by Guest Contributor Hugo Najera, originally published at AmericanPupusa
by Guest Contributor Hugo Najera, originally published at AmericanPupusa
In 2007, women from the Movement of the Indigenous of the Republic took part in the annual 8th of March demonstration in support of women’s struggles. At that time, the American campaign against Iran had begun. We decided to march behind a banner that’s message was “No feminism without anti-imperialism”. We were all wearing Palestinian kaffiyehs and handing out flyers in support of three resistant Iraqi women taken prisoner by the Americans. When we arrived, the organizers of the official procession started chanting slogans in support of Iranian women. We found these slogans extremely shocking given the ideological offensive against Iran at that time. Why the Iranians, the Algerians and not the Palestinians and the Iraqis? Why such selective choices? To thwart these slogans, we decided to express our solidarity not with Third World women but rather with Western women. And so we chanted:
Solidarity with Swedish women!
Solidarity with Italian women!
Solidarity with German women!
Solidarity with English women!
Solidarity with French women!
Solidarity with American women!
Which meant: why should you, white women, have the privilege of solidarity? You are also battered, raped, you are also subject to men’s violence, you are also underpaid, despised, your bodies are also instrumentalized…
I can tell you that they looked at us as if we were from outer space. What we were saying seemed surreal, inconceivable. It was like the 4th dimension. It wasn’t so much the fact that we reminded them of their situation as Western women that shocked them. It was more the fact that African and Arabo-Muslim women had dared symbolically subvert a relationship of domination and had established themselves as patrons. In other words, with this skillful rhetorical turn, we showed them that they de facto had a superior status to our own. We found their looks of disbelief quite entertaining.
Another example: After a solidarity trip to Palestine, a friend was telling me how the French women had asked the Palestinian women if they used birth control. According to my friend, the Palestinian women couldn’t understand such a question given how important the demographic issue is in Palestine. They were coming from a completely different perspective. For many Palestinian women, having children is an act of resistance against the ethnic cleansing policies of the Israeli state.
There you have two examples that illustrate our situation as racialized women, that help understand what is at stake and envisage a way to fight colonialist and Eurocentric feminism.
— Houria Bouteldja, spokeswoman for the PIR (La Indigènes de la République) speaking at the 4th International Congress of Islamic Feminism, in Madrid, 22 October 2010
(Hat Tip to Huimin)
by Guest Contributor Erica Mauter, originally published at SwirlSpice
Also, Invisible Knapsack LOLcats.
It’s an honor and a privilege to present this topic at SXSW Interactive of all places. Not only is it highly relevant, SXSW is an example of an event that is doing a lot of things right.
That said, I noted a strange irony in the seriously broad range of panel topics alongside the heavy big-brand marketing presence.
Let’s also remind ourselves that most events are not only not nearly as big as SXSW, they are way smaller. A lot of the concepts still apply, but things involving costs may work very differently.
I spent less of my time on actual how-to and more on the concepts of representation and building awareness. The key words and phrases are inclusion, representation, and structural barriers to participation. It’s really hard to distill the concept of privilege and oppression down to a 12-minute presentation, much less further apply it to why various groups are or aren’t represented at tech conferences of all sizes. But it’s critical to the conversation, so I did my best.
I can give you pages of ideas for outreach, but if you aren’t aware of the social forces behind all of it and aren’t willing to truly re-think how you go about things then no progress can be made. A conference is a manufactured environment; it necessarily reflects the ideology of the creator. Understand that some may reject that framework in favor of their own or none at all.
As promised here are some further resources specifically addressing how to increase representation of marginalized groups at your tech event.
The following posts address the topic of representation at conferences. Each one of them has a bulleted list of tips and hints.
Carmen (Van Kerckhove) Sognonvi – Top 4 Mistakes Meeting Planners Avoid If They Want Diversity and Inclusion at Their Next Conference
Savvy meeting planners carefully sculpt both their advertising and their agendas to appeal to a culturally diverse population. But far too many planners still don’t understand the fundamentals of culturally-sensitive hosting.
Here, then, are the four biggest mistakes meeting planners should avoid, followed by their more appealing and appropriate counterparts. Continue reading
By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid
Full disclosure: I met Loretta Ross at a Women’s Media Center’s media workshop for progressive women last summer, and we’re connected through the New York City chapter of SisterSong, which reshaped the reproductive-rights fight to reproductive justice. And I just think she is an incredible activist and living historian.
I saw this clip of her explaining to another generation of feminists where the term “women of color” came from and wanted to share.
Transcript after the jump.
From LA Times:
Often compared to such short-story masters as Katherine Mansfield, Flannery O’Connor and Grace Paley, Yamamoto concentrated her imagination on the issei and nisei, the first- and second-generation Japanese Americans who were targets of the public hysteria unleashed after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Yamamoto was 20 when the attack sent the United States into war and her family into a Poston, Ariz., internment camp. Her most celebrated stories, such as “Seventeen Syllables” and “The Legend of Miss Sasagawara,” reflect the preoccupations and tensions of the Japanese immigrants and offspring who survived that era. Among her most powerful characters are women who struggle to nurture their romantic or creative selves despite the constraints of gender, racism and tradition.
Yamamoto was born in Redondo Beach on Aug. 23, 1921. The daughter of immigrant strawberry farmers from Kumamoto, Japan, she was a voracious reader and published her first story when she was 14. At Compton College, where she earned an associate of arts degree, she studied French, Spanish, German and Latin. She wrote stories for Japanese American newspapers using the pseudonym “Napoleon.”
During World War II, she wrote for the Poston camp newspaper, which published her serialized mystery “Death Rides the Rail to Poston.” She briefly left the camp to work in Springfield, Mass., but returned when her 19-year-old brother died while fighting with the U.S. Army‘s 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Italy.
After the war ended in 1945, she returned to Los Angeles and became a reporter and columnist for the Los Angeles Tribune, an African American weekly. Her experiences there deepened her awareness of racism to a point of nearly unbearable anguish. She wrote a story about the intimidation of a black family named Short by white neighbors in segregated Fontana. She attempted to hew to journalistic standards of impartiality, cautiously describing the threats against the family as “alleged” or “claims.”
After her story ran, the Shorts were killed in an apparent arson fire. Yamamoto castigated herself for failing to convey the urgency of their situation.
“I should have been an evangelist at Seventh and Broadway, shouting out the name of the Short family and their predicament in Fontana,” she wrote decades later in a 1985 essay called “A Fire in Fontana.” Instead, she pronounced her effort to communicate as pathetic as “the bit of saliva which occasionally trickled” from the corner of a feeble man’s mouth.
She left the newspaper and rode trains and buses across the country. “Something was unsettling my innards,” she wrote of her dawning multiethnic consciousness. “I continued to look like the Nisei I was, with my height remaining at slightly over four feet ten, my hair straight, my vision myopic. Yet I know that this event transpired within me; sometimes I see it as my inward self being burnt black in a certain fire.”
She drew from this well in the burst of writing that followed. Her breakthrough came with the 1948 publication in Partisan Review of “The High-Heeled Shoes, a Memoir,” a shockingly contemporary story about sexual harassment. She weaved intercultural conflicts and bonds into “Seventeen Syllables” (1949), in which a nisei girl’s blooming romance with a Mexican American classmate offers an achingly innocent counterpoint to her issei mother’s arranged marriage. “Wilshire Bus” (1950) explores a Japanese American woman’s silence during a white man’s racist harangue against a Chinese couple on the bus they are riding.
Image credit: goodreads.com
by Latoya Peterson
Last week, the internet was in a tizzy over Aliya S. King’s article for Vibe. The piece, titled the Mean Girls of Morehouse, explored how Morehouse’s change in dress code was really a reaction to a small group of genderqueer students on campus. The article dove into the lives of these students on campus. Vibe and King were both blasted for attacking Morehouse, a bastion of the black community, and a video was quickly uploaded to the internet showing a spirited discussion at Morehouse around the content of the article, exploring everything from lack of queer perspective to the representation of Morehouse.
However, through this whole debate, two things have stood out to me:
1. We aren’t hearing very much from those profiled.
2. Most of the conversation has swirled around representation – but what about solidarity? Particularly among groups of color? Continue reading
by Latoya Peterson
Via Pam’s House Blend, Don Lemon revealed a painful truth on television while covering the Bishop Eddie Long scandal. (The Bishop is accused of manipulating young men into sexual relationships with him.) Media Bistro explains:
Lemon had just played a soundbite from the lawyer of one of Long’s accusers about how the bishop allegedly got close to one of the young men in his church.
Let me tell you what got my attention about this and I have never admitted this on television. I’m a victim of a pedophile when I was a kid. Someone who was much older than me.
Lemon’s admission led to an audible gasp from one of his guests. “I’ve never admitted that on television and I never told my mom until I was 30 years old,” Lemon said later in the segment. “Especially African-American men don’t want to talk about those things.”
Looking at this week’s schedule, I’m not sure Arturo or I will have enough time to delve into this, but it is amazingly important, and we will host a discussion about this next week.
Via & For the Love of Fashion, this video on model Anais Mali, which is heartbreaking in its simplicity. Mali is bubbly and full of life, with gorgeous photos and a heavy love of designer gear. But the casting folks in Paris just say straight up “You’re black? This is a problem.”
From the tips pool comes this video on Avatar Remix – A.V.A.T.A.R. (Anglos Valiantly Aiding Tragic Awe-inspiring Races). It’s a mash up of Avatar – and other films with very similar themes.