|photograph of two Indigenous girls in Australia is from here|
It is the position of this blog that political theories and actions ought to address and center the experiences of girls and women worldwide. Our work, whoever we are, ought to strive to know, see, and feel the life experiences of those of us who are most traumatised, most starved, most trafficked, most enslaved, most exploited, most violated, most dominated, most silenced, often without clean drinking water, and those of us usually without any academic education, patriarchal political clout, or dominant social status.
In my experience, the lives of girls and women worldwide who are without race, class, ethnic, region, and education privileges, are the girls and women with the most awareness of what the price is for being a girl and a woman in a world that despises any human being regarded socially as "female"--whether or not she is female. (I'm thinking at this moment of anyone who is intersex but who are raised to be girls and women and who are treated as girls and women.)
I am concerned that female human beings privileged by race, class, region, education, and region will do what all men do: ignore the most marginalised and silenced women. This isn't a reference to something called "oppression olympics". I'm speaking quite seriously and directly about the girls and women globally who are experiencing the most traumatic dimensions men's wars--especially and particularly men's war against women and girls; girls and women who have the least access to dominant corporate media, who do not rule countries, do not own corporations, are not multi-millionaires, are slaves, are trafficked, are being intimately and systematically terrorised and violated in the home by men or by one man, are being institutionally oppressed by race, class, sexuality, and gender in ways that generate socially unnoticed forms of post-traumatic stress, because ptsd is not usually considered to be caused by normal, liberal to conservative social institutions.
Someone asked me recently how it is I became conscious of racism and misogyny, of--in my world--white supremacy and male supremacy. I answered that I think that while white, being Jewish in a largely non-Jewish area let me know what ethnic marginalisation and bigotry felt like, and it wasn't difficult to imagine that anti-Black racism, for example, felt similarly awful. And while male, I believe that never being heterosexual brought me in close proximity, or in direct range of the wrath boys and men unleashed on girls and women because girls and woman are also not het men.
But, in addition to those experiences of privilege and marginalised, of structural power and structural oppression, being sexually molested, incested, and assaulted before age thirteen and living with myself as someone who acted some of that abuse out against others before turning seventeen, left me very aware, viscerally, not primarily intellectually, of the harm of oppression when it is systematised and sexualised. And both white supremacy and het male supremacy are profoundly sexualised.
I encounter people who called themselves progressive or radical and their political agendas, too often, don't center the experiences of those of us whose lives are torn apart by sex trauma, by ethnic and race trauma, and by the traumas that come with not being a white het man with class privilege.
There are many political movements which exist to make dominant society friendlier to oppressed people without transforming the systems and dismantling the structures that manufacture and support the ideologies of destruction, denial, trauma, and terrorism, most especially and particularly against girls and women from birth to death.
Whoever think girls and women are a privileged class by gender, will have a hard time making that case comprehensible to me. I've seen my whole life how girls and women's bodies are targeted for all manner of abuse and disdain. The traumas visited upon girls alone, as a class of human beings, are so unfathomably disgusting and horrid that most of us don't wish to think about them, including those of us who lived through them.
I believe that a radical political practice and set of movements and campaigns that strives and succeeds in liberating girls as a specific group, not only as individuals, from all forms of oppression will be a political movement that liberates everyone else too.
Increasingly, I am feeling called to focus on the lives of girls. And to work with adults who prioritise the lives of girls in their political work.
May all girls, one day, know what it is to live in a world where there is no incest, no rape, no sexism, no male supremacy, no racism, no poverty, and no gynocide.