Tag Archives: feminist

12 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Marry Him

26 May

Under patriarchy, expectations of monogamy and compulsory heterosexuality mean women are conditioned from childhood to be on the lookout (or compulsively searching) for “the one,” her “soulmate,” or Mr. Right.  This is a fantasy induced by a combination of Disney princesses, white dresses and storybook weddings, as well as social and cultural influences, public discourse, mass media and celebrity culture.  What this means is that many of us are so eager to get married, and so conditioned to be the damsel in distress or unconditionally self-sacrificing for “love,” we often overlook some basic things that illustrate how, far from being a prince or knight come to rescue you, your intimate partner may be in fact dangerous to your sense of self, your individual identity and your independent thought.  You do not need rescuing, and no one should make you feel that you do.  If any man in your life exhibits the below behaviours, he is at worst an abuser or at best an emotional/financial drain; you are better off without him.  In particular, don’t marry him. He is so not worth it.  See also: How to Leave a Bad Relationship.

12 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Marry Him

  1. He interrupts what you are doing to demand his dinner. He demands his dinner. He seems to think his dinner is your priority/responsibility.
  2. He interrupts what you are doing to demand anything.
  3. He expects things from you he wouldn’t do for you, and doesn’t do himself – e.g. washing his clothes, caring for his children, paying for or “helping” him with his large bills/expenses.  He does not share equally in what would be the tasks of a marriage.
  4. His “affection” is always aggressive and only manifests when he wants something.  He withholds attention, and if he does give it, he expects/requires you to respond positively to his advances. Sisters of Resistance place coercion on the spectrum of sexual harassment, assault and rape. In our experience coercion is common and we call it when we see it. (In the case of rape, help is available. International Resources)
  5. He cuts you off from your friends and family. Tactics may include: judging your friends and relatives, telling you who he likes and doesn’t like, or who you are allowed to see and when, if at all. (See:  Narcissist Abuser).
  6. He has cheated on you.  Or when you got together, he was cheating on someone else.
  7. He doesn’t have a life. (See: Peter Pan Man)
  8. He puts you down, ridicules, or degrades you.  This wears away at your self-confidence while keeping you trying harder to win his love.  He may say he is just joking, but that shit ain’t funny. (Men have sayings that relate directly to this one: “Treat her mean, keep her keen” UK /  “You treat a girl like dirt, she’ll stick to you like mud “ USA) (See:  Narcissist Abuser).
  9. He is always negative/moaning/feeling sorry for himself.  He expects you to carry this emotional burden.
  10. He only speaks badly of his exes and past relationships, painting them always as being in the wrong.  He accepts no responsibility for the ending of past relationships and breakups.  (He probably doesn’t accept much responsibility anyway.)
  11. If he already has kids, and he has not raised them well, why would you (possibly) want to make more with him?
  12. If things have only gotten worse since you moved in together, why get married and make that shit permanent? Continue reading

Women We Admire: Wangari Maathai (1940-2011)

16 Oct
Wangari Maathai

Africa's Green Queen

WHO SHE IS: Wangari Maathai (1 April 1940 – 25 September 2011), Kenyan feminist, environmental and political activist.

WHAT SHE HAS ACCOMPLISHED: In the 1970s, she founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental organization that empowers women by planting trees to restore their environments. She was one of the first to pioneer this practice among  grassroots campaigns for environmental conservation.  According to The Guardian, “Her disdain for the economics promoted by Britain, the World Bank, and the west was huge: ‘The people at the top of the pyramid do not understand the limits to growth and they do not appreciate that they jeopardize the capacity of future generations to meet their own needs,’ she said.

Her solution, to work with the poorest and most vulnerable women to repair their own degraded environments and empower themselves, proved inspirational. Planting trees became a worldwide symbol of hope and community regeneration. The Green Belt Movement she started evolved into one of the first truly worldwide, grassroots, self-help organisations.” (John Vidal, Guardian, 27 Sept. 2011)

Women of the Green Belt Movement planting trees

Over the next 20 years, tens of billions of trees were planted by women as a direct result of her work. For this, she became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize (2004) for “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.”  She is known as one of Kenya’s greatest heroes of the last 50 years.

WHY WE LOVE HER: Mathaai’s politics was on point and her principles were put into practice. She combined environmentalism and feminism; she built an ecofeminist movement that went worldwide, united female poverty and environmental concerns to fight against patriarchy and for climate justice.  She was fearless, responding to extreme political repression with public acts of resistance, such as home barricades, hunger strikes and clashes with the police. Through it all, she wore traditional dress, repping for her culture. She remained defiant in her personal life as well, refusing to allow her husband to control her. Her passion, her example,  and the grassroots model she used will continue to inspire women as we fight for revolutionary change.

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“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.

Cross-Post: Moving Toward the Ugly: A Politic Beyond Desirability

7 Sep
Writer and activist Mia Mingus gave this amazing keynote at the Femmes Of Color Symposium in Oakland, CA (8/21/11) and has graciously given us permission to cross-post. Here is an excerpt of what she’s sayin about activism, gender/sexuality, visibility and disability in an increasingly celebrity-fied culture. You can read the rest on her blog, Leaving Evidence.

I want to seriously resist, challenge and shift a culture of celebrityism in our movements.  I do not, and cannot do this work alone.  It is built on the backs of poor people, queers, women of color, disabled folks and so many more who have come before me.  It has taken so much for me to be able to be here today as I am, about to speak to you about being femme as a disabled queer woman of color.  Has taken so much for us to even get to the point where gender and femme would be considered worthy political subjects to speak on.  Taken so many (in particular) women of color who have struggled long and hard to claim a place and be seen as women against the loud static noise of white-womanhood; who have fought to connect gender and race and left a legacy of brilliant work, poetry and story for us to learn from.  Taken so many disabled women of color working to have our lives seen (by other women of color) and our bodies understood as worthy, refusing to let disability be in opposition to “woman.”  Refusing to let able-bodied femmes dictate what femme gets to be and demanding accountability to ableist notions of gender, beauty, sexuality and desire that supposedly represent “all of us.”[Continue reading