radical praxis

…no matter how many books we read, how many ally trainings we participate in, or how sharp an analysis of power we think we have, we can never totally know one another. We will never have a complete knowledge of how not to hurt another human being. We can have a million conversations but I will never know what it feels like to live inside your body and the meanings that are attached to it. You can never truly know what it feels like to live inside my body and the meanings that are attached to it. And if we can never truly know one another, how can we ever truly be good to one another?

The project of being good to one another is, ultimately, a failed project. But we must be good to one another we must try and fail and try again and fail again and try forever more. A performance of political perfection is always already a performance of failure. The so-called politically perfect performance has all the color and distance of José Muñoz’s queer utopian horizon. We are not yet queer, we are not yet liberated, and therefore, every single performance we enact, whether on stage or in the everyday, must strive for political perfection, must move ALL of us closer to liberation

You are that white guy in an Ethnic Studies class who’s exploring the idea that poor people might have babies to stay on welfare. Or some person arguing over drinks that maybe a lot of women do fake rape for attention. Or, recently, someone insisting that I consider the idea that Elliot Rodger could have been a madman and an anomaly, not at all a product of a white supremacist and misogynistic society.

Most of the time, it’s clear that you actually believe the arguments you claim to have just for the heck of it. However, you know that these beliefs are unpopular, largely because they make you sound selfish and privileged, so you blame them on the “devil.” Here’s the thing: the devil doesn’t need any more advocates. He’s got plenty of power without you helping him.

Someone asked me about my URL and basically if you haven’t seen byzantium you definitely need to asap, that’s what you should be doing with your night and that’s what I’m doing with my night, because there is nothing better than a vampire sex worker making the world a more beautiful place by curbing the power of men, whispering her lack of mercy into their ears, and loving her daughter, especially when the vampire is gemma arterton in eyeliner.

Organise your bed, then your bedroom, then your apartment, then your apartment building, then your block.

We have to build friendship between neighbours. We have to start organising building dinners and movie screenings.

I remembered what one of the community leaders had said during the Zapatista organising school down in Chiapas, Mexico, when asked how in the world had they managed to build their own schools, sports teams, hospitals, cooperative businesses, clinics, judicial system and government. Which initiative did they start with? Was it the armed uprising? Or a school? Or a corner store?

The answer was far simpler: “We started with trust”.

anonymous asked:

Hi Sam. I asked the "Were everyone's sex hidden" question - great response. The first bit was thought experiment, and would be horrible - I wouldn't want in! I meant it more as this - Society is the most equal and progressive it has been and will continue to improve, and then eventually stop (being the best humanity will achieve). What does society look like at this stage? Does it reflect human nature i.e. is it stable? Does it involve any censorship + positive discrimination? Is it a utopia?


“Society is the most equal and progressive it has been and will continue to improve," I agree with you 100% there.

I don’t think improvements will stop, that is. There was a time when humans couldn’t imagine flying, couldn’t imagine space travel, couldn’t picture our planet from a spot outside of our atmosphere.

There is so much more that we can’t even begin to grasp now. 

Really, human development and evolution may have lonnnnng way to go and it’s up to us what direction to take and how far we want to take it.

We can destroy ourselves, as we have been heading down that path for years now. I won’t sugar coat it. We all know it to be true. Or we can sustain ourselves. 

I personally bowl for the latter.

As we strive for equity among our own species we will also be realizing the need for equity among other species on this planet.

As we realize our own consumption of resources we will see need to develop new was of living and existing that are more sustainable on this planet.

As we develop new technology to help ourselves and this planet heal from the harms we have done in the past, we will continue to discover and unravel our understandings of existence.

Not to be too out there, although theory is often science fiction until a well-thought out test (many, that is!) proves it worthy of common thought.

I do think this all depends on people coming together, working together, and realizing common goals we have as humans.

For that though, we will need liberation for those oppressed by systems in place that keep us beneath the feet of others.

-Sam XX

4 Ways White Privilege Shows Up In Social Justice Movements

I want to talk with you about white supremacy. I want us, and I mean white people in large scale, to be real with each other: we’ve got to uproot racism on every level, and that includes internalized white supremacy showing up in our social justice work!

It has been a dividing force in social justice movements for centuries, and today is no different. Anne Braden once said, “The answers will only be found by meeting the problem head-on, by taking hold of its most terrifying aspects and weaving them into the solution.”

The degree to which we can see how white supremacy reproduces itself in our social justice movements directly shapes our movements’ capacity to coordinate across race, class, sector, region, and borders.

We want to share with you a few ways that Catalyst Project notices white supremacy repeatedly playing out in social justice work. Do they feel familiar? Can you name examples in the history of movements working for liberation?

Universalizing White Experience ::: Assuming white experience is normal and good

  • Universalizing white experience happens when “mainstream” white ways of doing things are seen as normal, standard and “good”. This is reinforced everyday by institutions like schools, popular culture and media outlets—that highlight white leadership, culture, beauty, and everyday ways of being. White people often subconsciously bring this assumption of normality and superiority to social justice movements, thinking that “my ways of organizing and protesting are the right/best/only ways”, and speaking as if everyone in the room shares a particular experience– one that is very shaped by white privilege. This makes it hard to understand and support the leadership and political strategies of non-white people and communities. The particular type of white experience that gets universalized is usually male, class privileged, culturally Christian, able-bodied, and shaped in other ways that are privileged in dominant culture.

Stuck on the White ::: Ignoring movements led by people of color

  • Because of how white experience is universalized, white activists tend to ignore or misunderstand the last 500 + years of resistance and liberation struggles led by people of color. So instead of working to support and build up these struggles, they often try to “diversify,” or to recruit people of color into mostly white organizations.

De-racialization ::: Stripping issues of their racial context and importance

  • In a white supremacist society, all issues intersect with racism. Yet white-dominated social justice movements often strip away the racial context and history of issues. They also often minimize the impacts of racism and the priority of addressing them. This takes away the power of those impacted by racism to define their own experience and struggle. By keeping the strategies and impacts of white supremacy hidden, deracialization also makes it really hard to change them. - This term was developed by Critical Resistance, a prison industrial complex abolition organization.

Contradictions in Resistance ::: Protesting other oppressions but maintaining white supremacy

  • Many white people—poor and working class people, women, queers, people with disabilities, etc—experience white privilege, but also face other types of oppression. White folks often fight the ways we experience oppression, while simultaneously selling out communities of color to maintaining white privilege. This can look like single issue organizing, or even sacrificing the goals and campaigns of activists of color, in order to win short term gains specific to their own agenda. This pattern of white privilege has shattered the potential of various multiracial movements for radical social change.

We offer this list as one tool to help recognize these patterns so we can stop perpetuating them. We thank our mentors and allies for help developing this list.

The group’s website is Collective Liberation.

uncourdedormir  asked:

How do you guys personally deal with talking about radical feminism to your friends who are not radical feminists and see it as "TERF"-y? I normally wouldn't bother, but I was trying to introduce it to a really close friend of mine who is extremely educated about social justice, but is pretty oblivious to radical feminism. She shut me down for "identity policing" the moment I tried to suggest delving more critically into what gender and sex are. Is this what liberal feminism does to people :(

Try and run it by her via levels of analysis.

The individual level of analysis (my person, my own personal experiences, etc.) is great and all, although with misogyny being a societal problem focusing on identity politics at the most basic level of analysis doesn’t do much.

Radical feminists look at feminism and solutions to misogyny through the lens of a societal analysis… that is, what a bulk of individual experiences look like when they are piled together and averaged across society wide and cultures within society (humans as a whole, Canada, Muslim Canadians, Muslim Canadians living in Toronto at a specific class level, etc., are all examples of societal groups of analysis to different degrees).

Perhaps do some reading on those terms and see if they help. 

Any other mods want to chime in?


Getting to Know Your City and The Movements That Call It Home

by Daniel Tucker

This text outlines a methodology for researching localized social movements as a means of analyzing their history, effectiveness, and ability to strategically participate or intervene in politics
. I use insights gained from AREA Chicago — a publication founded in 2005 that has compiled a print/online archive based on interviews with over 300 Chicago activists, cultural producers, and organizers — to offer up a proposal for a broad-based pan-leftist approach that can help avoid classic sectarianism yet still ask challenging questions and produce forward-moving analysis.

In this essay, I outline AREA Chicago’s long-term and locally situated method of ‘movement mapping’. The text should be relevant to anyone hoping to strategically contribute to the development of a robust and critically reflexive Left movement, Which can advance the absolutely necessary goal of replacing; the logics that govern our lives with systems that promote a long-term healthy balance between living things and the earth, where people have equal access to resources, and where movement is determined not by brute force, but by creative collective process.

When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con. And none of this can mean that rioting or violence is “correct” or “wise,” any more than a forest fire can be “correct” or “wise.” Wisdom isn’t the point tonight. Disrespect is. In this case, disrespect for the hollow law and failed order that so regularly disrespects the community.

Nonviolence as Compliance: As Riots Follow Freddie Gray’s Death in Baltimore, Calls for Calm Ring Hollow

there was no official appeal for calm when Gray was being arrested. There was no appeal for calm when Jerriel Lyles was assaulted. (“The blow was so heavy. My eyes swelled up. Blood was dripping down my nose and out my eye.”) There was no claim for nonviolence on behalf of Venus Green. (“Bitch, you ain’t no better than any of the other old black bitches I have locked up.”) There was no plea for peace on behalf of Starr Brown. (“They slammed me down on my face,” Brown added, her voice cracking. “The skin was gone on my face.“)

Fuck any call for oppressed people to live by the standards of their oppressors.

anonymous asked:

okay, "whiny and entitled" here. I was simply trying to evaluate my position on feminism in general. it is my personal policy that to judge a movement, take a look at its more radical elements. as it happens, your knee-jerk reaction to a incredibly vague description of myself, you insult me. i will admit calling myself "middle class" may be seen as entitled, if that was your basis, i apologize, there is a rather large stigma around the term.

Why do you need a few individual womyn’s opinions of you to evaluate your position on the liberation of female people?


Without building adequate infrastructures of justice, community and accountability for and to each other, where lives can be led meaningfully, our call for ‘No Borders’ appears simply to be affording us a feel-good moment. Because in reality, the moment of ‘legal’ entry in to a country is not the point at which borders dissolve. There are other borders, borders that determine people’s lives, and, moreover, the quality of their lives. In the case of the UK, internal borders are designed to keep some people at the margins, down and forever ‘othered’.

anonymous asked:

I hate this blog. When you come up on my dash, it's like someone with multiple personality disorder arguing with themselves. It's not so much "askaradfem" as "ask-a-couple-of-people-who-claim-to-be-rad-fems-and-then-watch-them-disagree-with-one-another-over-and-over." And I get different radfems have different views, but maybe you guys should disband and just have your own blogs and reblog each other's shit instead of this weird little situation you've got now.

Except the presentation of radical feminist discussion and the progress of our ideologies of radical feminism as womyn is an integral part of the journey to female liberation and this blog helps exemplify that.

Womyn are not a hive mind, we have different experiences and opinions as female human beings, jsyk.


anonymous asked:

Are there any RadFems in prominent or powerful positions in politics, the media, commerce, science or industry? In other words, what are the prospects of the RadFem philosophy becoming more popular or influential through more public discourse and/or policy initiatives? If the nature of its radicalism is that it is incompatible with current societal institutions, what hope is there that it will ever gather the wherewithal to be anything but a minority group at the margins?

“Are there any RadFems in prominent or powerful positions in politics, the media, commerce, science or industry?”

There are few radical feminists that are prominent in academia, Sheila Jeffreys is one of them, as well as social media, Cathy Brennan.

Although I dispute that centralized power is really needed to help radical feminism become an influential movement. 

“In other words, what are the prospects of the RadFem philosophy becoming more popular or influential through more public discourse and/or policy initiatives?”

Through political social media (media that is not censored by the mainstream and is created from personal experiences for political reasons) and grassroots organizing (protests, decentralized organizations, radical gatherings and clubs, etc.) radical feminism will become more influential and prominent with time. 

“If the nature of its radicalism is that it is incompatible with current societal institutions, what hope is there that it will ever gather the wherewithal to be anything but a minority group at the margins?”

I personally know many radical women and feminist allies who blog online and meet in person to share radical thought. As these thoughts and ideas are shared, the number of people with like-minded beliefs and means for radical praxis will grow.

Like I pointed out before, I think that radical feminism will gain prominence through decentralized groups of radical women all over the world.

Radicalization is a slow process and I don’t think that having a central figurehead or speaking in one of the existing social institutions will do the movement much good.

I hope this helps.

- Sam