21 3 / 2013
"We believe that Birth Justice exists when women and transfolks are empowered during pregnancy, labor, childbirth and postpartum to make healthy decisions for themselves and their babies. Birth Justice is part of a wider movement against reproductive oppression. It aims to dismantle inequalities of race, class, gender and sexuality that lead to negative birth experiences, especially for women of color, low-income women, survivors of violence, immigrant women, queer and transfolks, and women in the Global South. Working for Birth Justice involves educating the community, and challenging abuses by medical personnel and overuse of medical interventions. It also involves advocating for universal access to culturally appropriate, women-centered health care. It includes the right to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy, to choose when, where, how, and with whom to birth, including access to traditional and indigenous birth-workers, such as midwives and doulas, and the right to breastfeeding support."
21 3 / 2013
"Just because you have privilege does not automatically make you a bad person, but denying it and actively harming others through your words and actions might. Being an intersectional feminist can be really easy once you consider that we are not all simply just social activists. We all come from different backgrounds. We come from all around the world, have had different experiences, and have different identities. Not everybody is concerned about contraceptives; some social activists are worried about that their sexual orientation or gender will become illegal and ultimately fatal; others that their race and ethnicity will automatically set them back in life statistically."
20 3 / 2013
"Men often react to women’s words - speaking and writing - as if they were acts of violence; sometimes men react to women’s words with violence. So we lower our voices. Women whisper, Women apologize. Women shut up. Women trivialize what we know. Women shrink. Women pull back. Most women have experienced enough dominance from men - control, violence, insult, contempt - that no threat seems empty"
Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse (via tabularasae)
I have written a post and deleted it many times about my male liberal friends who are trained orators, junior senator types, or my leftist buddies and how difficult it is to engage them in a decent conversation about politics because they instantly resort to patterns of domination and control when speaking to you.
So I shrink, I double-guess myself, I spend a lot of time trying to understand their points of view without getting the same consideration, I get interrupted and harangued, I get spoken over, etc.
Seriously, men everywhere need to recognize this type of behavior and own up to it. I know I’ve certainly been guilty of this in the past without having even realized it at the time, even while I was attempting to create a “safe space” for dialogue and trying to argue from a feminist perspective. It’s terrible, it’s embarrassing, and it shouldn’t be a thing. I’m trying more and more each day to be aware of not just how I might frame a particular discourse but how my tone, body language, etc. might otherwise reify the sort of patriarchal dominance I always argue against.
I’ve asserted myself and I’ve been called a cunt, a bitch, a Crazy Feminist. I defended Iran and Islam (read: Iranian women and Islamic feminisms) in the face of an openly Orientalist, unabashedly Islamophobic white male who said I “wasn’t radical enough” — I’m “not the authority on what constitutes a progressive feminist man” — and then told me to fuck off. I have been in classrooms with white men who colonize queer, feminist, POC spaces, who have opinions about struggles that they will never experience. This isn’t what feminist pedagogy is about. Feminist pedagogy can open up critical dialogues about oppression that invite folks of all backgrounds to engage in/grapple with/synthesize different ways of knowing/thinking/being. Feminist pedagogy isn’t about hierarchy. Feminist pedagogy isn’t about appealing to and/or placating our oppressors. Feminist pedagogy isn’t about the acute reification of raced/classed/sexed power imbalances. Feminist pedagogy isn’t about you stealing and mangling and pathologizing and devouring what we hold sacred.
20 3 / 2013
Someone asked us:
can I have sex during my period
Yes! You can absolutely have sex during your period. Period sex is 100 percent fine, as long as you and your partner are both comfortable with it. Some women feel especially aroused during their periods, and orgasms can even help relieve menstrual cramps.
A lot of people think period sex must be really messy, but how messy it is depends on how heavy your period is. Having sex on a day when your period is at its heaviest will be messier than having sex when your period is really light. You might want to have sex on a towel, or something else you don’t mind getting stained. Some people also choose to have sex in the shower to keep the mess to a minimum.
Some period sex pointers:
• DON’T have vaginal sex with a tampon in. If you want to use a product to contain the bleeding during sex, Softcups, a kind of disposable menstrual cup, are designed to be useable during sex to reduce mess.
• DO make sure both partners are cool with it. Some people don’t want to have period sex, and that’s fine – respect their wishes if they don’t want to.
• DON’T forget that it’s still possible to get pregnant if you have sex during your period, so protection is important. Which brings us to….
• DO use birth control including a condom! Using a condom can both prevent pregnancy and keep you and your partner protected against sexually transmitted infections.
- Nina at Planned Parenthood
20 3 / 2013
The following day, I attended a workshop about preventing gender violence, facilitated by Katz. There, he posed a question to all of the men in the room: “Men, what things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?”
Not one man, including myself, could quickly answer the question. Finally, one man raised his hand and said, “Nothing.” Then Katz asked the women, “What things do you do to protect yourself from being raped or sexually assaulted?” Nearly all of the women in the room raised their hand. One by one, each woman testified:
“I don’t make eye contact with men when I walk down the street,” said one.
“I don’t put my drink down at parties,” said another.
“I use the buddy system when I go to parties.”
“I cross the street when I see a group of guys walking in my direction.”
“I use my keys as a potential weapon.”
The women went on for several minutes, until their side of the blackboard was completely filled with responses. The men’s side of the blackboard was blank. I was stunned. I had never heard a group of women say these things before. I thought about all of the women in my life — including my mother, sister and girlfriend — and realized that I had a lot to learn about gender."