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PORTSIDE  August 2010, Week 4

PORTSIDE August 2010, Week 4

Subject:

Happy Women's Rights Day!

From:

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Date:

Wed, 25 Aug 2010 22:08:59 -0400

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Happy Women's Rights Day!

Radical Women
www.RadicalWomen.org

August 25, 2010

Dear Friend,

On this Women's Rights Day, Radical Women puts out the
call: It's time to reclaim and re-energize a fighting,
militant feminist movement!

August 26, Women's Rights Day, commemorates the day
U.S. women won the vote in 1920. The suffrage struggle
was deeply rooted in the battle to abolish slavery. In
its early days, equal passion was given to the demands
for female emancipation and Black freedom. Although the
movements later became tragically divided, there were
also principled feminist opponents of racism, including
African American leader Sojourner Truth, who never
accepted the separation of Black voting rights from
female suffrage. We celebrate our courageous
foremothers of all colors on this day.

Today's fight for decent lives for women must be waged
with the same dedication, bravery, audacity and
radicalism as the suffrage pioneers whose shoulders we
all stand upon. Women and children are still paying the
highest toll in U.S. wars-as civilian casualties in
Iraq and Afghanistan and in acts of domestic violence
by dehumanized and distraught returning soldiers.
African American women have been a major target of
fraudulent housing loans and have lost their homes in
disproportionate numbers. Immigrant mothers are
desperately trying to hold their families together
under the assault of ICE raids and deportations. More
and more women are homeless or just one step ahead of
it. About the only sure thing with federal healthcare
reform is that it will make access to abortion even
more difficult. The economic collapse has forced many
men from the workforce, placing the burden of primary
wage-earner on female partners, whose smaller salaries
can't stretch to cover the need. And as public services
are slashed and workers face speedup, furloughs, and
reduced benefits, women are called on to spread
themselves even thinner to provide unpaid childcare,
eldercare, and support for ill family members.

But women are nobody's victims. Sisters everywhere are
taking the lead in fighting back. At the U.S. Social
Forum in Detroit in June, Radical Women representatives
encountered dynamic female organizers, many young and
many of color, mobilizing on every front. The Social
Forum showed that women are instrumental to efforts
against police brutality, and for immigrant rights,
queer and trans liberation, education, food safety,
alternative media, and much more. However, the forum's
Gender Justice People's Movement Assembly underscored
divisions and problems. Some participants seemed stuck
in an alternative postmodern world where the language
and content were so esoteric it sowed confusion rather
than building opposition to the war on women. Other
Gender Justice advocates distanced themselves from
feminism, as something entirely and by definition white
and middleclass. Radical Women's delegate argued
against this and called for multiracial grassroots
feminism with a radical program.

The demand for women's liberation, which affects half
the human race, is profoundly revolutionary when it
fights for the needs of the most oppressed members of
the working class-poor women, women of color, queers,
immigrants, youth-those who have always been initiators
and movement sparkplugs. Female revolt challenges the
system of privilege at its very core-the capitalist
drive for profits that relies on social inequality and
the unpaid and underpaid labor of women.

Are you a feminist and a fighter looking for ways to
defend yourself and your sisters against the attacks
coming down today? Are you a rebel looking for allies
and a political home? Please connect with Radical Women
as an organization that will give you a voice, a role,
the collective power to make a difference, and a proud
place in the continuity of rebellious women that spans
the centuries.

To learn more, please visit www.RadicalWomen.org and
contact the Radical Women National Office
([log in to unmask]) or a chapter near you.
Donations are also tremendously helpful. Please click
here to contribute online.

In struggle, Helen Gilbert

National Executive Committee

Radical Women

National Radical Women 625 Larkin St. Ste 202, San
Francisco, CA 94109 Phone 415-864-1278 * Fax
415-864-0778 [log in to unmask]
www.RadicalWomen.org

_____________________________________________

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