"it is no longer clear that feminist theory ought to try to settle the questions of primary identity in order to get on with the tasks of politics. Instead, we ought to ask, what political possibilities are the consequence of a radical critique of the categories of identity? What new shape of politics emerge when identity as a common ground no longer constrains the discourse of feminist politics? And to what extent does the effort to locate a common identity as the foundation for a feminist politics preclude a radical inquiry into the political construction and regulation of identity itself?"
"To commit to love is fundamentally to commit to a life beyond dualism. That’s why love is so sacred in a culture of domination, because it simply begins to erode your dualisms: dualisms of black and white, male and female, right and wrong."
How Many Women are in Prison for Defending Themselves Against Domestic Violence? | Bitch Magazine
Marissa Alexander was sentenced to prison after firing a warning shot to protect herself from her abusive husband.
Last week, domestic violence was front-page news in America as the video of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice beating his partner circulated online. Sunday morning news shows interviewed domestic violence survivors, social workers at domestic violence agencies, and even police chiefs about their departments’ policies around domestic violence calls.
But in all this discussion about the realities of domestic violence, one perspective was clearly left out: the people who are imprisoned for defending themselves against abusers. Where are the stories about how the legal system often punishes abuse survivors for defending themselves, usually after the legal system itself failed to ensure their safety?
Many readers already know the name Marissa Alexander, the Florida mother of three who was arrested for firing a warning shot to dissuade her abusive husband from assaulting her. In 2012, Alexander was found guilty of aggravated assault and was given a 20 year sentence. Her sentencing coincided with the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, drawing wider public attention than she might have received otherwise. People across the country rallied to her defense, organizing fundraisers and teach-ins and bringing media attention to the injustice of her case. Alexander appealed her case and was granted a new trial, which is scheduled to start in December 2014. The prosecutor has said that, this time, she will seek a sixty-year sentence for Alexander if she is convicted again.
While awaiting her new legal ordeal, Marissa Alexander is allowed to be home with two of her three children. (Her estranged husband, the same one who had assaulted her and then called the police on her, has custody of her youngest child.) If it weren’t for that outpouring of support nationwide, Marissa Alexander might very well still be in prison on that original twenty-year sentence.
We know Marissa Alexander’s name, but there are countless other abuse survivors behind prison walls whose names and stories we do not know. We actually do not know how many women are imprisoned for defending themselves against their abusers. No agency or organization seems to keep track of this information. Prison systems do not. Court systems do not. The U.S. Department of Justice has some data on intimate partner violence, but not about how often this violence is a significant factor in the woman’s incarceration. In California, a prison study found that 93 percent of the women who had killed their significant others had been abused by them. That study found that 67 percent of those women reported that they had been attempting to protect themselves or their children when they wound up killing their partner. In New York State, 67 percent of women sent to prison for killing someone close to them were abused by that person. But these are just two specific studies; no governmental agency collects data on how frequently abuse plays a direct role to prison nationwide.
This past Sunday morning, an ABC news segment reported that 70 percent of domestic violence calls do not end in prosecution. That story stressed how many abused people choose not to press charges against their loved ones. Not mentioned, however, is how often systems fail to help survivors when they doseek help. Domestic violence survivors have reported that, time and again, they sought help—from family members, from their communities, from domestic violence agencies and from police. Many times, they found that help was unavailable to them. As we collectively wring our hands about domestic violence, shelters for people seeking help remain grossly underfunded. Passing the Violence Against Women Act (which relies heavily on criminalization and arrest, both problematic for women of color and other marginalized people) required a monumental political effort.
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"Women have believed that we could save the men in our lives by giving them love, that this love would serve as the cure for all the wounds inflicted by toxic assaults on their emotional systems, by the emotional heart attacks they undergo every day. Women can share in this healing process. We can guide, instruct, observe, share information and skills, but we cannot do for boys and men what they must do for themselves. Our love helps, but it alone does not save boys or men. Ultimately boys and men save themselves when they learn the art of loving."
I’m reading about borders and exclusion in the US, did you guys know that at one point they took the very same sections of fence that were used to intern Japanese people in camps, and used them to construct a barrier on the Mexican border? The literal same physical pieces of fixed capital.
"I’ll be honest with you. I hate war in all its forms: physical, psychological, spiritual, emotional, environmental. I hate war, and I hate having to struggle…I wish I had been born into a world where it’s unnecessary. This context of struggle and being a warrior and being a struggler has been forced on me by oppression. Otherwise I would be a sculptor, or a gardener, a carpenter…I would be free to be so much more. I guess part of me or a part of who I am, a part of what I do is being a warrior, a reluctant warrior, a reluctant struggler. But I do it because I’m committed to life. We can’t avoid it, we can’t run away from it, because to do that is to be cowardice. To do that is to be subservient to devils, subservient to evil. And so that the only way to live on this planet with any human dignity at the moment is to struggle."
“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness—and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe. The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling—their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
―Arundhati Roy, World Social Forum, Porto Alegre, 2003
the last two lines are so much more amazing this way.
Americans spend more than thirty billion dollars a year on security… it is the fear of threat rather than a real threat that is the catalyst for an obsession with safety that borders on madness.
Culturally we bear witness to this madness every day. We can all tell endless stories of how it makes itself known in everyday life. For example, an adult white male answers the door when a young Asian male rings the bell. We live in a culture where without responding to any gesture of aggression or hostility on the part of the stranger, who is simply lost and trying to find the correct address, the white male shoots him, believing he is protecting his life and his property. This is an everyday example of madness. The person who is really the threat here is the home owner who has been so well socialized by the thinking of white supremacy, of capitalism, of patriarchy that he can no longer respond rationally.
White supremacy has taught him that all people of color are threats irrespective of their behavior. Capitalism has taught him that, at all costs, his property can and must be protected. Patriarchy has taught him that his masculinity has to be proved by the willingess to conquer fea through aggression; that it would be unmanly to ask questions before taking action. Mass media then brings us the news of this in a newspeak manner that sounds almost jocular and celebratory, as though no tragedy has happened, as though the sacrifice of a young life was necessary to uphold property values and white patriarchal honor. Viewers are encouraged to feel sympathy for the white male home owner who made a mistake. The fact that this mistake led to the violent death of an innocent young man does not register; the narrative is worded in a manner that encourages viewers to identify with the one who made the mistake by doing what we are led to feel we might all do to “protect our property at all costs from any sense of perceived threat.” This is what the worship of death looks like.
Do NOT shame people for choosing not to go to school.
Do NOT insult people for dropping out.
Do NOT teach your children that dropping out means you are a failure.
You never know what’s going on in that person’s life.
Just DON’T DO IT.
Protesters from across St Louis turned up and turned out for the first St Louis County Council Meeting since Mike Brown’s Death. (Part I)
The St Louis County Council wasn’t as bad as Ferguson’s Council, but still very few answers and virtually no accountability from the folks who unleashed unholy hell on the residents of Ferguson, following Brown’s murder. #staywoke #farfromover
KEEP POSTING I NEED TO KNOW! DONT STOP POSTING ABOUT THIS. IT IS NOT OVER!
Millions of Dead Fish Mysteriously Surface in Lake in Mexico | Vocativ
Gaze across Lake Cajititlán here in western Mexico and normally you’ll see fisherman cutting their nets and tourist boats gliding over the blue-green water. But that picturesque scene turned grim last week when more than 4 million dead fish suddenly surfaced, turning the water a sinister shade of gray.
For days, the smell of rotting scales lingered in the air as locals joined government workers to scoop up more than 156 tons of freshwater popoche chub, a sardine-sized species native to the western state of Jalisco.
It’s still unclear what killed the fish, but the incident was the worst in a spate of environmental disasters in Mexico this year. Early last month, a river in the northern state of Sonora took on a sickly brown-red color after workers from a nearby mine dumped thousands of gallons of sulfuric acid into the water. In Veracruz state, near the Gulf of Mexico, a gasoline spill contaminated almost 5 miles of a small river near the town of Tierra Blanca. And last Thursday, the Pacific coast of Sinaloa state also saw a sudden and seemingly inexplicable mountain of dead fish rise to the surface.
Mexico, like many developing nations, has a poor environmental record, but it was still unusual for the country to experience such a quick succession of environmental disasters. What ties them together, critics say, are lax environmental standards, a complete lack of industry oversight and an inability to penalize people and companies that pollute.
“These cases are just the tip of the iceberg of the opacity in which industries in Mexico operate,” environmental watchdog Greenpeace said last week in a statement. “The laxity of the laws permit them to contaminate in exchange for derisory fines posing as ‘reparation of damages,’ without taking into account any external factors.”
The case of Lake Cajititlán is a classic example of how disasters often unfold in Mexico. Environmental experts are still trying to figure out what killed the fish, but that hasn’t prevented the authorities from bickering over who or what was to blame.
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