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Feminism is needed more than ever

Just received a Washington Green Party eletter with an article dismissing "Feminism" as an outdated term. Defining feminism is up to women who know the pain of sexism without relief, as it is up to oppressed to be able to define their dealings with dominator. Sexism harms all life as do all forms of oppression. We must all work to end sexism so well utilized by freetrade ecocidal, femicidal and genocidal profiteering.
Blessings Greener Times

I have had a hard time with the Green Party key value of "Respecting Diversity" ever since i first started working with the Greens back in the '80's. It should be "Dismantling Racism and Ending Genocide". But i have had virtually no response to this and continue to this day keeping myself educated and fighting for equality for all, often a solitary endeavor.

Given the fact that little has been done on the part of MOST men to end the curse of sexism in the alternative or progressive culture, much less the dominator culture at large, i find it really disingenuous to in any way malign the term Feminism. It's basic meaning is "the movement of women to attain equality to men". It is critical to pay attention to who skews what in the information we are allowed access to.

Those who work globally in addressing the horrid plague of femicide (see Eve Ensler's work) know how grave sexism continues to be. From the horrid torture-mutilation-rape-murders of over 500 young women in Ciudad Juarez to the same type of horror impacting over 3,000 women in Guatemala in the past decade to the 50,000 rapes a year in South Africa to the 500,000 mutilation-rapes in the Congo spanning this dreadful previous 10 years to the 1000 plus child sex slaves in Seattle, we are looking at a mere fraction of what freetrade culture has inculcated.

No, the term "Feminism" has not outlived it's usefulness. I do not believe we, as human beings, are ready to replace it unless we come up with a word that can more precisely address the insane imbalance escalating due to greed, rape and pillage of land, resources, plant, animal and human life.

Whether it is several non profit organizations where i live with men in power who demean women with less power or more serious and deadly realities women in California will now face with a complete cutting of the Domestic violence victims support budget, (thank you Arnold) we have a long, long way to go towards equality.

When men come out in the millions to denounce what is being done to women all over this fragile and suffering earth, i will consider a new term. I have not even had the pleasure of witnessing more than a handful of men ever taking a stand against rape, battering, femicide and for authentic equality. It just is not common. Scattered at best. Lip service does not cut it. Some men who supposedly oppose femicide have shown their true, sexist colors striving for undeserving status of egalitarians.

When i was younger and more naiive, i actually believed that we would do something deep and authentic for justice and equality. I have put my all into such work and received death threats for my efforts as do women all over the world who speak out against these insane atrocities. I suffer extremes of poverty, silencing and isolation because i am considered extreme by those who are untouched by the depths of such suffering. It is my sisters and brothers who have had their relatives murdered due to gender, race or class who encourage me to keep on. Overwhelmingly, it is not the privileged who support my work, this i know. Very few people of upper class have supported me and i honor those who do for i would be homeless without these rare gems. Day to day, it is the most marginalized who recognize my struggle for i will do this all my life.

I came across an article i sent to the Earth First! journal 14 years ago. I could have written it today, except to say that EF! has taken on anti oppression in a way that was not happening back then. The article was never printed. I asked for it to be returned along with dozens of photos i took of the Cove Mallard road block. The article came back, but the photos were kept and used while i was never given credit for my efforts.

To this day, men take credit for my work and ideas, refusing to acknowledge the source. How original. I have been enduring this for over 30 years. I am a grunt who struggles in the trenches of the frontlines of justice. I know what it is to not be heard and yet i continue to squeal with the injustice i witness.

I dream of the day when i will be able to be part of a mass movement to end ecocide, femicide and genocide for all time. We must be able to see the broader connections brought down on all of life by the greed mongers. We must recognize how divide and conquer works and name it where it applies. Women and people of color who replicate the dominator killing ways do not ever represent what it means to attain equality. A fine example is the military. There is not equality to be had in arming with assault weapons or depleted uranium. There is no equality to be had when thousands of military women have been raped and assaulted by their fellow male soldiers. We cannot confuse the term "Feminism" with war mongers like Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher and others of such ilk. Power is not allowed to define the reality for the oppressed. It is up to those suffering to name their reality, not those who do not know the experience of being on life's bottom.

I feel it is critical to commit to giving voice to the most voiceless among us. I do not go to Green Party meetings any longer due to a man minimizing racism and to the silencing i experienced as well. I would rather operate as a free lance human rights worker rather than continue being shut down by men or those women i know who replicate dominator behaviors. What ALL humanity must contend with now is so deadly serious. We must see that when women have basic human rights, it is to the benefit of all. Women, true Feminists, do not seek revenge, domination or corruption. How will we come together to truly put a halt to killing greed in all it's facets?

Amen! 03.Aug.2009 10:05

Feminist

Men have been claiming that feminism is no longer relevant for decades. In their dreams. Back in about 1991, Susan Faludi wrote Backlash: The Undeclared War Against the American Woman. She talked about that phenomenon, where people allowed their wishful thinking or their ignorance to declare that women and men are now equal and therefore feminism is no longer needed. And then she explodes that lie. It was really a cathartic book for me, and if I had any doubts after reading it they would have been destroyed by the years that I worked in a domestic violence shelter. There is, in fact, a war against women and women die in that war every day. Silently, so common that it's barely even noted in the newspapers anymore.

I can't believe the idiocy of the Green Party making such a declaration! They really need some education.