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View Diary: A Space of Our Own: A Woman's Perspective on Sex, Race and Class and the Uprisings in Britain (85 comments)

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  •  Thanks Geminijen! (10+ / 0-)

    I'll bet the women in the communities where rioting took place felt very ambivalent about what the young people were doing, knowing how they would likely suffer the real punishment for the fires and looting.  At least that is what was expressed by many women I knew in Detroit after the 1967 riots.

    The women know how terribly difficult it is for folks who have lost their homes to fire, and realize that burning housing when there is a scarcity of decent housing makes the situation worse.  The women, especially the many single mothers, are those who arguably suffer the most when they see their sons or daughters sent to jail.  It breaks their hearts.

    The latest political move to evict families when someone in the family has been charged with rioting or looting, naturally hits the mother of the family the hardest, as it is she who will likely have to find another place to move too, worry about changing schools and neighborhoods for her other kids, and generally be accused of being an irresponsible parent.

    On the other hands, the women understand -- and are very angry themselves -- that their kids don't have decent schools and can't find jobs and that , with the closure of recreation centers, the kids have no where to go but the streets.  They understand why their kids exploded, even as they fear the consequences.

    I don't think it takes an academic education in the theory of   patriarchy for them to understand, from bitter experience, how it is largely men who control so many aspects of their lives.  They know they have less and are paid much, much less than a man for their hard work. They know that those who decide on what housing and family benefits they will have (or will  lose) are,by a majority, the men in Parliament.  If Catholic, they know that as women they are forever barred from positions of authority, even thought they do virtually all the volunteer work that keeps the church in existence.  

    Poor women are confronted by the facts of male dominated discrimination every day and they fight it as best they can, in what little time they have away from trying to keep their families housed and fed.  The fires and looting have simply made it that much harder for them to keep on keeping on.

    Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support single-payer health care,unions, and WikiLeaks.

    by Justina on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 04:37:39 PM PDT

    •  I absolutely agree about the ambivalence. However, (4+ / 0-)

      as you said, most of the kids grew up in our building and we get why people are reacting.  It is sort of schizoid because on one hand, we call meetings to stop the crime and graffitti, on the other hand, we don't turn people in to the cops, like the illegals in the neighborhood.  In many ways, there is much more community here than in some more middle class neighborhoods where i have lived (without romanticizing it here).  I live in a neighborhood where half the people are very conservative Latinos and a few old Irish, the other half are very liberal. It is the weird mix of a racially diverse working class community.
      As far as understanding patriarchy -- you don't need a Ph.D., but I don't think I really got the women's thing (even though I have always been a grassroots activist) until a joined a group that really focused on it -- a feminist group which was, frankly, more middle class.  In some ways, it was very hard for me and a couple of other women because our backgrounds were so different (and sometimes we poo-pooed the style of the more middle class women - I should write a diary about that sometime), but it gave me an understanding of what women have to struggle with as women -- not only as mothers, not as workers, not as wives, not even as girlfriends complaining about what to wear or our lovers.  I am really glad to have had that determined input where we were forced to keep the focus on ourselves.  i learned a lot and it made me much stronger. That's why I want this dialogue to work. I think it could be a really important learning space for us (emotional as well as intellectual learning).

    •  I meant to reply to this - I hit the wrong button (0+ / 0-)

      It's a new post below yours instead. Suffice it to say, I agree with what you're saying here. I especially "click" with the statement you make on the church.

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