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From Tranarchism:

mi·sog·y·ny

/mɪˈsɒdʒəni, maɪ-/ [mi-soj-uh-nee, mahy-]

–noun

hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.

I need to know something. I need to know what a real woman is. I’m a woman and I need to know if I’m real and the only person who can tell me is Bitch. Or maybe it’s Lisa Voegel. Or maybe it’s Rush Limbaugh. Ok, then I need to know two things. I need to know if I’m a real woman and I need to know who can tell me if I am. Because if I’ve learned anything during these past few years, existing on the periphery of the trans community as a cis lover, friend, sister, and solidarity stander of trans folk, it’s that I sure as shit don’t have the authority to determine my own gender identity. I’ve also learned, in no uncertain terms, that the war on trans women’s identities is a war on all women’s identity. Transmisogyny is misogyny against all women.

If you hate, dislike, or mistrust trans women, you’re misogynistic. Trans women are included in the big ol’ group known as women. Want proof? Well look at their name, silly. We call ‘em trans women, not trans chia pets, not trans beach towels, not trans schmeggeggies. Remember high school algebra? Oh hush, yes you do. Let me remind you of this lovely little mathematical rule:

If a=b and b=c, then a=c

If trans women= women and hating, disliking, or mistrusting women= misogyny then…then what? Solve for c.

Ok technically that would be trans women= misogyny but you know perfectly well what I mean and I hate that you even questioned my math.

But I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “But Gus, I think trans women=/= women so therefore it’s totally not misogynistic to hate, dislike, or mistrust trans women.” And I understand that. Really, I do. But here’s the thing. Now listen carefully, my little chickadee, cuz I’m about to blow your mind.

You’re wrong.

Not only are you wrong, but even thinking that silly, silly, thing is unbelievably, incredibly, fantastically MISOGYNISTIC. And it offends me as a woman. Yes, yes it does. And here’s why. Here’s an annotated list of all the ways your transmisogyny hurts all women. Yes, even you, Bitch.

1. It Polices Women’s Identities

I listed this one first because it’s the easiest. If you are telling trans women they can’t be women, you’re telling every woman on the planet she can’t be whatever she wants. That doesn’t sound very feminist to me. It sounds more like something a pipe smoking white guy from the 50s would say to his daughter who wants to be an astronaut. Gross. Also, you’re basically declaring yourself the authority on other peoples’ identities. And really, my telling you to knock that off is for your own good. Do you have any idea how tiring that would be? Every time someone needed to know their own gender identity, they would have to contact you. Do you know how many people are in the world? Six billion-ish. I suggest, if you do keep this up, that perhaps you may want to get a gmail account, as that has an infinite amount of storage space. You’re going to need that for 6 billion emails with the subject heading, “what am I?”

But let’s get specific. The most common mistake I see here is when the queer community punishes trans women for specific aspects of their identities. Most notably, we’re talking about things that are deemed “unfeminine”. Seriously, folks, are you listening to yourselves here? You’re telling trans women that if they speak loudly/take up space/ defend themselves/have an opinion with which you disagree/wear pants/listen to metal/etc, they’re not real women. Uh, I’m sorry, what? I do all those things. You would shit twice and die if a man told me that. Why am I immune to that criticism? Why can I be butch and still be a woman? Oh, I know why. It’s because I was assigned female at birth, a great beacon of truth for my REAL gender. It’s because of that, and because of my cunt, which you recognize as legitimate. My “real” cunt is a “get out of gender invalidation free” pass. That’s convenient, as it serves for a great transition for…

2. It Polices Women’s Bodies

Here’s the real down and dirty analysis, right here. Wait for it. Wait. Ok. Now.

What the hell does a woman’s body possess that makes it a woman’s body? What does it NEED to have to be female. Did you immediately think of breasts, ovaries, vaginas? Gross. Think about that for more than two minutes and you’ll see why it’s gross. Still don’t get it? Well then go down to the nearest breast cancer walk and tell every single woman with a double mastectomy she’s not a woman. When you’re done with that, go down to your local hospital, ask the nurse where the OR is, and wait outside until you can find a woman fresh out of her hysterectomy surgery, and tell her the news. Yeah, that sounds evil, doesn’t it? Well it’s basically what you’re doing when you’re policing trans women’s bodies. You’re telling all women what they have to have on/in their bodies to be a woman. Which, obviously, is totally gross.

Also, what do you care what a human being looks like all inside out? That’s so WEIRD. How is it any of your business how many kidneys or ovaries or white blood cells I have? Like, that is legitimately weirding me out that you would even care. And can I just say, as a fat girl with a history of pretty serious body issues, it’s kind of triggering. First you wanna regulate trans women’s bodies and then what? Another person feeling like they have any authority over the validity of my body is really scary to me. And it definitely echoes of some very conservative, very anti-choice ideals. My body, my choice, fucker. Because that’s what “they” want to do “us”, isn’t it? Take away our bodily autonomy. Tell us exactly what we can and can not do with our organs. Awkward. You’re pretty much Bill O’Reilly. SO awkward.

(And seriously, this essay is totally not even getting into the super important points about people who are intersex who identify as women. This is mostly because I’m not intersex and I really can’t speak to those experiences, and also because I’m not as up on my shit with intersex issues as I like to believe I am with trans stuff. This is laziness on my part, and writing this essay has made me see this)

3. It Perpetuates the Myth of Shared Girlhood

Now, I don’t know what your girlhood was like, but I’m actually pretty sure it had nothing to do with mine. My childhood (a word I greatly prefer) was pretty much centered on reading, climbing trees, and hating my fat body. Oh yeah, I also lived in a three story mansion in Orange County, California. Kind of a different childhood than, say, my best friend who traveled the country with her hot air balloon pilot parents. Kind of a different childhood than my mother, who grew up a poor Catholic girl in the Italian part of Queens in the 1960s. To say that none of the different privileges, triumphs, oppressions, failures, and experiences of all our lives outweigh the fact that at one point all three of our ovaries released an egg for the very first time is insulting and demeaning. Our differences are important (it’s called intersectionality, maybe you’ve heard of it, “feminist”). The only thing we have in common, all of us, every single woman, cis AND trans,  on this planet, is that we call ourselves “woman”. And that’s a big deal, really it is! But I think you’re being just a tad bit racist, classist, sizeist, ageist, ableist, and a hell of lot of other things by telling me that I, a white, upper class, American girl share a girlhood with every other person who was assigned female at birth on this planet.*

I mean, I guess you could say that all girls are affected by patriarchy. But really, all PEOPLE are affected by patriarchy.  And, patriarchy looks different, takes different forms, and has different effects in different places, times, classes, religions, and races. So I’m sorry, I know that was totally your ace in the hole for this argument, but it’s been debunked. Sorry for not being sorry.

I hope you now see how wrong you are. I know, I know, you probably feel really really embarrassed now, and that’s totally natural. It’s embarrassing to think that trans women aren’t women. But you’ll get over it. Now all those trans women who’ve been barred from women only shelters, clinics and spaces because you were too into your weird second wave phase to be a decent person? They might not get over it as quickly. Because, honestly, as snarky and hilarious as this essay is (and it is really funny and you know it), the effects of your transmisogyny are significantly less hilarious. Misogyny kills women. Fuck prefixes, fuck specifying what kind of misogyny, what kind of woman. Misogyny kills women. How are those hands looking, Lady Macbeth?

* I want to put something here about how “shared girlhood” also negates trans guys’ identities too, because it basically essentializes that they can never be anything but women since they had a “girlhood”, which is obviously false and busted. I just can’t find the words at the moment.

Free the Urewera 4!

A protest in front of the Christchurch Central Police station will take place this Saturday (26th May) at 4pm.

Show your solidarity!

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/events/421114921256143/

Tama Iti’s lawyer on the sentence, one that the 4 were essentially acquitted of by a Jury months ago: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2519846/iti%27s-lawyer-speaks-on-the-urewera-sentencing.asx

Press Release
October 15th Solidarity Group on Sentencing

“The sentences of 2.5 years for Taame Iti and Rangi Kemara are
manifestly unjust. This is an outrage. The sentences of Urs Signer and
Emily Bailey are equally absurd. The judge sought to retry the entire
case at sentencing today and himself decided their fate. It is an outrage.”

“Our four friends may have been sentenced today but it is far from
over,” said Valerie Morse from the October 15th Solidarity Group. “We
will continue to fight for and support these people until justice is
done and all the charges are dropped.”

It has been nearly five years since Operation 8 came to light and the
process and punishment continues and is not forgotten.

“These people have been sentenced on charges that were dropped against
13 other people last year. The Supreme Court ruled that the only serious
offending was that committed by the police and the Arms Act offences
should not have even been pursued.”

The trial of Emily, Urs, Taame and Rangi is the result of a racist state
intent on quashing any hints of aspirations for Maori sovereignty. But
no one must forget the others. The others arrested, the people and
communities harassed and intimidated by the police on October 15th 2007,
and there are the people of Tuhoe who were subjected to at least a year
and a half of spying and trespass on their lands and their Marae by the
state forces. This was done at the same time as the same state was
negotiating with Tuhoe over Te Urewera settlement.

The whole saga may be written off over time in the main stream media as
a travesty of justice and police paranoia, but we know that it was a
deliberate action. We know that it is an action that will continue again
and again in this land. Operation 8 was only a repeat of history; the
fight for freedom and tino rangatiratanga will continue.

“The judge is just another part of a racist justice system where Maori
do not enjoy the same rights as pakeha. There continue to be two worlds
in this land. This case forms part of the on going colonisation of
Aotearoa and its indigenous people.”

A protest has been organised by Occupy Christchurch to highlight the
issues of housing shortage and homelessness in the city. People are
invited to gather outside Earthquake Recovery minister Gerry
Brownlee’s Ilam road office at 2pm on Saturday (May 26).

“Brownlee has stated that there is no housing crisis. There is no
crisis for him as he owns several rental properties in the city, for
others displaced by the earthquake and effected by the recession this
is certainly a crisis” said Kelly Pope, one of the protests
organisers.

The group is calling for building social housing to be a priority in
Christchurch and a rent-freeze on both social and private housing, as
well as a democratic process for peoples housing concerns to be
raised.

“We also want there to be acknowledgement of the real levels of
homelessness in the city” said another person involved “When Occupy
Christchurch was still in Hagley Park we became a place where the
homeless could come for food and shelter. The council voted to evict
us, and now they need to fulfil their promise to not leave people
homeless. Rebuilding and constructing new sustainable housing is key
to meeting these needs.”

Since leaving Hagley Park Occupy Christchurch has continued to meet
weekly and organise events such as teach-ins, protests and documentary
film screenings.

“The present commitment to state housing is not enough” said Byron
Clark, an Occupy Christchurch activist. “We need housing for more than
just the high priority cases. When someone is on a benefit paying half
their income to a private landlord, welfare money is becoming a return
on someone’s investment property, and that’s not how the welfare
system should work. We need social housing for anyone receiving
welfare, and also the huge number of people working reduced hours for
low wages”

Organisers are expecting around one hundred people to attend and
invite anyone who is interested to come along on the day.

Hey everyone,

‘Books and Beverages’ invites you back this month for another discussion.

Evey so often we get together at a pub/cafe to discuss a chosen paper, zine or book. From topical themes and radical history, to ideas around organising and other random rants, we hope to gain some knowledge, exchange ideas, and have a few drinks (+chips) while doing it.

The reading this month is:

Wages Against Housework
Silvia Federici
http://caringlabor.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/silvia-federici-wages-against-housework/

This text was one of many that came out of the Wages For Housework movement, a movement that argued unwaged and domestic labour (primarily by women) was essential to capitalism.

The link is the HTML version, or there is also a PDF download.

Another (totally optional) reading is Counter-Planning From the Kitchen: http://caringlabor.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/nicole-cox-and-silvia-federici-counter-planning-from-the-kitchen/.

Here is a critique of the Wages for Housework campaign by Angela Davis: http://issuu.com/garagecollective/docs/davis_on_housework


WHEN:
Thursday 24th May 6.00pm
WHERE:
The Coffee House, 290 Montreal Street (opposite the old Dux De Lux),  Christchurch Central. (MAP: http://g.co/maps/ddj6s)

Books & Bevs is an informal, open space and anyone interested is welcome to take part.

See everybody there!

https://beyondresistance.wordpress.com

 

On 14 May 1912 one of New Zealand’s most bitter industrial disputes began in Waihi. By November, the New Zealand Police had flooded the town, a miner was batoned to death and families driven out of town by mobs of ‘free’ (scab) labour.

Background…
The New Zealand labour movement at that time was undergoing a deep radicalisation. Like their fellow-workers worldwide, New Zealand workers were discovering syndicalism, direct action and fostering a radical working class-counter culture of penny pamphlets, socialist ‘Sunday schools’ and streetside soapboxing. As a result, workers across New Zealand were increasingly questioning what was perceived to be a bankrupt system—arbitration.

In 1894, legislation was introduced that outlawed strike action and forced unions and employers into negotiated industrial awards governed by the Arbitration Court (known as the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act, or ICA). Although the ICA had encouraged the growth of trade unions in New Zealand, “a complex interplay of changing work patterns, a rapidly expanding workforce and the bankruptcy of traditional union strategies” led to widespread dissatisfaction from around 1906 onwards.

The first to challenge arbitration was an illegal strike by 66 Auckland tramway workers in 1906 who, against the judgement of their union official, walked out in protest after a number of motor men had been dismissed. After ceasing work for half a day and smashing the company’s plate glass windows, management caved. This was followed in 1907 by a strike of slaughtermen—200 of who were fined for their illegal action but who simply refused to pay. These successes turned heads, but the “rebellion burst into the open” with a strike won by the Blackball Miners’ Union in 1908, whose defiance against fines and the authority of the presiding Judge openly flouted the Arbitration Court and the ICA itself.

The strike also resulted in a Miners Federation, which soon grew into the ‘Red’ Federation of Labour, whose preamble stated ‘the working class and the employing class having nothing in common’. The Red Feds encouraged class struggle free of ‘labour’s leg iron’: the ICA Act. Affiliated unions, including the miners of the Waihi Trade Union of Workers, began to de-register from the ICA.

So in May 1912 when 30 engine drivers in Waihi re-registered under the ICA (reportedly encouraged by the bosses), the union struck in protest. According to Stanley Roche, on Tuesday 14 May, Waihi came to a standstill.

From NZHitsory.net:

The local police inspector initially adopted a low-key response to the dispute, but he was overruled by the tough Police Commissioner John Cullen, who ordered extra forces to be sent to the town. In July William Massey’s conservative Reform Party came to power. Enthusiastically backed by Cullen, Massey was determined to crush the ‘enemies of order’.

Eventually about 80 police – 10% of the New Zealand Police Force – were deployed in the town. Leading strikers, including Evans, were arrested, and more than 60 were gaoled… The Red Fed leaders began to lose control of the strike as workers influenced by the radical American-based Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or ‘Wobblies’) demanded more militant action.

In October the company reopened the mines with non-union labour.

Things in Waihi became more hostile with the arrival of these Police. While the scabs grew more confident they were equally met by the women of Waihi, who were extremely active on the pickets—’following-up’ scab labour and hurling insults, rocks and humour.

However the strike failed. Intense police repression and violence saw the balance of power shift to the bosses. During what became known as the ‘Black Week’ in November, the Miners’ Hall was stormed, striker Fred Evans was killed by a police baton to the head (becoming the first worker do die in an industrial dispute in New Zealand), and unionists and their families were driven out of town as police stood by.

100 years on…
This year marks the Centennial of the Waihi Strike and to draw attention to our working past, the Labour History Project (and others) have organised a weekend-long event in Waihi:

THE DRAFT PROGRAMME:
Friday 9 November, from 4.30 pm
Registration at Friendship Hall, School Rd, Waihi
Light refreshments, tea and coffee. Dinner and drinks available RSA Seddon St

Saturday 10 November 8.30am to 12.30 pm
Seminar papers at Waihi Memorial Hall, jointly with the
Australasian Mining History Association
Lunch, plus refreshments at Friendship Hall

Saturday 1.30 pm to 5pm
Seminar papers, plus issues and interests presentations at
Friendship Hall
Alternatively – field trips, workshops and exploring,

Saturday 5.30pm
Exhibition opening of paintings by Bob Kerr

Saturday 7.30pm
Dinner at RSA, followed by social, including the Waihi Oratorio written and directed by Paul Maunder.

Sunday 11 November 9am
Commemoration of death of Fred Evans
Roll call of Waihi miners, with their descendants.

This looks set to be an important and historic event. More information will be available as it comes to light.

Sources…
There are a number of books and online articles dealing with the Waihi Strike (listed below). I would recommend Chapter 19 from Richard Hill’s, The Iron Hand in the Velvet Glove, which is a nice summary of events. Download it here (collated to print PDF zine).

Other sources include:

  • Campbell, R.J. ‘The role of the police in the Waihi strike:some new evidence’. Political Science 26, No2 (Dec. 1974): 34-40
  • Papers Past (online papers from the period, including the Maoriland Worker)
  • Holland, H. E. et al. The tragic story of the Waihi strike.
    Wellington, 1913 (very light on the IWW)
  • Olssen, E. The Red Feds. Auckland, 1988
  • Rainer, P. ‘Company town: an industrial history of the Waihi Gold Mining Company Limited, 1887-1912’. MA thesis, University of Auckland, 1976
  • Roche, S. Y. The red and the gold. Auckland, 1982 (highly readable, but does not mention the IWW at all).
  • Moriarty-Patten, S. ‘A World to Win, a Hell to Lose: The Industrial Workers of the World in Early Twentieth Century New Zealand’, Thesis, Massey University, 2012 (excellent—and only—study focusing on the NZ IWW)
  • Video: Black Tuesday and the 1912 Waihi Strike. Watch it here.
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