I came across the activities of a new student activist group, which may be of interest to the readers of Re/Visionist. It’s On Us is not the first student undertaking to combat sexual violence on campus but is part of a legacy of women’s rights activism at colleges and universities. I will cover past SLC campus advocacy and education on the topic in the near … Continue reading It’s On Us – National Fall Week of Action
By Erin Hagen It’s 11:30 on a Sunday. I’m staring into some man’s back, a triangular sweat splotch just inches from my nose. The air is sticky, and I tilt my head upwards to find a breeze. Quick heartbeats thump in my ears, beginning to drown out the thrum of conversation. “You okay buddy?” My friend, Taylor, brings me out of my dizziness. “Yeah, just … Continue reading Thoughts on The People’s Climate March
To quote Rinku Sen’s headline on Colorlines today, there is “people power exploding around us.” It’s a good time to be a feminist, for the tools we use to understand power relations and structures in the world are coming in very handy as we predict and influence the direction of the #Occupy Wall Street movement. Indeed, everything–racial justice, gender and sexual justice–is related to our … Continue reading Weekly Feminist Smorgasbord: Inclusive Populism, Domestic Violence Awareness, & Hyde Turns 35
via Racialicious. We’ve heard a lot about sexism in the animal rights movement, particulary in regard to PETA advertisements. Stephanie Lai wrote a great piece for The Scavenger which takes a closer look at racism and classism in animal rights activism. Historically, in Western animal rights activism, it’s been considered a very white, middle-class movement. There’s an assumption of a certain level of education, and … Continue reading The Scavenger: Addressing racism and classism in animal rights activism
I am a white, lower-to-middle class, heterosexual, male graduate student engaged in the study of history and gender. I use these terms of social location self-consciously because I believe they matter in at least two specific ways: first, because they are terms through which I am socially perceived; second because they offer some clue of where I stand viz. a viz. material, cultural, and symbolic resources in this world. Beyond these generalities, I want to offer a bit of accounting — both for myself, and others — of how I got to where I am.
I write about women’s liberation movements specifically and radical political movements in general. I discovered feminism late in my college years. It was not through an intellectual text or a course on women’s studies, a protest, a rally, or an injustice perpetuated against my body — it was through music. The undeniably feminist lyrics of Ani DiFranco’s early songs, along with her skilled guitar playing, struck me, for reasons that I was unsure of at the time. After all, I hadn’t grown up within a family that had an explicitly feminist consciousness; I had no feminist friends who self-identified with or advocated feminism. In fact, at the time I had very few female friends at all. In hindsight, it was DiFranco’s honesty that I found compelling. Hearing lyrics such as “We don’t look like pages from a magazine but that’s alright / oh baby that’s alright” (“Imperfectly”) or “It seems like everyone’s an actor or an actor’s best friend / I wonder what was wrong to begin with that we should have to pretend” (“Anticipate”) pierced through a veil of conformity I had been measuring my own self-worth against for years. Continue reading “Self-prefacing”
by Mallory Knodel
Organizing for the second United States Social Forum (USSF) is increasing in intensity as the forum – to be held at Cobo Hall and Hart Plaza in Detroit, June 22 – 26, 2010 – approaches. Deep debate broke out among its organizers over the political paradox of corporate social networking and its role in progressive organizing. Should there be a link to corporate, social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook on the USSF website’s homepage?
The USSF is a grassroots movement in the tradition of the World Social Forum (WSF) and was conceived in the throes of the international anti-globalization movement of the late 1990s. The first WSF gathering was held in Brazil in 2001 and quickly became an activist’s utopia: maintaining open space for democratic convergence to address global crisis in the face of late-stage capitalism. Its slogan “Another World is Possible” highlighted the social forum movement’s emphasis on creating alternatives to capitalism. The history of the WSF and other forum events are not without controversy. The most common criticism aimed at dominant NGOs (non-governmental organizations) involving accusations that non-profit participation precludes a fully democratic process. The WSF model spread across the globe taking on many local and thematic forms and gathering hundreds of thousands of participants each year to address issues of human rights, poverty, land reform, identity politics, and alternative systems of resource sharing and collaboration. Many activists still maintain that the social forum is not so much a movement as it is a place of convergence, a completely free and unrestricted open space. As the open space model has developed, it has incorporated examples of “open virtual space,” such as the “Expanded Format” of the Belem WSF in 2009, where self-organized activities were held via video/audio conferencing and internet chat. Continue reading “Can this Movement get more fans than Facebook?”