HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » the courage of the vigila...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:30 AM

the courage of the vigilante feminists is contagious


The Courage of the Vigilante Feminists is Contagious
In Ireland and Egypt – and beyond – women are coming together to combat sexual violence
by Laurie Penny

'I'm sick of being ashamed." Three days ago, an anti-harassment activist said those words to me in a flat above Cairo's Tahrir square, as she pulled on her makeshift uniform ready to protect women on the protest lines from being raped in the street. Only days before, I'd heard exactly the same words from pro-choice organisers in Dublin, where I travelled to report on the feminist fight to legalise abortion in Ireland. I had thought that I was covering two separate stories – so why were two women from different countries and backgrounds repeating the same mantra against fear, and against shame?Protesters hold up knives in a show of defiance during a protest in Cairo against rape and sexual harrassment on 6 February 2013. (Photograph: AFP/Getty)

From India to Ireland to Egypt, women are on the streets, on the airwaves, on the internet, getting organised and getting angry. They're co-ordinating in their communities to combat sexual violence and taking a stand against archaic sexist legislation; they're challenging harassment and rape culture. Across the world, women who are sick and tired of shame and fear are fighting back in unprecedented ways.

This is not 2011. The mood of hope that so recently swept Europe, America, the Middle East and cyberspace is collapsing into confusion and social tension, and social tension is being channelled, in part, into suspicion of minorities, immigrants, people of colour, and women and girls. Sexism often functions as a pressure-release valve in times of social unrest – and when it does, it takes different forms, depending on local values. Right now, in Egypt, it's groping, heckling and mob attacks; in Ireland, it's rape apologism and a backlash against abortion and sexual equality; on the internet, it's vicious slut-shaming and "revenge porn". But this time, women are refusing to take it any more.

Like the Arab spring and Occupy in 2011, local movements with no apparent connection to one another are exchanging information and taking courage from one another's struggles. The fight against misogyny is spreading online and via networks of solidarity and trust that develop rapidly, outside the traditional channels. I met Swedish and Iranian feminist activists in Dublin, and British feminist activists in Cairo, and have seen live information about the women's marches in Egypt spread quickly through chains of activists from South Africa to the American Deep South. Men and boys, too, are involved as allies – not in large numbers, but in numbers large enough to make their presence impossible to overlook.
. . . .

It's too early to say whether the mood of mutiny will last. When people fight misogyny, they aren't just fighting governments and police forces, religious organisations and strangers in the streets – they also have to deal with intolerance from their loved ones, from their colleagues, from friends and family members who can't or won't understand. Over the last few weeks I have been humbled by the bravery of the activists I've met, particularly the women. It takes a special sort of courage to cast off shame, to risk not just violence but also intimate rejection for the sake of a better future. And the thing about courage is that it's contagious.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/02/13-0

39 replies, 2519 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 39 replies Author Time Post
Reply the courage of the vigilante feminists is contagious (Original post)
niyad Feb 2013 OP
seabeyond Feb 2013 #1
duhneece Feb 2013 #2
niyad Feb 2013 #4
libodem Feb 2013 #5
niyad Feb 2013 #9
libodem Feb 2013 #17
niyad Feb 2013 #19
libodem Feb 2013 #20
niyad Feb 2013 #21
libodem Feb 2013 #25
duhneece Feb 2013 #10
niyad Feb 2013 #12
libodem Feb 2013 #18
loudsue Feb 2013 #15
duhneece Feb 2013 #31
loudsue Feb 2013 #32
libodem Feb 2013 #3
niyad Feb 2013 #6
libodem Feb 2013 #8
EastKYLiberal Feb 2013 #7
niyad Feb 2013 #11
lapislzi Feb 2013 #13
niyad Feb 2013 #14
me b zola Feb 2013 #16
MadrasT Feb 2013 #22
heaven05 Feb 2013 #23
BlancheSplanchnik Feb 2013 #24
yardwork Feb 2013 #26
ReRe Feb 2013 #27
sufrommich Feb 2013 #28
redqueen Feb 2013 #29
redqueen Feb 2013 #30
Taverner Feb 2013 #33
niyad Feb 2013 #34
riderinthestorm Feb 2013 #35
Raffi Ella Feb 2013 #36
niyad Feb 2013 #37
smirkymonkey Feb 2013 #38
niyad Feb 2013 #39

Response to niyad (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:36 AM

1. the youth in UK have become very active. very vocal. i am impressed.

and there was recently an article about germanys feminist.

women have had enough, and the youth seem to feel the same.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:38 AM

2. We are rising.

About One Billion Rising

ONE IN THREE WOMEN ON THE PLANET WILL BE RAPED OR BEATEN IN HER LIFETIME.*

ONE BILLION WOMEN VIOLATED IS AN ATROCITY

ONE BILLION WOMEN DANCING IS A REVOLUTION

On V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, 14 February 2013, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders.

What does ONE BILLION look like? On 14 February 2013, it will look like a REVOLUTION.

ONE BILLION RISING IS:

A global strike
An invitation to dance
A call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends
An act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers
A refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given
A new time and a new way of being
http://www.onebillionrising.org

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to duhneece (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:42 AM

4. thank you for reminding us about this incredible, world-wide rising

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to duhneece (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:43 AM

5. We are meeting

At the Boise, capitol building to protest tomorrow.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to libodem (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:49 AM

9. oh, that is wonderful. looking forward to hearing your report--will you be able to share pics?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:04 PM

17. I have never learned how

To post pictures. I took a bunch of our Occupy effort, that have never seen the outside of my phone.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to libodem (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:06 PM

19. I have absolutely no idea either--so do not feel bad.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:12 PM

20. I do though

My phone plan is expensive and on a contract. When it expires I'll go to cable or WiFi and get back to my lap top.

I would love to be a more active contributor.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to libodem (Reply #20)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:24 PM

21. if you are on a contract, you should be able to have a tech talk you through it--although, that

might prove an exercise in frustration, if they are anything like the techs I had to deal with.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Reply #21)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:02 PM

25. I should go to the Sprint store

There are many functions on this magic phone I have no clue how to work.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to libodem (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:50 AM

10. We're 4 hours away from our capitol

We're meeting at 'the' major intersection of our small town, the same spot where we had our first 'We Trust Women Commemoration of Roe v Wade Rally' a few weeks ago. We've had enough. There are enough of us 'uppity' women to rise, to speak up & out, to do all we can to change the current culture of 'blame the woman-boys are just sowing their wild oats'.
Glad to know other DUers are involved in this rising.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to duhneece (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:27 AM

12. thank you, and libodem, and all who are involved in this incredible movement. as I requested

of libodem--hope to hear your report, and pics, if possible.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to duhneece (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:05 PM

18. Awesome

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to duhneece (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:50 AM

15. Thank you, Duhneece! And thank you for all the tireless work you have done

to help make this go viral across the globe. You have given courage to so many women, and have encouraged and challenged so many men to join in. It is the unsung heroes like you that will make this world a better place for everyone. The fact that you've done so much of this living in a sea of red voters, well, it just takes my breath away.

It's way past time that this world comes back into balance for the male & female energies.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to loudsue (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:14 AM

31. My sister, YOU have built me up, supported me when I've been down

You have encouraged me, literally giving me the heart to rise up, say, "This is our I see this"...
You are so right, "It's way past time that this world comes back into balance for the male & female energies."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to duhneece (Reply #31)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:29 AM

32. Right back at ya!

You've been a rock, and I love you!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:41 AM

3. Thank you Niyad

For your tireless effort to bring us info rmation.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to libodem (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:44 AM

6. just my very small contribution

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:48 AM

8. You do it well

Just sayin'....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:47 AM

7. Very much so...

 

As a man that has admittedly used misogynistic words in the past, I now cringe when I hear others say them.

I didn't have to evolve on rape or slut-shaming. It seems like any decent human being would already hold those innate values.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to EastKYLiberal (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:50 AM

11. you said the operative words "decent human being"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:28 AM

13. kicky for my sisters

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to lapislzi (Reply #13)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:30 AM

14. thank you from your sisters

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:56 AM

16. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:37 PM

22. K&R, damn right, I love this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:54 PM

23. good

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:02 PM

24. it's true-- courage IS contagious!

Great article; good to see finally women and girls are standing up together.



K & R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:20 PM

26. This is wonderful.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:29 PM

27. Vigilante Feminists...

K&R

...now I like the sound of that. Author Laurie Penny is giving world voice to the struggle against the abuse of women. I can't tell you how inspired I am that the women in Cairo are protesting with knives lifted over their heads. What a visual! I pity the fools who think they can attack any woman in their group when they hit the streets. I hope they have numbers. Nothing more wicked than a group of at least 100 or more women protesting with knives. Wouldn't be smart to go out in small groups, as they could be overcome too easy. Thanks, niyad, for posting this article from CommonDreams.org/The Guardian!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:34 PM

28. It's impossible to imagine some

Of the dangers these brave women face.The bravery of the Egyptian women is awe inspiring. Great article.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:39 PM

29. "intolerance from their loved ones, from their colleagues, from friends and family"

K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:20 PM

30. "As if on some secret signal, women and their allies across the world...

have expressed a collective lack of faith in governments and police forces to deal with endemic sexism. The lists of demands still begin with changes in the law, but many women are no longer prepared to wait patiently and politely for the police and judiciary to update their practices. There's no time to wait for gradual reform to heal the sickness in society when what's needed is triage."

Another kick

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:36 AM

33. Pussy Riot is probably one of the bravest groups out there

 

And they are going to prison, not US Conjugal Visit prison, but Siberian "die-before-you-arrive" prison.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Taverner (Reply #33)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:51 AM

34. what is the latest on them?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:06 PM

35. Thanks niyad for an important, courageous piece! Huge K&R

Its important in the US too as we see so many women's rights under attack even today.

"Sexism often functions as a pressure-release valve in times of social unrest – and when it does, it takes different forms, depending on local values."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:37 PM

36. K&R

When people fight misogyny, they aren't just fighting governments and police forces, religious organisations and strangers in the streets – they also have to deal with intolerance from their loved ones, from their colleagues, from friends and family members who can't or won't understand.


amazing article, inspiring! Those brave women, wow. It's one thing in a place like America, quite another in Egypt. To all the wonderful people at DU that get it and stand with us, I salute you. It matters and it makes a difference.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Raffi Ella (Reply #36)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:05 PM

37. the women protesting and rising around the world are truly inspirational. as are the men who

stand with them. and, like you, I salute those who stand with us.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:35 PM

38. K&R

Great post! Very inspiring!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to niyad (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:23 AM

39. kick for friday and sba's birthday

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread