April 25th, in NYC for Stop Patriarchy’s International Student Day of Action! We went to college campuses and high schools all over the city and got a great response and huge support from students. People spoke out about the attacks on abortion rights and were excited to show their support by wearing stickers and posing for pictures with our loud ABORTION ON DEMAND signs!
Posts tagged revolution
Hampshire College, Amherst, MA: At CLPP* Conference:
From Abortion Rights to Social Justice; Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom
CLPP Called on Police to escort StopPatriarchy.org
organizers out of conference under threat of arrest.
THIS DECISION MUST BE REVERSED AND REPUDIATED!
On the evening of Saturday, April 13 at the CLPP (Civil Liberties & Public Policy ) conference, several conference attendees approached the StopPatriarchy.org table with our Call to Action in hand to argue against our condemnation of the sex industry and pornography. We welcomed this argument and got into a lively debate. However, instead of engaging our critique of the social harm caused by pornography and the selling of women’s bodies for sex (how reducing women to sex objects through porn is the “mirror opposite” of reducing women to breeders through denying abortion), these people took offense to the fact that we dared to make this analysis.
If they didn’t want to hear this critique, they were free to leave our table. They chose not to simply do this. Instead, they went to the CLPP organizers and complained that they felt the conference was no longer a “safe space” for them – merely because a table existed putting forward (and advocating to those who visited it), the position that the sex industry and pornography are horrifically harmful to women and humanity as a whole.
Outrageously, CLPP organizers did not investigate or ask a single organizer from StopPatriarchy.org – or others who had witnessed the debate – about what had happened. Nor did they attempt to facilitate principled participation and dialogue between people with divergent viewpoints. Instead, they showed up within minutes with campus police and insisted that StopPatriarchy.org immediately leave the campus under threat of arrest.
In any serious movement against oppression, it is essential that there be the broadest unity among people from different understandings, backgrounds and perspectives. This requires space for principled and substantive debate over the source of the problems and the necessary solutions.
As a basic and bedrock principle: IT IS ALWAYS WRONG FOR PEOPLE WHO CLAIM TO BE FIGHTERS AGAINST OPPRESSION TO RELY ON THE POLICE AND OTHER FORCES OF THE STATE TO REPRESS AND PHYSICALLY THREATEN OTHERS WHO ARE FIGHTING FOR LIBERATION.
This decision by CLPP organizers must be broadly and widely condemned by conference-goers and others, and it must be reversed by conference organizers. (Contact us at email below.) It is an unacceptable precedent for a conference which is looked to as – and which claims to be – a space of inclusivity in the fight against oppression and injustice to render a critique of the sex industry “beyond the pale” and to utilize the repressive organs of the state to enforce this policing.
Any movement that is serious about ending the enslavement and degradation of women must confront – or at minimum engage and include a critique of – the horrifically violent, degrading, enslaving and oppressive institutions of pornography and the sex industry and their devastating effects on women. Every person who takes seriously both the liberation of women and the maintaining of basic standards in movements of opposition must take the time to read for themselves the Call to Action from StopPatriarchy.org which CLPP has officially censored. It is attached.
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
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.
So last night, Stop Patriarchy was uninvited from the George Washington University Feminist Union meeting. REALLY!? We were initially invited to this event, in fact enthusiastically invited, but tonight, after being out in the streets fighting for abortion rights all week and challenging the status-quo on what needs to be done in terms of abortion rights and the entire war on women, the GWU Feminist Student Union – in consultation with their speakers, it seems – deemed us too radical, and shut us out entirely. This is completely unacceptable. The president of NOW, the National Organization for Women, Terri O’Neal was the featured speaker at this event, and she plays a recognized leading role in the fight for abortion rights, however what she is putting forward is for women to become the law makers, the senators, the congress-women of the nation. She believes that adhering to the terms of the country as it is, will ultimately allow women to rise up through the system, and eventually take over. She also vehemently supports the Obama administration and does not hold it at all accountable for the lack of countering against the record number of restrictions on access to abortion in this country.
Stop Patriarchy projects something very different. We are not mobilizing people in an effort to put pressure on politicians or to get anyone into the ruling class. We do not have illusions that this strategy will actually work – in fact, we recognize that this dead-end is a big part of how we have lost so much ground in the fight for women’s fundamental right to abortion and liberation more broadly. We are fighting to actually change the terms in society. We are fighting to get people out into the streets, challenging people, questioning the ways this system comes down on women, and then blames them for their second class position because we are supposedly post-feminist and can now do anything we want. The fact of the matter is, the GWU Feminist Student Union did not want us at this event because they did not want to be challenged. They wanted to deny those students attending their meeting out of a concern over the war on women the chance to be exposed to our critique and program. We represent a movement that is fighting for the full liberation of women and we get into the true realities of why things are the way they are, and why things don’t have to be this way. This strategy clearly does not sit well with the feminist union at George Washington University. This is unprincipled and does serious harm to the movement to defeat the war on women. This does a disservice to those who attended your meeting, this does a disservice to women, and this is truly unacceptable. Our message for you is that when you want to get serious about digging into the real questions about this war on women, and want to work at actually defeating it, let us know. To those who attended that meeting and all others on the college campuses who are being denied a truly radical and liberating critique and strategy, you need to check us out. To those “leaders” who continue to insist that we rely on the Democrats and attempts to become part of the very system that is oppressing women and escalating this assault on our rights, get out of the way. In the mean time, we will continue to go out very broadly, spreading this our understanding and calling forward the many who can be won to see that it is on us to defeat this war on women. We are just getting started.
Day 5 in D.C. Stop Patriarchy at the March for Life, also known as the March for Female Enslavement
Day 4 in DC, fighting for Abortion on Demand, and confronting people with the REAL TRUTH on all this
We’ve been out on the street as much as the weather will allow – fingers and toes become painful and then numb within half an hour in this subfreezing weather, even with those amazing toe and hand warmers.
Yesterday, after our crew had counter-protested the anti-abortion fanatics at the local Planned Parenthood (shamefully, Planned Parenthood staff came out and insisted that our side stay away – a request we ignored because of how unconscionable it is to allow the Christian fascists to stand unopposed!), we went out to a college campus. We were decked out in bright stickers and signs sticking out of our backpacks which read, “Abortion on Demand and Without Apology!”
The response from the students was mixed but overall very positive. A handful of students were vehemently anti-abortion and refused to stop. But a good number of those who began by saying they were against abortion were quick to add that they understood there are sometimes circumstances that makes it necessary. We never found this satisfactory and we never left things at this. “Do you realize that right now it is very difficult for millions of women to get an abortion? 97% of rural counties in this country do not have an abortion provider. Doctors have been killed and women are being shamed. The truth is women who cannot decide for themselves when and whether to have a child have no more freedom than slaves.” This would usually get people really tuned in – most people don’t know any of this. People have the misconception that abortion is somehow widely available and over-used.
After jolting people as to what the reality is, we would go further still. “Fetuses are not babies. They are a subordinate part of a woman’s body. Because of this, abortion is not murder and there is nothing wrong with it. It is a perfectly moral and responsible decision to get an abortion if a woman wants one.” This would open up discussion in a very deep way. No one we have talked to has yet heard anything like this. People asked a lot of questions and we would provide answers. The truth is, not everyone who began inclined against abortion got won over in the course of these conversations, but a lot did! Especially among young people, young men as well as young women.
There were also a great number of people who were incredibly supportive and happy to see us out. They thanked us as they walked by, saying things like, “I am with you!” The notion that is being widely promoted by the anti-abortion forces this week, the notion that this new generation is the “Pro-Life Generation” is a fucking lie. This is one thing we are seeing face to face and close up in every outing we have. But, it is also the case that the anti-abortion elements of this generation are far more mobilized and energized than the greater portion that supports the right to abortion. And, it is clearly the case that – owing not only to the vigorous fight that has been waged by Christian fascists to demonize and restrict abortion over decades, but also to the craven capitulation to this fight and its terms by the official “pro-choice” movement – most people who support the right to abortion still think of it as something that ought to be avoided because on some level it is wrong.
This is why we would spend so much time arguing with people – even those who agreed in the main. And then there was the ongoing challenge of fighting for people to see the need to ACT. To join in a movement that is fighting to end all forms of enslavement and degradation of women. It really is not enough to support the right to abortion, in a society where that right is being taken away if you are not fighting to defend and expand access and to destigmatize abortion and to defend providers, you are allowing this right to disappear.
Day 4 in DC, out defending Planned Parenthood and counter protesting the lunatic anti-abortion Christian fascists, then doing mass outreach at Howard University! Another great day!
Forced Motherhood=Female Enslavement
Unleash the fury of women as a mighty force for revolution!!!!!
Revolution Newspaper photos of our first day out in DC at the march for peace and outreach to the crowd on its way to the inauguration.
photos by Li Onesto
Stop Patriarchy – LIVE FROM DC, Day 2: Standing Up for Abortion at the Supreme Court, Taking on the Anti-Abortion Bullshit, and Challenging the Deadly Reliance on the Democrats of the “Pro-Choice” Movement
by Sunsara Taylor
We spent most of yesterday at the Supreme Court for the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. We began by honoring the doctors and providers who risk their lives every day to provide women with abortions.
We read statements from some of these doctors as passersby paused to listen. Behind us was a droning voice of a hate-filled anti-abortion fanatic (he later called one of our leaders, “Bitch!” and threatened to “knock [her] out”). Off to the side were a hundred or more anti-abortion activists praying in small circles or kneeling in prayer before the Supreme Court. The whole backdrop only underscored the heroism of the providers who actually give women abortions – and how essential it is to honor them. All too often, they are accompanied and called out by name and known only by those who hate them.
But, on the 40th anniversary, at the Supreme Court in DC, their voices and their service and their courage was heralded! Stories of botched abortions and unnecessary suffering, terror and death of women before Roe were shared. Stories of commitment to women and safe access to abortion were shared. Stories of the gratitude and appreciation that millions of women have expressed to thousands of doctors and staff were shared. StopPatriarchy.org was proud to make these voices at the center of the controversy around abortion!
TAKING ON THE ANTI-ABORTION RHETORIC
We were also proud to politically confront and expose the vicious program of the anti-abortion forces.
We got into many arguments with them. What was noteworthy about this was less that I think we are going to sway many of their hard-core organizers and activists who believe they are on a mission from god and that motherhood is the duty of women.
But, it was noteworthy that the arguments that the people in our crew were making were getting sharper throughout the day. They were cutting through the obfuscation and claim to a “higher morality” of the anti-abortion movement. They were the kind of arguments which caused many of the young anti-abortion activists to turn around and back away because they could not answer them. They were the kind of arguments that, if they were being made more consistently throughout society in this debate, could enable those who care about the lives and the liberation of women to turn the tide. Some examples:
N17 End Pornography and Patriarchy Pageant in NYC photos sent in by Sophie Needleman.
N17 photos sent in from Atlanta, Georgia
N17 report sent to Stop Patriarchy from Atlanta, Georgia:
The Military Culture of “Be All You Can Be” Patriarchy
(Inside the military and in the lands they invade and occupy)
As a part of the Call “N17: Take to the Streets! Stop the War on Women!” by the movement to “End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women,” Revolution Books Atlanta brainstormed with some people to come up with a bold expression that could be taken to the annual School of America’s Watch (SOAW) at Fort Benning, in Columbus, Georgia. People come from all over the country (and some other parts of the world) to participate in the SOAW protest demanding the closing of the School of Americas because of its program of training reactionary armies from Latin America in CIA torture techniques, and consequently being responsible for torturing and murdering tens of thousands of people over the years.
Since the military is such a concentration of the oppression of women, we really wanted to expose the whole culture of patriarchy it embodies. We decided it would be important to have an interactive piece that would draw people in and find out their thoughts on the war on women. We waited until we got to the protest to put it together in order to bring others into the process on the spot. Three women enthusiastically took it up right away. The title of the piece was “The Military Culture or ‘Be All You Can Be’ Patriarchy (Inside the Military and in the Lands they Invade and Occupy).”
We had a very bright piece of yellow felt that was 7’ x 8’. One of the women lied down and her body was outlined on the fabric. Then we attached pieces of paper in the shape of bullets going into and exiting the outline of the woman’s body, with words on each bullet: Rape, Pornography, Sexual Harassment, Homophobia, Torture, Degradation of Women, Denial of Abortion, Prostitution, Strip Clubs. As people came by to check out the display they added more to it, expanding the Homophobia bullet to include Transphobia, Heterosexism and Cissexism; and adding more bullets for Sex Trafficking, Domestic Violence and Glass Ceiling. Attached at the bottom of the display was a scroll of paper for people to write their comments, and next to that was the mission statement of “End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women.” The whole piece was taped down in the middle of the street leading to the entrance of the military base that had been closed off for the protest.