Feminist News Round Up - March!
Here's a round up of the news that caught our eye during March...
Beyonce debuts “Formation.” Here’s a great feminist reading of the video.
“Formation, then, is a metaphor, a black feminist, black queer, and black queer feminist theory of community organizing and resistance. It is a recognition of one another at the blackness margins–woman, queer, genderqueer, trans, poor, disabled, undocumented, immigrant–before an overt action. For the black southern majorettes, across gender formulations, formation is the alignment, the stillness, the readying, the quiet, before the twerk, the turn-up, the (social) movement. To be successful, there must be coordination, the kind that choreographers and movement leaders do, the kind that black women organizers do in neighborhoods and organizations. To slay the violence of white supremacist heteropatriarchy, we must start, Beyoncé argues, with the proper formation. The proper formation is, she contends, made possible by the participation and leadership of a blackness on the margins.”
Hillary Clinton isn’t the first woman to run for President! That was Victoria Woodhull, who ran in 1872 for the Equal Rights party. But, like you, we have been watching the race with great interest. There’s been much talk amongst feminists about Clinton and her fellow Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders in regards to feminism and women’s rights. As discussed over at TIME magazine -
“Exit polls in neighboring New Hampshire showed 82% of Democratic women under 30 backed Sanders, while 56% of women over 45 backed Clinton.
Those poll numbers show a generational divide among liberal women that suggests a sea change in feminist thought. For many older feminists, it seems only natural to support the most viable female presidential candidate to ever get this far, especially after the disappointment of the 2008 primary. But younger feminists are more likely to eschew traditional feminism in favor of “intersectionality“– the idea that social identities like race, gender and class are so intertwined that it’s impossible to prioritize one lens over another. In other words, a middle-class straight white woman would have very different concerns than a poor trans woman of color, and it’s unfair to assume that both would have the same priorities just because they’re women. And some young feminists say that in this context, Clinton’s gender seems less important than all the other ways she is privileged.”
The International Women’s Day of ABC’s Q&A was an eventful one! Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash refused to label herself a feminist on air, whilst broadcaster Alan Jones embraced the title (somewhat).
In the U.S, Art+Feminism gathered to host a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon in order to address the information gender-gap on the site. Hundreds of entries are added and edited every year.
Celeste Liddle, the Arrernte writer, feminist and unionist, was repeatedly banned from Facebook for posting an image of two topless Central Australian Aboriginal women performing an ancient ceremony. From New Matilda- “Liddle has been at the centre of a growing social media storm after New Matilda published a speech delivered by Liddle on March 9, to mark International Women’s Day. It argued, that Liddle had been suspended before by Facebook for posting cultural images of Aboriginal ceremony, and she argued, among other things, that the female breast does not exist to “satisfy the male gaze”.
The main image attached to the published speech was of two Aboriginal women performing an ancient Aboriginal ceremony at a public protest in Central Australia in 2010.
The original story was shared widely on Facebook, but shortly after, Liddle’s account was suspended for breaching Facebook’s “community standards”, along with multiple other accounts of New Matilda readers and Liddle supporters (this writer’s account was also suspended). In response, Liddle launched a petition change.org demanding Facebook review its community standards. It’s gathered more than 15,000 signatures in less than two days.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed whilst at a UN meeting on gender equality, that “every time I call myself a feminist, the Twitterverse explodes.” He also claimed that he’ll “‘keep saying it loud and clear until it is met with a shrug.”