, she crouched in a corner and cried.

“What”, jeered the military men.  “A Makibaka crying?”

After some days, the Comander of the military brought her…

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Why the Concern about Transgenderism, Radfems?

19 Jan

Radical feminists are often asked by various and sundry: “Why are radical feminists so obsessed with transgenders?”

A little history.  Transgenderism was originally an offshoot of the GLB rights movement. These were homosexual people who felt so misaligned with social expectations based on sex stereotypes, who felt so uncomfortable in their own skins that they chose to have their bodies medically modified, to various extents, into facsimiles of the opposite sex, in hopes that this would alleviate their distress and simplify their social lives. This dates back into the 1950’s.

But in this century, transgenderism has morphed into something entirely different. It no longer is strictly the purview of homosexuals, nor is it reliably about any kind of permanent body modifications, especially for men.

Instead, it is presented as a kind of invisible disability, that can only be understood by its often transitory external manifestations, which align quite neatly with the aforementioned sex stereotypes. “Trans” people are framed as discriminated against by anyone who will not pretend they are the opposite sex, especially when the opposite sex is female.

One of the ways this plays out is that women are told not to express any thinking or activism that highlights our actual sex class, as this reminds “transwomen” that they are physically different from us, and this hurts their feelings. But since women are oppressed along an axis of sex (seen what’s happening with abortion rights legislation in the USA of late?) we must be able to speak of our bodies, our selves, and how we are treated and controlled via our sex. So these kinds of sentiments effectively muzzle women’s organizing, unless we resist and say we will speak of what we must, in which case we’re accused of “transphobia.”

Further, the legal ramifications are significant. If there is no legal word for “woman” any more, only terms that have no legal definition beyond “labels humans may attach to themselves,” if the class of humans that includes everyone who has ever created another person inside herself, along with all of us who have not, but still have female bodies; if this class of humans has no name that is specific unto us, if there is no term for this class of people that has an agreed upon legal meaning; then it becomes impossible to fight for legal protections. You cannot fight for legal protections for a class that has no name. The law depends on language.

Women are oppressed because of our material physical differences from men. Oppression and discrimination work along observable material axes. Sex, skin color, and material markers of social class, even sexual arousal is observable.

But “gender identity” is not. You cannot be oppressed or discriminated against along the axis of something that is neither observable nor fixed. The trans lobby engages in many failures of logic, but this one is central. Body modifications are material and observable, and thus persons with these medical modifications may well be discriminated against. But they are only peripherally related to “gender identities” of late. So I think it important to make this distinction.

Cat Meanderings

15 Jan

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Charlotte has been a trash communicator for years. She speaks to me by trashing the rooms. Flock! Off in the middle of the night, an empty plastic gallon jug falls to the floor. That was where this got started.

Charlotte rapidly learned that she could manipulate me by thusly interfering with our environment. What Charlotte generally wants is in, out, or new and thus better food. That’s pretty much her itinerary in this conversation.

Once she got me trained to let her out when she knocked down empty plastic bottles, I started keeping the empty plastic bottles elsewhere. Then she moved in to the sink, where I feed her, and took to moving her can in the metal food bowl around and around and around in the sink in the wee hours. At one point before I introduced the metal food bowl for the can in order to decrease the food scraps in the sink, she fished the stainless steel sink trap out of the sink with a claw or three and deposited it firmly upon the floor. I woke up. I let her out. Or fed her. I’m not sure.

When she wants in, she throws herself high upon the front door, where she makes a resounding thump and then claws her way down. This, too, awakens me fairly reliably, even from the most compelling of dreams.

Meanwhile, Charlotte has continued to evolve her methods of informing me she wants new and thus better food. This involves one of my favorite drawings, which is pinned on a wall in here just barely low enough for her to reach the edge.

She goes for it at times. I speak sharply to her and I get up to see what she wants. Sometimes this means “new food.” But sometimes it means “pay attention to me as I go and eat more of what’s left of the old food.”

Lately Charlotte has taken to spraying. She sprayed the dog food bag for a bit. She sprayed me in the bathroom. And then she took to waltzing across my sitting room to the electrical outlet there and spraying the wall a couple of inches to the left of it.

I took a bottle of mint-scented flea soap that didn’t particularly work on Falcor (who is a dog) and hosed down the wall to try to discourage this new development. Never deterred, Charlotte continued to approach the wall in a suggestive manner, now and then, when she knew I was looking.

Charlotte hates to be picked up. I did it anyway. When I saw her doing this, I went nicely over to the electrical outlet and sweet-talked her as she yowled in my arms and deposited her outside.

We did that twice. The third time, when I got up to capture this cat, she trotted over to the front door to be let out.

What just happened there?

Deidra Sullivan: Dear Women’s March Organisers – Name the Problem of Pornography

15 Jan

writing by renee

This letter can be edited or sent as is to Women’s March organisers in your area. Suggested Subject line heading: Name the problem: Pornography is male sexual violence against women.

Dear Women’s March organizers,

Thank you for the time, energy and effort you have put into organizing the women’s march initiative, and in advocating for women’s right to be free from male violence in all aspects of our lives. The strength and power we collectively gained from the January 2017 march was inspirational.

This year, I implore you to specifically name the sexual violence committed by men against women in pornography as part of the problem. We cannot separate the violence committed against women in pornography (and prostitution) from domestic violence, stranger violence, or other forms of sexual violence perpetrated against women. To identify this violence is not to blame women for the situations they are in: it is to…

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Some basic questions about sex and gender for progressives

14 Jan

Rebecca Reilly-Cooper

1. Do you believe that being born with the kind of body that has the potential to gestate children – a body with a uterus, ovaries, and a vagina – is of any political significance? Does having that kind of body have any bearing on a person’s likely opportunities and outcomes?

2. Do you believe that people born with those kinds of bodies have historically been subject to any distinct forms of injustice, oppression, exploitation or discrimination? Have they historically been subordinated to the people with penises and testes?

3. Do you believe that people born with those kinds of bodies continue to be subject to any distinct forms of injustice, oppression, exploitation or discrimination?

4. Do you believe that people born with those kinds of bodies often suffer physical and sexual violence, abuse and harassment perpetrated by the people with penises and testes?

5. Do you believe that people…

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