teej: (feet)
2010-08-19 10:55 pm
Entry tags:

More ways to donate to support Pakistan flood survivors

Sorry I haven't been keeping up with my reading page but hope to do so over the weekend.

In the meantime I wanted to post some more ways in which those who are able to can donate to support relief efforts in Pakistan.

Shirkat Gah, a Pakistani women's rights organisation:

Shirkat Gah - Women’s Resource Centre (SG), Pakistan, is actively engaged in providing relief to those affected and coordinating efforts across Pakistan through its partner community based organizations in synchronization with all three Shirkat Gah offices in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. We would like to appeal to all to help us in raising funds. Your contribution will be highly appreciated and will be used to set up medical camps and purchase goods necessary for immediate relief such as food items, medicines, cooking utensils, clothing and shoes (the latter two items can also be donated to Shirkat Gah Offices). The funds will later be used for the particular needs of communities based on a reassessment of the situation.

There are details at this link (PDF) about how to donate to them. You can now also donate to Shirkat Gah online via MADRE (an international women's rights organisation)

Since my last post where I mentioned Hirrak  Development Centre, I have also found out that Avaaz is fundraising for them (as well as other local organisations - you can donate online here.

teej: by <user name=roxicons site=livejournal.com> (narelle craven)
2010-08-13 11:55 pm
Entry tags:

Pakistan floods

If you're wary of the big aid organisations and looking for a local organisation in Pakistan to donate money, the Enough blog has information about how to contact Hirrak. See this post: support for people impacted by disaster in Pakistan.
teej: by <user name=collapsingnight> (rain)
2010-07-23 06:45 pm

Some links to some stuff

Good points made in relation to yesterday's announcement that the police officer who attacked Ian Tomlinson (who died at the G20 protests last year) will not be facing criminal charges:
Madam Miaow: No police charged in Ian Tomlinson demo death
Liberal Conspiracy: A jury should decide the cause of Ian Tomlinson's death
(If you haven't seen it and can face it, video footage of the attack is on the Guardian website. Also, if you're in the UK, you may wish to sign the 38 degrees petition: Justice for Ian Tomlinson)

On the announcement that Yarl's Wood detention centre 'families wing' is to be closed:
Phil Shiner and Daniel Carey: Yarl's Wood itself is the moral outrage
(Medical Justice archives news coverage related to detention)

Plus, some good blog posts on bad media representations:
Muslimah Media Watch: What Not to Write: More on Bad Veil Headlines  (this is a follow-on from this post: Your Complete Guide to Bad Burqa Puns)
Mediahacker: How to write about Haiti

teej: (lucy)
2010-07-06 05:32 am

Lucy



RIP Lucy, 1996-2010. Loved you loads.

teej: by <user name=roxicons site=livejournal.com> (susan najarian)
2010-05-12 10:54 pm

no amnesty then, i guess

so i noticed something that the politicians and the media are suddenly not talking about post-election while before they couldn't stop talking about it: immigration.

predictably the Conservatives/Liberal Democrats coalition agreements have resulted in the LibDems already sacrificing their pre-election commitment for an amnesty for (some) undocumented migrants. so that clearly wasn't a dealbreaker, or anywhere even near the top priorities for them.

on the absolute about-fucking-time upside the coalition statement does say "We will end the detention of children for immigration purposes" and it is a credit to all the anti-detention campaigners who have been working for this. and now we must hold them to it.

but this is not enough. politicians and the media stirred up and played into anti-immigrant racism in their election campaigns. now they've gone all quiet on the issue. but racism and xenophobia has not  magically gone away.

any hope (if there ever was any) that the government will be involved in challenging anti-immigrant racism has been quashed. back to business as usual it seems. LIbDems have been told to pipe down about the amnesty, and any talk which doesn't centre the need to 'secure borders' or 'implement limits' has been firmly re-established as beyond the pale.

in this climate the campaign to end child detention can be successful (and it must) only because it doesn't actually challenge any of the racist logic which underpins immigration restrictions. instead it reinforces divisions between 'good' and 'bad'  immigrants, deserving and undeserving, innocent victims vs 'illegal' criminals.

and thousands of children, while they may not be detained, will of course still be deported and labelled 'illegal' at the same rate as before. 
teej: by <user name=collapsingnight> (keyboard)
2010-05-02 09:29 pm

(no subject)

weirdly, getting new icons doesn't magically cure my dw-writers block. but hey, who cares? i've got icons! 
teej: (hedgehog)
2010-04-03 12:20 am

white feminism part 3,859....

Newsweek takes on feminism on behalf of young white girls everywhere

I haven't read the original Newsweek article and didn't know anything about the ensuing discussion until now, but I found this blog post and discussion between Latoya Peterson and Thea Lim on Racialicious really worth reading. It's a really great dissection of the continuing harm caused by white feminism* exclusion of women of colour and universalising white middle class women's experiences. and how gross and predictable that when the authors were called on it, they pull the 'but we were talking about women not race', 'we all have to stick together' AND the 'here's our WOC friend who agrees with us' crap! 

i think when this happens in big media outlets (as it does over and over and over), there's even less chance of the people being called out being held accountable because they're the ones with big institutional privilege - they don't have to listen because they can assume that the vast majority of their readers will never hear the critique. Plus the mass dissemination has so much more power in terms of influencing people's understanding of what feminism is and should be. That Latoya and Thea had the energy to engage with this so thoroughly (again!) is totally commendable. i hope that the authors of the piece take the time to actually read, reflect and learn from it (but i won't hold my breath!)

And while i'm at it... On  this side of the pond, I've been fuming about the 'Women' documentary on BBC4 earlier this month where the filmmaker interviewed 8 big name white feminists to represent the entirety of 'second wave' feminism, a bunch of mostly white and all middle class heterosexual women, all in long term relationships with the fathers of their children, to represent the entirety of the experience of modern motherhood, and mostly white members of the London Feminist Network to represent contemporary British feminism.... And again the predictable excuses on how this excludes women of colour have been forthcoming from the documentary-maker Vanessa Engle - see her comments in this review on the F-word. Sigh. I just hope not many people watched it...

*Razia Aziz's definition of 'white feminism', which I like a lot.
teej: (Default)
2010-03-25 11:21 pm

Women's Liberation Movement @40 conference thoughts

I wanted to write something about the Women's Liberation Movement @ 40 conference I attended in Oxford the weekend before last. These are really just some rough thoughts, but i've been meaning to write this for a week now and i'm forgetting more by the minute! This blogging business is so not my thing.

But anyway, the conference. The "@ 40" is a reference to it being the 40th anniversary of the first WLM conference in Britain, which was held in the same venue (Ruskin College) 27 February - 1 March 1970.

I was very ambivalent about it from the start I have to say (but then again, whenever am I not about these things), because I'm really wary of things that sound like celebrations, in particular when it comes to dominant forms of feminism (well that is basically what i'm writing my Phd about so it's not surprising).

One of the things that seemed problematic from the callout onwards was a confusion around what the conference was supposed to be and who it was supposed to be for. The registration fee of £70 (£40 for unwaged/students) suggested it was an academic conference but the aim ("to bring together feminists and women's activists across borders (spatial, generational, political and demographic and others) to engage in debate and discussion around contemporary issues") suggested it was an activist conference meant to build on the original WLM conferences. Which made the high registration fee very problematic to say the least!

Unfortunately this confusion was not allayed at the conference itself. There were quite a few academic papers which sat uneasily with other discussions - and I also heard women say they felt excluded by the academic content because of the language and tone of the discussion. Of course i'm not suggesting that academia and activism doesn't or shouldn't overlap - of course they do all the time. But if you're trying to bring them together at a conference, you really need to give it a lot of thought.

Thankfully there was some room for critical reflection on the original conference - it wasn't all just a celebration. My favourite part was Gail Lewis' saturday morning keynote lecture 'Feminist Subjects' in which she talked about how the British women's liberation movement represented feminism in the image of whiteness (as a structure of power), and how the "origin story" of modern feminism is repeatedly claimed by white women even when the evidence is clear that women of colour have always been part of shaping feminist politics.

She ended her paper by saying that while some significant progress has been made in relation to race within feminism (I think this was specifically talking about academic feminist thought - I think this varies quite wildly between different spaces!) class has been more difficult to deal with. A very important point. But I thought it was interesting that the discussion which followed from the floor seemed to focus on this last point entirely - racism in the Women's Liberation Movement appeared to not be a topic the mostly white audience was as keen to discuss.

There was a good intervention on class issues and  the lack of childcare in  the form of a leaflet that was being handed out throughout the conference - it's available online here.

This whole idea that the legacy of the women's liberation movement is something which needs to be passed on wholesale to a 'new generation' is so problematic in itself. I was struck by the fact that the significance of hosting the event in the same venue as the original conference took priority over hosting it in a venue which was wheelchair accessible! (and this even though there was a paper on feminism and disability)

My problem with valorising the past is that exclusions, mistakes, ignorances get repeated because there isn't an honest discussion about them. And the second (and third, forth...) time a 'mistake' is made it cannot be attributed to innocent ignorance anymore. It becomes wilful.

This isn't some big attack on the conference organisers. But the fact that this conference repeated the same exclusions as the original WLM conference (and then some - at the first conference at least there was a creche) is just a sad, and made dominant forms of feminism just that little bit more irrelevant to the majority of women than it already is. 
teej: (Default)
2010-03-25 06:32 pm
Entry tags:

"Can we stop for a second ... I'd almost like to start completely from afresh"

Well this made for cringeworthy viewing: David Cameron gaffs in interview with Gay Times

Apparently the Conservative Party are on "a journey" towards accepting that gay people should have rights... or maybe not so much eh?
teej: (Default)
2010-03-21 10:56 am

New beginnings...

So in the hope of motivating myself to write more in this journal I took the leap and added myself to the Giant non-fandom friending meme. So hi to the new friends/followers/whatever you're supposed to call people on here, welcome! 

I'm also going through and adding quite a few people from there so if you have come here because I have added you, here is my entry to give you some idea of what kind of things I will be/am using this journal for. Feel free to follow or not as your heart desires!
teej: (Default)
2010-03-20 12:55 am
Entry tags:

Documenting: death by deportation in Switzerland

 
"A Nigerian man on hunger strike has died on the tarmac at Zurich airport after Swiss authorities tried to deport him using a special flight to deport asylum seekers ...

Police said they had shackled the man because he had resisted deportation. Two Nigerian witnesses quoted by the Swissinfo news website accused the police of inhumane treatment....

"They shackled our feet, knees, hands, hips, arms and torso and made us wear a helmet like those worn by boxers. It was simply impossible to move," he said...." [link to whole article]
 


 
teej: (Default)
2010-01-03 12:00 am

Er....

Probably not as amusing or interesting to anyone else but after having just spent the day reading dull and predictable Guardian articles about feminism (for research purposes!) the stupidity eventually got so stupid it turned funny and i just had to share it with someone...

A reader's letter from 2006 sent in response to an article about the state of feminism
:

Natasha Walter's excellent article raises many pertinent issues, but ignores the destructive part that trendy male post-structuralists have played in analysing the experiences of women. Poststructuralists deny even that "women" are a common category, sharing certain social and economic conditions. We need to remind ourselves - as bell hooks once famously pronounced - the master's tools will never dismantle the master's table.
June Purvis
University of Portsmouth

ok...

number 1. "trendy male post-structuralists"? because there are no women into post-structuralism are there, june?? because there are no *gasp in horror* feminists into poststructuralism?? or a whole fucking field of study?? no of course its just those evil males trying to deconstruct the sisterhood into oblivion!

and...

number 2. "the master's tools will never dismantle the master's table"??? oh my.

pause.

not only has she got the quote wrong but more disturbing, it was audre lorde who said it not bell hooks. but, you know, they are both black feminists, so i guess that's where the confusion lies! Possibly the worst mis-use, mis-quote and appropriation of Lorde/hooks I have yet to come across (which is quite a phenomenon by the way).

June Purvis, you may note, is affiliated with the university of Portsmouth. She is in fact Professor of Women's and Gender History there. She gets paid to, you know, know stuff about feminism and teach it to students. Which is really not so funny when it comes down to it...
teej: (Default)
2009-11-29 12:25 am

Late night rant...

Oh ffs, could this article be any more dull and predictable?

Why does every single liberal/left media article about this supposed 'new feminism' have to quote and reference the exact same (white, cis, class privileged...) women/groups each and every time? 

I remember having this same frustrated conversation with a friend about this article about almost to the day a year ago. Oh yeah, and then there was this one, and this one and... well i'm sure I can dig some more out but really I have better things to do with my Saturday night/Sunday morning. Like sleep.

Reclaim the Night, Object, Natasha Walter and Finn Mackay are not the be-all and end-all of contemporary British feminism you know (in fact a lot of us, including myself, object to these groups or people representing us at all). To perpetuate this myth is not only lazy and blinkered journalism, but works to marginalise other feminist perspectives, and in particular, to reinforce white, middle class cis women's dominance within British feminism.

Not in my fucking name.

And goodnight.
teej: (Default)
2009-11-23 10:04 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Yep, that's my university. I was seriously considering leaving this summer because of this whole mess and all the redundancies that are going on, but decided to stay and in a way I feel quite hopeful about it now. Everything seems quite up in the air, they've appointed a new vice-chancellor and it's possible that may be a turning point. There are a lot of good people working at London Met, and lots of good students as well. Now it is time for the management to decide who should get punished for their 'mistakes'. Obviously the university's now in a mess because of reduced funding, and those who caused this situation should do the right thing and step down before it's too late to turn the situation around.

h/t Save London Met University!

teej: (kurbits)
2009-11-18 10:01 pm

Blogroll

Because I can't include more than 10 direct links from my dreamwidth, I've decided to do a separate entry as a blogroll, then link to this instead.

So here's a list of some of the blogs that I like to read, that make me think, where I learn lots of stuff. Although I can't always keep up with all the content and I'm rubbish at commenting, but I'm trying to get better about that.

Avowed Virago
bird of paradox
Black Looks
Cleaner Light
Crazy Like Us?
Cycads
Diary of an Anxious Black Woman
Enough
flip flopping joy
FWD/Forward
Get There Steppin'
Having Read the Fine Print...
Like a Whisper
Look left of the pleiades
Mothers for Women's Lib
Muslimah Media Watch
Problem Chylde
Questioning Transphobia
Raven's Eye
Resist Racism
Restructure!
Sexual Ambiguities
The Angry Black Woman
The Curvature
The Deal with Disability
Ultra Violet
Vegans of Color
Zero at the Bone

there's lots more in my google reader too, I may add to this later

(I'm just procrastinating really, I should be working but am too tired and this seemed like an easier thing to get my brain around)
teej: (Default)
2009-11-17 10:27 am

Reading: Razia Aziz on 'white feminism'

I don't know how many times I have quoted this but it remains as relevant as ever.

“In attempting to shift the ground of feminist discourse, the adversary has at times appeared to be white feminists but is in fact, I would venture, white feminism – by which I expressly do not mean any feminism espoused by white feminists. I refer, rather, to any feminism which comes from a white perspective, and universalizes it.

I do not propose that white feminism is a clearly defined, coherent and internally consistent body of thought that feeds off conscious racist intentions. It is, rather, a way of seeing which, however inadvertent, leaves identifiable traces. It subsists through a failure to consider both the wider social and political context of power in which feminist utterances and actions take place, and the ability of feminism to influence that context.”

- Razia Aziz, "Feminism and the challenge of racism: Deviance or difference?", in Black British Feminism: A Reader (ed. by Heidi Safia Mirza, 1997)


teej: (Default)
2009-11-17 12:10 am

Reading: Lugones on 'infantilization of judgment'

White feminists and queers, listen:

“Infantilization of judgment is a dulling of the ability to read critically, and with maturity of judgment, those texts and situations in which race and ethnicity are salient. It appears to me as a flight into a state in which one cannot be critical or responsible: a flight into those characteristics of childhood that excuse ignorance and confusion, and that appeal to authority. If the description “child” is an appropriate description of white/Anglas in the context of racism and ethnocentrism, then to ascribe responsibility to them for the understanding and undoing of these phenomena is inappropriate. If a child, the white/Angla can be guilty of racism and ethnocentrism innocently, unmarked and untouched in her goodness, confused with good reason, a passive learner because she cannot exercise her judgment with maturity. But, of course, she is not a child. She is an ethnocentric racist.

Infantilization of judgment is a form of ethnocentric racism precisely because it is a self-indulgent denial of one’s understanding of one’s culture and its expressing racism... In infantilization of judgment, the racist attempts to hide that she understands racism as a participant.”
 
 
- María Lugones, "Hablanda Cara a Cara/Speaking Face to Face: An Exploration of Ethnocentric Racism" in Pilgrimages / Peregrinajes: Theorizing  Coalition Against Multiple Oppressions (2003)
teej: (Default)
2009-11-13 09:40 pm
Entry tags:

Peter Tatchell is silencing and smearing queers of colour

I'm working on something longer in response to this racist crap but I don't have the brain energy to finish it right now... But if you haven't heard about it yet, short version is Peter Tatchell has responded to an article in which his imperialist queer politics are critiqued with a racist, defensive and undermining attack on the authors, which has basically forced the book which the chapter appears in out of print. Grassroots Feminism has a roundup of links which is a good place to start.

The chapter is "Gay Imperialism: Gender and Sexuality Discourse in the 'War on Terror", by Jin Haritaworn, Tamsila Tauqir and Esra Erdem, and it's in the book Out of Place: Interrogating Silences in Queerness/Raciality (ed. Adi Kuntsman & Esperanza Miyake, 1998).
teej: (Default)
2009-11-13 07:47 pm

On the move...

For any LJ friends still around... I've set up a dreamwidth account and will be posting from there from now. They'll automatically x-post to LJ for now and you can still comment on LJ as well - may change this later, but as not many people comment anyway, I don't want to make it harder for people ;)


Ok, that's all i wanted to say for now. But there will be more soon..........