[Breakingthesilence] gender intro

miss moon tveye_ at hotmail.com
Mer 14 Juil 00:19:27 CEST 2004


hi all....
ive included below some peice of writing as a possible intro to gender
i made a call on pga process list for people to put forward the summaries of 
topics at PGA
so far the only ones recieved are i think the things on alternatives to 
capitalism

so.......to offer as a very personal perspective and an introduction to 
gender

welcoming feedbacks xx paula



A personal perspective: Gender is not a side issue, it is the guts of the 
machine

Before traveling from Australia, I read that there was to be a specific 
focus on gender at this PGA conference, this above all things was what 
enticed me to come.
Within my political community in Sydney we have been dealing directly, 
painfully with issues of sexual violence. Discovering that no matter how 
liberated or radical we claim our politics to be, patriarchal notions of 
power are embedded in all our relationships.

We thought the fight was against capitalism and the tyranny of the ‘free 
market’,  it is also against the tyranny within us. Capitalism threaded 
thru patriarchy, patriarchy threaded with capitalism, one perpetuating the 
other in a continuum of unequal power relations, the (il)logic of domination 
and control.

How many times do I have to hear the tierd old lie that gender issues will 
be dealt with ‘after the revolution’ I cant wait any longer, I cant live 
without fighting for liberation.

Here in Serbia there are stories: The gay pride march in Belgrade has been 
cancelled because the threat of violence from facist and fundamentalist 
church groups is too great.
Across the border in Croatia there is a big Pride march, but there is a 
relationship between freedom of sexual expression and economies. Croatias 
desire to become a member of the European Economic Community, means that a  
‘correct’ liberal attitude towards queers must be show, it is a strange 
western colonialism: the trade of capitalist individualism in return for the 
opening of markets.
Talking with someone about sex trafficking, she is quick to point out the 
connections between sex trafficking and freedom of movement issues, of 
peoples inability to cross borders legally and their desperation to find 
some way to enter the west.
She speaks of the economic situation of women in Serbia; first to lose their 
jobs, women who cannot so easily abandon their dependants. Sex trafficking 
is but one aspect of a market in cheap and illegal labour, the exploitation 
of those who have least opportunities for choice : women and children. How 
can anyone say gender issues can be separated from alterglobalism?

Here in Serbia there are also great things happening, so many womens 
initiatives: to establish workers cooperatives, projects for housing and 
education, actions against militarism.

In one of these organizations a woman speaks of the history of revolutions: 
That the old concepts are not enough. The conditions of society have shifted 
so that we must ask our selves again; who are the protagonists and how shall 
we organize?

If  PGA is to be effective as a network we must begin the process of real 
and radical change in our ways of communication and organizing. Within this 
is our ability to be inclusive and to have relevance for those who are 
working towards change. To fight the external ‘enemy’ is not enough. 
When we begin to seriously combat the unequal relationships of power within 
ourselves, our organizations and our methods of organising, then we will 
begin to pull apart this society and make something new. Gender is not a 
side issue, it is the guts of the machine.

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