Trans 101 Questions

  • When in your life did you know that you were trans? Was it as a child, during puberty, or after you became an adult?
  • Did you talk to anyone about being trans before you made a change, or did you experiment with it on your own?
  • How important is surgical reconstruction to your identity? Is it something that “should” be done, or can you still be trans while possessing biological traits of the other sex?
  • Do you still perform sexuality in the way that your biological sex is perceived to perform it or have you developed your own way of being intimate?
  • Have you found your family and friends to be supportive? Your church, school, employer?
  • What pronouns do you prefer and how do you feel about correcting people?
  • How would you define your sexual orientation?
  • Have you ever been refused medical treatment (or other treatment or services) because of your identity?
  • What would you tell me to help me be a more supportive and understanding person?

Van Antwerp
WMST 2020-001

http://srlp.org/resources/trans-101/

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CODEPINK

     According to their website’s mission statement, “CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally, and to redirect our resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities.”[i] Thus understanding militarism, generally, as the predominance of armed forces in the policy of a nation-state, members of CODEPINK aim to place a larger emphasis and allocation of the United States’ resources on the social sphere.

     While, today, the organization represents a worldwide network of women and men working for peace and social justice, CODEPINK began with a much more narrow approach. In the organization’s infancy, its major aim was championed by a group of American women who desired to prevent the United States from invading Iraq. In conjunction with other organizations committed to peace, CODEPINK officially kicked off on November 17, 2002 where Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans, Diane Wilson, Starhawk and other women set up for a four month all-day vigil in front of the White House. The organization’s name also sheds light on its original aim, playing on the former Bush Administration’s color-coded security alerts (yellow, orange, red) that indicated the level of terrorist threats. Whereas the former president’s alerts were rooted in fear and legitimized violence, CODEPINK is a bold appeal for people to “wage peace.”

     Composed of women and men who are outraged by militarism, the organization has expanded its initiatives to encompass a wider array of peace and social justice issues in recent years. Currently CODEPINK affiliates are making their voice heard on their opposition to war with Syria, their pleas for justice to Guantanamo detainees, peace within Iran, and bringing our war money home just to name a few. The organization has not limited their view of social justice and peace to U.S. funded wars, however. Members have also been vocal on the administration’s economic policy such as bailouts given to Wall Street. Instead, CODEPINK famously demanded that bailouts be given to “Main Street,” meaning universal health care, public schools, and the rebuilding America’s infrastructure. That being said, the organization does maintain a large focus on the prevention of U.S. funded wars and adamantly protests the torture of those deemed war criminals. Specifically, members are critical of the so-called “war on terror.” They describe the Bush Administration’s popularly phrased war as having been “the pretext for the US military-industrial complex to metastasize, with steadily increasing budgets to a Warfare State whose representatives declare: “The world is a battlefield.”” Not only do CODEPINK affiliates hope to redirect the mass amount of war money to aid students, small businesses, and those devastated by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they view the predominance of a warfare state as irrelevant in today’s changing international system.

     In congruence with the organization’s aims and various proposed solutions, CODEPINK makes a key connection between militarism and gender. This connection is perhaps best stated by the organization itself: “CODEPINK is a women-led organization that seeks to empower women politically, creating space for women to speak out for justice and peace in their communities, the media and the halls of Congress. Women are not better or purer or more innately nurturing than men, but the men have busied themselves making war, so we are taking the lead for peace.”[ii] Essentially, members explain warfare as a means of conflict-solving as a primarily patriarchal endeavor. One does not see female leadership pushing to fund new wars, and where one does see female leadership other methods of conflict-solving such as diplomacy and coalition-building are nearly always employed instead. Though CODEPINK’s connection between gender and militarization may seem radical to some, a growing number of political scientists assert there is significant validity to such claims. Thus, CODEPINK’s objective to end militarism might be most effectively reached not only by confronting warmongers in U.S. Congress but by working to increase the number of females politicians overall.  

  

 


[i] “What is CODEPINK?” CODEPINK, accessed November 10, 2013, http://www.codepink4peace.org/article.php?list=type&type=3.

[ii] “Frequently Asked Questions,” CODEPINK, accessed November 11, 2013, http://www.codepink4peace.org/section.php?id=207.

WMST 2020-001

Morgan McFetters

CODEPINK

American women who wanted to stop the United States from invading Iraq founded the organization CODEPINK on November 17th 2002. CODEPINK originated from the Bush’s Administration color-coded homeland security alerts. CODEPINK was designed to be an alert to call upon people to “Wage Peace” unlike the colorful threats of red, orange, and yellow that symbolized the justification of violence.

According to the website CODEPINK is a women initiated peace and social justice movement to end United States funded wars and occupations. They are challenging militarism globally and they redirect their resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-inspiring functions. CODEPINK isn’t just for women they also extend a welcoming hand to men as well. But they’re focus and target members are women because they want women to rise up and oppose the global militarism.
They have a statement to welcoming members on the website:
Our Call to You: “We call on women around the world to rise up and oppose the war in Iraq. We call on mothers, grandmothers, sisters and daughters, on workers, students, teachers, healers, artists, writers, singers, poets, and every ordinary outraged woman willing to be outrageous for peace. Women have been the guardians of life-not because we are better or purer or more innately nurturing than men, but because the men have busied themselves making war. Because of our responsibility to the next generation, because of our own love for our families and communities and this country that we are a part of, we understand the love of a mother in Iraq for her children, and the driving desire of that child for life.”—Starhawk
The organization also has ten guidelines that their members try to follow just a few of them:

1. Nonviolence: We are committed to peace, which means both when executing our action(s) AND within our internal structure and relationships.
2. Clear Goals: We will define CODEPINK’s unique niche in our community (creative protest, cultivating women’s voices, etc.) and set attainable goals for local projects that will further CODEPINK’s peace mission.
3. Communication, Respect, and Integrity: We avow to not let disagreements, hurt feelings, or disappointments, get in the way of our important peace work, and will instead view these challenges as opportunities to practice peaceful and productive communication with each other. We will keep our criticisms concise, specific, constructive and focused on future improvement.
4. Responsibility and Teamwork: We work as a team, with activists willing to bottom-line, coordinate, and facilitate actions. We won’t let all the responsibility repeatedly fall on one person, and we will not allow ourselves to assume all the responsibility for an action—instead we’ll delegate tasks, take on organizing roles, and rotate our leadership positions. We agree to be responsible for something only when we’re 100% sure we are going to do it.
5. Diversity and Tolerance: We embrace feminist principals of cooperation, problem-solving, critical thinking, compassion, analysis and processing. We will speak up against racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ageism, and other forms of oppression and prejudice. We will work towards a deeper understanding of our own power and privileges, and seek to cultivate a diverse local group with connections to the array of social justice groups in our cities. We highly recommend that every activist read this piece about recognizing privilege, entitled “Unpacking the Invisible Backpack”
6. Long Term Vision: We are in this for the long haul—we know that the US occupation of Iraq will not end until all the troops come home and successful rebuilding of Iraq has begun, as well as the healing of the returning soldiers and the Iraqi people. In the words of CODEPINK Cofounder Medea Benjamin, “Activism is good for our health and spirits—it keeps us engaged, active, upbeat, and passionate. It’s no fun being depressed alone. Ending war may take a long time, and we can use that time to inspire ourselves and each other with positive, creative actions that embody the world we want to see!”For some of their advocating they have been getting some backlash and harassment everything from email and messages insulting the staff and members. Things suggesting that they all should be run over by trucks, forced to wear burkas, or shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan where they will get what they rightfully deserve. They also keep coming across photoshopped banners slandering their organization stating that they support the murder of American Troops.

http://www.codepink4peace.org/article.php?list=type&type=3

Fitch: 2020-001

Panoptical Time

Panoptical time is the idea that one can see across all of time from where one is. I find very interesting the idea that a place can be located in a certain chronological time but also at a very different perceived time concurrently. This concept is something I have always known, without actually knowing that there was terminology for it. Beginning in elementary school (and even before) we took field trips to places that were “preserved” and kept as they were during a specific time period, such as Civil War battlefields and Colonel Sanders plantation. These places are meant to be frozen in time to show us what life may have been like. Many other places, however, are unintentionally “frozen in time” and are seen in a very different light. The idea that every location in the world is on the same level regarding technology, ideals, and ways of life couldn’t be farther from the truth, even within a specific location such as the southeastern United States. It would make sense to believe that since the United States is one of the most advanced first-world countries, everyone residing in the US is living within a certain standard. The best example of modern day panoptical time is the area of southern Appalachia. While the surrounding area is as advanced as the rest of the country seems to be, Appalachia in particular is viewed as backwards and as if it is from a previous chronological year. The technology and views of the inhabitants is not what would be considered “modern”. The education level is lower than the rest of the country, and thus the area can be seen as needing to be saved and improved.

This is one of the very ideas that justified the process of colonialism by Europeans. If an area of new land was found, the people who inhabited that land were almost always seen in a backwards, primitive light, giving the colonizers validation for conquering the natives. I can only imagine how it would have felt to come from what was at the time a very advanced society to a land where the people appeared animalistic and barbaric and feeling the urge to “bring them up to speed”. The closest I can relate this concept to today is the work being done in Africa with the thought that what the natives are currently doing is crude, archaic, and needs to be reformed. We can view the rest of the world as being at one point in time while simultaneously viewing Africa in another, though the entire world is at the same point in chronological time.

 

Maggie Van Antwerp

WMST 2020-001

Panoptical Time

Panoptical Time

            In connection to Jeremy Benthem’s architectural plan for a Panopticon in prisons, which would allow all inmates to be seen from a central pillar, Anne McClintock discusses the theoretical trope of panoptical time as it relates to discourse on the gendered dynamics of colonization. Employing panoptical time as a tool to further explain the gendered forces of colonization, McClintock describes it as “the image of global history consumed – at a glance – in a single spectacle from a point of privileged invisibility.”[i] When eighteenth century scientific standard needed a visual model to illustrate evolutionary progress as a measurable spectacle, the evolutionary family Tree of Man transpired. Equally important, this tree was attended by a second image: the Family of Man. In this image, progress is illustrated under the form of the family where the complete chronological history of human development can be understood at a glance.

            Thus, McClintock explains that with regard to these images and viewing human development through the lens of a Panopticon, time was not just secularized but it was domesticated. What is more, the unification of tree and family into the Family Tree of Man offered scientific racism a gendered view of racial progress. Most importantly, the Family Tree depicts evolutionary time as one without women. It is a disavowal, containing only men, arranged as a linear band of solo males rising toward the apogee of the individual. In this way, the Family Tree and the idea of racial progress- as a way to legitimize colonization by the white European male who is the apogee of progress- was gendered from the very beginning. Viewing history through a panoptic lens only reinforces the gendered dynamics of colonization, as it leaves women invisible as historical agents. Ultimately, then, observing historical progress as an evolving family reduces women to the realm of nature. It places the faculty to consume an entire global reality in the hands of the powerful, which in the case of colonization was the white European male.   


[i] Anne McClintock, Imperial Leather: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest (London: Routledge, 1995), 37.

 

WMST 2020-001

Morgan McFetters

The colonial/Modern Gender System

The colonial/Modern Gender System
In the article Heterosexualism and the colonial/modern gender system, Maria Lugones analyzes the modern/colonial gender system related to the colonial period. The colonial/modern gender system is a term coined by Anibal Quijano. The term was developed to explain the roots of the gender binary system. She defines the term as a biological, dimorphic, patriarchal, and heterosexual organization of relations. She develops the argument that gender itself is a colonial introduction. Lugones describes the process in which the colonial/modern gender system is imposed. She also discusses the two aspects to the modern/colonial gender system which can be viewed as the light and the dark side.
Lugones describes the introduction of the imposition of the colonial/modern system as a slow, discontinuous, and heterogeneous process that violently inferiorized women. She suggest that the gender system was introduced was one informed through the coloniality of power. The coloniality of power is another concept Lugones discusses in her article. This concept deals takes on three forms concerning hierarchies, knowledge, and cultural systems. Lugones believes an understanding of the history of gender systems will let one understand the present functions of hetero norms. An example of this would could be dated back pre-colonial period. Before the colonization of America occurred the indigenous people did not necessarily have gender structures. Gender roles were less associated with biological terms. After the colonization of America the indigenous people were introduced to these new concepts. Essentially, these gender system imposed was a method of controlling reproduction, inheritance, as well as a hierarchical structured society with white males possessing dominance.
There are also characteristics of the light and the dark side that are crucial to discuss. The light side is the side that contains white bourgeois women. These are women that experience oppression in a contrasting way to those women who fall under the dark side category. The bourgeois white women were considered weaker, less intelligent, and were not considered capable of holding authoritative positions and positions of power. Virginity and purity were expectations of women until marriage when women were then expected to be mothers and wives. These white bourgeois women were used to maintain race and the purity of race as well as other forces were used to oppress these women so that men, white me in particular, could maintain power.
The dark side consists of the non-white women, women such as Native Americans or slaves. These women were not viewed as dainty or civilized. These women were viewed as animalistic, they processed no social gender, and were reduced through violence and exploitation to bore physical capacity. These women were of no value, no more value than a mule or an ox. Women on the dark side often not only experienced the exploitation of slavery, but also experienced the brutality of rape and other sexual offenses.
The two sides light and dark consist of two different groups of women, both groups hindered and oppressed by a male dominated society. These views still control American society’s norms. This concept of the colonial/modern gender system provides an understanding of how gender and the roles associated with gender have dictated norms throughout history and the present.

Brittany Ledford