Feminist Call to Action: Occupy Dudeville

(Photo by Caroline Shiff)

This is an action alert regarding the Occupy Wall Street movement and its persistent silencing of female and feminist voices. The movement doesn’t seem to be fading any time soon. Help radical feminism infiltrate the occupation.

What You Can Do Online

  • Spread the blog links (see below) on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, everywhere. Share them a bunch of times! The Adbusters homepage has a live Twitter feed from the hashtags #OccupyWallStreet and #OWS. Use the tags liberally!
  • Many of the occupations have their own website with a forum. Post links to radfem blog posts on OWS and links to the pamphlet and fliers. For examples, check out these posts on Occupy Seattle, Occupy Portland, Occupy San Fransisco, and Occupy Los Angeles. Also, feel free to respond to those posts, especially the Occupy Portland one which is rife with anti-feminist crap in the comments. Don’t limit yourself to just posting on your local forum! Here’s a list of all the Occupy locations.
  • Write your own blog post critiquing the misogyny & racism of the (all-to-frequent) white male ‘non-leaders’ of the movement.

What You Can Do On-the-Ground

  • Print off this pamphlet and distribute it to women at your local Occupy. Ask if you can leave some at the information table.
  • Start a women’s/feminist group at your local Occupy. Use the online forums or Facebook page to start organizing. Don’t ask permission from the General Assembly first ;)
  • If you’re in Los Angeles, there is a Women’s Affinity Group that will be meeting TODAY, Saturday the 22nd, at 1 pm.

Links to blog posts on OWS:

Rad Fem Hub“Anarchist Politics Inform Occupy Wall Street”.

Against All Evidence (my blog): “Our ‘Brethren in Struggle’, I Presume?”. . . regarding a number of news stories regarding men at Occupy demonstrations not acting so ‘revolutionary’, ranging from sexual assault to keeping the mic all to themselves.

“WE ARE THE 51%”. . . on the “Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street” video.

“Occupy. . . Your Dick!”. . . on the OWS-themed condom that now exists.

Feministe: “Steven Greenstreet proves he’s definitely not a misogynist by making rape jokes.” . . . one of men who made the “Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street” video is a total creep in several other ways! Like making rape jokes, stating that “an erection legitimizes everything”, and tracking down photos of a feminist blogger to make pervy comments about her.

Pandagon also has some interesting information to share about Mr. Greenstreet.

Ball Buster: “#occupybaltimore discourages police involvement in sexual assault cases”

The Crawdad Hole: “Dudebro Occupation”. . . more on Occupy Baltimore’s literature discouraging sexual assault victims from reporting it to the police.

I Blame the Patriarchy: “Storytime Korner”. . .  the comment thread is especially good with lots of other women commiserating about how male-focused Occupy is.

RadFemCrafts: “#OCCUPYHARRISBURG #BRO”

Echidne of the Snakes: from Suzie, “Occupying public space”. . .

How revolutionary it would be for feminists to occupy a public space day after day.

Scum-O-Rama: a new graphic, “we are occupy wall street. join us, bitches!”

From complex-brown on Tumblr, “BLACK OUT! At Occupy Philadelphia”:

We had a Black Out! at Occupy Philadelphia. Why?

Saturday,  two sisters were called Niggers by two of the volunteers at Occupy Philadelphia at the cell-phone charging stations.  They were also told to go back to Africa, and that each white man should own a slave. When the sista’s called security, security asked them to leave the premises [. . .]

Many of the people there to support Occupy Philadelphia came to us to tell us that all of us are people and that race is behind us! They told us that we were being divisive. Bullshit.

When we circled up to come up with a constructive way to address the people, we were constantly interrupted by white people who could not respect our safe space. These people said that it was a public space, and we couldn’t have a group that excuded them. [. . .]

As the sister was talking about her experience, there were some members in support, and there were even members who came up to us afterwards to show support. But many of the people were asking us to hurry up, calm down and finish.

From an article in Shakesville’s OWS link roundup:

Facilitators spearheaded a General Assembly proposal to limit the drumming to two hours a day. “The drumming is a major issue which has the potential to get us kicked out,” said Lauren Digion, a leader on the sanitation working group.

… “They’re imposing a structure on the natural flow of music,” said Seth Harper, an 18-year-old from Georgia. “The GA decided to do it … they suppressed people’s opinions. I wanted to do introduce a different proposal, but a big black organizer chick with an Afro said I couldn’t.”

A comic from Hoax Zine, based on actual events at Occupy Baltimore, regarding how un-seriously sexual harassment is taken.

And spread this image around too, if you’d like!

[Update 10/24/11: A new website has just launched - OccupyPatriarchy.org. They'll be adding a lot more content in the coming days!]

[Update 10/28/11: Occupy Patriarchy has a great new flier up.]

[Update 11/6/11: Ball Buster has a new post up which details the many problems radical feminists have with OWS.)

79 comments
  1. julia said:

    I keep thinking, if women decide to do something, just us, what would it be?
    We certainly wouldn’t go camp at City Hall. Too dangerous, too exposed to men, too much time spent (wasted) on daily survival and not enough on action.

    Would we call a strike? Any woman who can, do not do not work for men for one day? For one week?
    No cooking, cleaning, ironing, etc etc?
    Of course, if we don’t take care of the children and the older folks, they won’t survive. Make dinner for the family, but not for him :)

    Hold back our buying dollars? What does a day w/o women’s hard-earned money look like?

    What are your ideas?

  2. FCM said:

    well i think that calling out consumerist mansplaining fauxgressive doodbros wherever they may be is probably the first step…along with refusing to spend our money unless its absolutely necessary *or* supports a female-only business…

  3. Lola-at-Large said:

    Julie, take a page from the Silent Sentinels or from the Triangle Shirt Factory strikes and go anyway, despite the risks, and keep talking or holding signs. Those women took the abuse to show the abuse, and it worked. Organize, make it theater, dress all in white, or pink, or something like that. Women need to present a showing and a showing that says they will not take this crap anymore.

  4. Lierre said:

    I’ve been asked to speak at Occupy Oakland on Saturday, Nov 12. It’s a brief opportunity for radical feminism. What would you want to say if you were me? What would you want to hear if you were in the audience? I’d love some input.

  5. FCM said:

    thats great lierre! let me think on it a bit and i will post something later. what does everyone else think?

  6. lishra said:

    Hi, Lierre. That’s great that you’ve been invited to speak. This is just a quick idea, but saying something about the importance of making sure this movement isn’t just a mirror of the larger culture. Melissa on Shakesville today said something to the effect of not letting this simply be a “change in management” regarding patriarchy and such.

  7. Lierre: Reported. Thanx for the heads up.

  8. Maggie said:

    Shared the links on Facebook. Sorry, sisters, I’ve not had much time to comment at the Hub much lately because I’m being very busy with Uni work at the moment…

  9. Loup-loup garou said:

    I’m shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you.

    h ttp://news.yahoo.com/kitchen-volunteers-sex-assault-arrest-shocks-zuccotti-park-215348689.html

    ‘ “He was a genuinely nice guy…he came to get shit done,” kitchen volunteer Beau Sibbing told the news blog. But after two different women reported he had raped one and groped another, his fellow volunteers told him to leave.’

    Of course he was a nice guy (TM). What else?

  10. Louise said:

  11. Mary Sunshine said:

    To Louise: WOW !!

  12. WOW!!, indeed.

    Brava, and thank you.

  13. Mocha Erinys said:

    Awesome, Louise!

  14. Louise: YEP. SPOT ON.

  15. lishra said:

    This article is on The Guardian’s US front page right now: “Occupy Wall Street’s women struggle to make their voices heard”.

    A sample:

    This week marked an important step. On Monday, after a number of women complained of “overly aggressive” men dominating events, OWS has, for the first time, instigated a series of female-led meetings where only women can speak. It was an opportunity for “males to listen and for female marginalised voices to be heard,” Holder said.

    The meeting at Wall Street, attended by around 20 women and 15 unusually silent men, was the first such gathering.

    “There is a high level of awareness to include female voices” said Holder, who said the women-led meeting was voted on and agreed to by men.

    At that point, as if to underline the issue, a commotion broke out as a white man burst into the centre of the female-led circle, demanding to speak, and angrily accusing all around him of sexism and racism.

    Hahaha…. dudes. So good at proving our points!

  16. FCM said:

    LOL. That’s a MAAB for you.

  17. Loup-loup garou said:

    And on, and on, and on it goes. Woman stands up to Owies planning a riot in her neighborhood, gets assaulted and called “vulgar epithets regarding [her attackers'] perception of her sexual orientation.”

    h ttp://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/02/BALV1NFKJI.DTL&type=newsbayarea

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