oh lovelies

Saturday, March 31, 2007

my friend

said a guy grabbed her wrist and screamed in her face, "You come in here with your feminist bullshit.....when are you going to realize men will always be in charge? You women don't deserve to have any rights.....I hate all of you...." while ....well, this particular guy isn't very popular. The thing is, he's being up front about it at least. How many people think this and don't say it?

Sometimes I think women are guilty, too. In different ways.

So...on to a lighter topic. Here are some of my recommendations if you ever visit my neighborhood in Fort Greene, Brooklyn:


Yummy Yummy Chinese food, Myrtle Ave off Vanderbildt. I get the cold sesame noodles with vegetable rolls....just my recommendation.

Green Apple Cafe, Dekalb near South Oxford. Little place, good muffins and lattes.

Videos I'm watching: Michael Jackson's Thriller and Beat It


Madonna: Papa Don't Preach and Hung Up.

Summer is a mixed blessing. I love hot weather and wearing tank tops, not feeling chilled and miserable going out, but the down side is these people, mostly guys, hanging around the street who make a hobby out of pouncing on any female who walks by. I saw a gang of guys leave the projects last night and it was not a good feeling. The police station is right there....on the same block. Gangs of men in general....I don't like it. I don't support the prejudice that goes on in the world but I also am not going to tolerate the wrongful treatment of women by men, regardless of where it's coming from, and it just doesn't change from one place to another. Especially after I was assaulted last summer, well, things were bad, what can I say? It's supposed to be changing, but regardless, women are a target. I don't feel free to go out at certain hours and I have to be able to do that. I'm a night person. I don't know....don't know if it's worth staying here.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

poisoned pet food

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070324/ap_on_re_us/pet_food_recall

It's so upsetting, my heart goes out to these people who have lost their pets. My cat got sick a few months ago with a mysterious near kidney failure, and I wonder if it was the food. It's scary.....I have to watch closely.

more

I know there are many groups working to confront street harassers. I am all for women standing up for themselves and fighting back. But realistically we're confronting well-trained soldiers here. Safety IS an issue, and has a lot to do, I believe, with why most women don't respond to these guys. I've been through many confrontations in my life and it's an ugly, painful thing to go through. Plus, it nearly got me in bad situations. Groups like Hollaback have the right intentions, but you may get a guy who freaks on you if you snap his picture. I did that to a couple guys on the street once and they just made a joke of it. I just don't think that is going to change their behavior. What IS the solution? Anti-street harassment legislation? That may actually be--I'm all for grass roots mobilizing but really are we going to get all women to take up Uzis and become Navy Seals to fight these guys off--in an ideal world that would happen but it's not the world we're living in. I don't know. I don't know. And a part of me felt really empty after the counter harassment parties, even though I know these women had their hearts in the right place. But it felt ....like I wasn't reaching anyone, just creating or exacerbating negative situations. I am NOT saying we should just do nothing or wait for a law to be passed and just sit passively meanwhile, but the solutions so far have seemed superficial to me, and frustrating. There's no issue in the world quite like this one, and names like "√čve teasing" just cuten the meaning, make it look like flirting.

I'm pissed. I live with this feeling every day.

And I just got back from a family get together which stressed the hell out of me. I love my mother but I can't deal with her and I was on the verge of never wanting to see her, or any of them, ever again. I finally was willing to forgive her, though anyone else I wouldn't, but it is the same result over and over whenever I go there. Now, I come home and the cats want food, my room is a mess, I have to go to the store for coffee and contact lens rinse..... and it just never, never ends, you know? So as soon as I come back from the store I am going to try to mellow out with wine and a joint. That will maybe restore my sanity.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Street Harassment is a Political Problem

Not every woman's individual, personal one.

I love summer, but this is one of the drawbacks. Guys lounging around leering at women.....on the subways, everywhere, there's no escaping this male attention. It is not harmless flirting. And they'll say they're doing it to meet women; they're not. Most of the time I don't dress up, much, and I get far more when I am. That pisses me off, as well. I wonder if we're going back. It's worse than ever. How do I get away from it?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Am I the only one who finds this somewhat comic?

http://www.examiner.com/ArticleEmail.cfm?articleID=613045

this has to set a record for one of the shortest trips ever taken by anyone....

Performance, Mo Pitkins





So my friend Alex and I did a show there and people loved us! Good news. These things are never easy to pull off. I've been rehearsing like mad and preparing for auditions around the city. This one woman got on the mike to do a performance piece and said something to the effect of, "I've recently gotten interested in feminism. When I was growing up in California, we were told that feminists were women who refused to shave their armpits and were lesbians. But then I got involved in the movement and realized that there were a hundred variations of feminists....socialist feminists, anarcha-feminists, conservative feminists....and it's like, which category d?" And Reverend Jen yelled out, "There's only one kind of feminist, and that's someone who believes women should have the same rights as men. Whether they shave their armpits or not." Awesome comment!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

end of the cold!

good news is, I feel hopeful, and I'm finally getting free after several days of menstruation and stress, big time. So I've been working super hard and under loads of pressure. That demo took so much out of me and was exhausting grunt labor. It's such a struggle to get the world to acknowledge feminist issues beyond abortion rights or workplace sexual harassment, and even those topics are an uphill battle. Someone made a remark about a media blacklist on feminist issues, although cameras did show up. That's so exciting. And I realized, my activism is as a performing artist. I want to cheer, I miss it. I hope to go down to DC for the war march and I believe wholeheartedly in what I do. I express myself by jumping and screaming and channel my anger into that, which I believe creates such a better atmosphere than the negative confrontations at demonstrations. Never mind that people don't take us seriously and either bombard us with comments and pictures or else, like these women I demonstrated with, rolled their eyes and dismissed us as frivolous because we wear short skirts and even say we set the women's movement back. Well, that's bullshit. These women don't experience the backbreaking work that goes into cheering. They haven't stayed up til 5AM coming up with moves or doing exercises. But what can I do? Never mind that it's also a struggle to get them to acknowledge sex workers' rights beyond this kind of knee-jerk emotion of, prostitution is exploitation and has to be done away with, which, because of the "sex slave" argument that systems like the German one only trap women further, includes keeping it illegal? Or else they praise the Swedish model and...well, I've been on this topic before.

That said, though, I have great faith in Redstockings and this demonstration. I believe there's hope, and I believe there will be a new kind of protest, rather than just trying to re-create 1968 or something like that. Although sometimes I feel I was born in the wrong era. I am a warm weather person and my high school years were spent lounging around the parks in the city.

So, on that topic, I want to go to Colombia, a lot. But people keep telling me it's too dangerous and over and over I hear how I'll be kidnapped as soon as I get off the plane and even people from there tell me not to go. I wouldn't, except that I'm intrigued by it and the Spanish spoken there. Others say it isn't as bad as its reputation. The other place was South Africa.....so it'll happen it just wasn't the right time. I miss England, too. The men there, in the whole UK and Ireland, are all gorgeous and when I go there I actually get turned on but I just am aching to get away. For now, it'll probably be Miami, again. I loved it down there last year so I keep that in mind, when the wind stabs at my bare skin again.

Friday, March 09, 2007

today

more like yesterday. I'm really tired and stressed right now but I want to say this before it leaves my mind. The demo went well; it was so uplifting to see that we're not alone; there are so many women who feel the way I do and have the same problems. It can feel like you're alone, like no one is suffering like you are, although I know there are those with worse problems. But it's hard to connect with people regardless.

So that makes moments like this very fulfilling. It's also very informative. I drink all this literature up, and I learned a lot as well. One activist, when we were in the cab later said, the FBI probably has files on all of us, because we're activists.

ok I'm fading now, but before I forget....I ran into someone I've known, a guy, for about ten years, a friend of my ex, who is a cop. His personality is very atypical....he is funny, smart, goofy....and from what I've heard he doesn't get along with other cops and they hate him. Anyway, he was telling me, "They [his higher ups] wanted me to lock people up....for stupid stuff....for being homeless, and I would argue with them...."and he went on to say he was subsequently demoted, to a different station. I met a woman at a Social Wage meeting who was a prosecutor, with a particular interest in prostitution, which she saw as wrong and harmful. She said she would refuse prostitution cases...in other words didn't want to lock people up for that. She never came to another meeting, though, that I know of.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Join Us At the UN March 8, 2007 12:39 PM



Hope to see you there!

NY: Feminist Speak Out at the United Nations, NYC
(Ralph Bunche Park, 1st Ave & 43rd St)
On International Women's Day, Thurs March 8th 12:30pm

FL: Feminist Speak Out, Gainesville FL
(Hoggetowne Middle School, 3930 NE 15th St)
On International Women's Day, Thurs March 8th 6pm
(more info at the bottom)

Redstockings will expose and protest the myth that U.S. women are the most
liberated in the world. On March 8th, International Women's Day, at the
United Nations in New York City, women will testify from personal
experience on the true conditions we face here, and join ranks with women
of the world to fight for women's liberation. Feminists with the National
Organization for Women and Gainesville Women’s Liberation will hold a
sister action in Florida to join Redstockings’call for exposing this "Myth
of America" and demanding for us what most countries in the world already
have.

Women in the U.S. are supposed to be thankful to be the "freest." U.S.
women don't have it all, we do it all: long hours of paid work, and the
unpaid care work in the home.

The U.S. is one of only five countries out of 173 surveyed recently by
Harvard and McGill Universities that does not guarantee some form of paid
maternity leave. Fathers are granted paid paternity leave or paid parental
leave in 65 countries, including 31 offering at least 14 weeks of paid
leave. Many countries have public quality childcare available to all
residents. Every other industrialized country in the world has a national
health insurance system, taking health care coverage out of jobs and
marriage. These advances make women less dependent on men and employers
and it spreads the work of caring for the next generation and those who
need long-term care across the whole society.

Our government doesn't guarantee any of these programs. In the U.S., our
society runs off the backs of women underpaid or unpaid.

Send a donation to help us continue spreading the word and building the
Women’s Liberation Movement.

To support our work, please send a donation:
Gainesville Women’s Liberation
(Attn Women’s Liberation Task Force for National Health Care)
P.O. Box 2625
Gainesville, FL 32602-2625

Contact us to find out how you can join the Women’s Liberation Task Force
for National Health Care: womensliberation.org
646-285-1723 or 352-262-6234
redstockingsfeminism@hotmail.com


Join us in NY or Florida or tell us about a speak out you are organizing.
******************************
**********************************
Redstockings Speak Out in NYC:
Thursday March 8th, 12:30-1:15
Across from the UN, Ralph Bunche Park, 1st Avenue & 43rd Street
For More Info: Contact Allison Guttu at 646-285-1723 or
redstockingsfeminism@hotmail.com
www.womensliberation.org/socialwagecommittee.html

******************************
**********************************

Feminist Speak Out on International Women’s Day in Gainesville, FL:
Thursday, March 8, 2007, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Hoggetowne Middle School
3930 NE 15TH Street
Free dinner and childcare provided
Contact: Natalie Maxwell 352-262-6234 or Jessica Livingston 352-335-0320
Email: ga_now@juno.com
Speak Out Sponsored by: Gainesville Area NOW, Gainesville Women’s
Liberation, & the Women’s Liberation Task Force for National Health Care


www.gainesvillenow.org
www.womensliberation.org/socialwagecommittee.html
www.redstockings.org

Sunday, March 04, 2007

dream, dream






Really haunting, this one. I'm at this guy I know Kevin's house. I meet some other guy, younger, who is a friend. I start hanging with this guy, and we end up going to a hotel upstate with some other people. But he's running or hiding from someone, and we keep agreeing to meet but we see other people in what look like animal cages, but are actually 'hotels." The police are everywhere, and I'm attracted to this guy, I like him, but he's elusive, always running, in some kind of trouble. I also am back at my father's house for a while, talking to him. But then they guy takes off, telling me to meet him or follow him, but then he's gone. So I'm back in the hotel this time with some young people. I get on a roller coaster with some people, a huge one, with a terrifying climb and drop. A voice says, this is you and David. I start screaming because I don't like roller coasters. We're climbing back wards and I see the drop is massive; I'm screaming because I don't want to drop, but we do, and I'm still screaming, we're up and around..... then I'm back in the hotel, which is a skyscraper. The walls, bedspread is yellow. The police are everywhere, and people are telling me and others, leave now. Suddenly the young people in the hotel with me are taking their suitcases and climbing out the window. Some are crying. The police are outside. I ask, what is going on? Someone says, they want us to come with them. People are going down the fire escape, and jumping long distances down, throwing their luggage down. A woman cop says, come out now, don't try to escape. I'm thinking, what will they do to us? We're trapped. Then I woke up, thinking, thank God that was a dream.

Decriminalization: Why?

"feminist" negation similar to antifeminist division of women into good/bad categories

"rescue" operations used to harass and jail prostitutes

fear of assault/arrest

harassment/violence from police, customers

having no protection, virtually, from violence, no voice under the law, invisibility

discrimination against women?

no job protection, health insurance, well....any of the usual benefits


fear of discovery; parents, friends, police

constant condemnation and judgement, even from women who call themselves feminists; being considered immoral, degenerate.....much of this given ammunition from the popular image of hookers as deranged, abused, drug-addicted and disease-ridden, ect. ect.

being treated by "crisis centers" or even organizations that purport to support them as victims or "sinners"with a kind of almost punishing attitude; of "Let's get you out of this asap...."

I guess I can't emphasize enough what I said about women who say they are even radical feminists who say they are on the side of the underdogs, who would even scream out at every chance their support of sex workers who, when confronted with these women face to face, insulted and pretty much damned them.


Several thousand dollars are spent virtually every day to arrest prostitutes: which in turn can stigmatize them for life and even destroy their lives; why isn't this money spent on basic needs such as health or child care?

Finally, it's one of the ways women can earn independence from men and employers; set their own hours, choose their own customers, and have more free time for other pursuits


it's hard work. Women's work is always undervalued