In the Blog
Where is the Love? Women’s Worlds 2011
This audio burst is called “Where’s the Love?”
Transcription follows the podcast. Love what you’re hearing? Hate what you’re seeing? Want to speak up? Info on the Idea Bursts series, including how to submit your own, follows the transcription of today’s podcast.
Song in the background by The Carpenters - “Can’t we stop, hurting each other. Gotta stop, hurting each other.” (Song stops, voices start to speak…) “You can’t be queer, you sleep with men.” “All men have the potential to rapists. ” “So, is that person a man or a woman? I’m confused.” “Why do South Asians need their own domestic violence organization? They’re taking money away from our shelter.” “If you’re saying that there’s racism here, then why don’t you tell us what to do about it?” Does this sound familiar? Ah, the many ways in which our concerns are ignored, our power is undermined and our experiences silenced by those in the trenches with us. “Why do you call yourself a visitor to this territory? I know that you’re not fresh off the boat.” “Just because there are not any women of color on our panel, doesn’t mean we don’t represent their issues and needs” Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, in her ground breaking essay, “browngirlworld: queergirlofcolor organizing, sisterhood, heartbreak”, says, “Dynamics of family building, trust, histories of abuse and trauma factor into every political movements organization. When we do not understand them, we fall apart, never speak to each other again and are not able to see what is at stake beyond our own personal survival. We are not able to keep surviving with each other, to build institutions that will save each other on a mass scale, and last.” So many ways in which we fail to practice love… we encounter homophobia, racism, etc. “I think we are being Indigenous friendly, we acknowledged the territory at all of our meetings.” “I’m offended that you think that we don’t do enough for transgendered clients. Did you know we were the first to have lesbian staff here, and a poster welcoming lesbians, in the 70’s?” “We’re really diverse, we have several lesbians who work here.” Talking the talk, but not walking the walk? “How can you accuse us of not being Anti-Oppressive? Don’t you know we have a policy?” “We’ve tried to hire more people of color, but no one has applied.” “How can we make our organization more friendly to First Nations women? Maybe we should put up some First Nations art.” “Everyone is welcome, and this event is inclusive, so i don’t understand why someone wouldn’t feel comfortable attending.” “Young women don’t care about these issues. They don’t want to be involved.” Class politics? Power plays? “How did you get this position without any formal education? I thought you were supposed to have a bachelor’s degree, at least.” “You are really new to this organization and you don’t understand our needs. I’m the founder.” “Those are some big words for someone who didn’t go to University. Do you even know what those mean?” And more… “We’re trying to make our organizing collective more diverse, but no one’s been responding to our email call out.” “We have some extra food here. You’re a guy, you’re always hungry. Here, you eat it.” Have words like these been used to silence you? Have patronizing put-downs by people with positional power shut down revolution and love in your collectives and organizations? Share your experiences through stories and art. Come to “Where’s the Love?: Re-Thinking Feminist Work-spaces” at the Women’s World’s Congress in Ottawa on July 5, 2011. This will be a Fishbowl space to express our grief and anger at barriers within the feminist movement. We hope to provide opportunities to build solidarity, share strategies of resistance and leave with renewed hope in feminist organizing.
Listen up! Check out these provocative and compelling “idea bursts” intended to spark conversations on key issues leading up to and during Women’s Worlds 2011 (WW 2011, a global feminist conference being held July 3-7 in Ottawa, Ontario). We encourage everyone of all generations to embrace and explore these ideas. Get your mind moving, thoughts jumping.
This series of short commentaries is initiated by the Young Women’s Leadership Team (YWLT) to ensure that young women’s ideas, organizing, and thoughts are present at this global congress.
Create your own! Record your thoughts before WW 2011. Upload your own Idea Burst to youtube.com and tag it “#ww2011burst” or “#ww2011.” Or if audio is your thing, post your Idea Burst to AudioBoo, make it “public,” and use the same tags. And if you plan on being at the congress, visit our intergenerational drop-in space to share your ideas in our BURST booth (Deja Vu Lounge, Room 230 Morisset Hall, University of Ottawa).
For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.