International Resources for Rape Support

Sophie Mayer:

Binders eds Sarah Crewe and Sophie Mayer, along with many Binders contributors (Jacqueline Saphra and Sarah Hesketh, for example) have been taking part in Binders’ contributor Michelle McGrane’s Against Rape online poetry protest. We’d particularly like to flag up this crucial international list of rape support resources for immediate access — but do have a read of the 8 days’ worth of fantastic, moving, bold and striking poetry curated by Michelle, and share widely.

Originally posted on Peony Moon:

* With love and gratitude to Sascha Aurora Akhtar for compiling this list of resources. *
 
 
Please feel free to add the contact details of any relevant hotlines, shelters, refuges, crisis centres and support groups in the comments section above.
 

International Domestic Violence and Abuse Agencies List
International inventory of hotlines, shelters, refuges, crisis centers and women’s organizations, searchable by country, plus index of domestic violence resources in over 70 languages
 

International Centres
 
 
Australia

 
South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (SECASA), Australia
www.secasa.com.au/
 
 
Bolivia
 
Defensor del Pueblo
Advice Center
Heriberto Gutierrez 2374
La Paz Bolivia
00591-2 33269 (p)
08113538 (f)
email: fzambrana@defensor-bo.net
 
 
Belarus
 
Young Women Christian Association of Belarus
Krupskaya 2-70
220118 Minsk
Belaru 375-17 2 4637 45 (p/f)
email: ywcabelarus@telecom.by

 
Botswana
 
Metlhaetsile Women’s Centre, MWIC
The centre leads a campaign against the sexual abuse of children. This includes billboards, brochures…

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A Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism

Sophie Mayer:

An important statement on trans-inclusive feminism and womanism, which we’re glad to support.

Originally posted on feministsfightingtransphobia:

We are proud to present a collective statement that is, to our knowledge (and we would love to be wrong about this) the first of its kind.  In this post you’ll find a statement of feminist solidarity with trans* rights, signed by feminists/womanists from all over the world.  It is currently signed by 790 individuals and 60 organizations from 41 countries.

The statement can be found here in English. It is also available in French, Hungarian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian and Serbo-Croatian.

The complete list of individual signatories is available here, or alphabetically or by country. The signatory list of organisations and groups is available here. We would love it if you signed it too. You can either use this form, or email us, or post a comment on this post or on the statement.

Our continued thanks to everyone for your support.

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ARISING! Yoko Ono needs YOU!

Binderspeeps: 

Editors Sarah and Sophie took Binders Full of Women to the SouthBank Centre on Saturday 22nd June as part of Yoko Ono’s Meltdown. Yes, we did meet her; yes, our knees are still shaking; yes, she is super-inspiring; yes, we did talk about vaginas and Jesus as a girl onstage at the Purcell Room.

But oh no, Ono is not just organising Meltdown this summer. She also has an installation at the Venice Bienniale, and is still calling for inclusions here. You can also be part of her art.

WOMEN OF ALL AGES, FROM ALL COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD:
YOU ARE INVITED TO SEND A TESTAMENT OF HARM DONE
TO YOU BY MEN, FOR BEING A WOMAN.
WRITE YOUR TESTAMENT IN YOUR OWN LANGUAGE,
IN YOUR OWN WORDS, AND WRITE HOWEVER OPENLY YOU WISH.
YOU MAY SIGN YOUR FIRST NAME IF YOU WISH,
BUT DO NOT GIVE YOUR FULL NAME.

SEND A PHOTOGRAPH ONLY OF YOUR EYES.

Send your testaments and photos just of your eyes by post to:
ARISING c/o Global Art Affairs Foundation – Palazzo Bembo
Riva del Carbon 47930 -­ 30124 Venezia -­ Italy

or email to call@imaginepowerarising.com

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Poem 12 In Solidarity: Molotov

Sophie Mayer:

Binders editors Sarah Crewe and Sophie Mayer are contributing to Solidarity Park, co-edited by Binders contributor Nia Davies. Contributions invited from all yall!

Originally posted on Solidarity Park Poetry:

By Sarah Crewe

molotov

1.   helen raised her hands to the sky at the earthquake

           ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff   bloody  bloody  hell

      this is nothing to do with cyprus

ff fthis is nothing to do with religion

2.   nature poems are the first refuge of those
ffffftoo scared to stand up and be counted

fffffthis has nothing to do with trees
fffffthis has nothing to do with
ffffflittle girl hiding in the trunk
fffffwaiting to be rescued from
fffffbig bad blown up grown up
fffffffffffffffffffffff    ffffftents

3. i do not speak your language
ffffof z         phonology  of dots
ffffso when i do this .    .    .
fff ffff  fffffff fffffffff fffffff.    .   …

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Binders Full of… Ebooks

Binders Full of Women (limited-edition handmade chapbook) is sold out… Long live Binders Full of Women FREE pdf ebook!

Yes, it’s free to read online, or download and print via Scribd. But please consider donating to Rape Crisis UK or the Michael Causer Foundation. We’ve raised an incredible £320 so far and we’d love to raise more… We suggest a donation of £2 if you’re able.

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Binders Full of Women* (*Includes Trans, Intersex & Gender Neutral Folk. Does Not Include Julie Burchill)

When Binders was conceived, we put a notice out on Facebook asking for poems from those “who identify as women or trans.” Pretty smart, we thought.

But before we kissed our own intersectional asses with pride, we were called up, and asked what our position was on those who identified as gender neutral. Suddenly we felt, well, a bit daft. We were meant to be challenging patriarchy, not re-inforcing gender binary. We thanked our friend for alerting us to this, and rectified the remit to “poets who identify as women or trans/intersex/gender-neutral.”

We share this story not to illustrate how great we are, but rather, as an example how it should work. You say or do something non inclusive, somebody points this out, you correct it. Everybody concerned has learnt something new and moves on.

Except in the world of the privileged hack, it would seem, where this happens instead. Hack 1 says something stupid in a piece that otherwise invites us to consider how to channel feminist rage. Hack 1 is called up about this on Twitter. Instead of making amends, Hack 1 loses rag. Then, in Hack 1’s defence, Hack 2 decides to write a piece that is far more dangerous than stupid.

Which is how we ended up with a piece that pitted Hack 1’s “style and substance” against the trans community, or as Burchill so offensively put it, “a bunch of dicks in chick’s clothing.”

Now. We’re all for sisterhood at Binders Towers. We happen to think that solidarity is crucial to the progression of the feminist movement. Had this article been “please don’t attack my friend, she’s a good person who has written extensively on and for feminism” then we would be in a very different situation. Disagreement would occur, but not disgust.

Instead, Burchill decided to pit the trans community against working class feminists. Even typing that out seems at the very height of ludicrous, and if you didn’t know how poisonous the response was, you could be forgiven for laughing out loud at it. How? What on earth could be the connection? Has there been a trans army bomb blast on Sure Start centres? Has the trans community raided the national treasure chest so national services and welfare must be slashed? No, that’s another group entirely. But instead of using her privilege to attack the genuine oppressor, Burchill chooses instead to launch a tirade of abuse against the non cisgendered, as if all the social disease that comes from patriarchy is actually their fault.

Burchill accuses the trans community of having “endless decades in academia, it’s all most of them are fit to do” and then make the even more bizarre claim that they are “educated beyond all common sense and honesty.” Hands up all those who remember the crowd of trans lecturers at their university? No, us neither. Or the student group. Or the trans teenager in class who never stopped swatting up. No, because in all reality, the trans kid was far more likely to not even want to face school due to vicious bullying and peer pressure.

Her comments are especially divisive because they silence people who have worked hard to be articulate and thoughtful, as if to say, “Yeah but you can’t criticise me, you learnt that shit from books or at university, not in Real Life.” Well, some trans, intersex and gender-neutral folk, like some feminists (including working-class feminists and feminists of colour), have found that critical theory (whether read at uni or not) gives them ways and means of analysing oppression and developing resistance – including to academia’s and the media’s sexism, classism, racism and transphobia.

Burchill deliberately belittles those trans folk and feminists who, having struggled to be heard in, and change, our critical and media culture and education system despite bullying, exclusion and harassment, might be most likely not only to speak out against her, but to mentor, inform and support young trans people as educators, or might be building portfolios to be heard in the media. The Burchills of this world begin on the playground and see what kind of an audience they can get, as all too many a trans person will be aware of.

There is also the competing victimhood factor: that somehow dominant culture has made “victim” an exalted (but not empowered) status. So rather than step up and say “Yes, I have privilege as a cisgendered white woman who, through educational means, has shifted class identity and I take responsibility for sharing and extending that privilege to those struggling with oppression,” Burchill has instead reacted in the classic primary school tone of, “No, I won’t share! No, it’s mine!” Even though what she is claiming isn’t actual power, but the toys thrown down by dominant culture.

We could tear apart each paragraph of the piece, but one of the most heinous, repulsive points has to be when she attempts to speak for working class women by saying: “We have no family money, no safety net. And we are damned if we are going to be accused of being privileged by a bunch of bed-wetters in bad wigs.” It is precisely the same kind of vitriol that the right wing use to attack those on benefits. It incites hate rather than debate. We are both horrified and ashamed that a writer who claims to be both feminist and working class has reduced trans people to tears with her mean and utterly erroneous pieces of toxic waste that are supposed to be the words of a journalist.

We are proud to be part of a sisterhood that refuses to be divided by such intentionally manipulative shit-stirring: proud to be responding alongside self-defined “poor Puerto Rican trans girl” blogger Quinnae Moongazer, TransMediaWatch-ing DIVA columnist and META editor Paris Lees,  Heidegger-quoting academic and fantasy writer Roz Kaveney, and football-loving, Modernist fiction-loving journalist Juliet Jacques (the latter three all past Guardian contributors and evidence Guardian Media Group do, and should, know better). We’re excited to see so many feminist and leftist writers and activists, via Twitter, Facebook and the media, calling out Burchill for transphobia, phoney class war, and anti-feminism. Inspired by Tobold Rollo writing about the racist journalists disparaging the Canadian First Nations’ movement Idle No More, we also believe that:

some writers possess a special kind of superhuman resolve which enables them to resist the temptations of prudence and generosity in the face of social change. At least for a while.

Almost inevitably, as the distance between an historic event and the present grows, the journalist will look back with ill-conceived regret at the courageous stance he or she once took against a movement. Perhaps weakened by the passage of time, or crippled by some experience-induced “moral” awakening, these once charmingly cantankerous columnists experience what physicians call “a change of heart”.

We hope that the trans community will take Burchill for what she is, a fake, a phoney, whose need for the oxygen of publicity will lead her to that “change of heart” when the time is right and trans acceptance has been achieved through the hard work of the people she slanders, trans activists and their allies. She doesn’t speak for us. Not in our name.

This was written and posted by the editors of Binders Full of Women, Sarah Crewe and Sophie Mayer.

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Binders LIVE! 17th Jan @ Toynbee Studios

On Thurs 17th Jan 2013, many Binderpeeps including Sarah Crewe, Nia Davies, Sarah Hesketh, Kirsten Irving, Agnes Marton, Sophie Mayer, Nat Raha, Shelagh Rowan-Legg, Jacqueline Saphra, and Alison Winch will be reading and rejoicing at Toynbee Studios, London (nearest tube: Aldgate East). Join us from 7.30 for poems and partying!!!

Tickets are available here: all proceeds support Artsadmin, and our BINDERS charities of Rape Crisis UK and the Michael Causer Foundation.

The LAST EVER handmade BINDERS FULL OF WOMEN will be for sale on the night: don’t miss this opportunity to open a piece of glitter-glued history…

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