Jun 282010

This is the full text of the Gender Justice Resolution that came out of the People’s Movement Assembly at the U.S. Social Forum:


Because gender oppression and violence exist on the interpersonal, community, state and transnational levels and are perpetuated in progressive/radical spaces such as the USSF that define US social movements;

Because issues of gender justice were marginalized and de-prioritized in the USSF process, including, but not limited to lack of all-gender bathrooms, labor, care taking and an organized response to sexual and gender based violence and harassment;

Because we will not give up who we are to be safe and we demand self-determination for our bodies, identities, minds and expression;

Because economic, social, environmental and political injustice exist and because we lack safe spaces for discussion and democratic consensus decision making,

Because we need and deserve culturally responsive spaces to heal from trauma due to multi-layered oppressions and violence, and we need and deserve the resources to own and control our own bodies and to be able to express our genders freely;

The USSF is a gathering of social justice-minded folks;

The transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC), feminist, gender queer, intersex and two-spirited cultures have the opportunity to build an alliance around eradicating gender oppression and violence on the interpersonal, community, state and transnational levels


Develop and integrate an intersectional gender analysis and strategies to eradicate gender oppression and violence in all progressive/radical spaces that honor the work of radical women of color, feminists and women workers;

Apply an approach to social movements and thought that highlights the intimate connections between race, class, gender, sexuality, ableism, citizenship and empire;

Move beyond a rhetoric of gender equality and tokenism to gender justice through constant self, collective, community and institutional reflection, evaluation and change;

Educate our communities to eradicate gender oppression and violence with respect and compassion without re-inscribing colonial processes of punishment, control and correction;

Learn about our own privilege and challenge and change ourselves;

Transform communication including language and language access, and use art to represent, express and mobilize the grassroots.

And we invite everyone at the US Social Forum to join us.

 June 28, 2010  Posted by on June 28, 2010 Comments Off on USSF Gender Justice Resolution
Jun 242010

From Another Peace Is Possible–Understanding How Militarism Harms Women and Working Together To Create A Women-Inclusive Peace, FPN’s panel and discussion at the U.S. Social Forum, the following are necessary steps in making it so:

Towards A Women-Inclusive Peace

1.  Make the connection between the othering that enables militarism and the othering that enables sexual violence. Make violence against women an integral part of the peace agenda.

2.  Peace in the world must include creating peace in our homes. We need to take intimate violence as seriously as the violences of war.

3. Admit that sexual violence is a tool of war. When men go to war, women and children are overwhelmingly the innocent victims.  We need to own up to this and make it a front and center issue.

4.  It is time to move away from Power Over to a framework that is based upon Power Within and Power Among.

5.  We need to make a fundamental paradigm shift and move towards partnership thinking.  Rather than seeing others as adversaries, let’s look at how can we partner to create solutions and make meaningful and just relationships.  Then we will be truly empowered.

 June 24, 2010  Posted by on June 24, 2010 Comments Off on Towards A Women-Inclusive Peace
Jun 242010

Activism against nuclear proliferation is something that will always be near and dear to my heart.  My grandmother, Lenore G. Marshall was a committed anti-nuclear activist long before it was popular and it is from her that my own interest in the activist and writing life first sprung.  So I was truly excited to see the following effort being so passionately championed by another woman who is deeply committed to this issue:

Queen Noor of Jordan recently went on the Bill Maher show to talk about the Global Zero project.  According to their website,

Global Zero members believe that the only way to eliminate the nuclear threat – including proliferation and nuclear terrorism – is to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, secure all nuclear materials and eliminate all nuclear weapons: global zero.

The international Global Zero Commission of 23 political and military leaders has developed a practical step-by-step plan – backed by hundreds of former heads-of-state, foreign ministers, national security advisers and military commanders – to achieve this goal over the next two decades.

The Global Zero Action Plan calls in its first phase for the U.S. and Russia to cut their arsenals to 1,000 total warheads each, all other countries with nuclear weapons to freeze their arsenals, and the international community to conduct an all-out global effort to block the spread of nuclear weapons. These steps would be followed by the first multilateral negotiations in history for stockpile reductions by all nuclear weapons countries.

The website also has an amazing interactive map that does an excellent job of showing how nuclear proliferation spread, with a very detailed timeline, and why nuclear weapons are such a threat to all.

Listen to Queen Noor explain her work:

What an excellent project–be sure to add your name to their petition.

 June 24, 2010  Posted by on June 24, 2010 Comments Off on Queen Noor Speaks Out For The Global Zero Project
Jun 222010

As long time readers of this blog know, I have exactly zero patience with suddenly discovered diseases that can be cured  by wonderful new, profitable pills.  And thus it is with the little pink pill known by the really stupid name of Flibanserin which treats the newly minted Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women, which for those of you without medical degrees means not interested in putting out tonight honey and tomorrow night’s not going to be much better.  Fortunately, Martha Rosenberg vivisects it here so I don’t have to.  The part I liked the very, very best was this gem:

To participate in trials, women had to be “in a stable, monogamous, heterosexual relationship” for a year, free from depression and parenting, eldercare, and income stress — but who does that leave? —  and “willing to try to have sexual activity” at least once a month.

Well for one, it leaves lesbians–did they not think lesbians might not suffer from this ailment, or maybe they just didn’t care?  But seriously, how in the hell did they find any women who met that description?  Of course maybe the whole dang problem might be cured if women who do have one or more of those things going on in their lives got a little support–better childcare, equal pay, great eldercare solutions and I’m willing to bet that if we weren’t so bone-weary tired from having to juggle all that shit, getting it on would sound a whole lot more appealing.

On the plus side,  for once the FDA got it right and did not approve this bad joke of a drug.

 June 22, 2010  Posted by on June 22, 2010 Comments Off on The Little Pink Profit Maker That Wasn’t
Jun 212010

Many thanks to Mayowa Obasaju for this guest post on gender justice activism at the U.S. Social Forum:

The Social Forum and You (with a Gender Justice Focus)

The United States Social Forum will start in 4 days. Over 10, 000 people have pre-registered and thousands more are expected to attend. The forum is a movement building space and many folks have started to move; from helping to plan the forum, making plans to attend, supporting another person’s participation, to participating from one’s home location. Many people will leave their mark on USSF 2010. Will you be participating?

The USSF is a place where individuals, groups, organizations, and communities can declare what they want the world to look like and plan how to get there. Thousands of workshops, numerous plans for Direct Actions, and dozens of People’s Movement Assemblies, Tents, and Cultural Events will help with planning for another world. There are multiple ways to participate and even more reasons to do so. Here are a few activities:

Detroit Expanded
One reason to participate is to connect struggles in your own community with struggles of communities around the nation and globe. These connections may provide you with opportunities for support, solidarity, action ideas, and expanded analyses. Not everyone can attend the forum, but millions can participate through Detroit Expanded (DEX). If you are unable to attend the social forum  or if you would like to connect with people from your organization that are at the forum, you can participate through DEX. DEX allows people to connect through a variety of technological means; “chat, VoIP calls, unconnected solidarity forums with publicity on a common website and in the printed program, streaming audio & video, recorded media shared 1-day later.” People will be able to provide thoughts, questions, and feedback about creating a better world. Click here for more information: .

Job Table

Have you wanted to take a greater role in social justice movement building? Maybe use your talents to help an organization that wants to end gender based violence or racism? Promote reproductive Justice? Disability rights? Or maybe you are an organization that is searching for a social justice minded individual for that position that has just opened up? If you are interested in making job connections, there will be opportunities at the forum through posting your resume or posting your job announcement for free. The job table will be at Cobo Hall near the Registration area. Look for the Jobs banner. There will be resources for job connections at the table; computers, printers, and other materials. The table will be there all week. This service will be hosted by National Organizers Alliance job service Organizers for America (www.organizersforamerica.org). Contact Denise Perry (305-491-7764).

Bring a book
Detroit is working towards developing a Liberation Library. You can contribute to this library at the USSF. You can bring or send through someone attending the forum, a book, zine, dvd or other resources from your organization. This is a way to benefit the people of Detroit, give them thanks for supporting the forum, and support social justice movements. The goal of the Bring a Book project is to receive 10,000 books at the forum to help with fundraising for the Liberation Library. This will jump start the work for the library, which will be purchased and renovated after the USSF. It is to be part of a multi use facility in Detroit for local organizations. It will have a theater and video editing studio. Imagine if this space could house multiple, inspiring resources addressing gender justice and intersectional thoughts and actions! Materials can be dropped off at the Children’s Art Village Booth in Hart Plaza (near Cobo Hall). This is part of the bring a book, a bike, a byte, or a buck project that will support Detroit Organizations after the Social Forum.

Attend a cultural event
“A revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having.” Emma Goldman. The USSF has taken this quote to heart and expanded it to encompass a variety of cultural expressions such as spoken word, theater work, drumming, paintings, photography, films, and more. There will be ongoing cultural events during the forum. There has been a commitment by the cultural organizers and performing artists to present work that does not support or promote oppression. For more information see: http://www.ussf2010.org/cultureschedule

There will be multiple events occurring at the forum, many at the same time. There will also be tents reflecting different issues and working groups where people can take the time to connect with others. There will be a Health and Healing Tent inside Cobo Hall to promote physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological well being. The Gender Justice tent will be open during the forum. Organization can bring their materials related to gender justice for display. There will be refreshments and snacks. Also, there is opportunity to contribute to the Gender Justice People’s Movement Assembly and to participate in lunch hour events. It is a space to organize informal events or process workshops and discussions.

Gender Justice Program

If you would like to know about what gender justice workshops are occurring at the forum you can access,  A Program of Gender Justice Related Events at the US Social Forum here.

I would like to end this post with the words of Arundhati Roy from the Speech to the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2003. “Our strategy should not only be to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen…. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe…Remember this: we be many and they be few. They need us more then we need them. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”


–Mayowa Obasaju is a member of the Gender Justice Working Group and Women of Color United (WOCU). Mayowa works with people around the intersection of HIV/AIDS, substance use, and psychological problems.

There will also a large variety of artistic and musical activism along with an excellent collection of films, like recLAmation by Hilary Goldberg which will shown at the USSF.

 June 21, 2010  Posted by on June 21, 2010 Comments Off on Gender Justice Activism And (Much) More At The U.S. Social Forum