Artivism: Muslim Women’s Experiences with Harassment

The photos and interviews below were part of an artivism project by Dejah K. Greene of the Sanctuaries.

Khadija Ali

Have you ever experienced street harassment on the metro or around the DMV area?

Though I’m not from the metro/DMV area, I have experienced street harassment on my visits there and in other major cities, such as in Benghazi, Libya (where my parents are from and where I spent many summers as a teenager), and in Germany.

What happened, and how did you respond?


Feminist pacifism or passive-ism?

Dilar Dirik
7 March 2017

When some white women celebrate the non-violence of women’s marches against Trump and then pose for photographs with police officers while police violence specifically targets people of colour, when Nazi-punchers are accused of being no different from fascists, when feminists in relative safety accuse militant women in the Middle East facing sex slavery under ISIS of militarism, we must problematize the liberal notion of non-violence which disregards intersecting power systems and mechanisms of structural violence. By dogmatically clinging onto a pacifism (or passive-ism?) that has a classed and racial character, and demonising violent anti-system rage, feminists exclude themselves from a much needed debate on alternative forms of self-defence whose objective and aesthetic serve liberationist politics. In a global era of femicide, sexual violence and rape culture, who can afford not to think about women’s self-defence?



by Michelle Renee Matisons
Anarchist Studies


Rojava: Paradoxes of a Liberatory Ideology

by Janet Biehl
1st December 2015
Kurdish Question

Since 2014 solidarity activists, independent leftists, and others have been crossing the Tigris to study the developments in Rojava, the independent multiethnic enclave in northern Syria. Here the Kurdish people, whose aspirations have been stomped on for generations throughout the Middle East, are building a society structured institutionally around an assembly / council democracy and a commitment to gender equality. Most remarkable of all, they do so under conditions of brutal war (defending their society against the jihadists Al Nusra to Daesh) and economic and political embargo (from Turkey to the north).


What Can Western Feminists Learn From The Women’s Struggle In Rojava?

1st October 2015

by Stefan Bertram-Lee
Kurdish Question
October 1, 2015

1. We must build women’s self defence units

2. The Revolution must smile

3. Liberalism is death

4. Women’s Liberation is anti-statist

5. But to learn one needs to hear

1. It is a simply reality that we live in a world where men are prosecuting a war upon women, something that they are doing incredibly successfully. We live in a world where for a woman to be sexually assaulted is a rule rather an expectation, a world where 1/3 of women are physically abused, a world where ‘femincide’ is an existent term, a world where 99% of property is owned by men etc. etc.


Confronting Vigilante Responses in Accountability Work: The Need for Accountability in Everything We Do

by Romina Akemi

This piece was originally published in Perspectives issue #28 by the Institute for Anarchist Studies which is available for purchase from AK Press.


All Aboard the P (for Patriarchy) Train

Mickey Z. -- World News Trust

July 1, 2015

Trigger Warning: Discussion of sexual harassment and assault.

MTA New York City Transit recently teamed with those progressive folks at the NYPD to produce “ad cards” entitled “Sexual Harassment is a Crime in the Subway, too.”

The advice (sic) they offer falls into three categories:

  • Protect yourself in the subway
  • Protect yourself when walking
  • Follow your instincts

In case you're wondering, this category is no where to be found: MEN: DON'T SEXUALLY HARASS IN THE SUBWAY OR WHEN WALKING OR ANYWHERE. EVER.

Actual MTA suggestion: “If you think you are being touched, but are not sure—assume you ARE being touched, and move.”

Non-existent MTA suggestion: "MEN: If you're thinking about touching someone, don't do it. EVER. Always keep your hands, your body, your comments, and your gaze to yourself."


David Graeber: Dickheads - The paradox of the necktie resolved

by David Graeber

The Baffler


Zapatistas and Rojava Kurds embrace a new gender politics: women up in arms

By Charlotte Maria Sáenz
March 18, 2015

Resistance and strength manifest like weeds through cracks in Chiapas, Mexico and transnational Kurdistan where the respective Zapatista and Kurdish resistance movements are creating new gender relations as a primary part of their struggle and process for building a better world. In both places, women’s participation in the armed forces has been an entry-point for a new social construction of gender relations based on equity.


Check your Privilege, Become an Ally

Photo credit: Mickey Z.

Mickey Z. -- World News Trust

Feb. 27, 2015

One of the great lies of so-called libertarianism is the concept of a level playing field.

You know, the bullshit about if we all work equally as hard, we each have the same chance for “success.” This malicious mythology allows the free (sic) market crowd to convince themselves they’ve earned their place while others have lazily squandered their birthright.

Sadly, the level playing field myth remains alive and well. It rears its ugly head, for example, every time a person claims to be “colorblind,” every time a victim of privilege is accused of “overreacting,” and every time someone howls about “reverse racism” in a “post-racial” world. 

It thrives each time a white or white-passing activist declares: “I don’t see skin color, ability, or gender, I just see the individual. For me, we are all one.”

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