by Eve Mitchell and Tyler Zimmerman. Originally posted on Unity and Struggle’s blog here.
Recently, Nat Winn, a member of Fire Next Time and Kasama weighed in on a discussion of Marxist-Feminism begun on the FNT blog originally by Ba Jin and ZoRa B’Al Sk’a and with a response by Eve Mitchell of Unity and Struggle. We welcome the energetic engagement by all parties including those commenting on the Kasama blog on what remains one of the most critical questions of our time: the content and forms of women’s liberation.
The scope of Eve’s response did not go beyond clarifying the relationship between Federici and James, and discussing broadly the Marxist-Feminist methodology, including the Wages for Housework campaign. Nat has challenged the practical implications of Wages for Housework which is supposedly linked to the political failings of Marxist-Feminism.
What may at first sight appear in Nat’s response as merely strategic difference (for instance, whether or not there should be an emphasis on intervention in struggles around reproductive freedom versus that over domestic and reproductive work), belying it is the crucial question of method that must be unpacked.
Posted by Eve Mitchell. Originally posted on Unity and Struggle’s blog here.
The East Coast network Fire Next Time recently posted this dialogue between two of their members, Zora and Ba Jin, contrasting Silvia Federici and Selma James. The post argues that Federici’s Marxist-Feminist understanding of primitive accumulation in her book, Caliban and the Witch, forefronts global migration, colonization, and international connections among women and people of color. On the other hand, the post asserts, James’ Marxist-Feminist analysis centers on the U.S.-centric housewife role and only secondarily takes up the question of waged women’s work and Third World and Black Feminism. The post further critiques Wages for Housework as a liberal feminist goal, arguing that “it seems like a weird coexistence with capitalism.” In response to this post, I feel the need to clear a few things up and ask some questions in the spirit of comradely debate.
posted by xmailitix
Let me quote a good friend of mine who saw the movie and wrote this…
“fuckkk yeah i just saw it today too n i swear there were like 10 parts i wanted to stand and be like fuckkk yeah muthafuckas !”-NC
My initial reaction was similar. Before delving deeper into the political rabbit hole, I will say, what drew me to the movie was the implication that it was full of racists getting shot. And it delivered. So thanks for that Tarantino.
posted by Sarahtopz.
Lately, I’ve been feeling pretty femme, probably more than I ever have, and have been wanting to dress up in tight dresses and skirts, nylons, glitter, and whatever else makes me feel fabulous. My sister is also femme but she has learned how to master the stilettos and ultra short skirt look much better than I have. The two of us and one of our roommates got all dressed up last weekend and went downtown, hoping to find some hip hop music to dance to.
East sixth street in Austin on a Friday night can get kind of crazy. College kids call it “dirty Sixth,” because by 2am the street is blocked off and filled with masses of sloppy drunks, street folks, and more half-naked party people than anywhere else in town. I might call it “dirty Sixth” because of the dehumanized, degraded way people make me feel whenever I go down there dressed up.
Last weekend was no exception. I wish I could remember all the comments we got as we walked the street. “I like what you got goin on with those pants.” Two different groups of men asked to take our picture. And then came the inevitable booty grab. I’d always thought that every sexualized woman could expect to have their booty grabbed when they go out. It turns out, it’s just because I have a big ass that men feel entitled to touch it. My sister doesn’t ever get grabbed like that. I can count on it like clockwork. One guy on the street touched me, said he liked my pants, and when I moved away, gave him a dirty look, and shook my head, he asked why I was so mean.
Posted by Sarahtopz.
Despite popular belief among today’s liberal-to-progressive feminists, sex work (defined broadly to encompass pornography, stripping, prostitution, etc.) is degrading to women. That’s right, I just said that sex work is degrading to women.
But so is every other form of work.
Work is degrading. It is dehumanizing. It is alienating, painful and horrible. Every day at work, we put our heart and soul into the commodities we create.
My sister’s bomb ass vegan queso. She’s been working on the recipe for a year; during that process she’s perfected it and it embodies her ability, as a human, to apply creative potential.
Marx says that when we produce, we are exercising our humanity; the object we produce is a part of us because it is the result of our creative energy, our ability to apply what we’ve learned and create something based on our ever expanding needs. Our products, be them works of art or vegan queso, are objects that encompass our humanity. As Marx puts it, we duplicate ourselves in the objects we create.
posted by Sarahtopz.
A couple weeks ago L Boogie sent me a link to the new INCITE! book, The Revolution Starts at Home. I’d read a few Andrea Smith books and The Revolution Will Not Be Funded was a very influential book for me, having worked in/been around nonprofits for years. I’ve maintained a critique of INCITE for recognizing the need for autonomous organizations but yet continuing to exist as a nonprofit. But from what I can tell, this book is the shit.
I’ve been having a lot of conversations with folks, mostly women and queers, about the (lack of) accountability process. When things like intimate partner violence happen within the Left, what infrastructures are there in dealing with it? Usually none. There’s always a lot of talk about dialogue, accountability, restorative justice, survivor needs, etc. But when something actually happens, most communities are simply thrown into chaos and impotence.
I’ve always said that without strong women and queer-led organizations and institutions that are capable of standing up to patriarchy and homo/trans*phobia, individual accountability processes will always be limited. From what I can tell, there are few historical examples to draw from, and in fact the most militant on point organizations of the past were riddled with patriarchs. The is the legacy of the Left. We need of a deeper analysis of how heteropatriarchy functions in favor of the rulers, and it must be worked out in practice through fighting, autonomous organizations.
This is a long overdue post about the Second B.E.T.C.H. (Beautiful Educated Thunder Cunts from Hell) Rag zine published a few months ago. B.E.T.C.H. is one of the only organizations in Austin that is explicitly non-male; they do regular potlucks, consent workshops, DIY craft nights, movie screenings, and have published two compilations of writing by local women and queers. You can access the first Rag here.
Rag #2 hit home for us and so we wanted to thank the B.E.T.C.H. folks for helping us see some of the shared experiences women and trans* folks are having in Austin. The zine is filled with poems and stories about women who have been raped, non-consensually objectified, stalked, and generally treated as non-humans. The zine blatantly expresses the very real fear of men that a lot of women and queers carry around. A fear that we don’t often talk about and usually feel alone or fucked up for having. Expressing these experiences together is an essential part of the process of rebuilding ourselves from the marginalization we feel on a daily basis.
There are a lot of things about this zine that we can identify with. We, too, get scared on the street at night. We, too, have years of experiences that have taught us to be afraid of men, that we’re weak, stupid, rapeable. We, too, have armed ourselves with knowledge of consent and safety. All the things individuals can do to prevent being attacked.
posted by Sarahtopz.
Last weekend some friends and I went to see Jotalogues, a two-person monologue/dialogue play promoted by Austin’s major queer people of color nonprofit, allgo. The performers said they are still workshopping their piece and so I don’t want to give much away but I wanted to share some love for Adelina Anthony and D’Lo for their amazing writing and performances.
When I first heard about Jotalogues, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Here is the description:
“A performance piece that tackles our multiple intersections from a pan-ethnic, pan-generational, and pan-sexual viewpoint. As our communities continue to face deep crisis, JOTALOGUES gives voice to the most marginalized—and its not your typical queers. In this show, Adelina and D’Lo, enact zany characterizations to explore the effects of non-regulated human impact and destruction on our planet. Tackling the familiar tropes of racism, sexism, and homophobia, Anthony and D’Lo’s us their signature comedic chops to give us fresh insights into a very special ‘underground’ world.”
And the flier: