posstr2Co-Artistic Director Jason Jeremias remarks for a grassroots discussion regarding coalition building for women’s rights.

Moderator: Can you talk about the rippling of this new wave of feminism and women’s rights…

Jason J: First, let me say it’s not rippling, women have always been surging and like the great Palestinian spoken word poet Rafeef Ziadah, “No soundbites.”

It has been pointed out today that we are seeing a modern resurgence of new wave feminism and women’s rights movements in the United States. Hearing this made me proud to be able to in some small way contribute to a movement developed over spatial and temporal time upon the blood, sweat, academia, organizing, cultural contributions, of women in action from the home to the classrooms, in the streets, workplaces, fields of rebellions, for the total equality of human kind. I was proud until they hash tagged the discussion of the modern movement. Until they started talking about ‪#‎ItsOnUs and ‪#‎HeForShe. When have you ever in history seen a fight to pull back the fist of an oppressor mandated and funded by the oppressor? You think that people who benefit from or propose the sterilization of one woman’s voice are exercising a duality of being and relinquishing the power they benefit from?

These institutions operate within the patriarchal schema and I promise you, all they are promoting is schemes.

You don’t get change without changing the variables that have created the banality of inequality. You don’t get advancement without moving forward. You get progress when you say we will advance no matter what it takes, not matter who gets in our way, no matter what the sacrifice, because we are lessened in our potential by the grip of inequality. You don’t just say- until we are all equal no one is equal- you burn the maxim through your heart to fire your blood with courage, and there are none more courageous than women. Women deserve more. Women’s equality deserves more than a hash-tag, than cynical responses, and continuous highlights of the news of today’s depravity. Women deserve more. Women deserve action. Women deserve their her-story taught until it heals the depraved mindlessness of masculinity complexes that become the institutionalized violent complexes of military industrial complexes that fund violence for profit. Women deserve survivors’ voices to be the amplified, amplified voices of change till our celebrities become every woman who has faced the injustice of misogyny, and in this world today that is just about every woman, everywhere. You get change by tearing down institutions that have maladaptively institutionalized perspectives that rationalize hate, and women deserve that confrontation. Women deserve it and they deserve it to be amplified louder than mere hash-tags.

Tell me hash-tag, how can I stand here as a woman is paraded naked on donkey throughout the village of Rajsamand and smile and be proud. How do I sit here after a woman is Kenya is stripped naked in the streets for protesting her right to wear what she wants, when she wants, how she wants, and think that by sitting here I am a part of some change? Tell me how a woman in Florida can be stripped naked by police and handcuffed after police enter her apartment without a warrant, in front of her friends, for no reason, and we haven’t connected the dots and made the nexus between all of these crimes, and decided that where the governments aren’t giving justice, meaning they are doing nothing to change the variables to change mind sets, we think they will create change? We are going to set a tone- ever mindful of the division nationalism, social stratus, melanin and every other divide created by misogyny has made- to tear down the walls of patriarchy, because that is what women deserve. That is what humanity deserves. It’s going to be work but it’s going to be well deserved work.

Tell me how TIME Magazine can publish an article calling for the banning of words burned from vocabularies like some corporate sponsored Fahrenheit 451 number 2 fill in the bubble erasure? Tell me how TIME can rally a call for the banning of the word “feminism” and they haven’t been Fahrenheit’d 451′d by the burning passion of women’s inherent right to organize their equality for the manifestation of liberty for our common humanity? Didn’t twenty or so uneducated, or rather ‘denied- an- education’ Dalit women in rural India organize their own publication which now has over twenty-thousand subscribers in their village when the press didn’t publish their stories?  That was organized by a twenty-something year-old-woman, who was married at age twelve.

Tell me how Whoopi can make jokes and infer that domestic violence can be equated to a subway brawl, victim blame rape survivors and her “View” hasn’t been marginalized to youtube videos for men’s rights groups?

Tell me how Don Lemon can ask a rape survivor, a powered woman surging for justice, a question like, “why didn’t you bite his penis” and the lights to CNN weren’t turned off, because they can no longer pay the bills. This is the same man who denounced black culture on television when speaking to police violence in Ferguson. The same man and the same sponsoring station that furthered a racist postulation instead of addressing reality. Still, to this day they are operating and manufacturing news without a care in the world for ethics, truth or the lives muted by their ignorance.

Tell me how a Yale Law professor could write an op-ed to the New York Times in which he scribbled “yes means yes” as a menace that equates men to sexual aggressors. Tell me how you can be a Yale Law professor and not be able to deduce that in the hailing aggression of sexual violence on college campuses that every step be taken in the name of justice, because 1 in 5 times, men are the aggressors. Tell me how New York Times can publish that in the midst of a rape epidemic that rivals the “black death” upon our fragile human consciousness. Tell me how Yale Law School is considered the pinnacle of legal education while publishing the height of stupidity? You think they are speaking in terms of advancing women’s legal rights, women’s right to exist in a culture that recognizes women’s inherent dignity and respect, or are they advancing the health and vitality of a corporation and their right to impose their limited thinking over all of us?

Who funds #HeForShe anyway? Oh, that’s right, JP Morgan. Their altruism in holding up a hash tag is ever present and visible, while the criminal charges for defrauding women out of homes into the cold winters’ poverty is ever absent.

Tell me how it is that I stand in front of a room full of women, in the midst of the largest human rights crisis that perpetrates new acts of inhumanity daily upon women and ignores the drumming rationale of women, feminist, freedom fighters, and I am the only man in the room? Tell me, then, how far we have come.

We are in the midst of a cold fall. We haven’t even been met with winter yet. But, spring is coming. If we work through the winter together we’ll get there together. I promise.


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