Archive for January, 2008

Where my passions are

Posted in Activism with tags , on January 31, 2008 by nectarine

There are so many things I want, as a woman, as a feminist but i am only one person with only one life and if I think about all the things that need changing I tend to freeze up and do nothing. So this year this is my list of things to concentrate on.

I want the continued provision of abortion and birth control for any woman all the time.
so I will Make myself aware of reproductive justice issues (this blog looks fab for such things!) and take necessary action (writing/campaigning/protesting etc)

I want an end to prostitution and trafficking and more support for women who have or are experiencing this to get out of these situations.
So I will join and give my time and support to the Feminist Coalition against prostitution and possibly try to set up a sister group in Wales

I want an end to rape and more support for rape victims
So I will work with anti/ending rape campaigns, and work with campaigns which are trying to get more rape support/rape crisis centers open.

I want an overhaul of women’s treatment by the mental health system. I hate that women are often effectively punished for the damage that patriarchy has done to them by being pejoratively labeled and then often retraumatised by the mental health system.
So I will run a MTG discussion group on women and mental health, organize the creation of a Zine which contains women’s experience of mental health issues, Start working for mind Cymru

I want to connect and encourage feminisms in Wales (London is not, in fact, the center of the universe) Including minority women, working class women, and women’s groups that are not traditionally seen as “feminist” but that still support women.
So I will Build a database of contact information for womens groups in wales so they can be contacted when events/discussion/activism is going to take place.

I want passionately, passionately, for younger feminists to understand, respect and honor what our foremothers have done for us and how hard they fought to get women to the point they are to day
So I will attempt to build cross generational connections, and talk about the importance of cross generational connections to younger feminists, I will support older feminists in getting their voices heard rather than dismissed by younger feminists

I also want to teach myself more about racism about the experiences of women of colour and eventually do activism around asylum seekers.

Also something I’ve really noticed is there seems to be a real lack of both theory and support for feminist women bringing up children. I’m not a mother and I will probably never be a mother but I think supporting mothers is really important for feminism and maybe we need to be thinking about family structure and childcare issues and the media portrayal of mothers more than we do. And what mothers and children’s rights are and what they want and need.

And there will be issues that come up in the year that are other than I have written down here that it will be really important to react to and reflect on.

And of course these aren’t the only things that matter there are many, many things that matter, but I cant do all of them and you can’t do all of them, and its important that collectively we are doing all of them because they are all interlinked and they all have to be unlinked at the same time, at the same pace or the balance will just shift and not change.

So tell me: What are your feminist passions and priorities for the year ahead?

Collateral damage: thoughts on being a survivor of prostitution

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 29, 2008 by nectarine

Don’t talk about it like you know what it is, don’t talk about it like I’m not in the same damn room and for fucks sake don’t call it work, its not work its slavery and don’t think because I’m a middle class university educated women that I haven’t done it, that it hasn’t happened to me.

You say this is contested territory while looking sideways at the big words, as if its a game, a discussion to be had, well my body is, always will be, contested territory because of what they did to it, because they bought it, sold it, used it, discarded it.

Don’t argue that there is no difference between this and other forms of capitalism, i would much rather do a sixteen hour shift in a freezer getting soaked through when sorting watercress than be fucked for money, I know this, unless you’ve been where I’m standing you don’t, so stop talking stupid crap, really.

Saying this OUT LOUD, in a public space, scares me, makes my heart hammer in my chest and the words, whatwilltheythinkofme? whatwilltheythinkofme? slide through my mind in shame.

But I can’t be the only one and I was brave enough, strong enough but most of all LUCKY enough that I made it out alive, and if anything I say makes a difference to JUST ONE other woman, the shame will have been worth it.