Blog Against Sexism Day III
Posted by Jack Stephens on March 8, 2007
When we think of activism we generally do not include the arts [photography, film, theatre, paintings, drawing, sculpture] so today I would like to celebrate two South African lesbians who have dedicated their adult life to the anti-apartheid struggle and to fighting for LGBTI rights in South Africa – flim maker Bev Ditsi and photographer Zanele Muholi.
Fabulosa Mujer posts a letter from the Global Women’s Strike for International Women’s Day:
Everywhere women are struggling with a double and triple working day, the rich have got richer and most of us have got poorer. While feminism has helped to ensure that more women are in positions of power, most of them have followed orders rather than respond to the needs of the grassroots. Now is the time for our movement to challenge everyone with power (woman or man), to win their accountability or to reject them.
For his piece the Unapologetic Mexian says:
This culture of ours tears women down. It absolutely requires them and sickens without them, and yet refuses to honor them as they should be honored. Let alone honor, it denies them—we deny them—common respect and self-love. Our culture not only often hates women, it thrives on hating Woman. It drools after her, insults her, beats her, fucks her in ten different ways, and then when she finally falls, it calls her names and levels loathing on her “weakness.” Never before in my life have I seen this more clearly than now. And the amazing thing is, for a long time, I didn’t see it at all.
if you think im grumbling about all that, contrary to appearances, im not. i was steeling myself for the absolute inanities that i would inevitably hear about how women dont have those (insert every single very much still contemporary issue here) problems any more. and yaay, who just lost a bet with me? i sure did. starting from the morning, when the receptionist was poring over Economic Times to put up pro-women articles, and saw nothing wrong with the headline “Boardroom pin-up girls make waves”.
Veronica, of Nine Pearls, quotes a short history on International Women’s Day:
The first IWD was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. Among other relevant historic events, it commemorates the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire (New York, 1911), where over 140 women lost their lives. The idea of having an international women’s day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century amid rapid world industrialization and economic expansion that led to protests over working conditions.
Continuing on the theme of music and musicians as the arts are very close to my heart, I want to focus on three women musicians of African descent from South America or the ‘Latin’ world. These women’s ancestry is partly or wholly African – a fact that is acknowledged and splendidly reflected in their music. They too have had to overcome hardship. As Virginia Rodrigues (see below) said at the start of her career: “I have three strikes against me…I’m a woman, I’m black and I’m poor.”