This Week: Rape in the Congo, Antichoice TV & more

Some 200 Women Gang-Raped Over Four Days Near UN Base

Huffington Post: “Civil society leader Charles Masudi Kisa said there were only about 25 peacekeepers and that they did what they could against some 200 to 400 rebels who occupied the town of about 2,200 people and five nearby villages.”

Marginalized folks shouldn’t always have to be the “bigger person”

What Tami Said: “And women, people of color and other groups learn early to pick their battles, lest they be branded bitter, angry or over-sensitive. There are just some dull aches that have to be swallowed. We try to pick our battles strategically, but it is stressful and ultimately soul-destroying to have to work so hard to ignore so much—to constantly be forced to show benevolence in the face of rude and dehumanizing treatment.”

On ‘Friday Night Lights,’ Abortion Goes Stigma Primetime

The Nation: “What the antichoice characters on the show want is exactly what their real-life counterparts want: to deny women any information that could help them obtain an abortion and to prevent them from getting one.” Continue reading “This Week: Rape in the Congo, Antichoice TV & more”

This Week: Religion, Birth Control, Sexuality & more

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Glenn Beck? Racism and White Privilege on the Liberal Left “But suggest that racism and discrimination are also significant problems in more ‘progressive spaces,’ even among self-proclaimed liberals and leftists themselves — and that it might be unearthed in our political movements — and prepare to be met with icy stares, or worse, a self-righteous vitriol that seeks to separate ‘real racism’ (the right-wing kind) from not-so-real racism (the kind we on the left sometimes foster).”

Is Ella Birth Control or Abortion?

Slate: “Proponents are heralding the approval of ella, which is already available in Europe, as a welcome expansion of women’s reproductive options. Known as ulipristal acetate, it’s chemically similar to the abortion drug RU-486 but will be dispensed in much smaller doses and labeled as an emergency contraceptive. Critics, however, warn that it’s a potentially dangerous drug that was inadequately studied. It also reignites the debate about what defines contraception and abortion.”

Are Black Women Too Religious To Get Married? “We’ve already learned from the mainstream media that black women are too educated, too successful and too independent to be marriageable. Now, it seems, we can add “too religious” to our list of supposed sins.”

Continue reading “This Week: Religion, Birth Control, Sexuality & more”

This Week: Women’s Suffrage, Black Women’s Health & more

My Favorite August

New York Times: “The story in American history I most like to tell is the one about how women got the right to vote 90 years ago this month. It has everything. Adventure! Suspense! Treachery! Drunken legislators!  But, first, there was a 70-year slog.”

Mocking Perfect Gender Performances

Sociological Images: “Both men and women face a lot of pressure to be masculine and feminine respectively.  But, ironically, people who rigidly conform to rules about gender, those who enact perfect performances of masculinity or femininity, are often the butt of jokes.”

“It’s Not Just Bullets Scarring Chicago Public Housing Residents”

Colorlines: “According to the latest round of health surveys, the community members, nearly all black women, who have been tracked since 2001, continue to struggle to move beyond an environment of poverty, even after being relocated. While the women of Madden/Wells had always suffered poor health overall, their problems gradually worsened to “stunning” levels in 2009.” Continue reading “This Week: Women’s Suffrage, Black Women’s Health & more”

For the Birds Collective Presents: The 5th Annual BIG SHE-BANG

Many of us RE/VISIONIST staffers are excited to announce our involvement in the 5th Annual BIG SHE-BANG. Editor Rosamund Hunter and myself (Web Editor) are both active members of For the Birds, the organizing collective that presents the Big She-Bang. Public Relations Manager Nydia Swaby will be speaking on a panel about Youth & Media, regarding her experience teaching young girls African-American history at Girls for Gender Equity. Even contributors Lauren Denitzio and Stephanie Land are part of it! Click through for a press release with all the information on the event. Continue reading “For the Birds Collective Presents: The 5th Annual BIG SHE-BANG”

This Week: Environmental Racism, Gay Marriage, & more

BP’s Dumping Oil-Spill Waste in Communities of Color, Study Finds

Colorlines: “These are communities already pummeled by the a triple-blow of Hurricane Katrina, economic paralysis and racial inequality. Within these populations, the pollution may strike women and children the hardest. Exposures to oil chemicals, such as benzene, along with the mystery cocktail of dispersants, may pose major risks to reproductive and maternal health, though much more research is needed.”

SB1070 is in FULL EFFECT in Tucson, AZ

Alto Arizona: “On August 2, 2010 around 3:15 p.m. Officer Zinn and Officer Koontz of the Tucson Police Department called Border Patrol on a woman during a traffic stop. Border Patrol came and took her into detention.”

Race and Gay Marriage In Perspective

The Atlantic: “Banning interracial marriage meant that most black people could not marry outside of their race. This was morally indefensible, but very different than a total exclusion of gays from the institution of marriage. Throughout much of America, gays are effectively banned from marrying, not simply certain types of people, but any another compatible partner period.” Continue reading “This Week: Environmental Racism, Gay Marriage, & more”

Prop 8 Overturned

Today Judge Vaughn Walker overturned Proposition 8 in California. The San Francisco Appeal provided consistent updates on the development of this decision throughout the day. Fox News asks if you agree with Judge Walker’s decision, please give them an emphatic YES! here. Community United Against Violence responds to the overturning of Prop 8 by challenging us to build on this decision and continue the struggle … Continue reading Prop 8 Overturned

The Necessity of Feminist Voices in Radical Visual Culture

by Lauren Denitzio

Meredith Stern, "Safe Sex is Hot"

As a radical and as a feminist, it is tempting to assume that those around me are all “on the same page” or equally aware of the certain privileges we each possess or the conditioning and historical disadvantages we have experienced.  As an artist and illustrator it is tempting for me to assume that my audience is comfortable with anti-homophobic, anti-sexist, and sex positive themes.  Despite sporting the “radical” or “left-wing” label, these groups – whose members I consider friends and colleagues – are not exempt from the necessity of challenging our views on gender, patriarchy, and other feminist issues.  I have started to examine the ways in which visual resistance is used by feminist voices within these groups and how prevalent, or not, certain issues have become in radical circles.

Sandra Campbell, in her essay Creating Redemptive Imagery, makes valuable observations concerning the role of the individual in shaping what is acceptable representations of power structures and violence against women in visual culture.  She calls on individuals to make it their responsibility to discuss how the representation of these establishments in the media can affect change.  She then states that “by doing this we will lead the way to the establishment of structures and supports for artists and others in our cultural industries to develop, to market, and to disseminate a wide range of alternatives.”  It is the range of alternatives, the expression of another world where patriarchal power structures do not exist, that needs to be creatively represented if the popular mindset is going to shift to its favor. Continue reading “The Necessity of Feminist Voices in Radical Visual Culture”

Discrimination in France: Banning the Burqa

by Rosamund Hunter

Protesting the headscarf ban in 2004, France. Credit: AP.

Since the French lower house of parliament recently banned the burqa—the full body covering worn by many Muslim women—human rights activists must step up to condemn this potential new law.

The French senate still must approve the controversial proposal before it will become law, but the initial support by parliament was overwhelming: the final vote was a whopping 335-1.   Unless the senate has radically different voting patterns, France can expect to be a burqa-free state soon after the September vote.  Not to mention, the French public supports a ban as well: 57% say they favor a ban with only 37% opposing.

The irony of imposing what could be described as forced “emancipation” is not lost for many feminists, human rights advocates, and anti-racist activists.  Certainly for feminists, this is another case where the notion of “women’s rights” comes to justify the subjugation of other oppressed groups.  Feminist movements have a complicated history of seeking to improve the lives of already privileged women at the expense of other groups.  The proposed burqa ban in France is rooted in a history of racism and discrimination directed at the French Muslim population. Continue reading “Discrimination in France: Banning the Burqa”

Interview with Victoria Gugenheim

by Jessie Nash

Photo courtesy of Marcus T.

When British visual artist Victoria Gugenheim told me she was performing as a female drag queen in a show called “Kinky Salon” at the London venue, The Resistance Gallery, my first image was that of a drag king. It took me a few seconds to extract the real meaning from the term ‘female drag queen’ and ask “Wait, what?”

“Female drag queens” are sometimes described by the LGBT community – according to the LGBT Info Wiki – as “Faux Queens.” I was embarrassed to admit this concept was unfamiliar to me.  I’ve known about drag kings and queens since my teen experiences with the LGBT scene. I learned quickly not make assumptions about the sexuality or identity of those performing. Yet I could not recall ever seeing a female drag queen show. In simple terms, a female drag queen is a biological female performing in the traditional drag queen style usually employed by men. For Victoria there is also an element of her sexuality and gender identity involved. She describes herself as: “A riot grrrl who’s a gay man, who’s a drag queen, trapped in a woman’s body.” Of course it made perfect sense after that, and I wondered how the whole thing had passed me by. Continue reading “Interview with Victoria Gugenheim”