Women’s History Month: March 3, Warsan Shire
Warsan Shire is a London-based, Kenyan-born, Somali writer whose powerful poetry has left me blown away each time I read it. In her book of poetry “Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth” Shire explores the relationship of women’s bodies to war and displacement.
Some of my favorite poems by Shire are “I’m Not Sad” and “For Women Who Are Difficult to Love.”
Check out this interview if you’d like to learn more. If you’re a writer or poet or someone who just enjoys being knocked off your feet by words, read all the poetry!
“If our secrets are secrets because we are told to be ashamed, then we must share them.”
You Should Be Reading: Vandana Shiva.
Bio from South End Press
Born in India in 1952, Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned environmental leader and thinker. Director of the Research Foundation on Science, Technology, and Ecology, she is the author of many books, including Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development (South End Press, 2010) Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis (South End Press, 2008), Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace (South End Press, 2005),Water Wars: Pollution, Profits, and Privatization (South End Press, 2001), Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge (South End Press, 1997), Monocultures of the Mind (Zed, 1993), and The Violence of the Green Revolution (Zed, 1992).
Shiva is a leader in the International Forum on Globalization, along with Ralph Nader and Jeremy Rifkin. She addressed the World Trade Organization summit in Seattle, 1999, as well as the recent World Economic Forum in Melbourne , 2000. In 1993, Shiva won the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize (the Right Livelihood Award). In 2010, she was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize for her commitment to social justice. The founder of Navdanya (“nine seeds”), a movement promoting diversity and use of native seeds, she also set up the Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology in her mother’s cowshed in 1997. Its studies have validated the ecological value of traditional farming and been instrumental in fighting destructive development projects in India .
Before becoming an activist, Shiva was one of India ’s leading physicists. She holds a master’s degree in the philosophy of science and a PhD in particle physics.
Some of the books are available at South End Press, a poc run independent press, including some in Spanish.
Fuck Yeah Queer Latin@s in Books
Forgetting the Alamo - or - Blood Memory (University of Texas Press, 2009) by Emma Pérez
This literary adventure takes place in nineteenth-century Texas and follows the story of a Tejana lesbian cowgirl after the fall of the Alamo. Micaela Campos, the central character, witnesses the violence against Mexicans, African Americans, and indigenous peoples after the infamous battles of the Alamo and of San Jacinto, both in 1836. Resisting an easy opposition between good versus evil and brown versus white characters, the novel also features Micaela’s Mexican-Anglo cousin who assists and hinders her progress. Micaela’s travels give us a new portrayal of the American West, populated by people of mixed races who are vexed by the collision of cultures and politics. Ultimately, Micaela’s journey and her romance with a black/American Indian woman teach her that there are no easy solutions to the injustices that birthed the Texas Republic.
This novel is an intervention in queer history and fiction with its love story between two women of color in mid-nineteenth-century Texas. Pérez also shows how a colonial past still haunts our nation’s imagination. The battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto offered freedom and liberty to Texans, but what is often erased from the story is that common people who were Mexican, Indian, and Black did not necessarily benefit from the influx of so many Anglo immigrants to Texas. The social themes and identity issues that Pérez explores—political climate, debates over immigration, and historical revision of the American West—are current today.
Ok, I’m gonna HAVE to read this. Queer tejanidad ftw!
by Rowland Túpac Keshena
For those who don’t know much about me, I am a currently studying for a Masters Degree in Public Issues Anthropology, specializing in a Fanon and MLM infused analysis of revolutionary Native nationalist and anti-colonialist movements in North Amerika. I also have really strong interrelated interests in revolutionary critical pedagogy, the “reindigenization” of the Chicano community and movement and, the subject of this post, indigenous feminism. Anyway, one of the perks of my program is that I can create my own courses, and I’ve taken such a route this semester by creating my own directed studies course in indigenous feminist theory.
The growth of indigenous feminism is, for me, a huge interest, both personal and academic, not just because of the obvious importance struggling against both white supremacist (ne0)colonial capitalism and hetero-patriarchy if we want to achieve meaningful freedom, justice and equality, but also because for a long time the status quo within our movement was that you could not be both a feminist and a native warrior. On the one hand we are not Native enough if we call ourselves and our movement feminist, but on the other we are not feminist enough for the whitestream feminists since we pointing out that the whitestream movement does not take us, and our unique experiences and struggles into account. I am indigenous man and I find this to be one of the greatest failings of our movement, and for that reason I wholeheartedly endorse, support and promote the rise of an indigenous feminism.
Anyway, with that in mind and in the spirit of sharing ideas, and radical education I’ve decided to post my reading list for others to take a look a lot, critique and/or otherwise contribute their thoughts. It’s made up of a mix of books and articles, both academic and non-academic, which are available on line.
Making Space for Indigenous Feminism, edited by Joyce Green
I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism, by Lee Maracle
From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawaii, by Haunani-Kay Trask
Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide, by Andrea Smith
Talkin’ Up to the White Woman: Indigenous Women and Feminism, by Eileen Morton-Robinson
Indigenous Feminism Without Apology, by Andrea Smith
Jennifer Nez Denetdale on Indigenous Feminisms
An Indigenous Perspective on Feminism, Militarism, and the Environment, by Winona LaDuke
Zapatismo and the Emergence of Indigenous Feminism, by Aida Hernandez Castillo
Academic Journal Publications:
Wicazo Sa Review “Native Feminisms: Legacies, Interventions, and Indigenous Sovereignties,” guest edited by Mishuana R. Goeman and Jennifer Nez Denetdale
Whiteness Matters: Implications of Talking Up to the White Woman, by Eileen Morton-Robinson
Race, Tribal Nation, and Gender: A Native Feminist Approach to Belonging, by Renya Ramirez
Introduction: Special Issue on Native American Women, Feminism, and Indigenism, by Anne Waters
Patriarchal Colonialism and Indigenism: Implications for Native Feminist Spirituality and Native Womanism, by M. A. Jaimes Guerrero
Dismantling the Master’s Tools with the Master’s House: Native Feminist Liberation Theologies, by Andrea Smith
“Veiling is legitimized by the element of choice, and it is the presence or lack of choice that creates the context of whether the hejab frees a woman or objectifies her. Yet history, in all its intersections between the Old and New World, shows that patriarchy repeatedly finds a way to sneak in and impose itself on women’s dress, all in the name of “liberation.”
Leila Ahmed, an eminent scholar on gender and feminism in Islam, has argued that the linking between women and the veil as oppression “was created by Western discourse.” A seemingly progressive male-driven resistance developed, which urged women to abandon the veil as a means of emancipation was therefore a mirror image of the colonial narrative; it “contested the colonial thesis by inverting it – thereby also, ironically, grounding itself in the premises of the colonial thesis.” Back home in Europe and America, these same “liberating” men fought against female suffrage for the right to vote. Feminism, in many ways, became a passive aggressive tool by which to continue to control women within a patriarchal framework.
Veiling, conversely, became a symbol for resistance against invading colonialism, only truly becoming an issue for women when they felt their cultures come under attack. Far from reconciling themselves as symbols of female submission, women, throughout the history of Western intervention in the Middle East, have persistently covered themselves to make their presence known, to be seen in opposition to whatever powers would rather paint them anonymous and invisible.”
- Revolution 2.12: The Revolution Will Not Be Veiled | Safa Samiezade’-Yazd
or you could cut military spending
/abandon capitalism because lol debt
isn’t foreign aid only costing America less than 1% of their budget ?
I believe that is true.
The only reason why I sometimes don’t like US foreign aid is that in cases of food aid, for example, it doesn’t actually help the people of the nation. So many complications.
Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa
“Money from rich countries has trapped many African nations in a cycle of corruption, slower economic growth and poverty. Cutting off the flow would be far more beneficial,” says Dambisa Moyo.
Thanks for the link.
Finally done reading these. Thought I’d mention them in case some of you are interested in studying postcolonial theory and related gender issues. My brain feels beaten to pulp - the arguments and analyses present in these books and articles were intense, to say the least. Here’s a short list.
- Grace Poore. “The Language of Identity.”
- Naheed Hasnat. “Being ‘Amreekan’: Fried Chicken versus Chicken Tikka.”
- Lubna Chaudhry. “’We Are Graceful Swans Who Can Also Be Crows’: Hybrid Identities of Pakistani Muslim Women.”
- Surina Khan. “Sexual Exiles.”
- Naheed Islam. “Naming Desire, Shaping Identity: Tracing the Experiences of Indian Lesbians in the United States.”
- Manisha Roy. “Mothers and Daughters in Indian-American Families: A Failed Communication?”
- Sayantani DasGupta and Shamita Das Dasgupta. “Sex, Lies, and Women’s Lives: An Intergenerational Dialogue.”
- Rinita Mazamdur. “Marital Rape: Some Ethical and Cultural Consideration.”
- Satya P. Krishnan, Malahal Baig-Amin, Louisa Gilbert, Nabila El-Bassel, and Anne Waters. “Lifting the Veil of Secrecy: Domestic Violence Against South Asian Women in the United States.”
- Anannya Bhattacharjee. “The Habit of Ex-Nomination: Nation, Woman, and the Indian Immigrant Bourgeoisie.”
- Sunita Sunder Mukhi. “’Underneath My Blouse Beats My Indian Heart’: Sexuality, Nationalism, and Indian Womanhood in the United States.”
- Sonia Shah. “Three Hot Meals and a Full Day at Work: South Asian Women’s Labor in the United States.”
I read all of these a year ago and found them very interesting in terms of South Asia, sexuality, South Asian diaspora, identity politics, war, gender and power imbalance in society. Check them out if you’re interested.
This is a summary of college only using two pictures; expensive as hell.
That’s my Sociology “book”. In fact what it is is a piece of paper with codes written on it to allow me to access an electronic version of a book. I was told by my professor that I could not buy any other paperback version, or use another code, so I was left with no option other than buying a piece of paper for over $200. Best part about all this is my professor wrote the books; there’s something hilariously sadistic about that. So I pretty much doled out $200 for a current edition of an online textbook that is no different than an older, paperback edition of the same book for $5; yeah, I checked. My mistake for listening to my professor.
This is why we download.
Never, EVER buy the newest edition of a book.
I PROMISE you there are cheaper alternatives, even if your professor says the old version is totally useless. 9 times out of 10, that’s completely false.
Reblog for reference. I wish I had known this before I bought my books.
[Last month was] the 40th anniversary of one of the most important legal decisions of [the US]: Roe v. Wade.
This legislative victory changed the course of history for women not only in the United States, but also throughout the world. It provided a framework for sexual and reproductive rights used by advocates from San Francisco to Santiago, and the past year yielded significant progress on abortion rights in Latin America.
For decades, advocates in Latin America have come together to demand that governments decriminalize abortion, provide access to safe and legal abortion services, and bring an end to the stigma faced by women who have had an abortion.
The region has some of the most restrictive laws against abortion in the world. Abortion is not permitted for any reason in seven of Latin America’s 34 countries and territories, and it is allowed only to save the woman’s life in eight others. Only six countries and territories permit abortion without restriction, accounting for less than five percent of women aged 15 to 44 years old.
These policies have major implications for the health and well being of Latin American women and families. While policymakers may be under the impression that restrictive laws help curb abortion rates, research shows the opposite is true. In places where abortion is illegal or heavily restricted, an unwanted pregnancy leaves women with two options: seek out a clandestine abortion that could be unsafe or continue a pregnancy that was neither chosen nor planned for. Both options have detrimental economic, social and health consequences.
According to the World Health Organization, 95 percent of abortions in Latin America are unsafe and one in eight maternal deaths in the region result from unsafe abortions. Nearly half of sexually active young women in Latin America and the Caribbean have an unmet need for contraception that would enable them to prevent unintended pregnancy.
Women who are poor and live in rural areas are disproportionately affected. One tactic taken by civil society advocates to address these critical issues has been to make obtaining abortion rights a priority, but this doesn’t always happen.
In the last weeks of 2012, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights overturned a ban on in-vitro fertilization in Costa Rica, saying human embryos and fetuses could not be granted protection under the American Convention on Human Rights. In-vitro fertilization has not been permitted in Costa Rica since the country’s legal system considered a human embryo to be a person from the moment of conception and the procedure risks the loss of human embryos.
This decision could have consequences throughout Latin America not only for assisted reproductive technology, but also abortion and contraceptive rights in countries where restrictions are based on the protection of embryos and fetuses.
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