Category Archives: resistance

What’s a Defiant Girl For?

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Debbie says:

First, kudos to State Street Global Advisors for putting up the statue of “Defiant Girl” (also “Fearless Girl”) facing the famous Wall Street bull. The statue went up on International Women’s Day last week. State Street’s intent is to shame more firms into including women on their boards. Personally, I can think of more important issues to defy Wall Street about, but I’m still glad she’s there.

She wouldn’t be making anywhere near as much news as she is, however, if a drunken Wall Street bro hadn’t made an attempt to screw her, apparently to impress the people checking out the new girl on Wall Street.

Plenty has been written about this photo, taken by Alexis Kaloyanides and shared publicly everywhere.

The man in the photo is such an amazingly clear example of several cultural phenomena:

1) He has clearly and unambiguously demonstrated what he and millions of men like him think women are for. The fact that the statue is really of an underage girl rather than a woman only underscores how unacceptably gross the inside of his mind is. It would be lovely if male minds like that were rare, but we all know better.

2) He has clearly and unambiguously demonstrated how completely safe he feels. I don’t think anyone has released his name, but you can still bet he’s licking his wounds and whining about how people aren’t being nice to him. Meanwhile Kaloyanides is the one who bravely put her own name out there, and it’s just as safe a bet that she is actually getting vicious responses from internet trolls.

3) He is in the process of clearly and unambiguously demonstrating the value of defiance. Fearless Girl would have gotten a few days of press, and a small steady stream of people coming to look at her, if he hadn’t brought his dick into the story. Now, she’s the wonder of Wall Street, and no TV station or newspaper can avoid talking about her.

Obviously, we dream of a world where no man would even think of such a disgusting display. But in the world we live in, I can only be grateful to Mr. Bro for making sure the whole world knows about Defiant Girl, and the millions of defiant, fearless girls and women who stand behind her.

He’s probably even more uncomfortable being thanked by radical feminists than he is being trashed by us, so I hope he reads this post.

 

This Is What Resistance Looks Like

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Debbie says:

NYC subway riders erasing swastika graffiti

One of my immediate reactions to Trump’s election was to think about acts of resistance and what they will look like. We can count on the media to make everything look as divisive, nasty, and disorganized as possible, because “if it bleeds, it leads.” We have probably literally millions of people who are new to political engagement, new to activism, new to protest. We certainly have millions of people who feel frozen and don’t know what to do.

Because we are not born knowing anything, there’s no shame in not knowing what resistance looks like. But we tend to feel shame when we are frozen, feel that we are somehow supposed to know (just like we’re supposed to know how to behave in sexual situations, how to parent, how to manage a bank account, how to cook, even if no one has ever taught us).

So, looking at what people have actually done is incredibly helpful. Gregory Locke found himself on a New York City subway train where all of the maps and advertisements had been covered in hateful anti-Semitic graffiti.

One guy got up and said, “Hand sanitizer gets rid of Sharpie. We need alcohol.” He found some tissues and got to work.

I’ve never seen so many people simultaneously reach into their bags and pockets looking for tissues and Purel. Within about two minutes, all the Nazi symbolism was gone.

For me this story has three messages. First, the haters are out there, and they have no shame about spreading their message, usually anonymously, usually in some situation where they can’t face repercussions.

Second, our numbers are much larger than theirs. If we know what to do as a community, we will largely do it.

Third, nothing happens until someone unfreezes, makes a suggestion, takes an action. That whole car could have been frozen and the graffiti could still be there.

Practice makes perfect. If you have the opportunity, take a stab at being that person.  One group that will help you learn how is Hollaback! and there are many others.

If you hear about acts of resistance like this one, or bigger, or smaller, share them.

Thanks to danceswchopstck for the pointer.