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Author Topic: women and gender in anti-oppression training
shaolin
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posted 26 August 2005 05:07 PM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This is partially a plea for help, a call out for ideas and I wee bit of complaining. I'd appreciate constructive thoughs and words.

I've been over my head with family problems, full-time university, work and too much not-so-fulfilling activism for most of the summer. The culmination of it seems to be that I'm incredibly ill, but have previously committed to hosting an anti-oppression training. The training is the first step in a program we've been spending a lot of frustrating time on all summer so I was quite looking forward to getting it underway.

A group I'm part of is holding an alternative to the regular orientation/frosh week offered by our university and we want all of our facilitators to be well aware of our no-harassment policy and get at least some anti-oppression training. There will be someone talking about abelism, someone speaking on racism, someone else on homophobia, etc. with a discussion to follow. I have been asked to talk about sexism/gender and all that stuff, which I was perfectly happy to do.

However, I've been so under the weather and so out of it I forgot until I was reminded about half an hour ago. Usually I'd still have lots to say off of the top of my head, but with everything else going on my mind is a blank. It's just a quick little talk - something to get discussion started and people giving input, but I'm stuck. I've never participated in this group's particular version of anti-oppression training.

Does anyone have ideas of where to start? What to put forward? It's a social justice and environmental group with a very progressive attitudes so I don't think I should be expected to spend time stating the fact that no, equality hasn't been achieved and yes, women are still a disadvantaged group.

Thanks in advance...


From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
bigcitygal
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posted 26 August 2005 05:14 PM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"I Am Woman" by Lee Maracle
"Feminism is For Everybody" by bell hooks
"Becoming an Ally" by Anne Bishop

These are 3 very basic-level books that cover issues of gender, as well as other issues, that you could read or skim quickly to get the gist of a short presentation. Good luck!


From: It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent - Q | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
shaolin
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posted 26 August 2005 05:32 PM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Believe me - I've done my reading. I'm just feeling a little helpless and under scatter-brained and under the weather right now. The 'presentation' is in about an hour and a half. Reading my post back, I realize there isn't much concrete to go on. I'll probably just go with the flow and hope the words spill out of my mouth like they do at the best of times.
From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
deBeauxOs
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posted 26 August 2005 05:39 PM      Profile for deBeauxOs     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
posted by shaolin: The 'presentation' is in about an hour and a half. Reading my post back, I realize there isn't much concrete to go on. I'll probably just go with the flow and hope the words spill out of my mouth like they do at the best of times.

How about these anti-oppression workshop notes just to provide a template that you can adapt for your specific topic. It is from a McGill group, so acknowledge the source if you use it.

[ 26 August 2005: Message edited by: deBeauxOs ]


From: missing in action | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
chubbybear
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posted 26 August 2005 05:41 PM      Profile for chubbybear        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How about referring to some of the issues / conflicts referred to in babble/feminism - I think they often illustrate the cutting edge issues which concern people the most?
From: nowhere | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
shaolin
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posted 26 August 2005 05:47 PM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the anti-oppression notes. That's great.

I think I'm going to concentrate on sexism within progressive movements - the way in which sexism is often talked about only in regards to larger society, and not within our own movements...


From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 26 August 2005 05:49 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
shaolin: first of all, I'm sorry to hear about life being so stressful of late. I'm sure it will get better, but taking a bit of time now, if you can, to relax, gather your thoughts and focus your energy before the presentation will probably help a lot to get through it without adding to your stress too much.

Since you say it is a progressive group, I think you are right that you can skip a good portion of the spoon fed "yes, this is an issue in society" stuff, but the fact that your group feels the need to do this might indicate that you need to focus on issues of structural oppression, subtle discrimination and equality as focused on outcomes, not necessarily on equal treatment, rather than the more blatant stuff that maybe isn't a problem in the group.

So, maybe valuing different leadership styles, the need to foster and support women in producing the next generation of women leaders, subtler ways of silencing women and others in meetings, etc., the need for gendered analysis of issues (and how this shouldn't always have to come from the women in the group), and how to move past guilt or defensiveness and onto trying to act in a way that empowers women. If you do see a gendered division of labour in the group, that should be addressed.

I hope this helps, and I'm sure it will go well.


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
deBeauxOs
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posted 26 August 2005 05:58 PM      Profile for deBeauxOs     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
posted by shaolin: Thanks for the anti-oppression notes.
You're welcome. I sensed the urgency in your post and since most of us have probably been in a similar situation, I went for expediency. Hopefully the notes will serve to anchor you and then your own store of knowledge and experience will flow.

From: missing in action | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged

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