Sticker Action in the Subways and More Campaigning Against Sexist Admakers & Street Harrassers

Sticker discovered on ad in 23rd St C/E station in Manhattan

Sticker discovered on ad in 23rd St C/E station in Manhattan

3 Upcoming meetings, the first on June 16th!

From a National Women’s Liberation Email:

Women, are you sick of being bombarded with advertisements that depict women only as sexual objects? That use our bodies to sell products? That embolden men to disrespect us? That tell us we are not worthy unless we conform to unrealistic, sexist, racist, and unhealthy beauty standards? So are we! Join us and fight back. Attend our next meeting on Tues June 16th at 7pm (details below).

National Women’s Liberation and Redstockings recently teamed up to re-create the vintage 1969 “This Oppresses Women” sticker for slapping on sexist ads. The sticker is one of the “1960s gems” from the Redstockings Women’s Liberation Archives for Action. Help us plan a zap action using the stickers this summer.

Take pictures of offensive ads and send them to us to share on our facebook page – and join and share the facebook event.

The original 1969 sticker.

The original 1969 sticker.

More on the stickers

The sticker was an outgrowth of our joint 10 week class, “Building Women’s Liberation Now: Gems from the 1960s and Beyond for Radical Feminist Theory & Action Today.” Through consciousness-raising, women testified about being fed up with men who feel entitled to harass us on the street, tell us to smile, and/or comment on our appearance. From there we dug deeper, investigating the connection between street harassment and what corporate forces gain through the sexualization and exploitation of women in advertising plastered all over our public spaces. This summer we plan to raise consciousness publicly.

Meeting Details

Tuesday June 16th from 7:00-900pm

The Commons in Brooklyn, 388 Atlantic Avenue between Hoyt and Bond, near the Hoyt-Schermerhorn Street A/C/G. You can also take the 2,3,4,5 to Nevins or the D,N,R to Atlantic-Pacific. Map.

RSVP: Encouraged but not required, to nwl@womensliberation.org.

Reserve Third Tuesdays @ the Commons for our monthly meetings

  • Tues June 16 7:00-9:00
  • Tues July 21 7:00-9:00
  • August – no meeting
  • Tues September 15th 7:00-9:00

Redstockings Radical Feminist Joins Upcoming Left Forum Panel in NYC – Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 5:10 pm.

1970 Buttons Mademoiselle Redstockings Archives Feminist RevolutionHear Kathie Sarachild – a founding member of the 1960s radical feminist group Redstockings, who continues to work with the group today – share lessons about the successes and challenges of maintaining a Women’s Liberation Archives for Action and raising support to have this radical herstory cataloged, microfilmed, and digitized for a wide public.

She will discuss where the Archives for Action fits into Redstockings’ overall strategy for radical change (including some of the principles of radical independence in financing) as the group continues to organize, mobilize, develop, and disseminate radical feminist ideas.

The panel on disseminating radical archives will be presented at the Left Forum from 5:10 – 7:00 pm on Saturday, May 30, 2015, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 524 W 59th st. between 10th and 11th aves. (Childcare is also provided at the Left Forum!)

More general info on this year’s annual 3-day Left Forum conference in NYC at www.leftforum.org.

Strategize Next Steps in a Women’s Liberation Protest Campaign Against Sexist Ads and Catcalling — May 19, 2015 in Brooklyn, 7 to 9 PM — ALL WOMEN WELCOME!

1969 Women's Liberation stickers assail 2015 ads. We can't believe we are still protesting this crap!

1969 Women’s Liberation stickers assail 2015 ads. We can’t believe we are still protesting this crap!

Is there a link between the barrage of sexualized images of women in advertisements and the catcalling that bombards us on the street? “Radical” comes from the Latin word for “root,” and as radical women, we are aiming for their common root.

Earlier this spring, National Women’s Liberation and Redstockings held an​ action to “take on the interlocking tentacles of male chauvinist pig catcallers on the street and the sexist ad makers of big business.”  We  protested outside ​an outlet of American Apparel, one of the worst offenders of the sexist admakers.

​ACTION COMES FROM THE WOMEN’S LIBERATION CLASS​

The action ​was an outgrowth of our joint ​10-week class last fall:  “Building Women’s Liberation Now: Gems from the 1960s and Beyond for Radical Feminist Theory & Action Today.” Through consciousness-raising in the class, women testified about being fed up with men who feel entitled to harass us on the street, on the job, in our homes, or anywhere else. Men tell us to smile, comment on our appearance, and continue to see us and treat us as sexual objects. From there we dug deeper, investigating the connection between street harassment and the ads and admakers who profit from sexualization and exploitation plastered all over our public spaces.

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Activists from the Women’s Liberation class picket outside American Apparel, NYC, 2/7/2015. More photos on National Women’s Liberation’s Facebook page.

​As part of planning for the class​’s action​, National Women’s Liberation emailed out a meme and announcement that Occupy Wall Street picked up and posted on its Facebook page, provoking a storm of debate and discussion that garnered over 1,000 likes and hundreds of comments. This may have led to the large​ police presence at the protest. Redstockings also sent the meme and an announcement of the protest to its mailing list, noting the lack of progress in the USA between 1969, when the Women’s Liberation Movement first started ​slapping​ “this oppresses women” stickers on sexist ads, and today’s U.S.A.

​AMERICAN APPAREL WAVERS

With all this buzz, and earlier attacks also, the new female chief executive of American Apparel responded during the heat of the class’ protest announcement and debate, that their ads would be “less overtly sexual… there’s a way to tell our story that’s less offensive.”

There is still much ground to be gained with American Apparel, ​nor are​ they the only (or worst) offender in the suites of the ad-makers or the streets of the cat-callers. The struggle for female liberation from all of this male supremacist and capitalist crap needs to continue ​and​ get sharper and more powerful.

​ACT, REFLECT, ACT

The May 19th meeting will be evaluating the materials created for the protest with an eye towards holding another action this summer. NEW WOMEN WELCOME! Join us for a discussion of the following flyers and statements, and join the facebook event!

Street Harassment Project Mission Statement (Pre-Amble, Our Beliefs, Our Intentions)

Redstockings 1969 Stickers Assail 2015 Ads

NWL/Redstockings flyer “All men benefit but ‘The Man’ Profits”

Help us sharpen our aim and our analysis! 

Join us at the meeting! THE COMMONS in BROOKLYN. 388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217. Between Hoyt and Bond streets. Trains: A/C/G/2/3/4/5/B/D/F/N/Q/R

Women’s Liberation Class in NYC, Fall 2014

WLM class photo 1 caption WLM class photo 3 captionPlaces filled up quickly for the 10-session community class organized by Redstockings and National Women’s Liberation this fall in New York City.  Called “Building Women’s Liberation Now: Gems from the 1960s & Beyond for Radical Feminist Theory & Action Today,” registration closed even before an announcement of the class could get up on this blog.

Under its original title “Women’s Liberation: Where Do I fit In?” the class was first presented in 1991 by Gainesville Women’s Liberation in Florida and designed by Carol Giardina, who co-founded GWL in 1968.  GWL is now part of National Women’s Liberation, which worked with Redstockings on developing and organizing the new “Building Women’s Liberation Now” class this autumn. From its beginning, the class — geared to a grass roots, community base — has drawn much of its material from the Redstockings Women’s Liberation Archives for Action and Redstockings’ program of combining the study of women’s freedom movement history with consciousness-raising for organizing and mobilizing today. To see the call for the 10-session class in NYC this fall, click here.

For a more comprehensive history and context of the class, see Carol Giardina’s talk, entitled ”The 1960s Speak to the 1990s, 2000s, and Beyond: the Gainesville, Florida Women’s Liberation Class,” from the recent Boston University conference (see earlier blog posts). Click here for a summary of her talk, or for a video of the entire panel, click here.

Redstockings and National Women’s Liberation will undoubtedly be giving the class again in the future.  A weekend workshop version is even available for women who want to bring this ongoing women’s freedom school to their communities for a trial run. If you’re interested in this weekend workshop version of the class, contact Redstockings by clicking here.

Reporting on the ‘Revolutionary Moment’ Conference at Boston University, March 2014

boston conf 3Spanning three days near the end of Women’s History Month this March, the conference “A Revolutionary Moment: Women’s Liberation in the Late 1960s and Early 1970s,” organized by the Women’s Sudies et al. program at Boston University, attracted over 600 participants from the US and abroad to discuss the herstory and tactics of the Women’s Liberation Movement and debate the direction of feminist theory and practice.

Laced through the many panels at the Conference were representatives from a wide swath of the early radical wing of today’s movement. These pioneers covered a range of political positions “back in the day,” from “feminist” (later called “radical feminist”) to “politico” (later called “socialist feminist”).  Of the few 1960s radical women’s liberation groups continuing today, attending the conference were veterans and fresh troops from the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective of the  book Our Bodies Ourselves,  Gainesville Florida Women’s Liberation, and Redstockings of New York City. BU conference organizers have recently posted the full panoply of videos of the Conference sessions, plenaries, and most of the panels – including questions, comments and debates (see below for links).

Participants in the 2013 Shulamith Firestone Memorial Conference organized two panels in Boston that continued to pursue discussion of the burning questions which gave birth to the Shulamith Conference and to this blog: what happened to halt the momentum of the earlier moment and movement, and what is needed to bring about ANOTHER revolutionary moment for Women’s Liberation? These panels were:  “How to Defang a Movement: Replacing the Political with the Personal” and “Tools of Radical Feminist Analyzing, Organizing and Mobilizing: ‘Consciousness-Raising’ and ‘History for Activist Use.'”

For the latter panel, those of us active with Redstockings and National Women’s Liberation – two groups with roots in an exciting collaboration from the 1960s – shared ideas on what is to be done now with accounts of  what we’ve actually been doing, why we’ve been doing it, and what we think should continue or change going forward. This included a retelling of how the 1969 radical principles of Redstockings (like “women are the real experts on women”) led National Women’s Liberation, against the opposition of two US Presidents, to a significant women’s liberation advance, in a country lagging behind many others, of making the morning after pill available over-the-counter in pharmacies and accessible to women and girls of all ages. (The battle continues, of course, with a big one the cost of the pills!)

Belle and GordonHuge thanks and congratulations go to Professor Deborah Belle of Boston University for the courage to organize a conference that restored to academic herstory the radical 1960s origins and revolutionary impetus of today’s feminist movement.  Professor of History Linda Gordon of New York University, herself a veteran 1960s women’s liberation organizer, was a main aider and abetter of Professor Belle’s efforts, along with a wonderful team of young Boston University cadres who helped with the huge workload of making such a conference happen. Click on the photo to watch a WGBH interview with Deborah Belle and Linda Gordon discussing the conference.

To find your way to more information about the Conference, its many panels and panelists, and videos of most of the Conference sessions, as well as the written text of many of the talks, visit the homepage of the Conference by clicking here: http://www.bu.edu/wgs/conference2014/

For more details on and specific links to the Conference panels organized by various Redstockings, old and new, as well as National Women’s Liberation, click here: http://www.redstockings.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=99

For some other voices on the Boston Conference, click here: http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/kathleen-b-jones/reflections-of-revolutionary-moment

And here: http://kenwachsberger.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/womens-liberation-conference-celebrates-2nd-wave-revs-up-3rd-wave/

Photos, Updates, and Reports from the Shulamith Firestone Memorial Conference, 2013

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An album of photographs from the Conference is now posted on the Redstockings Facebook site. (You can view our Facebook page even if you are not a Facebook member!) Click here to see the photos on our Facebook page.

Bios of most of the 86 women who attended the Conference, with links to some of their work, are in the “participants” section of this blog and can be found by clicking here, or using the menu bar above.

Evaluations of the Conference came in from 26 participants. They are posted on this blog anonymously and you can read them by clicking here, or using the menu bar to go to the “Conference Evaluations” page. Some of these evaluations run in much the same vein of questions and issues that Candi’s post below raises (see our post from 10/22/2013).

The entire Conference was videotaped but work on editing and gathering permissions still needs to be done.

A joint conference of the Redstockings and National Women’s Liberation core groups last February continued working on answers to the questions raised at the Shulamith Firestone Conference – what is to be done? – and work is in progress to publish some of these answers. Keep checking this blog for more updates on any new action, organizing, and interchange related to the Conference themes.

Save the dates! — March 27-29, 2014 — Boston Women’s Liberation Conference

Logo v1 Large and small BLACK-FINAL 11.6.13Alert! An important conference coming on the heels of the Shulamith Firestone Women’s Liberation Memorial Conference and celebrating the same spirit of Shulie’s firebrand years will be held at Boston University.  It’s called  “A Revolutionary Moment: Women’s Liberation in the late 1960s and early 1970s.”  The gathering should be a grand opportunity to continue pursuing answers to that burning question for today, and this blog: “What Is To Be Done?”

Some Redstockings and other participants at the Shulamith Firestone Conference last fall will be sharing ideas on  two panels: How to Defang a Movement: Replacing the Political with the Personal on Friday morning, and Tools of Radical Feminist Analyzing, Organizing, and Mobilizing: “Consciousness-Raising” and “History for Activist Use” on Saturday morning.

Throughout the weekend, there will be a series of panels, presentations, film screenings, and events.
To see the home page for the Boston Conference, visit http://www.bu.edu/wgs/conference2014/.

For more information about the panels on which Redstockings will be speaking, click here:
http://www.redstockings.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=99