The Women’s Action Alliance Canberra is made up of women who meet face-to-face and who act in and on the world. We meet to fight against
All of these things are based in male violence against women. All of these things enforce the oppression of women as a class. All of these things lead to rape culture. We did not agree to participate in this culture.
We are forced to take part in a system of power that values only men as fully human and that treats women as less than human. We live in a society where men hold legal, political, economic, and moral authority and where women are controlled, dominated, constrained, marginalised, and treated as incompetents. We live in a culture that excuses male violence, that normalises rape, and that incessantly denigrates, demeans, objectifies and humiliates women.
This system privileges men and is not passive. This system is bad for women and girls. We fight it.
The sex industry is run by pimps and brothel owners who have achieved ‘legitimate’ ‘business’ status thanks to their successful lobbying for the decriminalistion and legalisation of prostitution. Pimps and brothel owners traffic in women’s bodies for profit. This is organised. It benefits pimps and brothel owners (who call themselves ‘sex workers’) to promulgate the myth that prostitution is a job just like any other job. Prostituted women are beaten, choked, raped by men who rent the insides of women’s bodies. This is not ‘a job just like any other job’. We support the Nordic model, which decriminalises the person who has been prostituted, but criminalises the sex buyer.
Prostitution can never be made safe for women — it can only be made safe for pimps and johns. Postitution harms all women. We fight it.
The pornography industry eroticises male sexual violence against women and normalises this violence. Pornography creates and reinforces women’s subordination to men and sexualises that subordination. Pornography is based on the abuse and damage of female bodies and on the degradation and humilation of female personhood. Pornography is the use of technology to sell a woman and over and over again. It is filmed prostitution.
Pornography grooms girls for sexual assault and grooms boys to commit that assault. This is a public health issue. We fight it.
The Women’s Action Alliance Canberra fights these things. We fight for women.
We fight by honouring our feminist foremothers, the suffragettes and the second-wavers, and we remember our history through them. We remember that women before us had to fight for our right to vote and to own property, for our right to access birth control, abortion, credit, equal pay for equal work (ongoing, obviously).
We fight the impacts of neo-liberalism, capitalism, and individualism on women’s lives. We fight the propaganda that says that if a woman choses it, it’s her choice. This circular delusion nurtures a false consciousness that plays directly into capitalist, patriarchal social structures.
We fight for our girls because they are being told that there is only one way of being sexual and that that way involves presenting themselves as a branded object to be bought, sold, consumed. We fight against the damage that gender stereotypes do to girls and women and we fight against the erasure of women’s experiences qua women, as human persons raised in the sex class ‘female’, and who are condemned to be treated in certain ways. We trust our instincts as women and we know what is bad for women, despite the sustained neo-liberal attack on those instincts.
We fight using new
— and especially old
— ways to disrupt the patriarchy and we do this together. We run consciousness-raising groups, we distribute pamphlets, we march, we picket, we run seminars and conferences, we organise debates.
We reclaim our energy as women in groups of women. We are pro-women and pro-woman. We fight for all women and each woman. We fight for women’s liberation and against women’s oppression.
We are a circuit-breaker.
We are WOMEN. We are ACTIVE. We are ALLIED. And if you’re in Canberra, we are coming for YOU. Read that how you will.