radical organizing

4 Criteria for Effective Protests:
It must seize space for activists to self-organize essential aspects of their lives.
It must spread new ideas that inspire others to resist state power and control.
It must operate independently of elite support.
It must make concrete improvements to the lives of ordinary people.

-Peter Gelderloos, “The Failure of Nonviolence”

one thing i’ve learned from being involved in radical grassroots organizing is that radical organizers really don’t tend to be out there talking about how voting is stupid and useless. are they liberals who think we can fix everything through voting alone? of course not. but they are intimately familiar with the fact that elections have consequences. they know, for example, that the election of trump means the previously achievable goal of ending aids worldwide is now on indefinite hold. they know a republican congress could mean millions lose access to care. and they know more conservatives in local government means fewer beds for homeless lgbt youth. so yeah, you should vote. it’s all right to vote your conscience and by no means should it be the only thing you do. but it matters.

Two revolutionaries during the Iranian revolution. 

They were members of radical Marxist-Leninist group, “Organization of Iranian People’s Fedai Guerrillas”

“Fedai” means the ones who sacrifice themselves  

Double Standards

The older I get the more I accept that female sex-based oppression is the most undervalued, devalued, and ignored/erased oppression out there.

males (a.k.a dickhavers and testicle-bearers) can be oppressed on every other existing axis of oppression (e.g: racial, ethnic, socioeconomic class), which means those forms of oppression matter or matter more. But if the oppression ONLY directly oppresses female people, then far less people give a shit about it, including hardcore lefties.

Gender critical feminists will ask ‘how come it’s only female sex-based oppression that is getting the kind of backlash treatment that it’s getting on the Left (by progressives, liberals, leftists, radikewls, radiqueers, etc)’? Gender crit. feminists point out that other axises of oppression don’t get the kind of treatment that female people and acknowledging female oppression is getting.

The whole sex-based category of “woman” and “girl” has been erased on the radikewl queer left (and its colonization by males is 100% accepted and promoted on the Left), also supported on the Left is the erasure and male colonization of feminism (now replaced by a heavy mix of MOGAI, trans/queer, genderist so-called ~intersectional~ identity politics that is based on female erasure and a revamped form of male dominance and male-centeredness).

While both the female-specific “woman” and “girl” categories have been erased, female-specific and female-only feminism practically doesn’t exist in the liberal, left-leaning, and leftist mainstream. Female-only spaces and female-only organizing are totally taboo and harshly condemned.

No other group is getting this kind of treatment on the Left. None.

I’m always reminded of this when I enter into other tolerated and uplifted progressive or leftist spaces.

I was given entry into the campus office of a black student activist who has a huge sign reading, “BLACK SPACE MATTERS” in large bolded font in their office and I’m reminded about the indisputable fact that a feminist activist in today’s third wave political climate could NEVER get away with having a “FEMALE SPACE MATTERS” sign in a prominent known [office] space.

I would regularly access a black separatist/black-only space on campus and I’m reminded every. Single. Time I enter it that radical feminists and female separatists could NEVER get away with having such a space on the basis of being biologically female in today’s genderist third wave period. Wanting a female-only space or collective would and does cause massive political shitstorms but the black space I enter into is unquestioned and is taken for granted by lefties. No respectable lefty would challenge its existence, it just is.

They’re all these events held by radikewls that experience less resistance by progressive millennials (pumped full of queer theory) because they’re in the mainstream Left and people are very familiar with their androcentric anticap and ~intersectional~ SJ identity politics. A lot of progressive millennials do not react to these “intersectionalists” in the way they react to radical feminists, radical lesbians, gender critical feminists, and female separatists.

There is something specifically intimidating about female-born women and girls organizing on their own, for themselves, with love and loyalty towards other female people, with the intent and purpose of prioritizing female liberation … that for some reason (the reason being misogyny and male chauvinism) causes people to start barking “TERF! TWERF! SWERF!” mixed in with making graphic death threats, rape threats, and suicide-baiting comments.

I’m not saying other progressives and leftists don’t experience cultural or public resistance (from say, the center, right, or even other people on the Left) but female separatists, radical lesbian feminists, anti-porn/prostitution feminists, radical feminists, gender critical feminists, and the like, are being largely treated and targeted in a way that exposes the double standards that permeates the Left when it comes to what kinds of ‘radicalism’ is tolerable, acceptable, or appropriate.

The double standard is that all other forms of separatist autonomous organizing is okay (because it by default includes males), but female separatist autonomous organizing for radical female liberation is not okay and must be stopped and demonized at every possible turn.

Between 1947 and 1956, “more than five million federal workers underwent loyalty screening.” and at least 25,000 were subjected to a stigmatizing “full field investigation” by the FBI. An estimated 2,700 federal employees were dismissed and about 12,000 resigned.
Those most affected according to Historian Landon Storr, “were a group of leftists who shared a commitment to building a comprehensive welfare state” that blended central planning and grassroots democracy… Before loyalty investigations pushed this cohort either out of government or toward the center of the political spectrum, the transformative potential of the New Deal was greater than is commonly understood… “The purge of communists and radicals from organized labor from 1947 through 1950 was the principal reason for the decline in the AFL-CIO’s commitment to the struggle against racial segregation.”
—  From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, Keeanga Yamhatta Taylor

When journalist Souad Mekhennet chooses to go and conduct an interview, it can be a life or death decision. She’s spent much of the past 15 years reporting on Islamic extremist groups, and she’s interviewed leaders of Al Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS, some of the world’s most wanted men. 

Mekhennet grew up as a Muslim in Germany, and she’s interested in understanding what Jihadists think, and how they appeal to disaffected young Muslims around the world. Besides speaking to members of radical organizations, she’s interviewed many of their recruits in the Middle East and Europe. Mekhennet is a national security correspondent for The Washington Post. Her memoir is I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad.

Listen:  Journalist Ventured ‘Behind The Lines Of Jihad’ To Interview The World’s Most Wanted

Photo credit: Ben Kilb

Looking to get involved post-election? Donate to small organizations; volunteer with larger ones.

I work for a very large environmental organization that you have almost certainly heard of - I previously worked in a very small organization. Post-election, I’ve seen a ton of people, many with very little experience in political work, eager to contribute to causes they care about. 

In conversations with less politically active friends, and with my friends who work at other environmental organizations from small to large, I’ve come up with this maxim for new people when lots of them are getting involved in the wake of a tumultuous event: donate to small organizations, volunteer with large ones

The reason for this is simple. 

  • Small organizations tend to be very under-resourced, as far as money goes. They spend a lot of their time trying to fund salaries and programs. Give them money if you want to see their capacity grow.
  • Small organizations tend to find dealing with large groups of new volunteers difficult. They aren’t used to scaling up quickly, and new volunteers need to be trained, they need to be connected with work, and they need to be supervised - the staff capacity for doing this tends to be low. This is especially the case if there’s a bunch of new white volunteers who want to support a people of color-led organization
  • Large organizations tend to not be as cash-strapped, but have the kind of scope that allows them to resource and plug in new volunteers easily. 

This is not universally true, of course (Planned Parenthood can always use your money!!), and this makes no claims about the ideological bent of whatever organization you’re looking at – it’s just about the ability of organizations at different sizes to handle huge influxes of resources, whether volunteers or money. Some small organizations may be so under-the-radar that they don’t see a huge influx of new volunteers and could use help — but here in NYC, for example, I’ve been asked to help a grassroots EJ partner group train their new white volunteers because they don’t have the staff time or energy to do so. 

If there is a small organization whose mission you align more with, but they seem like they can’t handle a huge new volunteer pool (and they are getting that pool), consider contributing some of your time there and also volunteering in another, larger allied organization until you get more experience. Many of the skills you will learn volunteering with Large Corporate NGO are transferable to Small Radical Grassroots Organization, and will help the latter figure out what to do with you. 

Stay accountable to your people. Don’t do what feels wrong. Do your research on the organizations you want to support. But think, too, about where you can be most effective for now - and remember that it’s a process of building you up as well as building our movement

daeranilen  asked:

Hey, did you see the NPR article about the closing of the Ringling Brothers Circus? I was wondering what you thought about its conflation of animal rights and animal welfare movements (and also its treatment of the Humane Society and PETA as legitimate, less-than-radical organizations).

It aggravates me, honestly, because whomever wrote it obviously doesn’t know very much about HSUS or PETA, their current actions, or the history and radicalization of the animal rights movement. (I’ve been down a rabbit hole the last week researching the evolution of animal rights, from the Enlightenment period to Hitler to the terrorist mentality of activists in 1960-70′s England that heavily influenced the founders of American’s current organizations). It also bothers me that the entire article is basically a platform for Pacelle and various PETA talking heads to review their list of ‘recent successes’ without including any input from anyone who actually works with animals or is not part of the organizations, much less anyone actually involved with a circus or even the company that owned Ringling. I don’t like seeing the mainstream media legitimize animal rights through biased articles that read more like press released than good journalism attempting to portray any nuance that might exist in the situation. 

Time to unite and fight the right, not collude and be co-opted

I’m appalled by WoLF and other radical feminists walking into the co-optation trap with the Heritage Foundation and Fox News. We are in a political emergency. Now is the time to unite and fight the right, not get in line with them. If radical feminists are going to stretch outside their comfort zone to try to win protections for women, the Heritage Foundation is not where to go to achieve that end. Finding common cause with liberal feminists and trans people is difficult work, but possible and necessary. Many trans people do not recognize their own lived experiences in the rhetorical excesses of the extremist trans activists–and many do not find their real interests represented by these extremists’ current campaigns. Many, many liberal women feel ill at ease with their own interests being run over–they are simply afraid to stand up or second-guessing themselves. Many are unsure and confused, watching and making their decisions about where to stand based on who else will be standing with them.

If WoLF’s interested in coalition work, it could make bridges there. But as we’ve seen, they’ve been unwilling even to listen to other radical feminists when we’re also detransitioned women. These collusions with the Right are exactly the type of wildly off target actions we’ve tried to question and interrupt in their strategy approach, brought to a worst-case scenario conclusion. I watched the Heritage panel discussion in horror as a Fest dyke spoke about transwomen infiltrating Michfest–as though the likes of the Heritage Foundation had not also infiltrated and tried to shut down Michfest, infiltrated the Land and the message boards, tried to dig up some salacious s&m content in order to paint us all as perverts–and as a sinister threat to women and children. The right doesn’t differentiate much between those they consider perverts and deviants. When the Right says they’re concerned about who is using women’s accommodations, don’t think for a minute that lesbians, gay men, or anyone who gets mistaken as such will not be harmed by their “solution.”

WoLF are working with one of the women who passed HB2 in North Carolina. To my knowledge, she’s the only one in their so-called “coalition” who has been part of actually passing legislation on this issue, and it was HB2. Do they not understand what HB2 is?

It’s not just a bathroom bill, but even if it had been, you gotta ask the question–who will be hurt by this law in North Carolina? Safe bet Black lesbians will get hit the worst. Not white autogynephiles, primarily–they’ve got their white male privilege to insulate them. It’ll come back on Lesbians. Butch dykes. Bearded women. Flaming gay men, particularly if they’re Black. Getting everyone on high alert about “evil interlopers” in the bathroom does cause additional hardship for anyone who is perceived as ambiguously sexed, trans or not.

But it was not just a bathroom bill. HB2 eliminated rights and employment protections very broadly–removing anti-discrimination protections on the basis of RACE, SEX, NATIONALITY, RELIGION. It removed any chance of legal remedy for any such discrimination in North Carolina. It removed all protections on lesbian and gay rights to public accommodations. It banned any future ordinances which could try to win them back. It eliminated minimum wage standards and health insurance standards for public contractors. It eliminated family leave policies, child welfare protections, and requirements for workers to be allowed to take breaks. It banned future ordinances to reverse those losses.

And the blond lady on the panel with Miriam Ben Shalom and Mary Lou Singleton–Kami Mueller–you know, the one who could barely conceal her distaste for those she sees as freaks whether they be lesbian, gay, or trans–spoke proudly about how she helped pass that legislation. She told a story about being a mom against having her children, nieces and nephews forced into co-ed bathrooms and against insane gender ideology being forced on them in school. And that story was the ammunition she brought to the battle for HB2. That’s a nice story, I guess, if you ignore why she has an issue with these things. But it’s not the story of what HB2 actually is. Or who she actually is. She’s not some random mom who happened into a conflict with her kids’ school. She’s been working in PR and strategy for the Republican party, organizing against women’s reproductive rights, and generally doing Focus on the Family-esque campaigns for her entire career. In fact, both of the right wing women who participated on that panel are PR and Communications professionals. The WoLF women…do not have that background. They have so badly underestimated the right wing women. This is no equal coalition between individual women from different walks of life. This is a power move by the right, co-opting the only visible feminist resistance in order to entirely neutralize any chance of its message gaining traction or appearing reasonable.

Nobody of conscience is going to stand with WoLF when it cozies up to the elite power-holders on the right. They are allowing themselves to be co-opted and used. Being co-opted isn’t just about what you believe or what you say. It’s about what you represent, what you have been willing to compromise, and what you are being used to accomplish. It doesn’t matter what anyone says. It matters what end you’re serving. Just like HB2 wasn’t about the compelling stories some women told about protecting the legal category of “female.” The right’s only interest in that legal category is as a mechanism of control and repression.

It says a lot when WoLF can see their way clear to “common cause” with those whose stake in this particular issue is the repression of women, including lesbians; gay men; and anyone they mistake for one of the above. Please understand who we are talking about here. The Heritage Foundation is funded in part by the Koch brothers and the DeVos family, was instrumental in selecting Trump’s transition team. They did oust Jason Richwine for being too overtly white supremacist, but I think that was strategic with regard to his being too obvious about it, not a real difference in values. Now that “MAGA” is the order of the day, the game has changed on that front too. The Heritage Foundation’s current leadership is a Tea Party guy who has been taking them in an even bolder direction than their usual.

It’s not clear whether there are direct ties with The Family, but these people are of that ilk. The Family are the US-based right wing political organization that brought Uganda its “kill the gays” bill. These are people who want a theocracy here in the US, and they are closer to achieving that than they have ever been. Many of them literally think lesbians, other “bad women,” and gay men should be stoned to death.They are anti-poor, anti-worker and white supremacist as a matter of course. But they’re getting savvier about how to represent those values. They have dressed it up pretty and they are smiling politely to your face. For now.

Miriam Ben Shalom noted that she wasn’t being yelled at and was treated respectfully at Heritage Foundation, whereas radiqueers shouted her down at the last panel discussion she participated in. The Heritage crowd might not be yelling, but it’s only because they know how to cook a frog–and what they are up to is far, far more dangerous. WoLF’s strategy is to set aside “differences” to work with them.

But WoLF–despite its stated value of female solidarity and the greater salience of sex over “gender identity”–could never and would never do the work to make common cause with, say, transmen. Hell, they couldn’t even work with radical feminist detransitioned dykes. We were ready and willing to talk to them about refining their strategy into something less allergic to nuance and help equip them to bridge subcultural differences–but instead they’ve doubled down on their bludgeon tactics, metastasized their strategy into something dangerous to most women. It’s very telling that they got down with Heritage instead of ever listening to the likes of us.

It’s not a “coalition” when you’ve walked into the den of patriarchal power and handed over the collective credibility of radical feminists in an attempt to make a devil’s bargain. Do not think for a minute that a right wing think tank and social engineering force would champion your radical feminist cause if they thought it would actually help you win. Understand–at this political moment, if all you have to say to the Heritage Foundation is “look, we have this one thing in common, for opposite reasons”–you are basically asking the big mean daddy to protect you. That is never gonna work in favor of women, of female human beings, collectively. And make no mistake about which women will be hurt first and worst.

And because WoLF’s the only big public radical feminist organization, by extension they’ve allowed any women who organize or write under that banner to be co-opted as well, unless we speak up loudly enough to say no to this. Fox News is pretty loud. The Heritage Foundation is pretty loud. WoLF have made our work–those of us who actually try to organize on points of female solidarity, regardless of political difference–next to impossible. And maybe that was the point, at least from the right’s perspective.

But I’m interested in doing the opposite of what they’re doing. I actually don’t care about calling it radical feminism. You can call it whatever you want. Call it George. I care more about what it accomplishes in our lives than in the name. I have plenty of common cause with many who believe radical feminism is anathema, though they may not truly understand it. (Allying with the right will not help them understand.) Regardless, I can hold those disagreements, some of which come down to semantics, far more readily than a “disagreement” over whether female human beings ought to have bodily autonomy, or a “disagreement” over the human rights of women, including lesbians; gay men; people of color; Muslims; or Jews.

one thing i’m struggling with in the radfem community is the increase of conversations that critique Islam. i’m not saying that this is inherently a bad thing, it’s just that liberal feminism teaches you to Never Critique Islam because that’s Islamophobic always always always, and i’m having a hard time deciphering between what is a valid, thought through critique of Islamic practices that harm women and what is just Islamophobia…any thoughts?

"[The political Right in the US is] racist; it's armed; it’s hostile; it’s unspeakable."

This is a statement by Bernardine Dohrn, a left-wing domestic terrorist responsible for a wave of bombings across the US in the 1970 and 80′s. 

She, together with her husband are former leaders of the Weather Underground terrorist organization and afterward worked as professors at the Northwestern University School of Law and the University of Illinois.

Let me be clear. These are actual violent terrorists. They bombed buildings. They KILLED PEOPLE. Then they got jobs teaching at liberal universities. The cancer goes deep.

Political violence is a tactic that is accepted by the mainstream Left. This was true 40 years ago, and it’s true today. 

Organized violence is something left wing radical organizations are good at. I know the narrative is that they’re all a bunch of pansies and the Right is populated by badasses with guns. But that’s sweeping the radical left’s long history of effective violence under the rug.

Transgender ideology says: “Gender is a part of your identity that you can choose and have influence on.”
Radical feminism says: “Your gender is something that is forced on you regardless of whether you like it or not. It defines how society and the people around you treat you and will thus affect and form you regardless of how you feel about it.”

Transgender ideology says: “Gender has nothing to do with sex.”
Radical feminism says: “You will be forcibly socialized as the gender assigned to you based on your sex regardless of how you feel about it.”

Transgender ideology says: “People who aren’t trans identify with and are comfortable with the gender they are assigned.”
Radical feminism says: “Most people are uncomfortable with their gender to some degree because it’s a restrictive box you’re forced into by society, not something inherent.”

Transgender ideology says: “Gendered socialization won’t affect you if you don’t identify with the gender society is trying to socialize you as.”
Radical feminism says: “Gendered socialization will affect and form you no matter what.”

Transgender ideology says: “There’s something inherent to being a woman/man besides sex organs.”
Radical feminism says: “The only thing all women/men has in common is their sex.”

Transgender ideology says: “If you don’t like/fit into all aspects of the gender you were assigned, you’re probably trans.”
Radical feminism says: “Nobody likes/fit into all aspects of their gender.”

Transgender ideology says: “Anyone can be trans!”
Radical feminism says: “The only way transgenderism makes sense is if we define transgender people as individuals who experience sex dysphoria as the only thing all men/women have in common is their sex.”

Transgender ideology says: “Destroy gender roles, not gender identity!”
Radical feminism says: “Gender is an oppressive system which subordinates women and hurts and restricts everyone and it should be abolished altogether.”

3

Firearms training.

If one carries a pistol it is their responsability to allways seek continuing training, outside of common target practice, in weapons retention and law.

Some background on the instructor:

Doug Harmon has been a certified police officer for 10 years. He is currently employed by a large metropolitan law enforcement agency in Atlanta, Georgia. He has extensive experience with real-world violent incidents and deadly threats. In conjunction to his well-endowed knowledge of federal, state, and local laws he has started criminal investigations and begun the prosecution of convicted felons, fugitives, and organized crime radicals. He is presently assigned to a Special Operations Division S.W.A.T. Team. As a team leader he is tasked with the development, training, and quality of standard for all S.W.A.T Operators. He also creates, implements, and evaluates firearms and tactical training evolutions, which are written into the Standard Operations Procedure (SOP) by the S.W.A.T. Commander. Prior to his employment as a police officer, D.M. Harmon served his country in the United States Marines for 8 years. His primary job assignment was Field Radio Operation/ Security Forces. During the crisis of 9/11 in New York City, he was deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MARSOC) for two terms. He served honorably in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom which he received several unit ribbons, awards, and metals to include a Combat Action Ribbon. The award was approved in reference to actions taken during a firefight in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

anonymous asked:

in response to your post about WoLF, I have a few questions, if you would like to answer them I’d be interested in your thoughts. I get where you’re coming from, although I disagree (as of now, anyway). What would you say to someone who thinks that it is dangerous to make the “progressive gaze” the yardstick of “good organizing”? In other words, you said that working with right-wing women and speaking at the heritage foundation is the “worst case scenario” of coalition strategy—is this for any

(con’t) other reason than because it looks the worst to progressives? Andrea Dworkin’s famous conclusion in Right Wing Women was that the right and left see women as objects, as property, and defend the property rights of our owners. The right wing sees females as the private property of men (fathers, husbands) and the left sees us as the public property of men (prostitutes,strippers,pornified girlfriends). If Dworkin’s analysis is taken seriously, it makes no sense to see working with the left  (con’t) as any more “pure” than working with the right. Both sides are actively opposed to radical feminist politics. Co-optation is a danger in both cases, although I actually personally think it is less likely in working with the rights, but there is no evidence that this has actually occurred. To me, “worst case scenario” would be actual co-optation, in which WoLF began to compromise its political analysis or goals in favor of right wing analysis or goals. (con’t) That’s my definition of a worst case scenario, not looking bad in the eyes of progressives, who already hate us and actively harrass and no-platform us. All that said, I sympathize with your view, and don’t know enough details about what has happened between WoLF and detransitioners to understand the context you gestured at. I suggest it isn’t a zero-sum game;WoLF can do this and it can do that, both. Sorry for the length of this ask. Thank you for your work with disidentified women.       

Hi anon, thanks so much for writing. I really appreciate this message and I’m so glad to have the opportunity to clarify. Thank you for asking. I’m definitely not concerned about “the progressive gaze.” That’s not the reason I think this is a worst case scenario, at all. I’m concerned about power. How power works. Who has the power, and how it’s being used. I’m not concerned about how it looks, but what it DOES. Who is going to end up benefiting, who will get hurt.

When I say that WoLF’s already been co-opted, I don’t mean that the WoLF women have all changed their minds about abortion access or lesbian rights just because they are working with women who oppose their stance on these issues. I’m saying that it doesn’t matter what they believe, they are being used by powerful men on the right to achieve the very forms of social control that they seek to oppose. They’re being played.

This isn’t a case of finding common cause with individual conservative women. WoLF might think so, but if so, they are naive. A right wing think tank and social engineering force, the Heritage Foundation, has decided that it’s useful to have radical feminists and lesbians representing their agenda. These people are theocratic fascists, with more institutional power than they have ever had before. They are making use of the left’s weaknesses and devolution into fascist tactics to present themselves as pluralistic and reasonable by comparison. They have an end game in mind. And they are only too delighted to have lesbians and radical feminists unwittingly working against their own interests to achieve that end game. The right sure relishes its tokens. They love it when they can get us to do it to ourselves.

Getting us to do it to ourselves relies on desperation, fanaticism, and/or a corrupt analysis on the part of the collaborators. If the goal is women’s liberation, how will that be achieved in collaboration with white supremacists? I didn’t simply mention white supremacy as a way to signal “these are bad people” and cause a knew-jerk reaction. I mentioned it because the aims of white supremacy and the aims of women’s liberation are in irreconcilable conflict with each other. This is not merely unethical but a serious strategic error.

One of the bitterest obstacles to feminist organizing is when white women universalize their own experiences to the detriment of the interests of women of color, to the extent that those interests do not always align. WoLF teaming up with Heritage does nothing to heal those divisions and in fact doubles down on the very things that compromise female solidarity across racial lines. This is dangerous and it is very destructive. There is the issue that for the most part, only white women would even consider making such an alliance and think it could possibly be in their own interest. You can say this is a matter of “optics” but the problem here is not that it “looks bad” for the most highly visible radical feminist organization to collaborate with white supremacists. The problem is that it betrays a severe lack of recognition about the relationship between white supremacy and the control of women. White supremacists seek to control women in different ways depending on our race, but always with the same aims in mind: absolute white male power. Any radical feminist action that does not take this into account will only play into that agenda. The white male supremacists are utilizing an old ploy about white women as “needing protection” in this case. Their problem with compromising the legal category of “female” is not the same as my problem with it. In fact, it’s the opposite. For them, the lack of coherence looks like an obstacle to complete control. For me, it looks like an obstacle to solidarity and liberation. But it’s the white male supremacists who are in a position to enact “solutions” to this problem—not the lesbians and feminists. Their “solutions” will result in even less power all for us.

The right is in power. They’ve been very successful with co-opting the language forms and tropes of the left, and repurposing them in infuriating, confounding ways to create new double binds for all of us struggling for better lives.

When I talked about HB2, I think of that as potentially the template for what they want to do more broadly. They’re dividing the left, possibly beyond repair. (And it’s worth mentioning the possibility that the fringiest leftist elements–think Dave Muscato–are either actually right wing plants–trolls–or true believers who have been influenced by right wing psy ops.) If HB2 is the template, then we all need to be afraid. Using the absurd excesses of “trans activism” as a pretext, while also playing on the homophobia of many, they dismantled rights and protections very broadly, impacting all workers, immigrants, people of color, lesbians and gays, and women.

So I’m not concerned about purity. I fully appreciate the limitations of the left, believe me. But the thing is, I’m talking about making coalition across disagreement with people who share the same material oppressions and trying to win specific battles on points of agreement. I know that’s what WoLF thinks they are doing, supposedly. But they’re not. WoLF has an issue with leftist gender ideology, but their friends on the right, who hold a frightening degree of power right now, have their own gender ideology. They don’t call it “gender identity” but it absolutely is. The difference is that their version of “gender identity” relies on social roles and appearance being in what they deem “congruence” with one’s sex. That’s why they think sex matters; it dictates your place in their order. Those “nice” right wing women are PR professionals. The men behind them are “playing nice” to get us to go along with them against our own interests, when actually they’re preparing the way for controlling and perhaps killing us. Or maybe they can get us to do it to each other. WoLF speaking to the mixed crowds where radiqueers yelled them down was a far more effective tactic for forging alliances against this most dangerous enemy. Women who see that start to understand the real power dynamics at issue. This “alliance” obscures the truth of those power dynamics, utterly.

The truth is that WoLF is being used by one group of men against another group of men–the two groups are vying for domination and the right-wing men have realized that WoLF are a useful tool against their left-wing male rivals. It’s a patriarchal dogfight and women like us are nothing but fodder in that larger game these men are playing with each other. Women are their pawns. Women on the left are the pawns of the leftist men; women on the right are the pawns of the right-wing men. I would like to see radical feminists step out of that position and work with and for women.

I brought up the issue of detransitioned women and WoLF, and surely it is only one example of many, but it’s the one I’m familiar with. Basically I think it’s extremely telling that WoLF has been able to get past their differences with right wing women, apparently even right wing men, but not willing to listen to us. I know some of us tried hard to get through to them, not out of some special snowflake ego trip like they repeatedly accuse (because they cannot/refuse to understand us in any other way), but because having been insiders in the queer scene, we had insight into what unintended consequences their well-meaning but ultimately harmful strategies and messages would have. And insight into how best to make common cause with other women with whom we may have political disagreement in some ways though we share a political predicament.

Honestly, a lot of women who have issues with trans shit have stuff to work out about what is really in it for them. The deference WoLF is showing to the right is chilling. It’s so much easier to give your wrath to your sisters than to the patriarchal power. So much harder to fight the actual power. I’ve seen WoLF recognize this in the other direction–that trans activists scapegoat feminists for harming transwomen when the real harm is being done by men. So how come WoLF gets so deferential in the presence of the white male supremacists (male and female) yet they’ve repeatedly failed to respect women like us as equals and sisters, but are only comfortable with us when we are Exhibit A’s, resources to be extracted according to their pre-existing agenda? How come they’ve been too invested in political “purity” to make inroads anywhere else on the left, but they clearly have a totally different standard of what’s acceptable enough, when it’s the right? It’s a power move. WoLF wants power and thinks they’re going to get some by standing next to it. It gets them attention, not power.

Clearly, the reason they were more motivated to work with these right wingers than with, for example, detransitioned women is an issue of power. Working with a group of marginalized women–especially women coded as “crazy” dykes–doesn’t give you the kind of money, power, status, and media exposure they are after. What it gives you is organized female solidarity. If that’s your priority, then that is everything. But they want what power they believe they will get by aligning with Heritage. It’s as naive as thinking that having sex with a powerful man makes you more powerful.

Ask yourself: What’s in it for Heritage? What’s in it for Kami Mueller? They are in a triumphant moment in terms of their political power. They are not desperate. They are not so desperate for allies that they have to reach their “hands across the aisle.” So ask yourself what they stand to gain from this “alliance.” They turned out a very disciplined, carefully “respectful” audience for that talk. They are organized; they have the money, the strategy, and the political clout. Think about the nature of their great show of “respect.” Think about the alt-right strategies we’re seeing–the new breed of white supremacists who deny that’s what they are, who show up pressed and neat, “respectful” to everyone. Think about what they’ve been able to accomplish by those means. The left is far, far too focused on Correct Language and How Things Appear. The right is using that focus to slip under the radar like an abuser who knows how to say all the right things to keep you hooked.

But the right paved the way for this insanity on the left to begin with. The left’s gender politics are reactionary, yes—but it’s an unholy amalgam of backlash against feminism and reaction against the Christian right.

And the movement for women’s liberation as we understand it does need to have more popular support than the current population of “radical feminists.” Once this “coalition” is over, then the right utilizes its results to enact its horrors on us all. Who are we going to stand with then, to fight it? Who is going to stand with WoLF at that point, when they are the collaborators who helped make it happen? How will the vast majority of politically engaged women interpret that result? How will that compromise the ability of any of us to fight patriarchy as feminists, to fight under the open assertion that the material reality of our sex is a basis for solidarity?

When the “solutions” brought by the likes of Heritage mean one kind of control and repression for white women and a very different kind of control and repression for women of color—particularly Black and indigenous women—how will that not be another example of failures of solidarity on the part of white women? How is this not a betrayal?

And won’t the lefty misogynists have a perfect example “proving” to the many, many misguided women (whose hearts and minds we need to win) that any acknowledgment of sex, not gender, is harmful to us all?

If the goal is women’s liberation through female solidarity, this is not the way.

The Smell of Life vs. the Smell of Death

Recently, I had an ask about Othello’s comment about the organic smells of the living world.

This prompted a discussion of what sort of organic scents this might be. While I was considering this last night, something odd occurred to me.

What if Othello isn’t commenting on what he smells as much as what he isn’t smelling?

We know that shinigami smell of death. Sebastian has said this, and he was only speaking about Grell at the time. If the smell of one shinigami is noticeable, imagine an entire world of them. While we don’t know much about how the shinigami realm is arranged, there is one thing I believe that would be fact.

There would be little life in it. Aside from possibly a few pigeons, all inhabitants of that realm are technically dead and smell of death. To a sensitive nose, it probably even reeks of death.

Othello hasn’t been to the living world in 50 years, so the way it smells would be radically different. The organic scent he’s talking about could simply be life itself. He might be able to smell some death from the few reapers and anyone who is dying, but overwhelmingly he would smell life from countless people and animals. The scent of death might even be masked by the perfume of life.

Thoughts?

On This Day: July 11
  • 1789: The radical Parisian journalist Camille Desmoulins gives a speech that leads to the storming of the Bastille on July 14.
  • 1854: Toussaint Bordat is born in Chassenard, France. He was an anarchist militant implicated in the “Trial of the 66” in 1883 in Lyon.
  • 1892: François Claudius Koenigstein, known as Ravachol, is executed. He was a French anarchist illegalist and advocate of “propaganda of the deed”.
  • 1892: Striking miners in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho dynamited the Frisco Mill, leaving it in ruins.
  • 1893: Lucien Haussard born in Saint-Quentin, France. He was a militant, anarchist propagandist and freethinker.
  • 1893: A revolution led by the liberal general and politician, José Santos Zelaya, takes over state power in Nicaragua.
  • 1894: The Kingdom of Italy enacts a series of anti-anarchist measures to suppress radical organizations.
  • 1914: Alexander Berkman organizes and speaks at a rally and public funeral. 6,000 mourn the deaths of those killed in the Lexington Avenue bombing.
  • 1918: Simón Radowitzky escapes from the Ushuaia concentration camp on the island of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
  • 1921: The Red Army captures Mongolia from the White Army and establishes the Mongolian People’s Republic.
  • 1923: 150,000 engineers strike in Berlin.
  • 1931: Leader of Korean anarchist partisans, Kim Jong-jin, murdered by communist agent in Manchuria.
  • 1952: Ivan Toms born in Cape Town, South Africa. He was an anti-apartheid activist, hunger-striker and doctor.
  • 1955: Georgia Board of Education orders that any teacher supporting integration be fired.
  • 1960: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is first published.
  • 1977: Martin Luther King Jr posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • 1990: The Oka standoff begins.
  • 1997: Five days of mass protest ends in nationalist districts of Northern Ireland after British gov allows Unionists to march through Catholic areas.
2

The Landvolkbewegung were a farmer protest group in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The movement came about from the agricultural crisis that was taking place in Germany and the farmers decided to organize. Radical Nationalists assisted these farmers in their protests and possibly in several bombings that were pinned on the Landvolkbewegung.
Agrarianism > Everything