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Posts from July 2001

Southern Girls Convention builds pro-woman community in the Deep South

Whew! After half a year of hard work, Southern Girls Convention 2001 finally happened this past weekend in Auburn, Alabama. As you may have noticed from my extended absence, it was absolutely exhausting, long, hard work, but it was totally worth it. Over FIVE HUNDRED totally rad feminist women and boys came from all over the country (and Canada too!) for over 60 information-filled workshops, tables with all kinds of information, four music shows (including an outstanding hardcore show at Olde Auburn Ale House), and an amazing chance for community, networking, and meeting lots of rad kids from the South. Although as organizers we were constantly running around exhausted and dealing with crises, everyone told us that they had an amazing time and the positive feedback was more than enough to keep us going on vicarious great experiences.

Auburn hasn’t seen so much diversity or political consciousness in a long time. Queer punk girls were lounging outside of Foy Union, everyone from PIRG to SURGE to Planned Parenthood were hosting tables, and a group of Radical Cheerleaders coordinated a spontaneous march and took over the downtown Taco Bell in support of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ campaign for tomato pickers.

I can’t write here how challenging, exhausting, uniting, empowering, and wonderful the experience of organizing SGC2001 and carrying it through have been. But it’s been all that and more. I don’t want to organize any more conventions for a long time, but I am super-psyched about going to next year’s SGC and experiencing it from a participant’s-eye-view. I hope, I pray that SGC will be an on-going, transformative presence in the South for a long time to come.

Dump and Run: Fund Your Progressive Campus Group Through Dumpster Diving

Thanks to the latest issue of Sierra magazine I have discovered a really rad campus program called Dump and Run, where local campus groups establish a program to collect all the perfectly usable items that students throw into the dumpster at the end of the year when they move out of apartments or dorm rooms – furniture, canned food, clothing, etc. They then sell them in a big garage sale as a fundraiser for the local groups running the program. The national Dump and Run nonprofit lends the organizations its nonprofit status and helps in setting up the campus program. The pilot program at University of Richmond has been really successful, reducing the solid waste being hauled away at the end of the year by 50% within two years. Here at Auburn we’re hoping to set up a collaboration between Auburn Women’s Organization and Environmental Awareness Organization for running the program. Woo hoo! </p

The best part of all: the organization was actually created based on its’ founder’s experiences dumpster diving at Syracuse University and University of Richmond!

Why Libertarians Need Feminism

I ran across an interesting article by Libertarian feminist Joan Kennedy Taylor (whose articles I have often admired) today giving a critical view on why so few women are involved in the Libertarian movement, citing many Libertarians’ reflexive antifeminism and the movement’s marginalization of women’s issues, as well as hostility by Libertarian men when criticized on these grounds. She advocates that Libertarians work with and try to reach out to mainstream liberal feminists. Well, I think she errs in defining radical feminists as the enemy – I think that radical feminists (especially those that are, well, anarchists/anarcha-feminists) are by and large going to be far more amenable to the argument that male-dominated government is hostile to women’s interest, than the average liberal feminist is going to be. Unfortunately, for the time being, even self-proclaimed Libertarian feminist groups (such as Wendy McElroy’s ifeminists online community) remain mostly oppositional in nature: they set themselves up as Libertarian feminists and then spend most of their time criticizing other feminists for not being Libertarian enough—rather than forging more respectful alliances between Libertarians and feminists. I hope that Joan Kennedy Taylor’s article may be the first step in the right direction towards that goal.

Commodification Ahoy!: Sexism in South Carolina State Government

Commodification ahoy: State House leaders in South Carolina recently told a Boys’ State class that the money saved through financial aid from the state lottery program could buy a lot of beer and girls [Feminist Majority Foundation News Wire]. Gee, with that attitude (and other events of overt sexual harassment) what a surprise that South Carolina ranks lowest in the nation for women holding statewide office.

Bush’s Popularity and Media Soft-peddling of W.

Salon Politics reports with barely-concealed glee about George W. Bush’s slide in the polls from 60% approval ratings to 53% approval ratings from his first hundred days to now. Well, this bodes well for Democrats in 2002 and all, but the real question is: why are half the American people still supporting this idiot? He lost the popular vote, he may have lost the election, he put into place the most Right-wing cabinet of the past 70 years or so, and he’s pushing an agenda that looks like The Beast From 1982 (or 1994). The answer of course is that newsmedia soft-peddled the President while simultaneously providing a smokescreen by slagging Bill Clinton for several weeks after he’d left office. I remember watching an episode of NBC Nightly News shortly after the inauguration that ran a misty-eyed piece pointing out the similarities between George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan (W. is, in fact, a conservative! He does, in fact, favor tax cuts!), immediately followed by a segment entitled–I kid you not–ClintonWatch on the latest tidbits of the Presidential pardon fiascos (and I don’t mean those pardons of nonviolent drug offenders in federal prisons or of 1970s leftist activists).

Damn that liberal media.

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