More photos from International Women’s Day 2013 in Seattle. Many of these are outside the Deja Vu/Showgirls porn shop/strip club. A favorite chant: “The church preaches ‘virgin’/Porn screams ‘whore’/Both call women objects/we say NO MORE!”
Some photos from International Women’s Day 2013 in Seattle. Right on to all the courageous FIGHTERS who hit the streets with us. Some favorite chants were “Mars Hill/Get real/Women are rebelling!”, “It’s bullshit! Get off it! Women aren’t for profit!” and “We won’t bow down/We won’t submit/We won’t stand for/ woman-hating shit!”
Earlier this week someone I know was talking about how she was hearing International Women’s Day being covered on the radio and in the mainstream this year. She was astonished at how this day has slid into the background, as something to be “observed,” as if it was a birthday or a funeral. Today, March 8, International Women’s Day, has it’s roots in REVOLUTION; it is a day to FIGHT for the liberation of women, and in the midst of a whole society that has been saturated with the normalization of patriarchy, most of what we will hear throughout today and tomorrow will be anything BUT that.
Let’s unite tomorrow to DEFY that normalization, that forced and falsely justified numbness to the crimes committed against women every day, in every corner of the world. It is true today as it has been for too long: No place in the world is it safe to be a woman! Compare the women in Pakistan and Afghanistan who live with the very real fear of having acid thrown in their faces as a result of their parents rejecting a marriage proposal or even as a result of trying to go to school, to the women in Ireland, or Mississippi - whose last abortion clinic was just informed of impending closure - who have and will be left to bleed to death, or have their futures foreclosed, if they need an abortion. What is the resounding reality that connects these women together across the globe? The message being blasted at all of us, and actively lobbied for, defended, legislated, enforced, and validated all around the world: There is a very well-defined place for women in society. It is on a leash. Your worth is calculated the same way as the worth of a slave. Your ability and desire to bear children, and to “please your master” and be subordinate to your husband or father, decides your value as a commodity.
This is the same value calculation being done in the minds of young men and women being “educated” by the most violent and degrading pornography ever to be accepted widely as fun, sexy and normal. Where better to find women on their knees, in literal chains, being forced to perform such degrading acts as sucking their own shit off of some guy’s dick right after he fucks her in the ass? Telling girls before they hit their teens, before they even really understand what sex is, that their worth is based on their ability to serve, to succumb, to sell themselves and humiliate themselves for the pleasure of men. And what about the boys? Encouraging them to take on the mentality of the slavemaster, the dominator, the oppressor, at every turn. To be in control of the bodies of women, glamorizing rape, and celebrating slavery. Even porn that is produced by women, even porn where the actors are paid well, even gay porn, trains the minds of the people that watch it to be either dominant or submissive, there is an actor and an object, whether it is acted out in traditional ways, or ways that sell themselves as more “progressive.” This patriarchal system that promotes the domination of men over women is the same system that shames, threatens, demonizes, and attacks LGBT people for refusing to conform to their “proper” traditional gender roles. If you can’t imagine sex without porn, you’re fucked. Where does that leave the majority of us in society today??
For these reasons and more, it is imperative that women and men take a stand, to call BULLSHIT on this very loud, very well-funded message, and the monster of a system that feeds and then congratulates it, while it continues to enslave women, and steal away the humanity of men. We can and must FIGHT THE POWER, and challenge the terms that were set a long time ago - the terms that are limiting people’s very ability to imagine a world without these horrific, outdated realities. We actually CAN ultimately create a world where this message would be laughable if it wasn’t so horrible: Your value as a woman is equal to your ability to SUBMIT. FUCK THAT.
Let’s go out tomorrow and FIGHT.
Let’s call BULLSHIT on the porn stores and strip clubs that profit every single day on the the saturation of society by that multi-billion dollar lie about what a woman’s life, mind, and body is “worth.” Let’s call BULLSHIT on religious fundamentalisms of every shape and size, that claim moral high ground while at the same time it is selling the same lie as the porn industry: Your value as a woman is equal to your ability to SUBMIT. Let’s go straight to the right-wing activist churches, and to the Vatican itself, and call BULLSHIT on their blatant hatred and oppression, their calculation of the worthlessness of any woman who would choose NOT to be subservient, or NOT to be a mother. Women are HUMAN BEINGS, not some product, some toy, some commodity, whose worth needs to be calculated and dictated to all of us by this capitalist system and its bullshit institutions.
Bring a fighting spirit, a spirit of DEFIANCE against this patriarchal system, and against the biggest lie it promotes - that this is the only way the world can function! That this is somehow OK or the natural order of things! That we can’t unite and resist and ultimately fight all the way through to put an END to this system, these institutions, this bullshit message that is so essential to their existence and their prosperity, and to the fear and silence of women everywhere we go.
End Pornography & Patriarchy, The Enslavement & Degradation of Women.
IWD2013 Flier (Bay Area) - View or Download
Thanks to Cyanescentinel for making this great video of Seattle’s One Billion Rising event and thanks to Tim for sending it to us!
And by the way…Into the Streets tomorrow, Saturday, for International Women’s Day! In Seattle, meet at Westlake Park at 12 Noon.
Cienna Madrid from The Stranger doesn’t like Stop Patriarchy’s call to protest both a Christian fascist church and a porn shop/strip club on International Women’s Day because she doesn’t get that both are expressions of patriarchy and manifestations of the war on women. She blogged about it here.
What follows is Stop Patriarchy Seattle’s response:
“It feels like the instigators chose popular targets for controversy and then manufactured their rage, rather than launching a protest with the goal of a specific change.”
From the instigators of Stop Patriarchy:
We’ve been on the streets in Seattle talking to hundreds of women in the past few weeks who not only get what we’re saying, but start pouring out their stories of abuse by repressive religious institutions, by the global sex industry, and by men growing up in a pornified culture. When we say the institutions of Mars Hill and Deja Vu/Showgirls both want women on their knees, just in different ways, it resonates with them. They’ve been waiting for a vehicle that calls it all out and makes the connections and they understand our specific goal: To END the enslavement and degradation of women in all its forms.
We didn’t “manufacture” the fact that Deja Vu/Showgirls sells women and that their shop’s videos sexualize violence against women and treat women’s bodies as things to be used for the sexual pleasure of men. We didn’t manufacture that pornography has become increasingly violent and degrading towards women with popular themes such as gang rape, racist bigotry, and incest (such as “Chester Molest Her” - a film sold at this porn shop) We didn’t manufacture the fact that this is all intertwined with and fuels sex trafficking and a global epidemic of rape. So we ask you, where is YOUR rage? This shit isn’t society becoming more comfortable with sex. This is society becoming saturated with the sexualized degradation of women. As our surprisingly popular sticker says, “If You Can’t Imagine Sex Without Porn, You’re Fucked.”
Saturday, March 9, 12 noon @ Westlake Park (4th & Pine, downtown Seattle) RALLY & SPEAK-OUT followed by a MARCH to protest the global epidemic of rape and politically confront two Seattle institutions that reinforce the enslavement and degradation of women: Mars Hill Church and Deja Vu/Showgirls.
RSVP and share on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/141795155984443/
On March 9th 2013 for International Women’s Day, Stop Patriarchy will be holding a rally at Westlake, in Seattle…but we are not stopping there! We’re going to be protesting several sites that represent the war on women, and how that war is intensifying. The first place we plan to protest is Mars Hill Church…then we will make our presence known in front of the Deja Vu Showgirls strip club/porn store. In between those spots we will be stopping at bus stops to speak out and protest rape and sexual assault. From Delhi to Ohio, and everywhere else, from the global epidemic of rape, to the attacks on abortion rights, from the burkha to the thong…if you are not fighting the war on women, you are condoning it!
Here’s why we plan to go to Mars Hill and Deja Vu Showgirls….while these are presented as opposing forces by opposing sides, they actually have MUCH more in common than most people think. The Christian fascists and the pornographers both enslave women, and they both strip women of their rights, their voices, and their humanity.
Do you hate patriarchy so much you can taste the bile rising every time you see a man look at a woman like he’s judging the grade and cut of a piece of meat? So much that your fists clench every time you hear a rape story end with, “She really shouldn’t have been wearing that”? So much that you scream at the television when the Republicans pop up to normalize rape and criminalize abortion, and when the Democrats accept the worst of it, at the same time that they tout themselves about as the champions of women’s rights? So much that you search for signs that somebody else out there is as outraged as you are?
Are there other atrocities that strike you, or people you know, as intolerable, regardless of how widely tolerated they have become? Like the fact that police brutality in this country puts a target on Black & Latino men; the systematic murder and incarceration of young people? Like imperialism, an endless march to war, expansion, domination and occupation of developing countries by the “first world,” justified by nationalism and chauvinism? Like the exploitation of immigrants, and the hundreds of thousands of deportations that rip families apart, criminalizing and dehumanizing them? Like the racism, blatant or disguised, that reflects out from that same system and poisons people’s minds? Are you, or the people you know, moved to sickness, rage, and disgust by what is considered acceptable, what is excused, what is even defended in the world today?
By Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
Let’s go on a crucial journey together—full of unity against oppression and lively struggle about the source of the problem and the solution. Pursue your own convictions—that the outrages that move you are intolerable—to their logical conclusion, and be determined not to stop until those outrages have been eliminated. And if this, as well as learning about other outrages, and ideas about how this all fits together and flows from a common source—and how it could all be ended, and something much better brought into being—leads in the direction of seeing not only the need for bold and determined resistance, but also the need for revolution and ultimately communism, then don’t turn away from that because it moves you beyond your comfort zone, challenges what had been your cherished beliefs, or because of prejudices and slanders. Instead, actively seek to learn more about this revolution and its goal of communism and to determine whether it is in fact the necessary, and possible, solution. And then act accordingly.
We Won’t Go Back! San Francisco, January 26, 2013: A raucous crew of fighters and thinkers came together, fed up with this whole sick and twisted woman-hating culture - full of physical and ideological abuse and domination of women around the world, and ignited the atmosphere with righteous rage and unapologetic truth. LOUDLY, and right in the faces of those who marched for female enslavement.
We Won’t Go Back! last Saturday was the place to be for those who dare to hope for a better world, a world without the mind-numbing acceptance of patriarchy, and are ready to fight for it. Since then, we have shared our experiences and theories about the war on women, dug into the Call to Action, engaged deeply in last year’s ground-breaking talk: “On the Occasion of International Women’s Day” by Sunsara Taylor, and united around the need for unrelenting resistance against this intolerable system. Next Sunday we’ll meet again to solidify plans for our anti-porn action in two weeks, and begin to build for International Women’s Day this year! Are you in the Bay Area, know someone who is, or want to contribute in some other way? Get in on this today!
RISE UP with the women of the world!
ABORTION ON DEMAND & WITHOUT APOLOGY!
Sunsara Taylor & StopPatriarchy.org - Counter-protest “March for Life” (i.e. March for Forced Motherhood) at Supreme Court for 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Without this basic right, women can’t be free. ABORTION ON DEMAND & WITHOUT APOLOGY!
By Sunsara Taylor
I’ve been hearing too much oohing and aaahhh-ing over Obama’s inaugural address. Supposedly he recommit to the equality of women. Bullshit!
“We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.”
—- from President Obama’s inaugural address, January 21, 2013
Further, those born into poverty in this country do NOT have an “equal chance.” They disproportionately remain locked at the bottom of society — condemned by the worst education and worst opportunities. They are disproportionately Black and Latino and face incredibly segregation and oppression because of it. Women, especially poor women, make up the fastest growing population of the US massive prison system; fully 1/3 of all women in prison in the world are imprisoned in the U.S.
And finally: how the hell does the “little girl born into the bleakest poverty” only apply to those who are American? The women of the Tazreen factory fire in Bangladesh don’t count? The women who make our iphones don’t count? The women sold into brothels and sex slavery world-wide – a great many of them “servicing” the men of the U.S. military – don’t count? The millions of girls who make up a huge portion of the ten million children in the Third World who die unnecessarily each year of preventable disease and malnutrition don’t count?
To all who bought this bullshit and were moved by “Obama’s commitment to women and girls,” WAKE UP!
As Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party has put it, “American lives are NOT more important than other people’s lives!”
If you really care about the liberation of women, stop pretending that Obama is something other than the Commander-In-Chief of a truly oppressive and monstrously violent empire that is contributing to the worsening conditions of women here and all over the world. If you really care about the liberation of women, stop thinking like an American and start thinking about humanity! If you really care about the liberation of women, stop cheerleading the empire and start fighting for that liberation: join the movement at StopPatriarchy.org.
Jan 26th, 2013 was a great day in San Francisco for Stop Patriarchy and for the fight to win women’s liberation! We started out the day at a celebration of Roe v. Wade, and went there to let people know about the protest against the “Walk for Life.” We also went to convince those who already knew about it, but weren’t going to come out to protest, that it would make a difference if they were part of directly confronting the anti-woman, anti-abortion movement and send the message to them and to the world that Fetuses are Not Babies, Women are Not Incubators, and ABORTION IS NOT MURDER. That they should not go home, they should not settle for celebration, that they should not be deceived into thinking that abortion rights are safe, and that there is no need to turn the tide on the trajectory that we are on towards abortion being more inaccessible, more restricted than it is already, and/or outright illegal.
Outrageously, when we asked to announce this protest from the stage, the organizers for this event denied us the chance to speak, and many that were in attendance at the celebration didn’t even know about the “Walk for Life.” REALLY?! There are 10’s of thousands of woman-hating christian fascists that want to force women into motherhood by denying them the right to abortion and birth control that are descending in their droves into San Francisco….and you don’t TELL people about it?
Throughout the 3-hour protest, there was a spirit of togetherness and fighting a battle on the front lines. Many people came up and thanked and hugged anyone they identified as an organizer. There were a number of women there who HAVE BEEN paying attention who were aware of the vicious attacks on abortion rights, how much ground was being lost, how many women no longer had this basic right, and they expressed relief and support that they FINALLY found someone, a force, that was taking it on!
Here’s some more of what I heard during the protest:
When the walkers for “life” passed by with signs that said “I regret my abortion” and “I regret lost fatherhood,” a number of women said loud and smiling “I don’t regret it!” and talked to each other about how relieved they were to get an abortion or how it was one of the best, most responsible decisions they ever made.
Good shot from the lame coverage of KTVU. Overwhelmingly, the mainstream media downplayed the We Won’t Go Back! counterprotest in San Francisco yesterday, while covering extensively the woman-hating Walk for “Life” and the bullshit Celebration staged by Trust Women who tried to shut us out. If you were there and captured the scope and power of this COUNTERPROTEST in particular, send them in to StopPatriarchyBayArea@gmail.com!