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