Naked Feminism: In support of Amina Tyler

Women’s bodies are battlegrounds, socially, commercially and internationally. Femen is posing (pun intended) the idea they can also be weapons… just by being (and exposing) women’s bodies.

An activist of the Communist Youth Organization alongside women's right movement Femen gestures as she protests topless outside the Tunisian embassy in Stockholm on April 4, 2013.(JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

An activist of the Communist Youth Organization alongside women’s right movement Femen gestures as she protests topless outside the Tunisian embassy in Stockholm on April 4, 2013.(JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Below is an article reprinted in its entirety from http://www.policymic.com/articles/30856/amina-tyler-tunisian-girl-outrages-islamic-authority-with-nude-facebook-photos

You can read more articles on the FEMEN support of Tyler, including coverage of the April 4th protests which were dubbed a “topless jihad” at our sister blog: http://sluts4socialism.wordpress.com.

Amina Tyler: Tunisian Girl Outrages Islamic Authority With Nude Facebook Photos

A Tunisian girl is faced with criminal charges after posting a naked photo of herself on Facebook.

“My body belongs to me, and is not a source of anyone’s honor,” stated Amina Tyler, the 19-year-old founder of the Tunisian branch of FEMEN, an international feminist organization, which started in Ukraine.

Her actions immediately elicited death threats from Adel Almi, a prominent Islamic cleric, who told the Tunisian daily, Assabah News, that this young woman, according to Islamic law, deserves between 80 and 100 lashes, but because of the seriousness of her actions, should be stoned to death.

“This young woman, for her actions, could bring misfortune and provoke epidemics and catastrophes,” said Almi, the President of Al-Jamia Al-Li-Wassatia Tawia Wal-Islah (the conservative association for public awareness and reform), who represents the voice of Shariah Law. “Her actions could be contagious and could give ideas to other women. Therefore, she must be isolated.”

As of Sunday morning, Amina Tyler has been placed in a psychiatric facility by her parents, who have disowned her, possibly along with the help of the police.

The Facebook page of her organization, FEMEN Tunisia, was hacked by Islamists: “Thanks to God we have hacked this immoral page and the best is to come,” the hackers wrote, “God willing, these dirt will disappear from Tunisia.”

Feminists respond on the internet to these events by organizing a petition to keep Amina safe on Change.org, and an International Day to Defend Amina on April 4, signed by 40 prominent artists, writers, organizations, and members of the media, including Richard Dawkins, the scientist and Atheist activist.

The Ukrainian organization, FEMEN, was founded in 2008 by Anna Hutsol, as a protest against the trafficking and sexual exploitation of Ukrainian women. The organization has branches throughout Western Europe. Using toplessness as a media tactic, they have protested a variety of issues including sex tourism, pornography, international marriage agencies, the scandals of Italian politician Silivio Berlusconi, and the lack of public toilets in Kiev. They are fiercely against the legalization of prostitution in Ukraine and demand the criminalization of prostitution in other countries around the world.

FEMEN’s theatrical tactics are criticized by many, but they have been successful in garnering a lot of media attention in the past five years. In Tunisia, the now darkened birthplace of the Arab Spring, women have much yet to demand in terms of equality.

Dragonpunk: A revolution in fiction

So one of my lovers pointed me to this terrific new genre that its authors are calling Dragonpunk.

Dragonpunk aims to do to the Middle Ages–to renn faire, to the SCA, to all the medievalism in pop culture–what steampunk did to neo-Victorianism. With dragonpunk, we challenge medievalist fantasy to liberate itself from the bounds of history and trope and from the rigid assumptions of what a modern subculture can and cannot do.

I searched about their website looking for bios on publishers/editors Margaret Killjoy and Caelyn Rosch. Under “about us” I found this delicious teaser.

Combustion books is a collectively-run publisher of dangerous fiction. We specialize in genre stories that confront, subvert, or rudely ignore the dominant paradigm and we’re not afraid to get our hands dirty or our houses raided by the government. How many fiction publishers can promise you that?

Rejecting the dominant paradigm doesn’t end with the stories we tell. We operate without bosses and we pay ourselves and our authors outright for work in order to keep us from getting mired in the world of profit-driven publishing.

One of our goals is to break down the hierarchy of the publishing world and develop relationships with our authors and audience that go beyond those offered by a traditional press.

Check out the call for submissions. One fiction to unrule them all.

http://www.combustionbooks.org/dragonpunk/

 

Dragonpunk

Dragonpunk is high fantasy set on its head. Dragonpunk isn’t the princess who slays the dragon without waiting for her prince–it’s the washerwoman who drips poison into the cruel queen’s chalice to end her rule. Dragonpunk is found in the band of orphans playing Robin Hood, in the villagers and the druids in the woods reclaiming their sacred groves from the woodsman sent by the crown.

Dragonpunk can be chivalrous, though always without lords. When dragonpunk is chivalrous it is a shield for the weak regardless of their sex or gender, and it is loyal to its peers instead of the king. When dragonpunk isn’t chivalrous, it fights dirty, and it never backs down. And sometimes, dragonpunk has no use for fighting at all, because there are as many things in this world worth building as there are worth fighting.

Dragonpunk aims to do to the Middle Ages–to renn faire, to the SCA, to all the medievalism in pop culture–what steampunk did to neo-Victorianism. With dragonpunk, we challenge medievalist fantasy to liberate itself from the bounds of history and trope and from the rigid assumptions of what a modern subculture can and cannot do. But this is only the most humble of our goals.

Dragonpunk takes its inspiration from a past that never was to wage war on the banality of the present. With dragonpunk, we demand the right to be whom we want to be at any time of day or night, to dress as we’d like and live how we’d like. To free ourselves from a modernity that bores us. We want permaculture gardens to creep up the stone walls of our modern keeps. We will rewild empty stripmalls and turn the vacant lots of our post-industrial world into the new commons.

We are the new adventurers. We’re punks who were inspired when the Riders of Rohan chanted “death, death, death,” and charged into the forces of fascism, when Frodo set off to destroy the very idea of power over one another. We’re organizers who murmur the St. Crispin’s Day speech as we prepare to stand against authority. We’re hedge knights and armorers and tailors, brewers and bards and witches.

Or maybe we’re just nerds who like chainmail and books about dragons. That’s okay with us too.

The book

We’re looking to put out an anthology of dragonpunk fiction, essays, how-tos, interviews, art, and more, edited by Caelyn Rosch and Margaret Killjoy. Examples of what we’d be looking for would include, but are absolutely not limited to:

  • how to sword fight
  • medieval combat strategy
  • an overview of historical non-western fantasy
  • gender and sexuality in the Middle Ages
  • introduction to types of armor
  • how to craft chainmail armor
  • how to work leather
  • a guide to working with modern scavenged materials
  • the art of modern stonecrafting and castle construction
  • short fiction
  • a dragonpunk’s introduction to modern reenactment culture and LARPing
  • an overview of existing fantasy and historical fiction of interest to dragonpunks
  • fashion ideas (with illustrations/how-tos)
  • dragonpunk comics
  • dragonpunk art and photography
  • really neat stuff most people don’t know about the Middle Ages
  • manifestos of stateless societies inspired by medieval community structures

The tentative deadline for submissions is May 15th, 2013. Reasonable article/fiction lengths are approximately 400-6,000 words. The pay is very likely to be nothing but contributor’s copies. (We editors won’t pay ourselves either, unless we are paying all the contributors.)

Submissions and further inquiries can be directed to Margaret Killjoy at margaret@combustionbooks.org.

Revolutionary dancing: No nun for the cause

I liberated it this from the Emma Goldman Papers.

 

http://ucblibrary3.berkeley.edu/Goldman/Features/dances_shulman.html

 

excerpts from the article:

DANCES WITH FEMINISTS

by Alix Kates Shulman
[Published in Women’s Review of Books, Vol. IX, no. 3, December 1991.]“If I can’t dance I don’t want to be in your revolution,” said Emma Goldman (1869-1940), feminist heroine, anarchist activist, editor, writer, teacher, jailbird and general trouble-maker.

Or did she? Perhaps she said, “If I can’t dance I don’t want to be part of your revolution,” as my purple T-shirt claims under a picture of Emma looking demure in a wide-brimmed hat. Or was it rather, “If I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution,” as the quote appears in a 1983 “non-sexist yet traditional” Passover Haggadah?

In fact, though the sentiment is indeed Emma Goldman’s, one she frequently pronounced and acted upon, she wrote none of the above, notwithstanding that each of these versions and more has been attributed to her on buttons, posters, banners, T-shirts, bumper stickers, and in books and articles, for nearly twenty years. Here, rather, is what she did say, in her 1931 autobiography Living My Life:

At the dances I was one of the most untiring and gayest. One evening a cousin of Sasha [Alexander Berkman], a young boy, took me aside. With a grave face, as if he were about to announce the death of a dear comrade, he whispered to me that it did not behoove an agitator to dance. Certainly not with such reckless abandon, anyway. It was undignified for one who was on the way to become a force in the anarchist movement. My frivolity would only hurt the Cause.

I grew furious at the impudent interference of the boy. I told him to mind his own business, I was tired of having the Cause constantly thrown into my face. I did not believe that a Cause which stood for a beautiful ideal, for anarchism, for release and freedom from conventions and prejudice, should demand the denial of life and joy. I insisted that our Cause could not expect me to become a nun and that the movement should not be turned into a cloister. If it meant that, I did not want it. “I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everyboy’s right to beautiful, radiant things.” Anarchism meant that to me, and I would live it in spite of the whole world–prisons, persecution, everything. Yes, even in spite of the condemnation of my own comrades I would live my beautiful ideal. [Living My Life (New York: Knopf, 1934), p. 56]