#womenwrites March 2019

#womenwrites March 2019

Silencing Women in the Name of Trans Activism, by Julie Bindel

It all began with a warm and friendly email from an arts producer who runs a regular London-based project called the Truth to Power Café (TTP). Founder Jeremy Goldstein had seen my writing, and figured I might be a worthy performer. …

Then, out of the blue, Goldstein emailed to say how “sorry” he was, but few tickets had been sold, so he needed to “rethink” the program. On my hasty first scan of the ambiguously worded message, I concluded that the event had simply been cancelled.

Imagine my surprise when, the next day, I saw the event advertised on Twitter with my name neatly substituted by another—that of supposed free-speech championand LGBT rights activist, Peter Tatchell, well known for having supported the legal right of a religious baker to refuse to decorate a cake with the slogan “Support gay marriage.” …

The New Patriarchy: How Trans Radicalism Hurts Women, Children—and Trans People Themselves, by Helen Joyce

… under the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) of 2004, after a psychological evaluation and two years presenting themselves in their preferred sex role, they could change the sex on their birth certificates. Melissa, who takes female hormones and has undergone surgery to refashion her genitals into a female form, is now legally a woman. “People take me for what they see,” she says. “That’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

The motive for such laws was largely compassion. Gender dysphoria was viewed as a rare and distressing condition that could be alleviated by accommodating sufferers as legal exceptions to the rules of biology. But a decade and a half later, a more radical notion is sweeping across the Western world, with English-speaking countries in the vanguard. The brainchild of a few sexologists, trans-activists and academics, it has spread via lobby groups and the internet, and on liberal campuses. It is now becoming consolidated in practice and codified into law, with profound consequences—not just for people who wish they had been born the opposite sex, but for everyone….

The Shapes of Stones, By Niya Shahdad  via @Harpers

The morning I left my house in Kashmir for the first time in fifty days came halfway through a cruel summer more than two years ago. It was after dawn, and I was on the road to my uncle’s grave in the hour before curfew would start, yet again, to reclaim the valley. The morning, still cold from the previous night, drooped in the absence of men and their ordinary chaos. As I drove, I passed through the absolute stillness and silence of Srinagar, cutting into it in hopes of eventually crashing into sound and life.

Driving the empty route to the graveyard felt as though I was moving on dead land. It seemed like the suggestion of inhabiting a cold, frozen corpse rather than a valley. My deceased home. And then came a waking dream. In it were the figures of two young men whom I had seen only once before, a few years earlier, at my uncle’s grave. The men were leaning idly against a short green fence when I stepped into that particular house of graves, stood in front of my uncle’s headstone, and looked at them in the brief moment before I looked down and began to cry. I did not look up again to see if they were watching me, but I could feel their detached, harmless gaze as my cries grew louder. And that was all there was to our meeting; I had cried and they had watched. Without words or movement, it was an exchange borne entirely by sight. …

#womenwrites: on domestic violence & need for separate spaces for BME women, as well as independent publishing. (January 2019)

Is the white saviour narrative in film finally dead on arrival? – Diaspora Tales, by Vanessa Walters  via @WritersofColour

When Sarah Hagi conceived her ‘Daily Prayer for the confidence of a mediocre white man’, it might have been referencing Peter Farelly, the filmmaker of Dumb and Dumber who suddenly decided he was ideally qualified to take on racial politics and African American history in the form of Green Book, which opens February 1st in the UK.

Sure, the road to ridicule is paved with good intentions. Just as Tom Cruise’s entirely fictional white man Nathan Algren is inserted into Japanese history to tell the story of the Samurai tradition in The Last Samurai, Viggo Mortensen’s Tony Lip is centred in the true story of Black classical pianist Dr Don Shirley. Shirley is played by Mahershala Ali and the film takes its name from the Negro Motorist Green Book – an essential travel guide for Black people to stay safe while travelling around a deeply racist and segregated America.

BME women fleeing violence need help – not penalties for who they are, by Lola Okolosie

Rotherham is a town now made infamous by grooming gangs and government agencies that assumed children as young as 11 could consent to sex with men old enough to be their fathers. Five minutes from a city centre that has perhaps seen better days, sits the black and minority ethnic (BME) violence against women and girls (VAWG) charity Apna Haq. Nestled behind a large mechanic’s garage, its location provides an apt visual metaphor. Not unlike wild flowers that bloom by busy roadsides, the charity exists and flourishes in spite of it all.  …

The story of Apna Haq’s near demise is depressingly familiar to Imkaan, an organisation that provides strategic oversight and advocacy to BME organisations working to end gender-based violence across the UK. In its latest report, it provides yet more proof of why its members remain “the ‘poor relation’ of the wider ending VAWG movement”. Its findings reveal that the combined income of 15 London-based BME ending VAWG organisations is less than that of the main single provider in the capital. This in a city where 40% of the population is BME and where there is the highest concentration of such services. …

The ‘Father of Modern Gynecology’ Performed Shocking Experiments on Slaves He was a medical trailblazer, but at what cost?, by Brynn Holland 

James Marion Sims developed pioneering tools and surgical techniques related to women’s reproductive health, and is credited as the “father of modern gynecology.” The 19th-century physician has been lionized with statues in New York City, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

But because Sims’ research was conducted on enslaved black women without anesthesia, medical ethicists, historians and others have called for those monuments to be removed—or for them to be reconfigured as tributes to the enslaved women known to have endured his experiments. …

Ideas for how a small black publisher can survive beyond the hype , by Valerie Brandes via @thebookseller

As a privately-held, black, female, owned and operated small independent publishing company, Jacaranda is still something of a unique occurrence. When we founded it in 2012, the publishing landscape looked decidedly whiter and was more disengaged from any kind of understanding of the dynamic world of “blackness”, let alone diversity. And while there have since been a new crop of publishing houses and imprints – think OwnIt, Dialogue Books, Cassava Republic and Hope Road – and multiple book deals involving runaway success titles like Slay in Your Lane, it’s essential that we keep talking (and producing) what’s conceivable and achievable for UK black publishing long after it slides off the trend radar of the mainstream industry. …

#womenwrites: women’s unpaid labour, Femicide, decolonising education & Leila Abouela

Making women’s unpaid work count, by Anne Manne
 
” … Citing the 2016 census figures, Plibersek said the average woman did 14 hours of housework and family organisation per week and the average man fewer than five, while women did three quarters of the child care, and 70 per cent of caring for elderly or disabled family members or friends. “The Australian economy, Australian society, rests upon women’s unpaid work,” said Plibersek. “As Marilyn Waring – the founder of feminist economics – once said, ‘What we don’t count, counts for nothing.’
 
” …THE MUSEUM, by Martha Blow
 
It was in my fourth year of university that I came across Leila Aboulela, shelved under ‘suggested further reading’ for a seminar on a Postcolonialism course. Indeed, before taking this course, my exposure to non-western writers within required reading was limited to the obligatory inclusion of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart in my second year. Although Aboulela’s novel The Translator occasionally crops up on postcolonial syllabi, it is her unflinching approach to colonialism in ‘The Museum’ that captured my attention and caused me to question museum ethics and neutrality. The 1997 short story’s value has not gone unrecognised elsewhere: it was the first winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2000. The 19-page tale paints the story of Shadia, a Sudanese woman studying at Aberdeen, and her acquaintance with a fellow student – a long-haired Scot named Bryan. The predominant theme of the story is the struggle of communication between colonialism’s ‘predetermined groups’, and while Bryan and Shadia begin to bridge the gap in communication, this is halted when they visit a local museum at the story’s denouement, culminating with Shadia’s announcement, ‘I shouldn’t be here with you. You shouldn’t talk to me…’ (Aboulela 18).
 
Six women killed in five days, you need to engage with this crisis,by Jane Gilmour  via @smhAs
 
I write this, six women have been killed in the last five days. By the time you read it, there could well be more dead women making a small blip in the news cycle, but a blip is all they’ll get. No outpouring of national grief and rage. Just a blip. Compassion fatigue, it’s called, apparently.Our compassion is fatigued by the daily drain of women being beaten, raped, assaulted, ignored, dismissed, blamed, ridiculed, murdered. How exhausted we all are by the violence women live and die with.
 
Questions academics can ask to decolonise their classrooms, by  Shannon Morreira & Kathy LuckettThe curriculum is not just the “stuff” that students must learn to be knowledgeable and skilled in a particular discipline. It’s about more than just content.Sociologists of education argue that “curriculum” is a highly ideological hybrid discourse. This means that it includes implicit ways of knowing, ways of doing and ways of being – as well as content.In South African universities, curriculum issues came to the fore during a series of nationwide student protests between 2015 and 2017. Students have argued that what’s being taught in university courses is imported from the global North and doesn’t draw enough on African-based research and the work of academics from the global South. Students have also argued that course materials don’t take the backgrounds of most South African learners into account in terms of culture, language or method. …

Remembering Carrie Fisher and Jill Saward

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Carrie Fisher showed the way. I want to acknowledge my own mental struggles | Deborah Orr

“I Wanted To Disappear Until Carrie Fisher Showed Me A Naked, Noisy Life” by Kerry Neville

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-09-41-04Carrie Fisher’s last Harrison Ford story isn’t romantic, it’s tragic by Tasha Robinson

General Leia Organa Is The Hero We Need Right Now by @anne_theriault

Carrie Fisher Brought The Force to All by Joelle Monique

Carrie Fisher: an iconic princess who became a powerful queen by Daisy Buchanan

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Remembering Jill Saward by @UnderstandingSV

Thank you, Jill Saward, for all you did  by @zoe_beaty

Remembering Jill Saward by Linda Riley

Remembering Jill Saward by Dr. Kate Cook

The great legacy British sexual assault activist Jill Saward leaves behind  by Jane Gilmour via @DailyLifeAU

Jill Saward obituary  by Julie Bindel

#womenwrites (12.11)

Get Your People at Crunk Feminist Collective

About the ‘Left’ and its Discontents in These Perilous Times  via @sunnysingh_nw3

It’s too soon for you by Talat Yaqoob

Make no mistake – Donald Trump’s victory represents a racist “whitelash” by Maya Goodfellow

White women sold out the sisterhood and the world by voting for Trump.  via @doublexmag

After the election of Donald Trump, we will not mourn. We will organize | Gloria Steinem

“On ‘Woke’ White People Advertising their Shock that Racism just won a Presidency” by Courtney Parker West

7 Women Besides Susan B. Anthony Whose Graves Deserve “I Voted” Stickers at Bustle

Blood, Sweat and Tears: Medieval Literature, Cambridge, and Leonard Cohen  via @LucyAllenFWR

Equal Rights; Different Needs   by Polly Neate

Breaking the Cycle: the challenges of parenting after an abusive childhood  via @WomanAsSubject

If women aren’t a class, there’s no such thing as radical feminism by Cherry Blossom Life

Bounty should be banned from maternity wards by @lisaaglass

The Importance of Conversations and Community by @jendella
via @WritersofColour

#womenwrites (7.11.16)

The Historian’s Altmetrics: How can we measure the impact of people in the past? by Dr. Michelle Morovac

With Brexit the Tories have made sure we all have egg on our faces via by Kiri Kankhwende @WritersofColour

For the White Woman Who Wants to Know How to be My Friend: A Black Feminist Guide to Interracial Solidarity by @ClaireShrugged

Feminism, pornography and lots of crying in the loos: Lennie Goodings reflects on 43 years of Virago 

National Treasure at Rape Crisis Scotland

End this misogynistic horror show. Put Hillary Clinton in the White House | Barbara Kingsolver

One woman’s brush with Sharia courts in the UK: “It ruined my life forever” by Rahila Gupta

Feminism and the Social Model of Disability by Heather Downs

The Stunning Literariness of Solange by Panashe Chigumadzi

Tattooing your name on your partner’s forehead is an act of control, not devotion  by @glosswitch

For the White Woman Who Wants to Know How to be My Friend: A Black Feminist Guide to Interracial solitary  by @ClaireShrugged

How ‘sex work’ killed the victim by RAQUEL ROSARIO SANCHEZ

The short list for the Zero Tolerance Write to End Violence Against Women and Girls Award. via @WritetoEndVAW

#womenwrites

If Keith Vaz paid for sex, his prostitution report is biased and worthless by @bindelj

I’m sick of living in a culture that tolerates violence against women | Joan Smith

Why I was wrong about men by Suzanne Moore

White Feminist Fatigue Syndrome  via @critlegthinking

Passing Moments via @Carregonnen

Men Don’t Have Periods – Women Do by Samantha Rea

Being Told You Have Gender Dysphoria as a Lesbian at Nymeses

An Attitude About Gratitude: On Colin Kaepernick, Paul Finebaum, & What Black People Do Not Owe America @writermrsmith

Understanding Disability: Like me, you are different. Like you, I am equal by @mailbykite via @WritersofColour

‘Baby Brain’ and Other Myths by @jendella via @WritersofColour

I chose radical feminism over my porn-using boyfriend and got my humanity back by Rose Meltzer  via @FeministCurrent

Why I won’t be returning to teach in the classroom by Gurmeet Kaur http://buff.ly/2cu9JhF via @WritersofColour

#WomenWrites – an archive for women’s writing (August/15)

https://storify.com/LeStewpot/womenwrites-august-16

#womenwrites (5.9.16) – an archive of women’s writing

It’s not victim blaming, it’s woman blaming by Sonia Orchard

The idea that gender is a spectrum is a new gender prison –  @aeonmag

Rape Culture Is Surveillance Culture  via @scaachi @buzzfeed

REST IN PEACE, INVISIBLE WOMAN by LINNEA DUNNE http://buff.ly/2bNBvoI

Our Kids Don’t Need F@*#ing Pedal Desks, They Need Recess by Maria Guido

Black Girl Is a Verb: A New American Grammar Book by Crunk Feminist Collective

9 Signs you may be living with childhood trauma – and what you can do about it  via @WomanAsSubject

Female detransition and reidentification: Survey results and interpretation by Cari

Nymeses: Being Told You Have Gender Dysphoria as a Lesbian by Heath

Intimate Partner & Domestic Violence Homicides*: Sex Differences April 2012 – March 2015 (3 yrs) via @K_IngalaSmith

 

#womenwrites – a collection of essential writing by women

All Bodies are Beautiful by @MurderofGoths

When words fail by @Durre_Shahwar

My self (at 35) by @reimaginingme

“Not All Men? Well, actually…” by Alicen Grey

The ignorance aimed at Caster Semenya flies in the face of the Olympic spirit | Katrina Karkazis

Black women and the accusation of taking up too much space by  Bridget Minamore

Stop Close Reading by Heather Horn

The Women in My Family Had to Be Good With Money  by Dena Landon

The chore wars by Alecia Simmonds

The sex trade can never be legalised without hurting women – by Kat Banyard

Men hate us by Purple Sage Feminist

“You throw like a girl”  A brief guide to  gender policing  via @WomanAsSubject

It’s Not the ‘Gender Pay Gap’ – It’s the Maternal Income Gap  via @VOlorenshaw

Race/Class/Gender: French secularism and Whiteness  by @saramsalem

More practice, less perfect: How do we navigate the lion’s den of feminist discussions? by Andie Fox

#womenwrites – an archive of essential writing by women (July)

https://storify.com/LeStewpot/womenwrites-an-archive-of-essential-writing-by-wom

#womenwrites – a collation of essential writing by women

A collation of brilliant writing by women

https://storify.com/LeStewpot/womenwrites-57797ddcd22ef3dc5d0b0549