Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! For now, I’ve returned from my Joiyssey to participate in the "revolution":I’ve been at many Occupy sites across the country:1st in D.C. Freedom Plaza I faced & challenged racism/white supremacy, sexism/patriarchy, classism, heterosexism & eventually was kicked off the island; then I offered workshops as I drove to CA:“Anti-Racism Geared for White Occupiers”; “NO DRONES” "Successes and Pitfalls of OWS"

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Premises of sex and gender...to be continued



It becomes impossible to debate an issue when people do not start with common premises from which to build a debate upon.

For example, if one begins with a premise that the world is flat, no discussion can advance beyond “the world is flat” if everyone does not agree. Then the discussion centers around the premise and cannot advance until all agree on that premise.

A more recent example comes from a discussion I had today with a young man who was going to play golf. As I know from golf courses and as I am doing lots of research about how we use water in our world, I was horrified he is supporting that criminal misuse and abuse of water.

He understood the reasons golf courses are unconscionable but wanted to argue or justify his part in maintaining golf courses. He wanted to begin our discussion with the premise: suppose golf courses become “green” and then to argue from that premise.

But I could not accept that premise. To me, it was like saying suppose war becomes more humane, or suppose chemical waste can be buried under a mountain top – and then continuing a discussion built on that premise. 

Golf courses use as much water in ONE DAY that would provide for all the water & sewerage needs for over 4 billion people on this planet.  How can golf courses ever become ‘green’ and how can ‘greening’ golf courses be a priority when 4 billion people of this world do not have access to water? Our priority should be providing water and sewerage for all – BEFORE we put energy into ‘greening’ golf courses.

Gender theory begins with premise that gender defines women and men. This is a premise that radical womonist/feminist lesbians & our allies do not accept.

All of gender theory is based on this premise. But it is a premise that radical womyn believe just isn’t true at best, but at worse, this premise defines the basis from which misogyny and patriarchy spring and are legitimized in our country.

The radical womon’s premise is that sex determines females/womyn/girls as well as males/men/boys. Gender is contrived by society to control womyn and girls and to put us into our places, as well as men and boys.

So we have gender theory beginning with and built on a premise that radical theory denies and furthermore defines as hurtful if not supporting the destruction of womyn and girls.

Why do gender theorists have such difficulty debating this premise? Or even just accepting that there are lots of people in the world that do not accept their premise?

Why do gender theory people seem to need, for their own self-esteem and even existence, radical womonist/feminist lesbians to accept their theory and embrace it as our own?

I have spent a good portion of my life critically exploring and coming to understand patriarchy/misogyny and more recently, how gender theory was developed. The part of me that understands the depth of misogyny in our society defining while derogating & threatening womyn’s very existence, also understands that gender theory most likely started out as a rejection of misogyny and an attempt for those individuals to redefine ‘women’ and ‘men’.

But gender theory, instead of recognizing gender definitions and roles as fabricated nonsense (at best) from which misogyny springs, embraces what society says is “female” and “feminine” as well as “male” and “masculine” and then proceeds to force one’s body to fit into those definitions.

Radical lesbian womynists/feminists have spent our lives identifying those boxes as created and defined to oppress womyn and fighting to smash those boxes in order to create our own definitions of what it means to be a womon.

Gender theory comes along and is based in the acceptance of those boxes, even encourages the embracing of those boxes to the extent that their premise is people can change their ‘sex’ to fit into those gender defined roles and images, to the extreme that you can surgically alter your body and chemically alter your body to become one gender or the other.

How ridiculous. And yet gender theory wants on the one hand to deny that our bodies have anything to do with defining womyn or men, yet on the other hand supports the mutilation of one’s body and poisoning of one’s body to re-shape it. This reshaping of one’s body then becomes the goal to meet gender theory definitions of what is female and male.

I also understand that under patriarchy womyn’s bodies have been relegated & limited to being defined as baby-makers among various other boxes “gender” definitions puts us into.

But just because society’s gender theory wants to put us into that box, does not mean we have to deny or disparage that amazing, powerful and empowering ability womyn have and share in the world: to create – and sustain – life.

And everything that springs from this basic, common, shared miraculous ability that womyn have and men don’t have.

Gender theory wants to minimize, if not negate, our most precious, sacred, and powerful wombs, whether we choose to create life or not.

Gender theory wants to ignore our monthly bleeding when womyn naturally cleanse and have the ability to be at our most powerful moments during the month.

Gender theory wants to ignore our natural transition from monthly bleeding to crones and the wisdom that springs from this change.

Why is this denying and minimizing of womyn so important to gender theory? Because no amount of pills or surgery can enable men to have this ability to bleed and create & sustain life, which means if we are defined by sex, men can never become womyn.

And how familiar is that to us, that male jealousy, that motivation, that violent determination to take away from us, to destroy womyn and our power throughout the eons, maybe the violence morphing and ebbing, but since patriarchy took over several thousands of years ago, we know in our very cells as womyn this threat to our existence and beings – a knowledge men and boys do not have and will never have.

How shallow are we to think that the way a person dresses, how she cuts her hair, whether he paints his face or nails, how assertive she is in the world, what jobs he wants to have, whether she wants to wear pants 24/7 or high heels – how shallow to think any of these things define a womon or a man.

These are the things that put womyn (and men) in boxes: the boxes I spent(d) a good part of my youth, young adulthood, and the rest of my life smashing.

And then along comes the academic world to create gender theory – maybe not intentionally but in reality – in order to support, strengthen & legitimize those boxes.

Maybe the academic world knew they were left out of our developing our own grass-roots womyn’s liberation theory; maybe they felt they owned ‘womyn’s liberation’ or wanted to remake womyn’s liberation their own; maybe they were not part of the almost daily consciousness-raising groups, support groups, community- building actions and events that formed and strengthened our womyn’s definitions of who we are in the world.

Maybe the academic world was just too fraught with and steeped in misogyny and patriarchy to develop a gender theory that sees gender for what it is: a socially contrived theory based in misogyny and patriarchy.

Young people who mostly embrace gender theory as what defines females and males are struggling to come to grips with misogyny and patriarchy. When I was young, it might have been so much easier to see and know that clothes, makeup, roles, abilities or identities that were defined as ‘female’ and/or ‘male’ were products of misogyny & patriarchy.

Maybe because young people have more freedoms today that our fight enabled, it is more difficult to see those gender theory-based boxes as an integral part of misogyny and patriarchy.

But the force that causes over 75% of girls 17 years old to declare they hate their bodies, the force that all womyn at any age (if we’re honest) struggle with today, the force that tells us our bodies are not sacred and precious, are not perfect EXACTLY the way they are – whether we are fat, skinny, have point-u-in-the-eye titties, thick eyebrows, hairy underarms – the force that undermines and demolishes our ability and desire to protect our bodies from the onslaught of misogyny and patriarchy is the same force that gender theory embraces to make it a legitimate definition of womyn and men and that sanctifies the destruction of the sacredness of the body one is born with.

While we are distracted by being forced to focus on and accepting modern technological means to reshape our physical bodies to meet the societal definitions of sex, we do not have that energy to see and make it our priority to protect womyn and girls from male violence.

Male violence against womyn and girls is the number one killer of girls and women in our world – not just the number one killer but a killer that murders more womyn and girls than the top other 5 killers of us COMBINED.

But the protecting of girls and womyn by us is not a priority in our lives and is drastically undermined by misogyny and patriarchy – and gender theory: from the more benign taking of our energy to the subjugating this protection by denying the importance of our bodies (the way they are) and the abuse of our bodies by men and boys in our world.

The knowledge of who we are as womyn & girls, the defining of who we are as womyn & girls, the empowering of ourselves as womyn & girls that springs from that is formed and enabled by our gathering together, working together, creating together, critically thinking together as womyn and girls is what gender theory prevents, denies, and discounts.

Because gender theory wants to involve society’s definitions of womyn and force those definitions & those who reshape their bodies to fit into those definitions, to pre-empt our own defining of ourselves free of society and males.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What else has to happen....{to be continued}



…..before we act?

How often, especially in the recent decades, have I heard the cruelest, earthshaking, most unfuckinbelievable news and ran to throw open my apartment door, ready to rush into the streets with the good u.s.ofa people masses - only to witness life 'as usual' continuing here in the u.s.

I don't know what else has to happen before we choose to eradicate the amerikkkan nitemare's hold on us and dedicate our lives to working for equity, ending violence, protecting the mother earth and all life on our planet.

So I'm working on this piece - in three parts, growing on each part, trying to highlight each injustice, and our relationship as individuals and a nation to each, how we benefit and what it costs us. It is not finished but I have to share as I go or it may never get published...

What else has to happen .... before we act?

I.

·         We have fracking destroying our water

·         We’ve got  carbon emissions destroying our air & making air pollution

·         We’ve got Fukushima radiation destroying our oceans

·         We’ve got oil companies, the meat industry & everybody else & the Albany City Council devastating our forests and trees

·         We’ve got Monsanto poisoning and trying to control our food

·         We’ve got mega drug companies trying to control our health & our illnesses

·         We’ve got 1000 military bases around the world

·         We’ve got a bigger military budget than every other country combined

·         We’re bombing and hurting how many countries, how many people in the world

·         We have 25% of the world’s prison population, close to 2/3’s of whom are people of color

·         Both weapons and prisons are our biggest ‘legal’ exports

·         The enslavement, rape, torture of girls and womyn, and some boys is our largest ‘illegal’ money maker, coming a close second to drugs

·         We have 3-5 womyn per day murdered by some man who claims to have loved her…

·         We have people getting shot every day by white men who are going crazy with the guns, black men who are killing each other, and police who are killing an African American womon, child, or man every 28 hours

·         We have increasing and new mental health diagnoses and diseases especially for our children

·         We have private corporations controlling every institution from education to health to “justice”

·         We have private corporations needing to fill prisons with people, profiting off the incarceration of humans

·         We have national and global violence against womyn and girls increasing exponentially, resulting in the #1 killer of womyn:  death from male violence killing more females age 15-44 than the other top 5 killers of women combined

·         Over 70% of women around the world will experience male violence in their lifetime

·         Not to mention our typical m.o. born with the creation of this nation of wars and violence against peoples of color, womyn and the mother earth rage on with increased and unimaginable, unhuman brutality

II.

We have fracking exploiting and destroying our water = no potable water….
…. as we turn up the thermostat & throw one sweet potato into the oven, without thought.

We have got carbon emissions polluting and destroying our air = no fresh air to breathe…
…. as we drive blocks and country miles mindlessly.

We’ve got Fukushima spewing radiation destroying our oceans = hundreds of thousands of years contamination….
….as we keep on demanding and burning energy.

We’ve got Monsanto poisoning and trying to control our food = inability to feed ourselves….
….as we make them rich devouring non-organic – but dollar cheap – food.

We’ve got mega pharmaceutical companies making us sick so they can sell us drugs = poor health & death…
….as we gulp down pills and feed our children genetically modified nutritionless poison.

We have police murdering an African-American womon, child, or man every 28 hours = genocide….
….as we allow armed uniformed men to roam our streets with their billy clubs, handcuffs, legalized racism and steel-toed black boots.

We’ve got 1000 military bases (that we know of) around the world making the U.S. military the biggest single consumer of fossil fuels in the world = hegemony…
….as we accept for the price of oil and asphalt the daily genocide and murder of people of resource-rich countries, or the funding of right wing extremists to create havoc and coups in these countries.

We have 3-5 womyn per day murdered by some man who claims to have loved her = misogyny ….
…. as we foster and condone male violence and give men the bill of rights to bear arms and the institutional rights to oppress womyn.

We have a bigger military budget than every other country in the world combined = empire of bullies….
….as we work to pay 50% of our income and discretionary taxes for wars.

We are presently bombing and hurting how many countries, 7? 8? and how many people in the world = terrorism….
…. as we allow the military unfettered  access to our youth so they can provide job training in killing, maiming, raping, and torturing other human beings.

We have 25% of the world’s prison population as we imprison 1 in 3 black adult males while 58% of all youth incarcerated are African-American = criminal injustice, institutionalized racism….
….as we launch no national or local campaign to eliminate racism and institutionalize equity and reparations.

We have our biggest exports of weapons, how-to-kill-your-own-people training, and prisons = that’s what we’re selling the world….
….as we ensure the world is in turmoil and rendered vulnerable to our corporations so we can buy cheap goods and make huge profits to maintain our life styles under the empire.

We’ve got oil companies and the meat industry and Albany City Council devastating our forests, our trees = exploitation for profit….
….as we continue enjoying mega shopping centers, online superstores, and access cheap meat daily.

We have the U.S. military callously exploding armaments in over 500,000 – that’s half a million – square miles of ocean 24 hours a day, seven days a week = death to the ocean…
….as we claim we live in the best country in the world.

We have “fishermen” tracking fish with drone technology and pushing fish populations to extinction, or its edge = eventual human extinction…
….as we go out for rare seafood, sushi  and fish & chips, and gobble endangered and ancient sea creatures.

We have a human being dying of starvation every 2.3 seconds = murder…
….as we waste enuff food daily to fill a 90,000 seat football stadium.

We have developers paving over every inch of land in our cities, spreading suburbs, destroying the desert, rain forests, mountains = amerikkkan nitemare….
….as we demand bigger houses with several bathrooms and identical fake landscapes to inhabit.

We have 149 acres of rainforest destroyed per MINUTE by agri-business or oil & mining corporations, resulting in the extinction of multitude of plants and animals and causing severe climate change = amerikkkan nitemare …
….as we continue to wolf down McDonalds, sirloin, and gold.

We have over half the golf courses in the world, some guzzling 1 million gallons of water a DAY – which is what the average family of four uses in four years = amerikkkan nitemare ….
….as 28.6 million u.s.americans enjoy playing golf: over 2/3rds of the world’s humans – 4.7 billion people – could be supported by 2.5 billion gallons of water per day; 2.5 billion gallons of water per day are used to green golf courses

We have access to most of the world’s clean water so the average single u.s.american can use 176 gallons per day while the average whole family in Africa uses 5 gallons per day = amerikkkan nitemare ….
….so we can keep flushing the toilet, leave the faucet running and take endless showers as many times a day or week as we desire.


We have 1% of our population hoarding as much wealth as almost half of the world’s people = capitalism….
….as most of the 99% continue to buy the goods and services of those one percent while wanting the wealth of the 1% for themselves.

III.

We have fracking exploiting and destroying our water …. as we turn up the thermostat & throw one sweet potato into the oven, without thought.

We have got carbon emissions polluting and destroying our air … as we drive blocks and country miles mindlessly.

We’ve got Fukushima spewing radiation destroying our oceans ….as we keep on demanding and burning energy.

We’ve got oil companies, the meat industry & everybody else & the Albany City Council devastating our forests and trees … as we robotically grab household products off the shelves, 40-50% of them using palm oil

We’ve got Monsanto poisoning and trying to control our food ….as we make them rich devouring non-organic – but dollar cheap – food.

We’ve got mega drug companies trying to control our health & our illnesses … as argri-business & pharmaceutical companies make us sick so they can sell us drugs ….as we gulp down pills and feed our children genetically modified nutritionless poison.

We’ve got 1000 military bases (that we know of) around the world… as we send our youth off to become the occupying forces of the countries we’ve conquered,  making  the U.S. empire’s military the biggest single consumer of fossil fuels in the world

We’ve got a bigger military budget than every other country combined ….as we believe in our right of world domination and accept murder, genocide, enslavement for the price of our entitlement to the “amerikkkan nitemare”

We have a bigger military budget than every other country in the world combined ….as we work to pay 50% of our income and discretionary taxes for wars.

We’re bombing and hurting how many countries, how many people in the world … so we can access cheap oil and asphalt thru the daily genocide and murder of people of resource-rich countries, or the funding of right wing extremists to create havoc and coups in those countries, so we get cheap access to their resources.

We are presently bombing and hurting how many countries, 7? 8? and how many people in the world …. as we allow the military unfettered  access to our youth so they can provide job training in killing, maiming, raping, and torturing other human beings.



We have 25% of the world’s prison population, over half of which are people of color as we imprison 1 in 3 black adult males while 58% of all youth incarcerated are African-American … and we launch no national or local campaign to eliminate racism and institutionalize equity and reparations.

Both weapons and prisons are our biggest ‘legal’ exports… we’re making the most money on how-to-kill-your-own-people training, the armaments needed to do so, and prisons  ….as we ensure the world is in turmoil and rendered vulnerable to our corporations so we can buy cheap goods and make huge profits to maintain our life styles under the empire.

The enslavement, rape, torture of girls and womyn, and some boys is our largest ‘illegal’ money maker, coming a close second only to drugs…. as we foster and condone male violence and fail miserably to protect the lives and quality of life of womyn and children, bowing to the god-given needs and rights of males.

We have 3-5 womyn per day murdered by some man who claims to have loved her…as we give men the bill of rights to bear arms and the institutional rights to oppress womyn.

We have people getting shot every day by white men who are going crazy with the guns

We have police murdering an African-American womon, child, or man every 28 hours ….as we allow armed uniformed men to roam our streets with their billy clubs, handcuffs, legalized racism and steel-toed black boots.

We’ve got oil companies and the meat industry and Albany City Council devastating our forests, our trees ….as we continue enjoying mega shopping centers, online superstores, and access cheap meat daily.

We have the U.S. military callously exploding armaments in over 500,000 – that’s half a million – square miles of ocean 24 hours a day, seven days a week ….as we claim we live in the best country in the world.

We have “fishermen” tracking fish with drone technology and pushing fish populations to extinction, or its edge ….as we go out for rare seafood, sushi  and fish & chips, and gobble endangered and ancient sea creatures.

We have a human being dying of starvation every 2.3 seconds ….as we waste enuff food daily to fill a 90,000 seat football stadium.

We have developers paving over every inch of land in our cities, spreading suburbs, destroying the desert, rain forests, mountains ….as we demand bigger houses with several bathrooms and identical fake landscapes to inhabit.

We have 149 acres of rainforest destroyed per MINUTE by agri-business or oil & mining corporations, resulting in the extinction of multitude of plants and animals and causing severe climate change ….as we continue to wolf down MacDonalds and sirloin.

We have over half the golf courses in the world, some guzzling 1 million gallons of water a DAY – which is what the average family of four uses in four years ….as 28.6 million u.s.americans enjoy playing golf.

We have access to most of the world’s clean water so the average single u.s.american can use 176 gallons per day while the average whole family in Africa uses 5 gallons per day ….so we can keep flushing the toilet, leave the faucet running and take endless showers as many times a day or week as we desire.

4.7 billion people in the world could be supported by 2.5 billion gallons of water per day; 2.5 billion gallons of water per day are used to green golf courses

We have 1% of our population hoarding as much wealth as almost half of the world’s people ….as most of the 99% continue to buy the goods and services of those one percent.

Over half the prison population are incarcerated on “illegal” drug charges that are discriminately enforced against black people and for white people.

We believe in protecting the rich and punishing the poor

1 billion tons of pesticides used in the u.s. alone

Russia

Over half the prison population are incarcerated on “illegal” drug charges that are discriminately enforced against black people and for white people.

Private


Bees butterflies

Before I tell you what happened....

I will go to court this week to face the violent white man stranger who punched me in the face a year ago. He is pleading "not guilty" and the d.a. is going ahead with the trial.

Here is the piece I wrote after he battered me:



Before I tell you what happened, I have to tell you who I am

I am a strong womon, a womon who does not cower, a womon who confronts bigotry

Before I tell you what he did, I have to tell you how I stand in the world

I stand tall on Mother Earth, her black richness absorbed thru my feet, (my feet rooted in her black richness) my being flowing from the womyn who came before me, the womyn who are here, the womyn who are to come

Before I tell you the story of violence, I have to tell you the story of survival

I am daughter, granddaughter of survivors of the Holocaust; I am the survivor of the isms: racism, sexism, anti-lesbianism; I am the survivor of my husband’s violence

Before I tell you the story of my husband’s violence, I have to tell you how I ended it

His angry footfalls booming warning up the outside stairs; my baby, three weeks old, whisked off hidden in the bedroom closet, begging her not to cry; the square, aluminum-clad electric frying pan filled with steaming sloppy joes, the red arrow purposely being twisted from warm to high.

Before I tell you what he did, I have to tell you how I would not allow it to happen

I face him, no longer pregnant, my very being now directed from protecting the life inside me to protecting me … 43 years ago

Before I tell you what happened today, I have to tell you who I have become

I am a womon who does not allow men to touch me, let alone to make me weak

I am a womon who calmly, with fear morphing into courage, faces white violence, male violence, all violence; a womon who watches for, challenges, dissipates, undermines even, violence

I am a womon who chooses to be me in the world, despite the pervasive hovering dominance of white & male violence

Before I tell you what the violent white male stranger did today, I have to tell you what my violent husband did then

He swept my wooden broom resting in the corner next to the metal garbage can, into his huge, angry hands, advancing towards my back as I slip the plug out of the frying pan and with my two determined hands, grab the handle and whorl around to sling our now boiling dinner, his favorite meal, at my seething husband.

I am a womon whose 19 years old self, no longer pregnant, defends herself with scorching hamburger bits and blistering blood red sauce, slung, not onto the advancing fuming face of the man brandishing my broom, but at the last second, diverted to fly millimeters left of his head.

But it is enough, the hot pungent mixture grazing an ear, splattering a U.S. Air Force uniformed shoulder, to splat sizzling into kitchen corners and onto the garbage can, not even slightly burning his body, but it is enough to lower his hands, to halt his hostile advance mid-step as he looks at me in shock when words fly with our dinner, you ..can ...not ..hurt ..me ..anymore.

I am a womon who does not allow men to hurt her; a womon who knows self-defense; a womon who puts circles of protection around herself, her child, her home.

Yet when the white male stranger stormed on his path toward me today, I did not even see his fist let alone fathom his calm willingness to casually haul off and punch me.

I wish I would have, after failing to block his blow, thought to stick out my foot and trip him smashing his face into concrete as he smoothly, safely, continued passed me into his house. I have amazing reflexes, but they failed me today.

I wish I would have jumped on his huge back and pummeled his round, balding head as he steadily marched across the sidewalk and then up the stairs into his house.

The police, when they arrive, assume he is my boyfriend/fiancée/husband/ex-intimate partner, my “other half” they say – assaulted once again, this time by a white male face infused with kind smiles and violent weapons.

“What did I do to provoke him” – this officer knows a million ways how to ask that question without using those words; my thinly disguised distain silences him:

·         ???My provoking dress: I’m wearing hot pink, “DISARM, DISARM, DISARM” boldly written in black magic marker on my tee shirt, front and back.

·         ???Lesbian provoking interracial provoking ‘couple’: black womonfriend, white me?

·         ???My provoking stance: I do not cower when he jumps out his car to threaten me, I do not lower my eyes and tremble when he bullies me, I do not remain silent when he shouts at me

·         ???CODE provoking pink: has he seen me on the news protesting marines, war, killing?

The officer ‘arrests’ him: i.e. he gets a piece of paper with an ‘order’ to appear at the jail…at his convenience…to be finger printed, photographed, given court date.

He punches a womon he doesn’t know & gets to get processed “at his convenience”; I get arrested protesting military recruiting of our youth, I get arrested attempting to protect our youth from the war machine, I get handcuffed & hauled off in the back of a police car to be detained in a jail cell after being photographed, fingerprinted, thoroughly searched, questioned, and info recorded.

Assaulted once again by a system that protects and values white male violence much more than my well-being.

Since I’ve told you what happened, I have to tell you how I stand:

I stand tall on Mother Earth, her black richness absorbed thru my feet, (my feet rooted in her black richness) my being flowing from the womyn who came before me, the womyn who are here, the womyn who are to come