Like most powerful exercises, it’s a simple one. Professor and legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw asks audience members to stand as she lists names of Black people killed by law enforcement in this country, and to sit when they hear a name that they don’t recognize. For Eric Garner, George Floyd, Michael Brown, most of the crowd—whatever crowd it is, students, academics, the general public—stay standing. But when it gets to Sandra Bland, Atatiana Jefferson, it thins and thins. And by the time it gets to Rekia Boyd and Michelle Cusseaux, generally everyone is seated. Is that because Black women’s deaths via the same state-sanctioned violence that kills Black boys and men are less compelling?
“Palmer,” a new film starring Justin Timberlake and directed by filmmaker and actor Fisher Stevens, challenges harmful ideas about masculinity and serves as an example of how far Hollywood and much of the U.S. has come towards creating spaces for gender nonconformity. The movie, released globally by the streaming service Apple+ on January 29, is set in small town America and centers on the story of a child, played by Ryder Allen, who defies ideas about what boys should and should not look and act like. The film ultimately becomes about the child’s unlikely kinship with Palmer (Timberlake), who is struggling to rejoin his community after a prison sentence, and how society views those who are...
The commonly used figure to describe the gender wage ratio—that a woman earns 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man—understates the pay inequality problem by leaving many women workers out of the picture. This report argues that a multi-year analysis provides a more comprehensive picture of the gender wage gap and presents a more accurate measure of the income women actually bring home to support themselves and their families.
“We will be here long after this administration is in the trash heap,” the NCTE’s Mara Keisling pledged Monday. Hundreds of protesters gathered in New York City’s Washington Square Park on Sunday night, angrily reacting to reports that the Trump administration is considering a narrower legal definition of gender. The move would be tantamount to the government’s declaring there’s no such thing as “transgender” and would effectively exclude transgender and nonbinary people from basic civil rights protections currently guaranteed by federal law. Understandably, LGBTQ advocacy groups like the National Center for Transgender Equality, Lambda Legal and GLAAD responded with force.
By Staff of Atlanta Black Star - My mom has told me a story several times of when my dad bartered a painting for bread. He had done a small oil painting of a loaf of bread with a wine bottle based on a local bakery. One day they were hungry and had no money, so he went to the bakery and in exchange for the painting the baker gave him the same daily baked long loaf of bread featured in my dad’s painting. At that time they lived on about $800 a month with only a VA pension and an SSI check. In New York City during the ’80s we used subway tokens in place of dollars at bodegas — a corner store — and with street vendors. My best friend and I stretched our resources on Saturdays by going through together with one token each way on the subway, and then we’d have two tokens to use for lunch. So, we could share a hot dog and a knish from a hot dog vendor. Another example that connects me to the work I’m doing now is the apartment building I grew up in on East 9th Street. My mother gave birth to me and my father delivered me in our apartment in 1978 with everyone from the building there pitching in. Our building went through a long coop conversion process. It was resident self-managed through the ’80s and then formally became a low-income co-op in the early 1990s. I did not know that I lived in a “shared-equity cooperative” until two years ago at a Community Land Trust conference I went to for Cooperation Jackson.
By Victoria Law for Truthout - During her 30 years in California's prison system, Cookie Bivens has seen numerous trans women attempt to change their name and gender marker while incarcerated. Not a single woman ever succeeded. In California, people seeking to legally change their name or gender marker must file an application with the county court and pay a filing fee of nearly $500. (A person earning less than $2,127 per month can file for a fee waiver.) Once the paperwork is filed, the court sets a hearing date within six to 12 weeks. If the court receives no objections to the proposed name and gender marker change, the petition is granted. Incarcerated trans people face an extra hurdle: obtaining approval from the prison's superintendent and other administrators. Without that approval, they cannot begin the court process.
By Sasha Turner for Black Perspectives - On March 24, 2017 the United Nations commemorated its ten-year anniversary for the International Day of Remembrance honoring the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. This year, the theme chosen for the commemoration is “Remember Slavery: Recognizing the Legacy and Contributions of People of African Descent.” In the keynote address, delivered by Lonnie Bunch, the founding director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture urgently called on us to be vigilant in recognizing the ways in which the legacy of slavery continues today. Cloaking the history of slavery in silence, Bunch argues, permits the violence of slavery to live on, dishonoring the struggles, losses, and strength experienced by our ancestors. It is fitting that the UN-designated International Day of Remembrance falls on March 25, coinciding with Women’s History Month. Indeed, any attempt to remember the enslavement of African peoples is incomplete without considering women’s experiences in slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.
By Cecilia Gingerich for The Next System Project - We are in a time of deepening systemic crisis. Throughout the world, we see staggering levels of economic inequality, unchecked extractive behavior by corporate-dominated industries, overt attacks on civil rights, massive and ongoing violence against women and people of color, deteriorating democracy, heightened militarization, endless wars, rapidly advancing climate change—and the list goes on. Unfortunately, the system that has produced this crisis isn’t “broken.” In fact, the mounting challenges we face are to a large degree its natural byproducts and intended outcomes. Therefore, we cannot simply wait for the system to correct itself...
By Patricia Grogg for IPS - HAVANA, Jul 29 2016 (IPS) - The novel inclusion of a gender perspective in the peace talks that led to a historic ceasefire between the Colombian government and left-wing guerrillas is a landmark and an inspiration for efforts to solve other armed conflicts in the world, according to the director of U.N.-Women in Colombia, Belén Sanz. In statements to IPS, Sanz described as “innovative and pioneering” the incorporation of a gender subcommittee in the negotiations between the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which began in November 2012 in the Cuban capital and ended in late June with a definitive ceasefire.
By Chris Kromm for the Institute for Southern Studies. It's been over a month since North Carolina lawmakers rushed to pass House Bill 2, sweeping legislation that, while targeting a Charlotte city ordinance for gender-neutral public bathrooms, also nullified local anti-discrimination and wage laws. Since HB2 passed, headlines have been filled with near-daily reports of top companies, sports associations like the NBA and NCAA, and big-ticket performers from Bruce Springsteen to Cirque du Soleil not only condemning the law but saying they would rethink doing business in North Carolina or would boycott the state entirely. State officials have tried to downplay the impact of the HB2 backlash. In early April, N.C. Commerce Secretary John Skvarla blithely said "it's business as usual" in the state.
By Laura Bassett for The Huffington Post - A delegation of human rights experts from Poland, the United Kingdom and Costa Rica spent 10 days this month touring the United States so they can prepare a report on the nation's overall treatment of women. The three women, who lead a United Nations working group on discrimination against women, visited Alabama, Texas and Oregon to evaluate a wide range of U.S. policies and attitudes, as well as school, health and prison systems. The delegates were appalled by the lack of gender equality in America.
The Bureau of Prisons has rejected the Army's request to accept the transfer of national security leaker Pvt. Chelsea Manning from the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to a civilian facility where she could get better treatment for her gender-identity condition. The military will instead begin the initial treatment for her. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has approved the Army's recommendation to keep Manning in military custody and start a rudimentary level of gender treatment, a defense official said Thursday. The initial gender treatments could include allowing Manning to wear some female undergarments and also possibly provide some hormone treatments. The decision raises a number of questions about what level of treatment Manning will be able to get and at what point the private would have to be transferred from the all-male prison to a female facility. Manning has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, the sense of being a woman in a man's body. Civilian prisons can provide treatment, and the Defense Department has argued repeatedly that it doesn't have the medical expertise needed. As a result, the Army tried to work out a plan to transfer Manning to a federal prison. Officials said Thursday that federal authorities refused the proposal. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly by name. Manning's lawyer, David Coombs, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he was encouraged that the Army will begin medical treatment.