Monday, November 06, 2006

Feminism and other stuff

I was travelling last week, and I didn't get to write about a whole lot of stuff I meant to write about. So I thought I'd put together my first link post. It's not a link farm, because I don't have that many links. Think of it more as a link lifestyle block, without the hard work of an actual farm link lifetyle blocks are in privileged areas (no this metahpor doesn't work).

First of all you should just go and read brownfemipower. She has written some amazing stuff recently, and I want to quote whole posts. But I will just content myself with two snippets, from a poem in there somewhere

a thing i’ve noticed as i’ve been shifting through pictures of oaxaca and palestine is how many women bring their purses to rallies and protests. and not just a little purse they can hook over their head and forget about, but huge ass mama purses that you know the kitchen sink is in.

and every time i see a picture of some fierce mama facing down a tank or running away from bullets, clinging to her big ass purse, i want to cry. what is in that purse? did she pack extra tylenol in case somebody needed it? are their baby wipes (cuz they come in so handy, even when the kids aren’t around!)? is there a couple of extra bottles of water (in case one of the children lost their’s?)?
Also from Why feminists must stand against government repression in Mexico:
All feminists MUST pay attention to what is happening in Oaxaca. Indigenous women are leading the way to female liberation–which means that just as their demands for access to birth control carry the same weight in their actions that their demands for access to community radio do, they are also taking the brunt of the violence liberation often brings. But thier entire community recognizes that they will never have liberation (aka community health, freedom from poverty, clean air to breath, workers rights, sexual freedom, control of the land etc) as long as the nation/state has ultimate control over what happens to their bodies and souls–or as long as violence against women is acceptable in any form.

To some good news
PARIS, Nov 3, 2006 (AFP) - Unions at Paris's main airport said Friday they plan to call for a strike over the withdrawal of security badges from scores of airport workers, mostly Muslims, denouncing it as discrimination.
This is an awesome display of solidarity from France's airport. All credit to the workers involved, but there's also a lot to be said for the constitutional right to strike.

While I was away Sophia from At the Bay wrote an excellent post about an article written by Anjum Rahman, a member of the Islamic Women's Council. The article isn't on-line so I'm quoting Sophia's transcript:

Yet that seems to me to be a circular argument. It again relates sexual violence to women's behaviour (ie their clothing - too much or too little) rather than men's behaviour. It's the same as the argument that covering up allows men to beat women without the results being visible. If that were the case, then women who dress scantily would suffer much less from domestic violence.

[...] To put hijab (covering) in the context of rape prevention is to negate its power. In reality, that is why the sheik's comments are so destructive and harmful, and why they make me so angry. For me, hijab is a position of strength, but he turns it into a position of weakness and oppression. For me, it's a personal statement of my relationship with God, but he makes it a statement about my relationship to man."

BitchPhD has an excellent about feminism, the division of labour, and a whole bunch of other things:
The second story is smaller, but bigger. In my Spanish class, there was an older woman who was returning to school. Over the course of the semester, we found things out about her: her husband was a doctor and she'd been a homemaker. He'd agreed to "let" her go to college as long as--she emphasized this--nothing changed at home. She was to continue to do all the housework and all the childcare (if memory serves, they had two school-age children) and could take classes and do homework in her spare time. I thought, of course, that this was fucking horrible, and although it was clear to me that her husband was a jerk, there was part of me that wondered why the hell she'd married him, and why she stayed married to him.

I don't remember what prompted her outburst one afternoon, but I do remember her saying, passionately and seemingly on the verge of tears, "you young girls look at me and you all think you can have it all. You think that you won't end up like me. But I'm telling you, you can't have it all. Just wait. You'll get married, and you'll think you're marrying someone who loves and supports and respects you, but that's not how it works. I know you look at me and you think I'm crazy, or you feel sorry for me, but I'm telling you: look at me and realize that this is where you'll be in twenty years."
My Mum has said that she didn't understand feminism until she had me (see I have magic powers). Although I have no children myself my feminist analysis is centred around reproduction, as much as it's centred around control of women's sexuality. I love reading personal blogs by feminist women who have children (my favourite is Raising WEG), because to me individual stories often speak really powerfully to the wider issues.

While I'm posting links I don't think I've ever linked to my favourite post ever. When I first read this I said to a friend "I want to give this to everyone I know - no I want to turn it into a protective bubble around myself so that everyone who came within 50 metres had to read and understand it." It starts with the absolutely awesome phrase "the crazy maze of eating while female" and is mostly about the problem of not replicating (and reinventing) negative attitudes towards food within supposedly feminist groups. After careful consideration I've decided this is my favourite paragraph
At the very least, I think we need some new ways of approaching the issue of food in groups, so it becomes less about the fear of food and fat, less about our personal responsibility for our health, and more about encouraging women to feel strong in our ability to make food choices with integrity.

But I really do recommend you go read the whole thing


  1. Wow, I can see why this could be a persons favourite post ever. This I have bookmarked to pass along to my friends. Thanks for sharing Maia :)

    I've actually got a lot to say about these eating issues from my own long and arduous love/hate relationship with food. Sorry I've been too busy lately to forumlate them into a comment here that would do them justice, but I thank you for keeping the issue alive here as you do.

    A book I read many long years ago which became a turning point for me was Susie Orbach's "Fat Is A Feminist Issue". I still have a long way to go before I feel I will be totally free of this burden, but this was the book that set me on the path towards that end.

    Maybe other women here have read it or may find it useful.


  2. Anonymous10:05 am

    It is pretty simple. Burn more calories than you take in.

    That's it.

    10,000 word essays, selective reasoning about the real consequences to health from being seriously overweight, and over-indulgent self obsession won't make her happy...

    ...which is the true heart of the matter.

  3. Anonymous2:15 am

    در اجرای طرح ارتقای امنيت اجتماعی که از ابتدای ارديبهشت‌‏ماه آغاز شده, برخورد با مالکان خودروهای حامل افراد بدحجاب در دستور کار پليس قرار گرفته است، بر اساس اين طرح خودروهای حامل فرد بدحجاب يا خودروهايی که زنان بدحجاب راننده آن هستند، توسط ماموران اجرای طرح امنيت اخلاقی يا ماموران راهنمايی و رانندگی توقيف و به پارکينگ منتقل می‌‏شوند.
    به گزارش خبرنگار ايلنا, نيروی انتظامی با اين توجيه که حضور فرد بدحجاب در خودرو از جرائم مشهود محسوب می‌‏شود، نسبت به برخورد با خودروهای حامل فرد بدحجاب اقدام کرده و راساً به توقيف خودروها می‌‏پردازد.

    ماموران زنا زاده پلیس راهنمایی رانندگی ایران بجای اینکه هزاران راننده که مانند حیوانات با سرعت غیر مجاز، عبور ممنوع و صدها مورد جرایم مشهود خطرناک را پیگیری کنند در برابر این جرایم سکوت می کنند و ماشین افرادی را که موهایشان پیداست توقیف می کنند!

    آی کیر خوک و خر و سنده خوک و خر تو کس حضرت زهرا بنت رسول الله چون ملایان می خواهند ایرانیان مثل این فاحشه قریش باشند.
    سنده سگ تو کس ننه و زن و دختر رسول الله به خاطر این قوانین مسخره و حیوانی قرآن.
    سنده شیطان تو حلق محمد قرآن شد.