Tired of living in a culture of nonconsent and gender oppression/repression that reinforces street harassment?!! It feels as though the amount of self-entitlement that, mainly cis/het men, have over spaces and fem bodies in particular is escalating.
Saturday September 13th LAQR will be doing our Gender Violence and Transfeminist Revolt! workshop at the Echo Chamber Creative Headquarters where we’ll discuss systemic/intersectional analyses in terms of descriptive/political categories regarding violence faced within and out Femme and Queer/Trans communtiies and express ways in which we can collectively #REVOLT against our social conditions.
This will be follwed by a Direct Action Against Street Harassment planning meeting to discuss and plan a one time event on LA public transit systems that could turn into a monthly occurance depending on the outcome of the action.(LET’S fEMUP THE TRAINS Y’ALL!)
For folx who are so over feeling like you have to change how you dress or how approachable you are for the sake of protection, let’s do something about it! LAQR is inviting groups, collectives and orgs to come to a strategy/ planning meeting to take the actions to the streets.
We will discuss ways in which we can oppose harassment that womyn, LGBTQIA2S+ folx, and anyone whose body is often in danger under patriarchal culture, face. Let’s begin to dialogue about changing the culture with public art campaigns, spreading anti street harassment literature and stickers, taking surveys of womyn and LGBTQIA2S+ folx to see if those most marginalized under the patriarchy can or will turn to their neighbors or the cops, and share skills/ tactics. These are just a few ideas shared we can use to de-escalate, eradicate, or change this behavior that enculturates us into fear.
Allies/Accomplices welcome if you can LISTEN & HEAR more than you can speak & tell
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
We will have zines available and will be accepting donations for legal defense in the Echo Chamber space for every event for comrades who met with racist vigilanteism and police violence. See info here:
But if it was “white power” she’d be racist and probably beat. But you know, it’s whatever.
Black power ≠ white power
Black power = Resistance. A response to the abuse and subjugation of white supremacy. Recognizing the humanity of Blackness. Black people uplifting themselves from the margins. A rallying cry of self-love, self-actualization and autonomy. Black power does not mean the subjugation and abuse or torment of white people. It has never meant this and it never will. Show me the examples of “Black power” chants stripping whites of anything.
white power = white supremacy, subjugation, abuse and torment of everyone not white. Anywhere chants of “white power” ring, hatred follows behind. Look no further than the people who scream “white power” and why they say it.
This stuff is not hard to understand or figure out.
The fact that a white woman is in that Ferguson crowd unharmed is proof positive that a chant of “Black power” is not about dehumanizing, abusing, torturing or subjugating white people. Black people are not even in the position to do that.
On the other hand, ask yourself, what would happen to a lone Black person in a crowd of white supremacists chanting “white power”? Would that black person be safe?
The ignorant think “Black power” means enacting to white people what “white power” has enacted to Black people.
Fighters of the Zapatistas, as the Liberation Army of the South was informally called, c. 1913. Commanded by Emiliano Zapata, they were one of the most extreme factions in the Mexican Revolution, drawing their support mostly from the poor peasants who desired land reform. Briefly aligned with Madero, once Madero took the presidency in 1911 Zapata soon turned on him seeing that reform wasn’t coming, and the Zapatistas remained generally in opposition to the various governments of the ensuing decade. Held together by Zapata’s leadership, the group fell apart and disbanded a year after his assassination in 1919.
(Fototeca Nacional del INAH)
Ferguson: Justified Resistance to a Racist System
**Above pictures are, “a childrens view from Gaza” art work created by children from Gaza depicting the 2012 war
A children’s view from Gaza, is an exhibition of children’s art that reflects the horrors adults and children living in the Gaza Strip. The exhibition travels the world since 2012 and has been LONG LIVE PALESTINE!
[Show & Info Drop]
Check out our newest show with independent journalist Noor Harazeen from Gaza on the current attacks by Israeli occupying forces, plus other Palestinian solidarity related news.
This show along with all past shows can be found here: https://soundcloud.com/on-resistance/long-live-palestine
If you’re in the LA area you can listen to the show live on 90.7 KPFK @1:30pm on Sunday, July 20
A day after our interview,”Here is our office ! The Israeli warplanes targeted an apartment in Al-Jawhara building and our media agency is located just next to it .. I thought we journalists were protected ! NOT if you are a Palestinian journalist”
"When I last spoke to Noor the number of Palestinians that were murdered was 220, now with ground troops and tanks the numbers have increased to to over 350 human beings murdered electricity was only available for 8 hours now they have no electricity the We talked about the idea of numbers, there becomes a time when you become desensitize to it all, shoot I’ve even heard people say when Israel first started bombing Gaza, well isn’t Israel always bombing gaza what else is new. Sure, from our cozy beds on our computers it seems like nothing new, we scroll through pictures of dead bodies and broken limbs on our newsfeed and wonder if those who posted it are in poor taste or not, type our anger statuses or rants like the one I’m typing now but still, we sit here under our fascist regime and we do nothing. Even with all our anger and sadness and fury we sit here and do nothing. The goal of Israel has been made clear, in the words of Israels MP, “they want all the Palestinian mother’s to be killed so there can be no more”. So the question will we allow for this to continue to happen? Our government (whether you pledge allegiance to them or not, everytime you buy something you pay a sales tax) gives this fascist regime 3.6 billion dollars a year so that Israel can test out all of their experimental weapons. France banned Pro-Palestine protest, and the people responded by rioting in the streets. The US government senators voting UNAMNIOUSLY in favor of Israel, what are we going to do to show solidarity? Are we going to be scared to take a street? Break a window? Shut down intersections? There is no pleading with power, we can only to demand it.
Solidarity is a verb, and I apologize for our inaction, which has allowed for us to be complicit in your murder.” - Bobby London
"This rhetoric of “both sides” implies that pain and fault belong equally to Palestinians and Israelis. It erases manifold, unmistakable, qualitative and quantitative differences at play in Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip and the political-historical context in which this is taking place — most centrally, that what is occurring is part of a settler-colonial invasion.
“Both sides” rhetoric refuses to make even the easiest, most obvious judgment, to which any honest evaluation of the information points: that Israel is massacring Palestinian adults and children, 77% of whom are civilians, and subjecting them to collective punishment; that Israel evidently claims for itself a right to extra-judicially execute anyone who it says is a Hamas member, a practice too few among even Palestine’s allies have denounced; that Israel is bombarding what is essentially a giant refugee camp home to an imprisoned population of a people Israel has ethnically cleansed, occupied, subjected to apartheid, and repeatedly slaughtered; that international law does not grant Israel a “right to defend itself” against the Gaza Strip. And that international law does grant Palestinians a right to resist using armed struggle.”
A Plague on One House
Obama Humiliates Muslim Guests at White House Ramadan Event, Endorses Israel’s Gaza
Assault and NSA Surveillance
CNN removes reporter Diana Magnay from IsraelGaza after calling Israelis celebrating the death of Palestinian civilians ‘scum’
A children’s view from gaza
Health crisis looms in Gaza after Israel bombs water infrastructure
Mark Gonzales - Gaza
"War is cruel, it distorts the human characteristics within us, no matter our ability to withstand. Before anyone thinks about the restoration and reconstruction of Gaza after the war, they must think seriously about the way to restore the lives of the people of Gaza, and sew up the holes within them,because what Israel ultimately aims to do is kill us, or at least demolish our spirit and ability to live."
Todos somos gaza
The Palestinian Authority stands in the way of the Palestinian struggle
"The PA has long been criticized for being counterproductive to the Palestinian struggle. Concerns range from financial corruption to security collaboration with Israel. The PA has been rightly accused of being a proxy for the Israeli occupation in socalled Areas A and B of the occupied West Bank.These are the areas designated under the 1993 Oslo accords, comprising about a third of the West Bank, where PA forces keep order and calm on behalf of the occupation."
" We need to acknowledge this privilege that allows us to measure and manage our risk, to avoid action, response and consequence. To allow only impacted people targeted by state terror to experience it- as most separate ourselves for more ‘reasonable’ and ‘appealing’ courses of action/inaction. Ultimatelt avoiding managing distorting or erasing conflict rather than facing it. This isnt true of all of our people, because there is genocide and degrees of imprisonment on amerikan streets. But most people know that the closer you get to effectively challenging the narrative/supporting the resistance…the oppression and the eyes of the state apparatus (which has networks beyond borders for they are the only institution worthy to market such relationships) will train on YOU. Everyone knows this, and it is accepted and tolerated. #repression and #collectivepunishment from #gaza to #egypt and the world over, by all illegitimate governmental institutions against the people who attempt to self determine their own conditions. Colonialism has to be maintained through force, and even if we say otherwise, we accept this. Because the colonizers actions (and the state) carry legitimacy, and we are mostly people who have resigned our power. Though we may agitate desperately to remind ourselves that this doesnt have to be the case and it isnt inevitable or absolute. The Palestinians and all affected by this military regime and all the regimes set up to serve this countries interests such as Israel, will continue to suffer because of our own and amerikas self preservation."
Counter Insurgency in the US:
Today in Gaza – no electricity, no water, no respite
Gaza: Israel’s $4 billion gas grab
War and Natural Gas: The Israeli Invasion and Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields
AF3IRM SPEAKS OUT AGAINST BORDER BRUTALITIES: WOMEN SEEK TO TEAR DOWN WALLS, FROM PALESTINE TO THE US AND MEXICO!
“We oppose the ZionistEurocentric foundation of the State of Israel that claims a racist, exclusionary, and privileged Jewish identity and discriminates citizenship and land title rights on the basis of race. Instead, we support the creation of a free, independent, antioppressive, and democratic society within historic Palestine. This includes the right to return of Palestinian refugees and global freedom of movement into Palestine for those who desire it. We believe that the right to mobility, which is primarily the reality for millions of poor and racialized migrants who are indigenous to the global South, is distinct from capitalist settlercolonialism that destroys or assimilates existing societies and justifies theft of land and resources for the benefit of a privileged group.
Given the Israeli government and its imperialist allies’ monopoly over state violence, we believe it is necessary to support the right to Palestinian armed resistance, which has even been affirmed by the imperialist international legal regime. We reject the false dichotomy of violent and nonviolent resistance, a Eurocentric construct that serves to divide, simplify, and decontextualize diverse movements.”
NOIIVan Basis of Unity on Palestine
A poem by a Palestinian girl
Detroit rallies largest turnout for Palestine in years
The Palestinian struggle is a black struggle
The long history of Black Palestinian solidarity
LAPD relationship with Israel
DHS open fire on Palestine solidarity activist
Egypt blocks aid convoy from entering Gaza
if you’re going to protest an embassy…Turkish protestors raise Palestinian flag on israel consulate
Check out our newest show (TODAY) sunday July13th! live @1:30pm on Kpfk:http://www.kpfk.org/index.php/listen-live
A report back on the anti immigration backlash in Murrieta, CA as well as information on SoCal wide organizing to support and shelter families and child refugees.
Or listen to Full show available on our SOUNDCLOUD:
Intro song: Papers by SHINING SOUL
Outro song: Made you Die by (YASIIN BEY DEAD PREZ MIKEFLO)
Report Back: Anti Fascist/Imperialist Action in Murrieta in Support of Migrant Child Refugees http://bayareaintifada.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/report-back-anti-fascistimperialist-action-in-murrieta-ca-in-support-of-migrant-children-refugees/ The Border is the Problem: Resisting the Humanitarian Solution to Child Migration http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/24443-the-border-is-the-problem-resisting-the-humanitarian-solution-to-child-migration “Queer undocumented youth have been at the forefront of fighting for immigrant rights for more than a decade. We learned to fight for our own spaces based on our experiences of exclusion from the country where we grew up, from our communities, and from both the mainstream LGBT and immigration reform movements… Today, undocumented queer organizers continue to organize based on our experiences and the stories of people in our communities. It is by listening to these stories that many of us have come to the conclusion that we need to continue to use creative and unapologetic tactics to stop deportations and to address the abuses and injustices taking place every day in immigration detention centers. Meanwhile, national mainstream organizations continue to push for a path to citizenship that ignores the immediate needs of undocumented immigrants and the record-breaking deportations under the Obama Administration. Perhaps Frank Sharry and DC-based immigration reform groups should stop rewriting history and listen to those directly affected by immigration laws, including undocumented queer immigrants who continue to be at the forefront of the movement.” http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/2973670/
A Refugee Crisis not an Immigration Crisis
Noam Chomsky | The Sledgehammer Worldview
The U.S.-Created Child Migrant Crisis
Obama’s new plan for detained migrant children militarizes immigration policy
Remember Uprisings: 1 Year anniversary L A Trayvon Martin march 7:14:13
SO ARE Y’(A)LL READY TO TALK ABOUT WHITE SUPREMACY OR NAH?
[SHOW & INFO DROP]
Check out our newest show, a discussion on white supremacy, forced assimilation, and over struggle to try and survive in this white supremacist anti blackness world.
NEW show can be found here on our Soundcloud: White Supremacy Episode w/ Special Guests!
We’ll also be on L.A.’s KPFK 90.7fm radio @ 1:30 Sunday July 6, 2014
A “safe space” for Whites to talk about race is unsafe for people of colour : http://restructure.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/a-safe-space-for-whites-to-talk-about-race-is-unsafe-for-people-of-colour/
" Since the notion that we should all forsake attachment to race and/or cultural identity and be ‘just humans’ within the framework of white supremacy has usually meant that subordinate groups must surrender their identities, beliefs, values, and assimilate by adopting the values and beliefs of privileged-class whites, rather than promoting racial harmony this thinking has created a fierce cultural protectionism."
— bell hooks | killing rage: Ending Racism
Do you know how many of my students can’t even say the word white? You all will talk about African-Americans, Latinos, and Asian-Americans all day long but at soon as it comes time to say white peoples’ voices drop. You ain’t have seen that? Come on man, people come up with crazy terms you have never seen before, they would be like: “And that Caucasoid…” You can always tell, you could always tell where the supreme power rests in the society because of the reluctance people have in naming that power. Part of what privilege requires, guys privilege cannot operate without silence. It cannot operate without silence, and this tremendous silence around whiteness, if you are foolish enough to post a blog on your Facebook that mentions whiteness the amount of attacks that you will get, because privilege defends itself viciously, to maintain the silence that is required for its operation. So, given this I would argue that the other thing that we need to do is coming off of James Scott’s idea of “anarchist calisthenics,” we need to practice racial anarchist calisthenics. What he, what Scott meant by anarchist calisthenics is that this society has ton of little rules that we all practice without thinking. And he argues that we need to practice breaking little rules consistently because one day this society is going to ask you to prosecute a horrifying rule, that I think we will long live to regret, and the muscles of resistance needs to be exercised, they need to be prepared for the time we need to make that big, big, big, big stand. And so racial anarchist calisthenics, I would say, begins with all of us getting that tongue muscle back in to place and saying Saurons name. I challenge people; I challenge people every time you say African-American, Asian-American, whatever the group count it and say white just as much. And say white just as much. We don’t do it you guys, we don’t do it, we don’t do it. And yet if we were ever going to confront in a real way white supremacy, which is not only linked to white folks you guys. White supremacy is the racial order in all of us, but if we are not able to discuss whiteness as a category, as a critical way of looking at the world and even simply as just the racial group, we are in some serious trouble. The reality is even if we took every white person on Earth and put them on a space ship and sent them to outer space white supremacy wouldn’t miss a beat.
— Junot Díaz - Facing Race (2012)
The West won the world
not by the superiority of
its ideas or values or religion,
but rather by its superiority
in applying organized violence.
Westerners often forget this fact,
non-Westerners never do.
— Samuel P. Huntington
But as Latinos become an increasingly large part of a non-white majority in the United States, we must remain vigilant about anti-blackness in our families, communities and movements, or risk a future of our own making in which black lives are treated as though they do not matter. While George Zimmerman’s vile vigilantism is an aberration, we need to admit that people like him, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are not total anomalies; we need to admit that they are like some of our own family members who murmur slurs, lock car doors and cross streets to avoid black people
— Aura Bogado - “A matter of death and death”: Confronting anti-black racism among Latinos
In some ways it was easier for my generation. Racism was blatant and obvious. The “Whites Only” signs let us know clearly, what we were up against. Not much has changed, but the system of lies and trickology is much more sophisticated. Today young people have to be highly informed and acutely analytical, or they will be swept up into a whirlpool of lies and deception.
- Assata Shakur, Honey Magazine debut issue (1998)
As this white race expanded to include other European ethnicities, the result was a very curious political system: the white democracy. The white democracy has two contradictory aspects to it. On the one hand, all whites are considered equal (even as the poor are subordinated to the rich and women are subordinated to men). On the other, every white person is considered superior to every person of color. It’s democracy for white folks, but tyranny for everyone else.
In this system, whites praised freedom, equal opportunity, and hard work, while at the same time insisting on higher wages, access to the best jobs, to be the first hired and the last fired at the workplace, full enjoyment of civil rights, the right to send their kids to the best schools, to live in the nicest neighborhoods, and to enjoy decent treatment by the police. In exchange for these “public and psychological wages,” as W.E.B. Du Bois called them, whites agreed to enforce slavery, segregation, reservation, genocide, and other forms of discrimination. The tragedy of the white democracy is that it oppressed working class whites as well as people of color, because with the working class bitterly divided, the elites could rule easily.
The white democracy exists today. Take any social indicator—rates for college graduation, homeownership, median family wealth, incarceration, life expectancy, infant mortality, cancer, unemployment, median family debt, etc.—and you’ll find the same thing: whites as a group are significantly better off than any other racial group. Of course there are individual exceptions, but as a group whites enjoy more wealth, less debt, more education, less imprisonment, more health care, less illness, more safety, less crime, better treatment by the police, and less police brutality than any other group. Some whisper that this is because whites have a better work ethic. But history tells us that the white democracy, born in the 1600s, lives on.
— Joel Olson
Laws don’t protect anyone. So many of us who believe that fair housing laws, and anti-discrimination laws, and civil-rights laws, and voting laws and so forth, guarantee our freedom. What an illusion. What a flight into fantasy.
Laws are no stronger than their enforcers. And the same people who pass those laws are the same people who are responsible for enforcing the law. And if the people then who enforce the law no longer decide to do so, the laws then are of no value and have no power. Ultimately then, fairness rests, and the fairness of treatment rests, not in laws, but in the activities of people and in the attitude and consciousness of people.
You cannot put your faith in a white man’s law, and the laws enforced by whites. It is a silly faith that we have then, in laws. And for people in the 1970’s, and ’80s and ’90s, to still rest their freedom on the basis of laws, when the very history itself shows us that this cannot be done, we must question their sanity and what they have learned from the study of their history.
Back there, one hundred years ago, there was a federal law protecting voting rights in the South. Does this all sound vaguely familiar? This didn’t begin with the Freedom Riders of the 1960’s, we had those back there in the 1860’s and ’70s as well.
— Dr. Amos N. Wilson on African history and how laws haven’t solved the problem of race.
“I think the problem is that many people in America think that racism is an attitude. And this is encouraged by the capitalist system. So they think that what people think is what makes them a racist. Racism is not an attitude.
If a white man wants to lynch me, that’s his problem. If he’s got the power to lynch me, that’s my problem. Racism is not a question of attitude; it’s a question of power.
Racism gets its power from capitalism. Thus, if you’re anti-racist, whether you know it or not, you must be anti-capitalist. The power for racism, the power for sexism, comes from capitalism, not an attitude.
You cannot be a racist without power. You cannot be a sexist without power. Even men who beat their wives get this power from the society which allows it, condones it, encourages it. One cannot be against racism, one cannot be against sexism, unless one is against capitalism.”
— Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael)
- 70 Percent of Anti-LGBT Murder Victims Are People of Color
- While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned.
- Report: Immigration Status and Race Affect Domestic Workers’ Pay
- Once convicted, black offenders receive longer sentences compared to white offenders. The U.S. Sentencing Commission stated that in the federal system black offenders receive sentences that are 10 percent longer than white offenders for the same crimes.
- Marijuana Prohibition Turns 75, Blacks Three Times More Likely to be Arrested Than Whites
- According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime.
- A number of states have bans on people with certain convictions working in domestic health-service industries such as nursing, child care, and home health care—areas in which many poor women and women of color are disproportionately concentrated.
- African Americans were twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police.
- The prison population grew by 700 percent from 1970 to 2005, a rate that is outpacing crime and population rates. The incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color: 1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men.
- [TW: Rape] Canadian police accused of abusing native women
CNN breaks down the numbers: > Nearly nine out of 10 people “stopped and frisked” under a controversial New York Police Department policy in 2011 were African-American or Hispanic.
- Martin Luther King assassinated by US government: MLK civil trial decision
Aamer Rahman — Reverse Racism, from Fear of a Brown Planet »»» Rahman breaks down the requirements for calling out “reverse racism”
If you speak in an angry way about what has happened to our people and what is happening to our people, what does he call it? Emotionalism. Pick up on that. Here the man has got a rope around his neck and because he screams, you know, the cracker that’s putting the rope around his neck accuses him of being emotional. You’re supposed to have the rope around your neck and holler politely, you know. You’re supposed to watch your diction, not shout and wake other people up— this is how you’re supposed to holler. You’re supposed to be respectable and responsible when you holler against what they’re doing to you. And you’ve got a lot of Afro-Americans who fall for that. They say, “No, you can’t do it like that, you’ve got to be responsible, you’ve got to be respectable.” And you’ll always be a slave as long as you’re trying to be responsible and respectable in the eyesight of your master; you’ll remain a slave. When you’re in the eyesight of your master, you’ve got to let him know you’re irresponsible and you’ll blow his irresponsible head off.
And again you’ve got another trap that he maneuvers you into. If you begin to talk about what he did to you, he’ll say that’s hate, you’re teaching hate. Pick up on that. He won’t say he didn’t do it, because he can’t. But he’ll accuse you of teaching hate just because you begin to spell out what he did to you. Which is an intellectual trap—because he knows we don’t want to be accused of hate.
And the average Black American who has been real brain-washed, he never wants to be accused of being emotional. Watch them, watch the real bourgeois Black Americans. He never wants to show any sign of emotion. He won’t even tap his feet. You can have some of that real soul music, and he’ll sit there, you know, like it doesn’t move him.
And then you go a step farther, they get you again on this violence. They have another trap wherein they make it look criminal if any of us, who has a rope around his neck or one is being put around his neck—if you do anything to stop the man from putting that rope around your neck, that’s violence. And again this bourgeois Negro, who’s trying to be polite and respectable and all, he never wants to be identified with violence. So he lets them do anything to him, and he sits there submitting to it nonviolently, just so he can keep his image of responsibility. He dies with a responsible image, he dies with a polite image, but he dies. The man who is irresponsible and impolite, he keeps his life. That responsible Negro, he’ll die every day, but if the irresponsible one dies he takes some of those with him who were trying to make him die.
— Malcolm X
In order to truly understand the full complexity and interconnectedness of anarchism as a worldwide movement however, a specific focus on the uniqueness and agency of movements amongst the “people without history” is a deeply needed change. This is because the historiography of anarchism has focused almost entirely on these movements as they have pertained to the peoples of the West and the North, while movements amongst the peoples of the East and the South have been widely neglected. As a result, the appearance has been that anarchist movements have arisen primarily within the context of the more privileged countries. Ironically, the truth is that anarchism has primarily been a movement of the most exploited regions and peoples of the world. That most available anarchist literature does not tell this history speaks not to a necessarily malicious disregard of non-Western anarchist movements but rather to the fact that even in the context of radical publishing, centuries of engrained eurocentrism has not really been overcome.
The argument of the movie and the Indian-rights advocates interviewed is that the relocation is the latest tactic of energy companies to get rid of obstacles to exploiting the mineral riches of the West. Oil, natural gas, coal and uranium abound under the Indian lands, and the methods by which Indian interests have been negotiated away do not make proud chapters of American history. As the narrator says, ”Indians have been paying with their lives for the white man’s greed since Columbus.”
In their sympathy for what has been done to the Indians, Miss Mudd and Miss Florio now and then lose their grip; their prose grows ripe in descriptions of ”the sacred circle of life,” ceremonies that are attuned to ”the womb of nature” and such. A Hopi ritual, we are told, is as intricate as the most complicated mathematical equation and their planting is guided by the movement of the planets, presumably unlike planting by farmers of European extraction. We are told that a child was cured of a nervous disorder by ritual chants and that the Navajos have special wisdom in recognizing and processing medicinal herbs, which does not seem to have done much for their deplorable health statistics. The narrator, Martin Sheen, reports that the Nazis studied Indian internment camps for methods of handling Europe’s Jews, without mentioning that the Germans added something to what they found.
A Discussion on “Mandatory Pronouns” vs. “Preferred Pronouns”
Today, I would like to discuss a trend within some of the transgender and gender non-conforming communities that I have noticed lately - and that is the growing dislike of the phrase “preferred pronouns” and the shaming of folks who say things like, “I prefer x/y/z pronouns.”
To some, this phrase “preferred pronouns” somehow gives the impression that folks can decide what pronouns they want to refer to you with or choose how to gender you at any given time, or not be held accountable when they mess up your pronouns. While I understand that the phrase may give that impression and folks can take advantage of that, the term is quite valuable to some in the gender non-conforming communities - especially those with multiple pronouns and/or identities and gender sensitive situations. To me, it is a valid phrase that should be respected among communities who want to use it to describe their personal pronoun use.
As a non-binary person, I have pronouns that I would prefer to be used for me depending on social situations. I have this preference for my own safety and well-being, and I discuss it at length with folks that I feel comfortable with - like friends, family, and some acquaintances.
For example, I used to identify with he/him/his AND they/them/their pronouns interchangeably. My friends and family were aware of this. They would refer to me as he/him in situations when we were in good company, but in workplace environments or other public situations where I was not completely out as genderqueer, they would try to use gender neutral pronouns - which is what I preferred to avoid awkward or even harmful social situations.
Sidenote: I now only use they/them/their pronouns for myself, but the sentiment is still there. I know a lot of other folks have had similar experiences with this and would like the same respect.
Some people ONLY use binary pronouns: he/him/his or she/her/hers. Some simply use they/them/their or other gender neutral pronouns like ze/zim/zer. Others use a variety of pronouns depending on their situation, gender identity, and gender expression, and this can vary from day to day for some folks.
Bottom line: Pronouns ARE mandatory, but they are not universally used the same ways in the same situations for all people. Pronouns are valid and should be respected and acknowledged according to each person. Trans and gender non-conforming communities are full of diversity, so why can’t we accept that pronouns are mandatory AND/or may be preferred for some?
Personally, I identify with both phrases collectively. My pronouns are mandatory to me. My pronouns pertain to me and are not to be modified or disregarded by anyone but me. But I do have preferences regarding my pronouns in various situations, as I have said. Quite frankly, there are so many factors that would determine what situation(s) would be appropriate to use what pronouns - and not just for me, but for everyone. This is why it is so important to not only inquire about people’s pronouns and their preferences, but also check-in regarding their pronoun status. Communicate when you can. Do research. Ask questions if need be. But respect people’s pronouns.
This is a really basic attempt at discussing this topic and the issues surrounding it. Basically, I wrote this to raise awareness of this issue and just keep the discussion going.
Please feel free to do so.