N17 Report from Atlanta!
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.