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A Deep Betrayal

easilyriled:

“That is the bottom line, Amnesty […] you really don’t give a shit about the basic human rights of the prostituted”.

Originally posted on Rebecca Mott:

Last week, Amnesty International made the decision to back the decriminalisation of all aspects the sex trade.

This is about saying buying a human as sexual goods should become a human right.

That laws preventing profiteering/pimping should be taken down.

What it not about is the safety or mental welfare of the prostituted.

This is the biggest betrayal I have ever experience in my lifetime – and if it becomes normalised, it will lead to decades of the sexual slavery continuing without interference.

Last week, I was too heartbroken and full of trauma to write. Now I will to personal and political, why I and so exited women are so angry and deeply hurt.

I will look at some of Amnesty’s slogans and how they have chosen to ignore them.

END ALL TORTURE

This is the most sickening part of this new policy.

It would appear that the prostituted are…

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circle of life

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Hello, my handful of readers. it’s been a hell of a week over here in easilyriled’s world. My head is full of dreams and self-doubt, my heart is in tatters. again.
this past weekend, though, was devoted to BIG THINGS in the lives of other people. Friday I went to two twelve-step meetings, and spent the afternoon in between in the hospital with a friend. She’s pretty sick, but she’ll be going home this week. She had a seizure, which is related to other stuff going on for her. We’ve been friends for more than 30 years, she was my first love, and first big heartbreak. We re-connected about three years ago after a ten-year break. She is one of the smartest people I’ve ever known. We don’t agree anymore about everything, politics-wise — but she was instrumental in my journey to feminism. And we’re bonded, you know…
Saturday was the wedding. You remember i was all tortured about it last week, or week before last, right? yea. But it went really well. Stephanie and I were MCs for the evening. I did get in a few digs about the institution of marriage, I played my accordion, sang with some beautiful people, carried around some babies, and ate a lot of pakoras and lamb curry. there were a couple of gay men at the party, they though Steph and I were partners. “is she your wife?” one of them asked me.
“have you not been paying attention?” i wanted to say, “what, just because i’m a dyke, you think i should be all married and shit? even though i have just finished ranting (just a little rant, the day, after all, was not about me) about the institution of marriage and ownership papers and patriarchy and shit?”
I didn’t, though. i just said, “Um. no.” They’re GAY, fer cryin’ out loud, there is a reason we call homosexuals that. bless them.
So I went away to play a sad Ukrainian waltz on my accordion. I only know three songs. But i play them different every time, so it’s like having a repertoire. Music does mend broken hearts, that’s a true fact.
the newly institutionalized couple were very happy, their families were very happy. It looked like people had a good time. And everyone there, you know, we took care of each other. In our presence our friends made their commitment to each other, and in so doing, invited us to hold them accountable. They brought people from all parts of their lives together, added music, flowers, food and speeches–the signing of the ownership papers (for the approval of the gubbmint battery farm) was the least of it, really. There were a few of us broken-hearted, kinda cynical dykes there — i am not the only one — and we just felt the love in the room and did our best for our friends. Plus, you know, i had my accordion and an audience, so that made me pretty happy, too.
Then yesterday I went to a celebration of the life of a young man I knew for a while. Ten years ago, when he was 17, he and his mom joined up with our friend Sharon as she was heading to her death. She had cancer, and it moved slow then fast from her breast to her brain. For ten days in April of 2005, we stayed with her — her husband, her neighbours, her friends, her relations — and she let us carry her to the doorway. It was a beautiful gift she gave us, to let us in like that. there was lots of laughter, many many tears, all the songs, and stories galore. As he was dying he told his mom that he wanted to do it the way Sharon had done. With grace and humour, surrounded by love and music, engaging with everyone who came as he could. I didn’t know that he was ill, nor that he had died until his mom posted on facebook that the memorial would be July 12. He was a beautiful young man, sensitive, smart, kind and quirky. the celebration of his life was excruciating. His mother was so poised and shattered. All that care and love in the room for her and for her son held her up. But there is no making sense of such a death. “Why him? Why one of the good men?” people will ask. But the question might just as well be “Why not?”
It is not true that everything happens for a reason. Not true at all. the true thing is that everything happens. That’s all.
This afternoon I will go see my friend in the hospital. Then i’ll drive my ex-lover’s mom (whom I adore) to the airport. And it will be some time yet that i will be in mourning.
I am glad for the wedding. And I am glad I spent the weekend in service and celebration. it’s been a year of loss and endings. That wedding was someone’s beginning, and that’s kind of encouraging, even though…

Just don’t do it

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This is a great examination of the relentless pathologization of “women’s speech”

Just don’t do it.

Check it out. I’m signing up, are you?

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http://nomoremsnicefeminist.tumblr.com

You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

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so, i go to write a new post on my blog, here, and wordpress has added a fucking rainbow to my toolbar (or whatever it’s called, that line up top there that has the reader link and my profile link and stuff on it). I did NOT sign on for that, i do not want it, and I’m pissed that it’s there.

But the US just implemented marriage  assimilation equality for same sex couples. and we’re all supposed to be happy now. Rainbows for everyone! We’re all gay and queer and all alike! there is no more inequality!

Never mind that marriage is a patriarchal institution that is deeply rooted in patriarchy, and was originally instituted in order for men to own women and their children. No matter who marries whom now, marriage “remains an endorsement of a formal equality approach that does not challenge the regulatory function and the often oppressive role of marriage in society” (Boyd, 2012, p. 287).

We’ve been around this block before–many many times. We are pack animals; we all want to belong somewhere. NEED to belong somewhere. And having The Man (aka ‘the state’) recognize two people’s love for each other as legitimate and worthy of shared pension plans, benefits and burial plots indicates belonging. I know people who married, with the ownership papers signed and the ceremony officiated by a retired United Church minister, so that they would have legal rights to visit one another in the hospital should either become ill or incapacitated. They married because they did not trust that their parents would not swoop in and leave the other partner out of decision-making, assets and support.

Others married in capitulation to their partners, who wanted the state sanction of legitimacy. There is not as much these days in the way of a righteous radical feminist movement in which we can imagine and build intimacy and commitment that is not rooted in patriarchal, and deeply sexist, classed and colonizing traditions.

I’m going to help to MC a wedding in a couple of weeks. I have to say, I was pretty conflicted about it before this whole mass marriage kool-aid consumption in the US. This morning, though, the essential contradiction inherent in resisting patriarchy with all my might — but hosting and singing at a wedding (a supporting pillar in the medieval, enduring castle of men’s oppression of women) — had me holding my head so it would not burst into flames.

This is a heterosexual wedding, and the couple are both in their middle years. the woman is my friend — she helped me A LOT during a very bleak period in my life, and helped me to find a place where I belong. I love her. I also love doing stand-up comedy, singing, playing my accordion and ranting about sexism and patriarchy– all of which she expects me to do, so that’s good.  She asked me to MC, with another friend of ours, and she knows I am critical of marriage, and expects me to offer a ‘cole’s notes’ version of my criticism, even.

On my way to work this morning, I nearly stopped my bike and called her to tell her I couldn’t. But I didn’t. I called another friend, a woman whose judgments I trust. She said, “she will still love you, and she will understand, but she will be hurt.”

yea.

“AND” she continued, “If you do it, you will have a platform, think of that — I was uncomfortable with the whole gay marriage thing, but I couldn’t say why until you said ‘assimilation’. You will have an opportunity to say what you think, and I know you will be loving and respectful when you do this, because you are good at this kind of thing.”

That did it for me. I think I can do this without selling my soul. And another thing, it’s important to be a witness to other people’s promises to each other. I can do this for that reason, to hold them accountable to their promise to care for each other’s well-being. I can do this because they invited me and other people they love and trust. Yes, they are entering into a patriarchal institution which has few, if any possibilities of redemption, but they are going in with their eyes and hearts open, and held by loved ones, some of whom stand resolutely outside (as far as possible, anyway) the restrictions of state-sanctioned matrimony. Their relationship is held strong not by the permission and rules of the state, but by the connections they have with others, and our shared memories of their promises to each other.

I can still say why marriage is not a win, even as I help my friends celebrate their commitment to each other.

Also, I don’t really think resistance is futile. It’s absolutely necessary, even when you don’t see results. Because while we might be all equal, under the (resolutely patriarchal) law, we are not yet (even close to) free.

Boyd, Susan, (2012). Marriage is more than a piece of paper, in National Taiwan University Law Review Vol. 8: 2, pp 263-297

the lights are on, and getting very dim…

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Last night I went to a grocery store for cream for my coffee. I also picked up some butter, and then cruised by the ice cream aisle. That’s my thing now, I eat ice cream and watch netflix until late late at night. Then i get up early and go to the yoga class at my gym. Underslept, over-sugared. but what the hell.

Anyway, on my way in to the store, I kind of vaguely noticed that the car next to me had its lights on, but the car was empty. I thought it was just one of those cars that stays lit up for a bit after you stop and get out, but then the lights go off on their own. When I left the store, the car was still lit up. Though dimmer now. uh-oh. So I made a note of the license plate and went in and told the two stock boys who were standing by the door.

“There’s a car in the lot with its lights on. I have the license plate number, can you make an announcement?”

Both young men looked at me.

“Can you interrupt the music and make an announcement? Should I speak to someone else?”

“That car?” one of them asked, pointing toward the dark parking lot.

“No,” I said, “you can’t really see it from here. I have the license plate number, do you want me to write it down?”

They both blinked and wandered over to the window to look out to see if they could see the car.

I went to the customer service desk. I said to the woman there, “there’s a car in the lot with the lights on, can you make an announcement?”

“No, I need the license plate number” She was only marginally more interested than the boys were. It was late, I’m sure their work is drudgery and underpaid, by that time of night, I bet they’re all kind of dissociating. But honesttogod, those boys were, I don’t know how they managed to stay upright –

Anyway, I told her the license plate number, and she wrote it down, so I thanked her and headed out. Just as one of the stock boys picked up the mic for the PA system and said, “There’s a car with the lights on in the parking lot”.

That’s it. Not the license plate number, not the colour or make of the car, nothing. I said, “I have the license plate number, you should announce that”

“uh, I already made an announcement” said the boy. He looked uncertain.

His colleague said, “I don’t think the owner would feel comfortable…”

“Look,” I said, “If you say ‘there’s a car with the lights on’ everybody will go, ‘oh too bad for that guy’. But if you say, ‘there’s a car with license plate xxx-xxx’ the proper person will say, ‘oh fuck, my lights are on!’ You’re not announcing their address, fer cryin’ out loud!”

“You want me to announce it again?” said the first kid.

“Yes, in fact, I think that will be a good idea.” And I gave him the license plate number for the sixth time. They wrote it down. Finally.

I would like to report that this whole time I was patient and kind. But I don’t think I was. Especially at the end, when I finally walked away saying “holy smoke, you guys” in a most condescending tone of voice.

Why was it such a production to make an announcement that the lights on a car were on? Why was EVERYONE so reluctant to take such a small action?
This is the tip of an iceberg of disconnection.

New study out of Finland: Girls with gender dysphoria have many other mental health issues

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“Maybe it’s the brain that’s mistaken, not the body[…]. Trans-activists, take heed”.

Living in a misogynist patriarchy can sure make ya crazy — but the solution  is not to capitulate–it is to organize together and resist.

New study out of Finland: Girls with gender dysphoria have many other mental health issues.

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