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Hey folks —

THIS IS HAPPENING!! Today, even!  So here’s the text from the Wordsmith’s FB event:

“By this point, we’re certain you already know what we’re all about: putting on free poetry events for the campus community while mobilizing the student body to take part in social justice advocacy! We also run the slam team! This weekend is about bringing those things together in harmony and treating you all to an unforgettable set of shows. So, if you want more details about the slam itself, visit our tumblr page (http://uncwordsmiths.tumblr.com/). Otherwise, here’s the breakdown:

TONIGHT!! Friday Night: workshop with nationally-renowned poet and spoken word artist Theresa Davis (sponsored by Feminist Students United)  7 PM

Campus Y Seminar rooms 207 and 208

FREE

Light refreshments will be served

***Sign up at this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Bytum-_pDWTz5ICrwDnjddl6OUc7uaplV3wfDFeeYeM/viewform***

Saturday night: IT ALL GOES DOWN! The entire slam season comes down to this one final Grand Slam to decide which 5 student poets will compete on the UNC slam team that will represent the University at Nationals in Colorado.

Doors open at 7 PM

Tate-Turner-Kuralt Auditorium (information about directions and parking here: http://ssw.unc.edu/about/directions)
(Grand Slam is co-sponsored by Feminist Students United)
FREE FOR ALL, suggested donation of $5

You read right: IT’S ALL FREE!! Don’t miss out!

This is our way of thanking you ALL for supporting us and the causes we’ve championed in the past, and those to come in the future. So please come enjoy this weekend with us!”

 

So what are you waiting for?!?!?!  You’d better sign up on that Google Doc for the Theresa Davis workshop and click here for the FB EVENT PAGE!!!

Folks!!! FOLKS!! LOOOOKKK!!! An exciting opportunity to get together with ya radfolks and MAKE SHIT HAPPEN!

I know it’s tough to be politically conscious in this world, what with all the constant attacks on already marginalized folks and all, but the only thing that’s worse than this reality is the overwhelming feeling of HELPLESSNESS that accompanies a shit-avalanche like the one we’re seeing in North Carolina. There’s so much going on that I for one am still numb with confusion.  What was passed? In what secret midnight vote? Affecting whom? Closing down which clinics? Cutting which benefits? Wait – what happened to my right to vote?

And money = free speech still, right?

*cue cautiously optimistic, inspirational tune*

That’s why it’s important to arm yourself with education — not just about the issues and their effects, but what YOU — yes YOU!!! — can do to [resist the powers that be], [reverse the effects of damaging legislation] and [prevent this from happening again in the future].

Here’s a blurb from the [WIN] Conference event page:

“The [WIN] Conference will serve to educate the community about issues currently plaguing society. What this means is that we will have a bunch of awesome presenters teaching us about what is going on right now.

Learn more about current womyn’s issues such as reproductive rights/justice, politics, violence against womyn, and womyn in the media. Our keynote speaker is Monica Simpson, executive director of SisterSong. Organizations such as the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, Ipas, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, and Lillian’s List will be presenting and tabling throughout the day!

Come out to the Womyn’s Issues Now [WIN] Conference
WHERE: Union in room 3408
WHEN: Saturday, January 25, 2014 from 9 AM – 5 PM!

We will serve free breakfast and lunch. You don’t want to miss this great event!

 

Space is limited so register NOW!

[WIN] Conference 2014 REGISTRATION

[WIN] Conference Event Page

The Peculiar Kind

Hey everyone – Just a friendly last minute reminder that producers of the documentary/webseries THE PECULIAR KIND are COMING to UNC!!

What am I even talking about?? Here’s a little snippet from their page:

TPK premiered on February 16th, 2012. Our first episode explored women’s safety with the help of Right Rides and featured “Our News” brought to you by Elixher. Since then, we’ve come a long way. We’ve done episodes on gender roles, safe sex, queers in the media, unemployment, and the experience of being queer/gay in various cultures.

The event will take place in Chapman 201 @6:00pm today.  Join us for a free screening of the documentary and q&a with the producers.

Details:The FB Event PAGE – FSU Presents TPK

For more on the Peculiar Kind: Check out the SITE

Did you know that you can help keep this web series alive? Contribute to their IndieGoGo to keep the magic happening!!

registration for the southeast regional unity conference is now open and here are a few short bits about Unity:

what is it?: An annual gathering of progressive lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer identified people and their allies in the Southeast.

theme: “Queering a Nation Together: Creating a Safer, More Welcoming Queer Platform in Your Community”

when: April 12 – 14, 2013

where: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, N.C. 

registration costs: $25 (with reduced rates for group registration) and scholarships for those who would not be able to attend otherwise. 

housing: some community housing is provided but there are also several hotels in the area. 

find out more info at http://www.unityconference.net

Ha. So.  We’ve been sort of out of commission (this blog) for the last month or so.  Our bad. There was some stuff, and a lot of things…NEVERMIND. We’re back now! We’re back and we’re ready to take some action.What you missed:

  • FSU got together with the Orange County Rape Crisis Center to host a training for the Stewards of Children program.  It’s a fabulous thang. You can learn more about this child sexual abuse prevention training here: Stewards for Children
  • 3 of our fabulous FSU and SURJ activists received funding courtesy of IPAS to attend the FMF #NYFLC2013 – the 9th annual young feminist leadership conference.  We had a ball, went in with a critical eye, learned a lot, met some fantastic feminists from New Hampshire (and the rest of the states,of course) and found ourselves amongst the largest gathering of self-identified feminists ever.  There will be more information on that as we each find a few moments to write reflections.  Please do not hesitate, however, to contact us, because as Kaori said earlier today, “I’d be doing my community wrong, though, if I didn’t try my hardest to act as a resource for other young feminists who are interested in events such as these. If you have any sort of interest in getting involved with feminist events like this, please pleeeeez don’t hesitate to message [us]”
  • TOMORROW we are hosting a t-shirt making PARTAY to support the UNC group SWAG as they bring The Clothesline Project to our campus. We have T-shirts, we have supplies, we have a room!! Check out our FB event page

That’s really not even close to all of it. I think perhaps this merits….5-100 of its own posts, but suffice it to say that our campus is the throws of a federal investigation and the UNC administration has been attempting to silence those who have spoken out against their sordid practice of abusing and intimidating survivors of sexual violence. One of those survivors was recently charged by the honor court for “creating an intimidating environment” for the man who raped her, but remains undaunted by their threats.  She’s filing intimidation charges.

Her lawyer – “The retaliatory charges against my client are inappropriate, unconstitutional and utterly without merit,” and “Ms. Gambill’s public criticism of UNC – as an institution that ignores, silences and discredits sexual violence survivors as PR strategy – can no longer be met with attempts to ignore, silence and discredit her,” he wrote in the letter to Thorp. “Instead, it is time for the university to take responsibility for the broken system it has created, starting by dismissing this case.”

Can I get a FUCK YEAH?!

SO, PEOPLE, keep vigilant, keep vocal, and never stop fighting.  That’s it for now, but I swear we are back in action and will be bringing you more awesome, informative, feminist posts relevant to UNC, NC, The US, and the WORLD.  This I promise you.

http://www.wral.com/apnewsbreak-unc-student-files-intimidation-charge/12265409/

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In the past several years we have seen incredible social movements spanning the globe in response to the still worsening economic crisis and punishing austerity measures that followed it. Young people, students, and workers are standing up to the abuses of a system bent on denying us a future. These forces, driven by greed, will continue a path of wealth accumulation for the few on the backs of the many. North Carolina is no different.

Wealthy right-wing donors bought the North Carolina legislature and put Tea Party conservatives in the driver’s seat of our state. Their program is clear: public education and services will face massive cuts, and the general welfare of our state will be undermined to benefit the richest few. From voting rights to women’s rights, those in power want to take us backwards. North Carolina families, students, and workers cannot afford this regressive agenda — and we will not accept it. It is more urgent than ever to build upon multi-issue, grassroots mobilization efforts in NC. Our state has a rich history of activism and resistance, and as in the past, students must serve as leaders in the fight for social justice. The time for organizing a powerful student movement is now!

On February 16th 2013, The NC-Student Power Union will be holding a statewide organizing conference in Raleigh, North Carolina—our state capital. This conference will bring together leaders of social justice organizations, university faculty, and most importantly, students like us for a day of education, inspiration, and action.

Instead of accepting a future shaped by low wage jobs, racism, and a warming planet, our generation is coming together to demand a world with opportunity for all people and justice for our earth—a world without fear of deportation, crushing debt, or heterosexist discrimination. Join the movement on February 16th. Help build student voice and student power to reclaim our education and create the state we want to live in.

Register for the Conference Today.

Today at 10:30, UNC students, faculty, staff, North Carolina community members and representatives from the press began to assemble on the steps of Wilson Library to demonstrate the necessity that Governor Beverly Purdue pardon members of the Wilmington Ten in the final days of her administration.  Reverend Dr. William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP aptly described the rhetoric that has surrounded the case for forty years: clutching at straws of evidence that members of the Wilmington Ten broke any law has taken precedence over the fact that the prosecution for their case behaved illegally on multiple occasions.
This is unacceptable in light of the illegal actions known to have been committed by the prosecution during the 1972 case.  Prosecutor Stroud, who has recently been disbarred, feigned serious illness in order to cause a mistrial when he learned that the jury selected for the first Wilmington Ten trial was comprised of ten African Americans and two white men.  According to documents presented by Dr. Tim Tyson, which are currently housed in the Southern Historical Collection at Wilson Library, Stroud wrote “B” next to the names of black jurors, and included comments like “KKK Good” and “sensible Uncle Tom Type” in the margins.
There is also evidence that Stroud bribed three of the key witnesses, for example, by purchasing a minibike for one and offering another $40,000 to appear in a grand jury hearing.
Justice for political prisoners, for activists whose very struggle for freedom and justice is criminalized, for those who suffer from the abuse of state power, are all topics of concern for feminists.  The Civil Rights struggle continues today; social and economic injustices persist today, and are perpetuated in public schools, at “our” borders, in prisons.  Women are always implicated in the system, both as participants in and victims of egregious injustice done in the name of free trade and national security, both of which constitute a twentieth-century revision of White Men’s Rights demonstrations that occurred in Wilmington’s historic Hugh MacRae Park at the time of the Wilmington Ten trials.

I used to play in that park, y’all.  -Sarah-Kathryn Bryan

Last year, two of my close friends took a first-year seminar on women and gender in eastern Europe.  Both of them enjoy retelling the story of how, during the first week of classes, the professor asked the class for a show of hands: “How many of you would call yourselves feminists?”

Three people raised their hands: my two friends and one woman who emphasized that she didn’t identify as a radical feminist.

Doesn’t three sound like a shockingly small number of feminists in a room of more than twenty people?  True, most of them probably hadn’t enjoyed being part of an out-and-proud feminist network as my friends and I did throughout high school.  Maybe they weren’t comfortable using the “F-word” during the first week of college, which would align them with a powerful political ideology.  Looking back, though, plenty of my fellow first-years were happy to support other (read: less awesome) causes from day one.  This, coupled with my subsequent experiences beyond student organizing at Carolina, has convinced me that students here reserve a special squeamishness for feminism. 

Let’s return to the student who swore up and down that she wasn’t a radical feminist.  What the hell does non-radical feminism mean, anyway?  Feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression (bell hooks, “Feminism”).  That means that if you don’t like racism or sexism, and you try not to treat people horribly based on where they fit in the capitalist caste system, you support feminism.  If you’re doing feminism correctly, you can’t avoid being radical, rigorous, riotous.  That’s that.  Why do so many people have a problem with this?

Being radical, rigorous, and riotous, supporting feminism, can feel alienating at times, and that keeps a lot of people from participating in it.  On the other hand, feminism can be a refuge for people who feel alienated by our mainstream/dominant culture, which currently supports and disseminates (what a verb!) white supremacist, sexist, classist and imperialist ideology.  Feminism is inherently radical because it seeks to alter mainstream culture in a way that dismantles the roots of sexist oppression.

Most people reading this blog support, perhaps at a very conscious level, feminism.  Good for us.  Before we pat ourselves on the backs for “being radical”, it’s necessary to address the problem of choice feminism, a devilishly tricky variant of feminism that is undermining the movement and creating a huge group of complacent and supposedly non-political people.

Choice feminism is a non-judgmental way of approaching feminism that justifies everything anyone does as long as they’re “politically conscious”.  Sounds great, right?  It even echoes the tried-and-true “the personal is political”.  But actually it’s incredibly misleading, given that choice feminism avoids political engagement and stops informed critique in its tracks.  Choice feminism ignores the complexity of choice, and the ways choice-making agents and their environment mutually affect one another.  It also defines feminism as an endless source of empowerment, for good or ill: any choice made by a feminist is universally beneficial and empowering for other feminists.  This leaves no room for discussion of what feminists actually support; over-identification with the cause has transformed many people’s experience of feminism into a justification for unyielding self-indulgence.

For instance, if you call a woman who cuts you in line at the grocery store (or  a close friend, partner, or colleague who has done you no harm) a “bitch”, that is not a feminist action, no matter how conscious you are of your use of sexist and derogatory language.  Beginning a discussion of how sexism harms people requires us to be judgmental.  That is okay.  Judging other people, and not letting them get away with being jerks, is a part of being a socially responsible person, not just a feminist.

Political consciousness and good intentions are not enough.  In order to behave in an ethical and feminist way, we have to think of the implications of our actions.  This requires a considerable amount of self-criticism, but it is a necessary and ongoing step to creating real change in society.    

As supporters of feminism, we must constantly question our own behaviors, use of language, and engage fellow ethically-minded folks in critical and political conversation.  When you think something might be harmful, ask yourself, “Who benefits?”  If the answer makes you uncomfortable, don’t ignore that discomfort!  Do or say something different.  Even if that doesn’t lead you to support feminism, stop living on autopilot. 

Sarah-Kathryn Bryan

Sources:

 “Choice Feminism and the Fear of Politics” by Michaele L. Ferguson

“Feminism: A Movement to End Sexist Oppression” by bell hooks

Join VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Feminist Students United, the LGBTQ Center, and Interactive Theatre Carolina for a day long workshop on reproductive justice!

The goal of this training is to allow participants to gain an understanding of what reproductive justice in the US means, the roles and services of Planned Parenthood, the conflicting messages that pregnant people face when confronted with the possibility of abortion, and the specific challenges that LGBTIQ individuals in the US face in the arena of reproductive justice.

Free lunch will be provided!

We would greatly prefer if you would register for this event so that we can know how much food to order, but if you show up without registering, we won’t turn you away!


To Register for this workshop: Click Here

For more information, check out our  Facebook Event Page

Posted by Carissa Morrison

In her acceptance speech for this award, Kleinman reminds us of the work that remains and the women who are deprived of opportunities to advance:

I’d like to thank everyone who nominated me for this award, especially
students, former and current, who work against sexism and ALL systems of
privilege and oppression in this society.

The description of the award states that it “recognizes contributions to the
advancement of women at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.” It
is crucial for us to recognize that many women at the university do not have
the same opportunities to advance as others.

I started working at the university as a professor in a tenure-track position,
with the possibility of promotions and job security. Lecturers do not have the
same opportunities; they usually teach more courses per semester than
tenure-track or tenured professors, for less pay, and without the
possibility of tenure. Women are overrepresented among the fixed-term
faculty and underrepresented among tenure-stream and tenured professors. On our campus, women make up only 34% of tenured and tenure-track professors,but 56% of fixed-term appointments. And only 25.6% of faculty in the higher ranked category of full professor are women.

There are women in staff positions who are paid so little that they must
have 2 or more jobs to make ends meet. Under these conditions, conditions
faced by many of the housekeepers here at UNC, there is little opportunity
to advance.

I like to think I’ve played a part in communicating the feminist idea that
every decision we make has consequences for others, and that we should work *together* for justice rather than focus exclusively on individual career
advancement. Working with others continues to be a meaningful and moving
experience for me at UNC, Chapel Hill, and I thank everyone who has been a
part of the struggles and joys of this ongoing journey.

Feminist Students United (FSU) is a progressive feminist organization which affirms that no form of oppression can be overcome until all aspects of racism, classism, sexism, and heterosexism are dismantled. We acknowledge intersecting identities and strive to be mindful of these intersections in all our work. We endeavor to create an environment which is non-hierarchical and supportive in nature, and we work to bring about change in our community through education, outreach, direct action and community organizing.

Weekly Meetings

Spring 2015: Wednesdays at 7:30 PM in Murphey 202

For a better look at events, check out FSU's Calendar

Feminist Students United Twitter

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contact us

uncfsu AT gmail (dot) com