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anti-imperialist pro-vegan radical queer feminist hip-hop & grime revolutionaries.

In Solidarity With #ThisTweetCalledMyBack — December 18, 2014

In Solidarity With #ThisTweetCalledMyBack

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.

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Getting Ready for V-Day — February 10, 2012

Getting Ready for V-Day

Sisters of Resistance held an art-making workshop tonight to prep for our V-Day campaign, to be  launched citywide on February 13th with the intention of subverting the commercialized, hetero/sexist and hypersexualized institution that is Valentine’s Day. We created feminist street art celebrating respect, consent and the female body, joining feminists worldwide in calling for the smashing of patriarchy and an end to violence against women.

Some samples of this evening’s work:

Some other slogans we came up with but didn’t show here:

LOVE ME EVERY DAY – END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

FEMINISM IS FOR LOVERS

RESPECT: SHE ASKED FOR IT

and of course (we don’t take credit for this one):

If you’re inspired, grab some printer labels and permanent markers, organize a team if you can and get a local campaign going in your area. Feel free to use any of our slogans or come up with your own.

got some colored sharpies, oh yeah

Check out more art of cultural resistance here, and leave your thoughts about Valentine’s Day in the comments!

How to Leave a Bad Relationship, Part 2: Splitting Up – Do’s and Don’ts — June 21, 2011

How to Leave a Bad Relationship, Part 2: Splitting Up – Do’s and Don’ts

Disentangling two lives is not an easy process, nor can we expect it to be instant.  This “Splitting Up – Do’s and Don’ts” provides some recommendations for the period of time it takes you, whether suddenly or gradually, to remove your ex from your life.

Do’s

DO articulate, clearly and honestly, the reasons why you are splitting up. You can be somewhat general (e.g. This relationship isn’t working/healthy/satisfying my needs; I don’t feel loved/respected in this relationship) but also be direct and specific enough for them to know you have made up your mind.

DO delete their number from your phone. See Part I: Cutting Communication.

If you have a smartphone, DO install an application (e.g. Mr. Number Call Blocker) to prevent them from reaching you.

DO take all their stuff (clothes, shoes, records, skateboards, etc.) out of your space (room, house, car, office). Stuff holds memories and easily invokes emotions that can interfere with the splitting-up process. It can also be used as an excuse for them to come back (see also: Alpha Male). If they don’t come back for it, inform them where you will be leaving it should they wish to pick it up (à la Fe-mail #2: Property).

DO start planning and carrying out your day-to-day activities free from them and their influence. Remember how good it feels to make decisions that make you happy, without worrying about what someone else wants to do.

DO take them off the pedestal. You might be tempted to reminisce about the way they look, smell, dress, or do certain things, but ultimately this is time wasted. And who wants to waste any more time on a bad relationship?

DO replace contacting them with an alternative. You have to learn to kick the habit. While some may use the rubber band-on-the-wrist tactic, we prefer positive reinforcement. Even deep breathing can be a positive exercise, if you consider with each breath how much better oxygen is for you than the toxic relationship you have now left.

DO acknowledge that it’s going to take you some time to extract yourself from your relationship. Be gentle with yourself. Let yourself cry, then, as best you can, get some fresh air, exercise, stretch, breathe and allow yourself to physically, mentally, and emotionally relax. Tell yourself that you will find happiness again. And that true happiness really does come from self-love.

DO put yourself first, and remember, this is for the best.

Don’ts

DON’T be vague as to your reasons why you are ending the relationship. DON’T give them false hope for getting back together in the future when this is not your intent.

DON’T let them persuade you once you have made up your mind to make the split. This may be very difficult, especially when you are dealing with sweet-talkers or other manipulative people. But trust the instincts that told you that this was not working, and be firm.

DON’T let them make you feel guilty or bad for splitting up with them. They do not deserve more of your time, attention or care. They are not worth it.

DON’T blame yourself. As much as you may be tempted to reminisce on your ex’s good qualities during this time, you may also be inclined to forget your own. Resist this temptation as much as you can. If anything, reflect on the ways they made you feel low, inadequate, or unloved. Then tell yourself why you deserve better next time. And there will be a next time.

DON’T overdo it on the coping mechanisms. Whether it’s running, shopping, food, alcohol, ganja or another substance, some things can make us feel good temporarily but are shit when overdone or in the long run. If you know or suspect you have a problem, help is available.

DON’T contact them, or respond to them reaching out to you. Use the strategies we have outlined, like the Par List, to keep yourself from speaking to them. We understand you may slip up. But adherence to the guidelines ensures the greatest chance of success.

DON’T meet up with them and don’t make plans together. This may be extremely difficult, especially if you have friends, groups, and children in common. But the more you see your ex on a romantic basis (no make-up sex!), the harder it will be for them to stay your ex and the longer it will take for you to get over them.

DON’T tie your sense of self-worth to this one relationship. Just because you are not with your ex anymore doesn’t mean you are not desirable and/or lovable. You are lovable. You are so lovable, in fact, that you should show yourself some love by ending this bad relationship once and for all.

Read on – Part 3: Moving On

Back to Part I: Cutting Communication

Sisters of Resistance Terminology Toolkit — June 12, 2011

Sisters of Resistance Terminology Toolkit

 

Because we form our thoughts through language, in order to envisage and build a new world, we need to develop a new vocabulary. Sisters of Resistance have begun this process by collecting  our terminology into this resource, covering four areas: vocabulary, useful phrases, acronyms and translations, for use in challenging patriarchy and putting feminism into practice in your daily life. Continue reading

Open Letter to Community Organizers and Activists – RSP — April 26, 2011

Open Letter to Community Organizers and Activists – RSP

As a follow-up to the Revolutionary Lovers Guide and our Letter to Male Activists, Sisters of Resistance is posting the open letter of Seattle-based community organiser Robin Suhyung Park detailing her experience with intimate partner violence and the lack of response from the Seattle activist community. We share it here as yet another reminder that the revolution begins at home, with ourselves, and how we treat each other.

“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.” -Audre Lorde

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Robin Suhyung Park.  I am a 21 year old student, poet and organizer based in Seattle, Washington.   I have been a member of Sahngnoksoo, a Korean American organization, since 2009.  In the honor of vday, the Global Movement to End Violence Against Women and Girls, I write to you for 3 reasons:

1.    To break my silence; to make my experience known and real.
2.    To examine the heteropatriarchal values which undermine the strength of our communities.
3.        To formally ask what you have done in your community to hold perpetrators of violence accountable, and what you have done in your community to prevent intimate partner violence.

Continue reading

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