Women gather in response to the War on Terrorism.
International Women's Day is an occasion for women to remember their solidarity across boundaries of nation, ethnicity, language, culture, economics and politics, and to continue their struggle for equality, justice and peace. It has been observed internationally since 1910, and falls on March 8 to commemorate a march of 15,000 women through New York City demanding shorter work hours, better pay, voting rights, and an end to child labor. It has strong roots in the labor movement, but also the peace movementon the eve of World War I, women throughout Europe held rallies to either protest the war or express solidarity with their sisters.
This International Women's Day a group of local women activists, including both college students and community members, has planned several events in relation to Bush's "war on terrorism". We invite you to join us.
Learning to Speak
I was raised in the world of post-feminism. I was taught that all my battles had been fought and won.
They already took care of everything.
When I grew up I would wear pants AND lipstick. I don't remember the exact moment when I realized they had been lying to me all these years; most likely it gradually seeped in. It is still seeping. Today I am organizing with women against a war that has ignored women's voices both in America and across the globe. But then again, we're not really being ignored if we haven't even spoken. I was taught not to speak. There is no need.
They already took care of everything.
I find inspiration from the women I have met while organizing International Women's Day events. We are all learning to speak. Some have more practice than others. I need more practice. I am a woman working with women because we speak together. We speak and we listen. We are organizing events around International Women's Day to provide a space for all women, of all concerns, to speak and to learn.
Together, our voices will amplify.
_ Kimberley McCoy
Reclaiming Our Power
War isolates men as warriors and protectors, from women who are objectified as helpless victims of the enemy. Women and children are left during war to keep villages or cities functioning, and raped as trophies of battle. As women we do not control the economies or governments which cause and engage in wars. Within patriarchal societies we have lost our role as decision makers for our communities.
There are some things that I do most easily in family, and women are one of my "families." In community with women I am able to think, create, and get work done. The impact of sexual politics is minimized and energy is not sapped by either dealing or not dealing with the overt and covert elements of sexism in our culture.
An out-of-control capitalist system needs war to enforce the "globalization" of its profit-making. Working with women in response to its political actions is a way of removing oneself from that system. It is a modest reclaiming of the inherent power of women to function wisely and powerfully, on behalf of the survival of us all.
Why work to fight corporate globalization and to get involved in critical and creative ways in the US "war on terrorism"? We know the links between first world corporate irresponsibility, global economic poverty, and third world inequality. But I want to speak to a seemingly more abstract issue: democracy. The fight for global justice is the most urgent means to preserve and to revitalize democratic values, and democracy is an international feminist issuean issue of women and children first. Women do the majority of the world's labor and garner little of its resources. In the developing world, women grow 90% of food for home consumption, produce half of the world's food, even while they own only 1% of its farm land and account for 70% of the world's poor. The vast majority of "domestic" labor, work in the home, and care for families and children, falls to women. Many recent studies have shown that globalization exacerbates the conditions of women and children, and in turn, without their involvement, development is likely to be superficial, unviable and un-
sustainable. In short, women and children are the real face of globalization and the benchmark for determining global democratic standards of equality. This task begins at homeby understanding the feelings and conditions of women and childrenand by drawing connections between their local problems and global developments.
Hearing Each Other
Women in the late sixties and seventies worked hard to create their own forms for organizing in which women would feel safe and feel free to voice their thoughts and emotions.
I want to work with women who agree that how i am with you in our meeting is as important as whatever our reasons for meeting. Even if we're in a hurry: loudness or articulateness does not rule. Every person in the room is thinking something about what's happening, and we need to know what that is.
I want to work with women who get that how it happens inside the meeting rooms leaks all over whatever actions are taken. Hearing each other out, asking to hear from the quiet ones, rotating who leads the meeting, caring about each others feelings, feeding each other, making sure everyone has a ride, matters as much, matters as much, matters as much as what action we're planning.
We're not talking luxury here.
We're talking how we share this life on this planet.
Without Pride or Competition
There are many subtle relations connected to gender that exist in a group, which make these social constructs hard to analyze. I've found that working in a group with women there is often exceptional understanding of how to work as a consensus group. And it seems to come so easily, through patience, politeness, and simple respect between the members. The dynamics of the group run so that we feel comfortable to speak up with each of our own concerns and opinions.
When the group is comprised of women, there aren't as many walls built up stemming from pride, or competition, or arrogance that sometimes hinder the dynamics of other groups. How we deal with others is constructed differently than how it is for men in our society, so that emphasis on personal gain, competition and pride are not as present.
Even when there are many differences between the women in the group, from age to what we do with our lives, I rarely see prejudices from these differences, and we treat each other with the same high amount of esteem for the different perspectives and aspects we contribute.
Friday, March 8, 6:30-9pm
Art Show & Poetry, Music & Food
Art work inspired by WAR, presenting the often-overlooked views, thoughts, and emotions of women and children.
Community Folk Art Gallery, 2223 E. Genesee St., Syracuse
All are welcome.
Saturday, March 9, 11-1pm
Plymouth Church, 232 E. Onondaga St. in downtown Syracuse
All are welcome.
1pm meet at Plymouth Church
For more information, call Carol Baum, 472-5478