Monday, April 23, 2012

Wishlist for the Occupy Movement

Context: I originally wrote this in response to an Occupy Boston Women's Caucus email request to clarify what members wanted from the Women's Caucus. I realized that this is what I want from the entire Occupy Movement:

" Zero tolerance policy within the Women's Caucus and an official WC stance in Occupy Boston against:
1) Transphobia
2) Homophobia (this includes internalized sexism and making fun of "angry lesbians")
3) Sexual assault and harassment and victim-blaming
4) Racism
5) Ageism
6) Discrimination based on disability
7) Classism & hierarchy (It doesn't matter if you're director of la-di-da, or a writer for bla-di-bla, you have no say above your most disadvantaged peer)

And when these things are violated, the Women's Caucus takes a stance:
1) People are called out on their actions, not for who they are or, more appropriately, who we think they are.
2) We implement methods of restorative justice. We assume goodwill as much as possible, but do not ignore destructive behaviors or let them go.

Support of Women's Caucus members
1) We assume good faith
2) If we question an action, we make the best possible effort of contacting the person(s) involved to clarify.
3) If someone made a mistake or unknowingly did something wrong, we forgive
4) If someone intentionally did something wrong, see above.
5) If someone is being hurt by non-WC members of Occupy Boston, we listen and nurture and refrain from judgement.  We also note if this is a problem many women are experiencing and needs to be addressed. Then, see above.

Ideas: Progressive endorsement of feminism
1) Acknowledgement that Second Wave feminism is not the pinaccle of feminism.
2) Acknowledgement that the concept of "feminism" varies by culture and race etc.
3) Acknowledgement that men are also negatively impacted by sexism and misogyny and that the world would fundamentally be better off with the empowerment of women.
4) Occupy Boston is not just about banks for women, there are many other issues unique to women in this world.

Male allies
1) We allow male allies to be a part of Women's Caucus in some capacity
2) Heck, we start a Feminist Caucus.

Direct Action
1) We are not a Caucus that exists solely for emotional support, networking, socializing, and discussion. We:
2) Plan feminist and women-centric direct action.

-Sarah "

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