Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Our Principles-Our Demands: March to Stop Violence Against Women 1978

Okay...I know I'm behaving as if NOW is the only time that I will be able to share information with you ever. But since I know some people who are interested in holding marches to end violence in April sometimes....I thought it might be useful to disperse the demands and principles of a group that coordinated a "March to Stop Violence Against Women" in 1978.
One important thing that I think is missing from the principles of this group is a challenge to the category "woman". Of course I have the benefit of almost 30 years of hindsight and the help of many trans allies...but I think it is important that (at least as I see it) our intention with the Day of Truthtelling was/is to end gendered violence which is importantly distinct from "violence against women". And...we know (or need to to remember) that transgendered people were certainly experiencing at least as much violence in 1978 as they continue to experience today.

Principle and Demands of the March to Stop Violence Against Women

1. Self-Determination for Women: All people have the right to control our own bodies and sexuality. We should not have to restrict our freedom of movement, our bodies or our activities and behavior in order to be safe. We have the right to freedom from violations of our personal autonomy and our physical integrity on the street, in the home and at the workplace.
2. Power for Women: To stop violence against women and to exercise the right to control our own bodies, women need power...Women can become powerful by organizing together to express our will. Women need to break through the barriers of silence that isolate us from each other and to see that an act of violence against one woman is an act of violence against us all.
3. Self-Defense for Women: Women have the right to self-dense. Self-defense it the ability, both physically and psychologically, to defend oneself against violence....
4. Community Censure of Violence Against Women: We promote the idea of community censure of violence against women. People must speak out and condemn rape and battering as they happen. This means no more complicity: We are asking for a public expression of disapproval---that we will not tolerate violence against women.

In addition to responding to many questions such as “What is violence against women?” They ask and answer the questions “Why doesn’t the criminal justice work?” “What do we mean by saying the criminal justice is racist, classist and sexist?”

May the questions continue.

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