Let‘s Take the Streets, Let‘s Take the Night!
DEMONSTRATION for girls*, women*, lesbians*, trans*- and inter*-persons (wlti*) on the 14.06.17, 10pm Rathausplatz Freiburg.
Offensive instead of defensive! Self-determination instead of powerlessness! Loud or quiet! Angrily – we want to claim the night!
On 14.06.17 a march celebrating wlti*-persons will take place in the center of Freiburg, to make a stand against sexism, sexualized violence, homo- and transphobia and racism.
Why? Because many girls*, women*, lesbians*, trans*- and inter*-persons grow up with the fear of becoming a target of sexualized violence, and the advice not to go alone into dark streets and alleys. Also in clubs we are not safe from nasty pick-up lines or harassment.
To withstand and resist the ever-present sexism of this society, we need solidarity amongst wlti*-persons.
So let us claim the streets and the night together. let us have fun, celebrate solidarily and take the public space.
About Standards and discrimination
People have different scopes of action and freedoms etc. due to ther gender identities, appearance, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, age and abilities. People who fit into the categories of ‚male, white, hetero, christian, wealthy, able-bodied‘, enjoy the greatest room for maneuver in our society. The less a person fits into this norm, the more their possible actions and freedom will be restricted, for example in the job market, in court, in everyday life or in public.
Is there an aside of the catagories of ‚man‘ and ‚woman‘?
YES! People are usually assigned to one of the two categories ‚man‘ or ‚woman‘. These categories encompass norms for appearance and behaviour as well as supposedly ’natural‘ abilities and character traits. These categories are not natural, but constructed by society. There are always many people who do not feel or belong to either of these two categories. And rightly so! We want to make a stand against the constrictive norms and rules of masculinity and femininity, because gender is a continuum and not rigid categories.
What is sexism?
Sexism is the exclusion, deprevation or degradation of people due to their gender assignment. Sexism can basically affect all people, but FLTI* people are affected by sexism far more than people who fall into the category of ‚man‘. Although the conditions for FLTI* people have improved over the last decades, they are still structurally disadvantaged and affected by everyday discrimination – this is shown in statistics on wages, management positions, but also and above all in everyday behaviour.
What is everyday sexism?
Sexism is in our society everday, every present, and often hard to attack. Everyday sexism is not only discriminatory and hurtful; through sexist ways of speaking and behaviour, FLTI* people are denied activities, spaces and possibilities in everyday life. Everyday sexism can express itself in verbal and/or physical encroachment in the workplace, at parties or on the street, through stupid ‚mens jokes‘ or inappropriate statements, which are used to draw attention to the alleged weakness and stupidity of ‚women‘.
What is sexualised violence?
With sexualised violence it is not just living out sexual needs, but especially an exercise of power. Sexualised violence can take various forms and does not begin with physical harm. The point at which an act becomes sexualised violence, depends on the feelings of the person concerned. Looks, comments, or body language can be used as tools for sexualised exercise of power. Experiences of sexualised violence can be traumatising and stay with those affected for a lifetime. Each person has the right of determination over their own body. Everyone can perceive what is pleasant and what is not, and have this perception respected.
„You just have to expect that, when you dress like this!“
Comments and advice such as these are ever-present in the lives of almost all FLTI * -persons. Often well-meaning advice, actually just explains sexualised violence in a certain way: the cause of sexualised violence is sought among the affected persons, and is attributed to factors such as wearing certain types of clothing, behavior, or alcohol consumption. These explanations are called Victim Blaming. Victim blaming results sexualised violence almost never being recognised as a structural phenomenon: it places part or whole of the guilt on those affected by sexualised violence, and relieves offenders1.
What are FLTI * rooms and why are they important?
FLTI * rooms offer space for empowerment. FLTI* rooms are no places for gossiping about cis-men, but they offer an exception to the cis-men-dominated everyday life. The idea is that in their absence easier alternatives to everyday behavior, typical role allocations, and more, can be tried out. And above all, they take up a lot of space.
The aim is not to underline the distinction „man“ / „woman“ or to spoil feminism for pro-feminist cis-men2.
The goal is: to take ingrained behaviours (for example, that FLTI * people are more likely to be subject to and remain silent) and change them.
The problem is patriarchy!
The suppression of FLTI * -persons is the result of a century-old social structure of patriarchy. This means structural roles of „men“ over „women“, as well as hatred of homosexual, trans-and intersexual people. So when we fight against sexism, we must also criticise the patriarchal organization of society and leave the traditional gender roles behind us.
Let us therefore conquer the road and the night together. Let us have fun, celebrate solidarity and take public space.
We are aware that we do not represent all FLTI * -people in our groups and therefore we write from a certain perspective. We hope to address as many FLTI * -people as possible with our call and are open for suggestions for improvement. We are committed to making every FLTI * person feel welcome at the Take the Night demonstration.
1We are aware that sexualised violence also originates from FLTI*-people, but this is very marginal in its totality: Lebenssituation, Sicherheit und Gesundheit von Frauen in Deutschland. Kurzfassung der Untersuchung von Schröttle und Müller, hg. von Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend. Berlin 2004, S. 15.
2Cis men: men who were classified as „men“ when they were born and define themselves as so.