Tag Archives: allyship

In Solidarity With #ThisTweetCalledMyBack

18 Dec

Last week, a collective of the seven of the most incisive and insightful feminist/womanist social and cultural critics working in contemporary digital media, who are Black Women, AfroIndigenous and women of color, began a social media blackout. Over the past five years, across various social media platforms, they have created what they describe as “an entire framework with which to understand gender violence and racial hierarchy in a global and U.S. context“, one which is deeply analytical and highly critical of mainstream feminism and heteropatriarchy, as well as cishet activist movements. We at Sisters of Resistance have often engaged with, been challenged by, and learned from them and their work.

And yet, as they explain, far from being celebrated and embraced for the enormity of the work and contributions they have made to 4th wave and digital feminism, their body of work has been colonized, plagiarized by mainstream white feminism and mainstream media while they themselves have been vilified, said to constitute ‘Toxic Twitter”, had their livelihoods threatened and their physical and mental welfare put at stake. Rejected, harassed and provoked by people in mainstream media, academia, and the non-profit industrial complex, who at the same time hijack their prolific and movement-inspiring thought and theory, this collective of women is taking a stand against the status quo with this statement and their conspicuous absence from Twitter.

Here are some of the questions that they ask:

In an age where young women often have cell phones with internet access before they have access to healthcare and social services, why are so many so quick to demean the work of digital feminism in the hands of Black women? When depression, anxiety and disability make it so that getting out of bed, much less into the streets, is a debilitating challenge and risk, why do we demean social media and tell people they cant fully engage without taking up physical space? Whose interests are we centering if we constantly hyperfocus on the limits of grassroots social media, instead of the impact and possibilities, while not making the physical spaces safe or accessible for these women?

They point out that an expanded understanding of violence is necessary to address the kinds of issues they and many others like them/us face and experience, even within “leftist” and “activist” circles:

Once we expand our understanding of violence to include plagiarism, harassment, gaslighting, emotional abuse, ableism and exploitation of labor, we find huge fissures in a movement that the women we are prescribing solutions for fall through on a daily basis. We find a replicated system of violence that prioritizes those closer to systemic and hierarchal values of bodies rather than anti-violence.

They challenge those who will listen to consider the following questions, which are incredibly necessary for our time:

“How do we, as a movement, engage unaffiliated women with no institutional covering or backing, on the grassroots level? How do we close ranks around these women in both digital and physical spaces so that they can continue this work? There is a refusal to legitimize the words of women of color without the backing of academia, established media, and non-profit monikers. How do we then legitimize the lens with which marginalized women of color view their lives and the spaces where they are actually allowed to assert their agency?

The collective includes: @tgirlinterruptd, @chiefelk, @bad_dominicana, @aurabogado, @so_treu, @blackamazon, @thetrudz

Those who have signed in solidarity include: @blackgirldanger, @cheuya, @notallthots, @jazzagold, @natashavianna, @mizzblossom, @sarahkendzior, @scATX, @lilybolourian.

At the same time, we wish to call to mind @redlightvoices, who we believe has been very much a part of this same wave of work, and who expressed many of the same sentiments during the time that she was still on Twitter.

We have so much respect for all of these women. We offer them our solidarity and support in their decision to step out of the Twitterverse and assert their humanity in the face of such despicable systemic discrimination and harassment. We stand with you! #ThisTweetCalledMyBack

READ THEIR FULL STATEMENT HERE.

Individual personal statements are also being posted here.

Read more about the groundbreaking work by radical women of color, This Bridge Called My Back, the 1981 anthology, to which the conversation #ThisTweetCalledMyBack refers.

News Roundup: Ferguson, Gaza, Rape Culture and Resistance

18 Aug

A collection of news from around the web showing the latest information on the situation in Ferguson, protests against the genocide in Gaza, and an excellent piece showing not only how they are linked, but also how the ‘war on terror’ has always existed for Black Americans. We also join others in calling for an end to rape culture and whorephobia by posting a critique of the Internet’s response to Christy Mack’s release of photos of a brutal attack by an ex-partner, and a show of online solidarity with 16-year-old rape victim Jada.

Latest news on Ferguson:

Autopsy Shows Michael Brown Was Struck at Least 6 Times [Frances Robles and Julie Bosman, NY Times]

Second night of curfew in Ferguson, governor calls out National Guard  [Al Jazeera America]

Ferguson, Mo., police were trying to ‘besmirch’ dead teen when they released convenience store video: governor [Adam Edelman, NY Daily News]

Amnesty International Sends Human Rights Delegation to Ferguson, Missouri [Amnesty International]

U.S. and Israeli Military Tactics Used Against American Citizens … Gazans Tweet Tips to Help AMERICANS On How to Handle Tear Gas [Washington’s Blog]

Palestinians express “solidarity with the people of Ferguson” in Mike Brown statement [Rana Baker, Electronic Intifada]

“From all factions and sectors of our dislocated society, we send you our commitment to stand with you in your hour of pain and time of struggle against the oppression that continues to target our black brothers and sisters in nearly every aspect of their lives.

We understand your moral outrage. We empathize with your hurt and anger. We understand the impulse to rebel against the infrastructure of a racist capitalist system that systematically pushes you to the margins of humanity.  

And we stand with you.”

Critical Analysis Pieces on Ferguson

Itemizing Atrocity [Tamara K. Nopper & Mariame Kaba, Jacobin Magazine]

“The problem with casting militarization as the problem is that the formulation suggests it is the excess against which we must rally. We must accept that the ordinary is fair, for an extreme to be the problem. The policing of black people — carried out through a variety of mechanisms and processes — is purportedly warranted, as long as it doesn’t get too militarized and excessive.”

12 things white people can do now because of Ferguson [Janee Woods, Quartz]

In the aftermath of the murder of Michael Brown, may he rest in power, here are some ways for white people to become white allies who are engaged thoughtfully and critically in examining the situation in Ferguson and standing on the side of justice and equity. This list is a good place to start your fight to dismantle racial inequity and shine a light on the oppressive structures that lead to yet another extrajudicial killing of a black person.

In Ferguson the violence of the state created the violence of the street [Gary Younge, The Guardian] 

“Nobody in their right mind wants more violent protests. But nobody wants more Michael Browns either. And those two things – the violence of the state and the violence of the street – are connected.”

Resistance to genocide in Gaza:

10,000 protest in Tel Aviv for a just peace, end to occupation [Moriel Rothman-Zecher and Haggai Matar, contributors, +972 blog]

Israeli ship remains at sea as thousands of protesters gather in Oakland [Rebecca Bowe, The Guardian] (#BlockTheBoat)

Critique of Internet response to the abuse of Christy Mack

[TW – Rape, Rape culture and physical abuse]:

This is how the Internet responds when a porn star is beaten up [EJ Dickson, Daily Dot]

“Apparently, we not only think that sex workers deserve to be treated differently than other people: Many of us don’t even think of them as people to begin with.”

Solidarity with Jada (#IamJada)

Trolling of teen rape victim Jada sparks internet fightback with hashtag #IamJada [Heather Saul, The Independent]

Public Conversations About Rape Raps + Allyship Tips

3 Apr

dh-noregrets

Yesterday, hip-hop cultural critic Dream Hampton publicly challenged Talib Kweli, her friend and an MC with a reputation for a politics of resistance, via Twitter, saying that she was disappointed with what he had to say about the Rick Ross rape raps issue in a guest appearance in this HuffPo interview. She said although Kweli denounced the lyrics where Ross talks about drugging and raping a woman, and challenged Ross’ half-ass “apology”, his criticism was weak and that he could have – and should have – come stronger. Continue reading

Feminist Principles to Live By

22 Aug

A strong feminist practice must be based on a solid foundation. To that end, we present some of the key principles that inform and guide our day-to-day lived feminism.  The overarching concept tying these principles together is a commitment to practicing a self-aware, intersectional sisterly solidarity that underpins our struggles to unlearn, address and correct the oppression present in ourselves, our circles, and our societies.

We note that the personal is political and no position is innocent. Thus, not only do we acknowledge the ways we ourselves are conditioned by the WMPS, but we also actively seek to 1) identify oppressive forces in ourselves and in our communities, 2) work to understand them with an anti-oppressive feminist analysis and re-visioning of each situation, and 3) actively re-figure our roles, responsibilities, and relationships so that they are honest, healthy and free from patriarchal oppression and other systems of domination.

Read these principles, digest and share them with fellow feminists and allies, and particularly with anybody who claims that they are feminist yet continues to cause suffering due to misogyny, sexism, or other oppressive practices. We hope they will be of use to you in your personal feminist praxis. In the comments, share with us and other readers the feminist principles you choose to live by, so we can continue to learn together. Continue reading

“Letter to Male Activists” Published in Affinity Zine

5 Oct

A number of SoR articles, including Sexism is Driving Me Mad, Letter to Male Activists, and a response to it were recently published by Black Iris Press in the 4th issue of the Affinity Zine, centred on the topic of patriarchy. We thank Black Iris for including our work and are happy to share the links.

From the Black Iris blog: This is the fourth issue of Affinity, exploring the importance of challenging patriarchy in our struggle against the dominant culture. Many thanks to the contributors. The pdf can be found here.

Please be warned, this zine includes descriptions of sexual and physical abuse.