A. Because it’s the smart thing to do, and it’s the right thing to do.
It’s the smart thing to do…
…for the economy. Undocumented workers contribute €18 million in consumer spending every year. Many already pay tax, but bringing everyone into the tax bracket would generate €75 million…
Read the rest at the link. This is part of the #24h4hope vigil currently taking place in Dublin.
For those who might be interested, I created a Storify with a compilation of tweets/commentary from those attending the vigil and people offering support and solidarity. It is my hope that this vigil will bring more visibility to the specific plight of undocumented people in Ireland and those in the European Union. Undocumented migrants across all the EU are invisibilized and, as I’ve written before, usually removed from public discourses around immigration. This vigil in Dublin is such an important initiative because, to the best of my knowledge, it is one of the first ones of its kind to openly bring the issue to light and seek justice in the form of regularization of migration status.
I will update the Storify throughout the day with additional commentary and photos.
From 9am on Wednesday to 9am on Thursday, we’re taking a stand outside the Dáil [Irish Parliament] for the undocumented. JOIN US at 6pm for the candlelit solidarity gathering, when we’ll have stories and music with supporters, allies, undocumented migrants, and politicians. Family and friends welcome!
Justice for the Undocumented | MRCI
Today undocumented migrants in Ireland are holding a 24 hour vigil in the hopes of achieving justice for them and their families. If you are in the vicinity and have the opportunity, I personally plead your support for this action. Living without “papers” (as it is informally called) is not only stressing but it exposes the undocumented migrant to incredible risks of harm and violence. Undocumented status means you are disenfranchised; you live in fear for you and your family; if you are a victim of crime, you will most likely not report it; if you are a woman, it means you are vulnerable to sexual assault and you will have little legal recourse for obtaining justice; undocumented trans* women are doubly vulnerable because of transphobia and the fact that they have almost no legal protections when they are attacked; undocumented children face limitations in the services they can access and quality of education due to the fact that not every school will make exceptions for those that do not have the “correct papers”. The list of injustices faced by undocumented people is endless and breathtakingly unfair.
Tina Petersen, a former MP for Dansk Folkeparti (DF) and current member of the Svendborg City Council, has has been acquitted of racism after posting a photo on her Facebook page in April that compared Muslims to rubbish. “Hehe … Remember to take out the big trash tomorrow ;-)))…” Petersen wrote next to a manipulated photo of a burka-clad Muslim woman and child who were made to resemble the two rubbish bags they are standing next to. The public prosecutor’s office on Funen filed the indictment. Petersen was acquitted by a unanimous decision. “The court found that Petersen had no intention of hurting anyone,” Petersen’s defence lawyer, Jens Bertel Rasmussen, told TV2 Funen. “Her intent was merely to create a debate about the oppression of women.
DFer acquitted of racism - News - The Copenhagen Post
“Her intent was merely to create a debate about the oppression of women.”
“Her intent was merely to create a debate about the oppression of women.”
“Her intent was merely to create a debate about the oppression of women.”
That’s all I got to say…
There is this group of white British feminists that never seem to get enough of taunting and annoying me based on their dislike of my work. This past week has been no exception.
It all started when someone known as Glosswitch wrote an inane piece defending the likes of Helen Lewis and Caitlin Moran against the “mean feminists” who call them out. She name checked me in her piece to make a point about intersectionality. I objected to her using my name or any of my ideas to defend Helen Lewis, someone who, out of the blue and without having any interactions with me, once called me “the worst of a certain strand of feminist blogging”. Glosswitch wrote a schoolyard rant about how her “friends” are unjustly attacked and how “mean feminists” call them out, etc. For this “defense” she appropriated intersectional theory. I vehemently objected to this. I resent the mindless appropriation of theories and ideas created by and for Black women and other Women of Color to perpetuate a white supremacist feminism that actually works to alienate and subjugate us further. When I expressed my vehement disagreement with Glosswitch using these ideas, I became a target. First this:
And then a long series of tweets about how I “oppress” white women and how I “appropriate” white feminism in their experiences of mental health (where this claim comes from is anyone’s guess). My feminism is, apparently, a “hobby horse”. In Glosswitch’s defense came Becca Reilly-Cooper, a Professor of Philosophy at University of Warwick who initiated her “defense” of Glosswitch by asking if I had ever been “sectioned” due to mental health reasons. Again, I have no idea where their obsession with my mental health comes from. When I clearly refused to engage in conversation with her, she labeled me “repulsive”.
These attacks have been going on since Friday. I have requested more than once that they leave me alone just like I ignore all and their work or media presence. However, their Maury Show tactics escalate by the hour. Just like the infamous talk show, these feminists have a long history of transphobia, queerphobia, racism and a predisposition to scandal at the expense of those they perceive to be “beneath them”. They systematically pick on Women of Color and or trans* women to score points with their follow base at our expense. It is a media tactic designed so as not to disturb the status quo but solely for self promotion. This is nothing more than tabloid feminism which, pretty much like its namesake, targets minorities to “make examples” of them and appease a supremacist culture.
Today’s Mediabistro newsletter featured two links that, even though they were presented as unrelated, made me chuckle while reading them after one another.
On the one hand, there’s Nick Denton’s internal memo about Gawker Media’s current market position. From the memo:
The bad news… We got overtaken by Buzzfeed in November. They surged to 133m global uniques. Damn. That’s impressive. And Upworthy — even smarmier than Buzzfeed — is nipping at our heels.[…]
The Gawker Media network ranks at 21 in the US as measured by Quantcast, the highest rank we’ve seen. And this is cool: among mobile users, Gawker, Gizmodo, Deadspin, Lifehacker, Jezebel and Jalopnik were all among Quantcast’s top 100 sites.
And then this:
Kinja — which enlists readers as contributors to listicles as well as other collaborative editorial projects — will take us the next level up.
The other link in Mediabistro’s newsletter was related to a hoax that spread like wildfire across the internet. “Rothman: HuffPost’s Gut-Wrenching Poverty Editorial That Went Viral a Hoax”. The title of this piece is actually misleading. HuffPost only republished the “poverty editorial” in question which, originally appeared and was subsequently reshared on Kinja. From Kinja, it made its way to Jezebel’s Groupthink and from there to Gawker’s frontpage. The piece was eventually picked and republished by HuffPost and what started as a single post on a Kinja blog got the writer more than 60,000 dollars in donations.
I do have to wonder what this “next level” and “collaborative editorial projects” that Nick Denton have in mind for Kinja actually entail.
Racial Pornographics: A Special Issue of Porn Studies
Edited by Mireille Miller-Young, PhD
Associate Professor of Feminist Studies, UC Santa Barbara
This special issue of Porn Studies will promote a discussion about race in the study of pornography. Race remains an underdeveloped area of research in porn studies, and employing racial analytics to the study of pornography’s historical, representational, market, labor, industrial, and technological production is imperative for the field. Race is crucial for the field because it allows us to think through power relations that function in concert with gender, sexuality, and class, to uncover the historical importance of unequal looking relations, labor relations, and access to media authorship, and to reveal the ways in which desire, sexual and otherwise, is inextricably bound to processes of racialization.
A critical racial optic, moreover, illuminates the interests, desires, and experiences of racialized minorities as they are portrayed in, mobilize, or labor within pornographic fields. This mode of analysis may draw on the theoretical scholarship of critical race scholars, women of color feminists, and queer of color critique as well as on the emerging field of porn studies scholarship to think through the fantasies, energies, connectivities, pleasures, and power relations embedded in racial pornographies. Another function of a racial optics is to expose the rise of colorblindness or postracial ideologies in popular media discourses and academic theories about pornography, even as race is ever more salient to labor, economic, political, and looking relations within adult industries in a neoliberal era.
In addition, this special issue of Porn Studies will highlight research that launches pornographics as a framework for examining cultural productions and social relations outside of the genre and industry of pornography. Increasingly, scholars have drawn on pornography as a lens to problematize racial, gender, and sexual discourses, structures, and relations in ways that reveal the utility of pornographics as a mode of cultural inquiry that exceeds the formal confines of adult entertainment industries and networks of particular erotic communities. The goal of this special issue is to read the labor of race in pornography or pornographics, and the labor of pornography or pornographics in race.
Finally, although this is a scholarly journal we welcome essays, interviews, and creative pieces from academics, artists, activists, and adult industry practitioners.
About Porn Studies
New in 2014, Porn Studies is an international, peer-reviewed journal, which publishes original research examining specifically sexual and explicit media forms, their connections to wider media landscapes and their links to the broader spheres of (sex) work across historical periods and national contexts.
- Race or racial minorities in pornographic images
- Race or racial minorities in adult entertainment labor, racialized sex work
- Deployments of racialized discourses in porn or discussions of porn
- Colorblindness and postracial ideologies in porn or discussions of porn
- Race in the production, distribution, or consumption of porn media technologies
- Race or racial minorities in pornographic aesthetics or art
- Racial discourses in antiporn or sex positive feminist approaches to pornography
- Histories of race or racial minorities in pornography or pornographic cultural production
- Ethnopornography and race
- Racial or interracial communities in pornography
- Race in global, transnational, or diasporic pornographies
- Racial fetishism
- Race and disability politics in pornography
- Race and BDSM in pornography
- Queer and feminist approaches to race and racism in pornography
- Racial politics in porn activism, health issues, and legal concerns
- Race and obscenity law, censorship, or free speech issues
- Race and class in access to pornography, circulations of explicit media
- Race in pornographic pop culture, sex tapes, viral videos, animation, and gaming
- Race in feminist pornography, queer pornography, trans pornography, and gay porn
- Race pleasure, racial pain, racial disgust, racial desire and other affective domains
- Radical approaches to race or the methodology of racial studies in pornography
The journal special issue will consist of original articles, book and/or film reviews, conference proceedings, photo essays, and a forum or dialogue based interview essay.
- Original articles, approximately 6,000-7,000 words in length (including notes)
- Book or film reviews, approximately 1000-2000 words in length (including notes)
- Conference proceedings or Photo Essay, approximately 1200 to 2000 words in length (including notes)
- Forum pieces, Interviews, or Dialogue/Debate essays, approximately 3,000 to 5,000 words in length (including notes)
Manuscripts are accepted in English, OED spelling and punctuation preferred, including use of single quotation marks. Authors should include 1-5 keywords, 150 word abstract, and a short biographical note. Manuscript preparation instructions for Taylor and Francis publications and Routledge journals can be found here: http://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?journalCode=rprn20&page=instructions#.UpOSA42f8sg
- Deadline to Receive Notice of Intent to Submit a Manuscript, 150-200 word Abstract: January 8, 2014
- Deadline to Receive Full Submissions: April 11, 2014
- Expected Publication Date: September 2015
Address questions and submissions to:
Dr. Mireille Miller-Young
Department of Feminist Studies
4631 South Hall
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106 USA
This looks really interesting. Sharing the relevant information for those who might want to submit or follow up the eventual release.
Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism calls attention again on the case that was published two weeks ago and concerns the inhuman treatment and illegal detention of a mother and a 13 months old baby from Afghanistan. The father is held in the Detention Center in Mennogeia since December 2012, while the mother and her three children were accommodated until two weeks ago in the Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers in Kofinou. After the mother’s arrest on November 18, the two older children were taken to the Children’s Shelter in Larnaca. The baby, who is still at the stage of lactation, initially was given to a foster family, but on November 23 was transferred to the Detention Center of Oroklini Police Station, where the mother is held until now. According to the competent authorities, “the baby was transferred to the detention center because it was crying continuously”, after the violent separation from its mother.
KISA » 03.12.2013 – A 13 months old baby detained for crying continuously and asking for its mother
Earlier today I posted about the baby taken away from her mother who, it is claimed, suffers from bipolar disorder. The baby’s father is an undocumented immigrant from Senegal so, the British court ruled the parents were unfit to care for the child.
Now comes this story, also involving the European Union’s treatment of immigrant families. In Cyprus, a lactating baby was given away in foster care while both parents were held in detention due to their status as undocumented migrants. The foster family has now “returned” the baby who has also been placed in detention for “crying too much”.
Yesterday I posted about the Italian woman who was forced into a C Section because, according to British Child Services, she had suffered a mental breakdown. In my post, I said that I had heard similar stories about migrant women (not the forcible birth but the involvement of Child Services because their motherhood skills are questioned more often than their White counterparts). I had no data about the Italian woman in question so I did not feel comfortable speculating about her ethnicity. However, for the past 24 hours I have been monitoring a number of Italian news sites in the hopes that more info about the woman becomes available. English speaking media is behind its Italian counterpart in updating the development of this story. A moment ago I finally found what I had suspected. Via Repubblica (translation from Italian mine):
“I want my daughter back, I am suffering like an animal. I was forced into a C-Section without my consent. The day of the forced delivery I thought they were moving me from one room to another while I kept saying I wanted to return to Italy. Then I was sedated and when I woke up, she was gone. She was taken away from me.
Speaking like a wounded mother, Alessandra Panchieri, 35 years old, from Chainciano. She is the woman who suffers from bipolar disorder whose daughter was taken away in Essex, England. […]
The baby’s father, who is from Senegal, and an American relative of mine, Indra Armstrong, were both available to take care of the child but the British social services have ignored this. Why? Why did nobody help me?”
And there you have it. The baby’s father, who was willing and available to take care of the child, is from Senegal.
ETA: On Twitter, Rosa linked me to the court ruling. As I had speculated, turns out the father was an undocumented migrant as well:
Her mother is A. She is an Italian national. Her father is B who is a Senegalese national, he is currently living in Italy. His situation is unclear, as I understand it he travelled there under a student visa, at least on one version, and is an over-stayer. He certainly has no status in Italy and he is unable, as I understand it, as a result of his status, either to leave Italy at all , and is certainly not able to come to the United Kingdom.
This is what happens to children of color born from an undocumented parent. Given away like the spoils of the Empire, to decide their fate and future.
Research by the national statistics office CBS and the government’s socio-cultural think-tank SCP, shows 7.6% of the population is now living below the poverty line. Last year’s rise is the sharpest since the economic crisis began in 2008.
DutchNews.nl - 1.2 million Dutch households below poverty line, 11% of children are poor
From the article:
At least 1.2 million people were living in poverty in the Netherlands last year, a rise of over 150,000 people on 2011, according to a new report.[…]
In particular, people living on welfare benefits, single mothers and migrants are likely to live in poverty, the report said. A large part of the 348,000 working poor are self-employed, the report said. Over 11% of Dutch children are now growing up in poverty, using the SCP definition.
This is the result of almost ten years of fierce neoliberal measures at the expense of the working class and poor. The most vulnerable groups of Dutch society have been taking a hit, every year without fail, in the support system that had been built as part of the 60’s and onwards welfare State.
To understand the effect of these neoliberal policies, this item from earlier this year sheds more light:
The number of Dutch households with more than $1m (€760,000) in assets rose nearly 13% last year, according to research by the Boston Consultancy Group and quoted by news agency ANP.
In 2012 there were 191,000 Dutch households worth more than $1m, compared with 170,000 in 2011. Together they control €396bn in assets, the consultancy said. The increase is largely due to rises on the stock exchange, ANP said.
Let those figures sink: while 11% of all Dutch children are growing up in households with incomes below the poverty line, in the same time period, the number of Dutch millionaires rose by 13%.
Essex social services have obtained a court order against a woman that allowed her to be forcibly sedated and for her child to be taken from her womb by caesarean section
Child taken from womb by social services - Telegraph
From the article:
A pregnant woman has had her baby forcibly removed by caesarean section by social workers.
Essex social services obtained a High Court order against the woman that allowed her to be forcibly sedated and her child to be taken from her womb.
The council said it was acting in the best interests of the woman, an Italian who was in Britain on a work trip, because she had suffered a mental breakdown.
The baby girl, now 15 months old, is still in the care of social services, who are refusing to give her back to the mother, even though she claims to have made a full recovery.
And we thought eugenics were a thing of the past? It hardly ever makes news in Europe but refugee and migrant women are disproportionately affected by similar Social Services involvement regularly. I have spoken with many Women of Color (who will not speak on record for fear of retaliation) who have mentioned similar vigilantism going on in The Netherlands. It usually starts with Dutch neighbors “notifying” Social Services that there is an “unfit” mother (cultural differences can be perceived as signs of “bad motherhood” over here) and it escalates to full blown investigations that go as far as monitoring what children are fed (“ethnic” foods being subjected to special scrutiny under the guise of “nutrition value”). The women I’ve spoken to have mentioned situations like this with family members, friends, acquaintances, etc. It’s one of the reasons communities are kept tight, as usually positive outcomes depend on strong collective reactions to the injustice.
The case involving the Italian woman in the article is extremely unfortunate but I very strongly suspect it’s not as isolated as the news make it appear. The only difference is that when it happens to Women of Color it remains unreported because of victim’s fear and the normalization of violence.
Migrants Rights Network (MRN), The Forum and UNHCR are excited to open the call for nominations for the Women on the Move Awards 2014. The awards – formerly the Migrant and Refugee Woman of the Year awards – will be announced on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2014. The Women on the Move Awards celebrates and supports the contribution that migrant and refugee women, the media and their champions can make towards facing down prejudice and inspiring others. This year there are four categories of awards. The Woman of the Year and Young Woman of the Year awards celebrate women who, having migrated or fled persecution, provide essential support and inspiring leadership at the grassroots to others starting a new life in the UK. The Media Award recognises the outstanding work of a journalist or producer whose reporting has promoted the protection needs of refugee, asylum-seeking or migrant women, either in the UK or abroad. This year, the awards will also recognise a Champion of the Year: an individual, group of people, or organisation, selected by a panel, which has made a significant contribution to supporting migrant and refugee women.
Awards & Nomination Forms | Women on the Move Awards
Nominations are open until November 30th.
I have covered prior campaigns to rebrand feminism before here; and here are more of my thoughts on the issue at a Stream event hosted by Bitch Magazine. I just came across this other rebranding effort, featured at Fastcompany last month. This one is driven by Elle Magazine and it involves three different ad agencies and Vagenda Mag. From the post:
For its November Issue, Elle UK decided to “Rebrand Feminism,” treating the advancement of women’s rights like a dated product that needs to be dusted off and made cool again. The magazine paired three award-winning ad agencies—Brave, Mother, and Wieden+Kennedy—with three feminist organizations and had them create a series of advertisements aimed at fixing feminism’s supposed image problem.
Usually I wouldn’t bother writing about something that is weeks old and involves a topic I have already said my part about. However, this is one of the posters they are using to “rebrand feminism” and this does merit some commentary:
Again, from the post:
“We wanted to create an ad that made you feel empowered to do something about the pay gap. Thinking about asking someone what they earned made me physically wince. I liked that. It wasn’t another statistic to gloss over; I had to think about whether my male colleagues earned more than me. It also gave people a simple action to do.”
Depending on where you live in the Western world, this “simple action” as she calls it, can get you fired. Now, let me be clear, in the US and in the European Union it is forbidden by law to prevent employees from discussing their salaries with one another. And yet, this prohibition is in many Human Resources’ Employees Manuals and Codes of Conduct. For years I worked at a corporation where, even though I was in The Netherlands, where such clause is not allowed, it was still in our Code of Conduct. Our local Dutch managers knew that they weren’t allowed to enforce it and yet, they used it to threaten us if we complained about pay issues. I knew that, had I been fired for talking about my salary, I could eventually go to court and have them either reinstate me at the job or indemnify me accordingly. However, going to court is not within the realm of possibility for everyone. It costs money and time, two options that are not necessarily available to people who need to pay bills right this moment. Going to court is also cumbersome and requires knowledge of the law and one’s rights, something that not everyone has access to. A poster like the above is likely to hurt working class women the most, who are, in a great number of cases, in lower paid positions depending on their paycheck to support themselves and their families. It again places the onus on individuals to go out and put themselves in harms ways rather than demand corporate wide disclosure through legal action. Rather than promote safety in numbers (to give one such example, through organizing a legal challenge that would force corporations to disclose salaries divided by function and gender to compare the resulting figures), this campaign makes individual women responsible for their own situation. Again, a neoliberal solution based on bootstrapping ourselves out of the pay gap.
Another point worth mentioning: this campaign says nothing about the pay gap faced by Women of Color in regards to White women. “Ask him”? I’d also ask her so that we clearly establish how the corporate game is set up.
When a campaign to “rebrand feminism” is constructed in a way that can potentially hurt the most vulnerable among us, I have to ask the obvious, who needs this rebranding and who is supposed to benefit from it?
It’s silly isn’t it? When Richard Cohen writes something dumb at WaPo (frequently) people are allowed to express anger at WaPo … it’s called an editorial process & it, as much as the writer, needs to be held accountable.
Exactly this. And to extrapolate it to any other area of cultural critique, if, any corporation is engaged in practices that we deem worthy of analysis, we wouldn’t publish a list of every employee we consider exempt from the critique. We talk about “Coca Cola” or “Nestle” or “Bank of America” not about “Joe at the accountancy department” or “Mary in logistics”. In corporate owned media, the Editor in Chief is responsible for what is published. And so is the corporation that owns said media.