Tuesday, 9th March 2010: Rice Above! #05 – Women Reclaim The Night!


Joe hoards and shares.

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3 Responses

  1. thilaga says:

    So I thought about it and thought about it and thought about it and finally decided that I should write this open critique about the “wom*n reclaiming the night” event. I know this is gonna cost me and I pretty aware that I am already this feminazi to a lot of people but oh well, you gotta do what you gotta do. And I know that I only post stuff when I think something is rather sexist or something is wrong and womyn are being sidelined/marginalized/oppressed and alike. So you know where I am going with this. So please don’t read beyond this if you feel like, “oh my gosh, there she goes again!”

    Okay, so here goes. Firstly, as a persyn who strongly believes in abolishing patriarchy of all forms, I am truly not in support of ANY events which are organized by men for womyn, especially when it is called wom*n reclaiming the night. Please be reminded that this is not a personal attack or anything. I am just writing this to provide another view, hopefully a womyn/”feminist” view. From the list of organizers which were included in the flyer, you can tell that the collectives/groups/organization which were involved are predominately of men. I may be wrong but that’s what I can tell. See, this whole notion of men organizing things on behalf of womyn is pretty screwed up because there is no sense of empowerment and there is no, you know that sense, this is what we want and this is what we believe in and this is our struggle. I hope I am getting my point across.

    I am not saying that men should not organize things on issues which relates to womyn. It can be done in so many ways which would actually show that you are more part of the movement than as a persyn who is organizing womyn. For instance, I read this zine by this collective in Australia, The Philly Dudes Collective, they are a bunch of men who discuss and do stuff on masculinity and sexism and other stuff. How can men be part of changing the social construct by looking at way they are socialized. You know what I mean yeah? So you see, men move away from attempting to organize womyn and stuff for womyn but instead they look at how they can change masculinity. That in itself is amazing to abolish patriarchy. But when men organize womyn or attempt to, I personally think it is just bad. Because this reminds me liberal feminism, during the beginning of it all, people like John Stuart Mill would call the shots. Anyways, that’s a whole different story.

    Yes, it a lot ways, I do think that this event was organizing womyn. Getting random womyn to come and perform to a lot of extend to a predominately male crowd and that’s it.

    Secondly, I really don’t see the reclaiming part of the event. Where is the reclamation? By me paying X amount of money to get into a bar, do you think I would feel safe walking on the streets after that? I am actually a pretty tight ass when it comes to usage of words and titles because it obviously means something. Reclaiming the night and take back the street, words like that are so powerful. It means, you know, we are taking over and it some sorta temporary (or not) autonomous zone. But do you think that I would felt like I have reclaimed my night at a gig? And the whole idea of reclaiming the night, I don’t have to tell you this but yeah, it is because it is generally not safe for womyn to walk on a street at night or when it is dark. That’s why it is called reclaiming the night. And so there are marches, chanting, whatever at night to show that we are taking over this god damn street. And I really don’t get it how I am gonna reclaim something when I have to pay for it. I think the word “reclaim” is totally losing its essence. It is more like acquiring or purchasing now.

    Somehow I feel like the whole essence of womyn’s day is not even felt, I don’t know if people even know what it is all about. There were some serious ass protests by womyn going around the world to demand for minimum wage, better working hours. Womyn who worked in factories were picketing and protesting in harsh weathers. It is a day to commemorate the struggle of our grandmothers, mothers, and sisters.

    Which brings me to the nature of organizing stuff here. I think a lot of times when people organize gigs to commemorate something or you know for some event, the message is totally drowned or sometimes there are no messages at all. Of course, it attracts people because it is fun but is that all? It is very trendy indeed to organize some musical performances and poetry reading. Even the pakatan rakyat people are doing it! But do you really think people are getting what you are trying to say?

    And another thing, not that I am not acknowledging your hard work to organize this event, but I thought that it was pretty convenient that it was on a Tuesday night when Tuesday nights are already booked for gigs at cloth and clef.

    I don’t mean to offend anyone but it is my open critique about the event. I am just saying that events like these are better off organized by womyn or there should be none at all. Because there is no sense of empowerment or whatever when men do the organizing for womyn. Again, I am saying that it was predominately organized by men because of the list of organizers stated on the flyer. That’s all. Thanks for you space and time.

  2. thilaga says:

    pardon my typo.

  3. Joe says:

    thanks thilaga for that long spiel.

    i don’t want to sideline your well meaning critique but the whole night was Amnesty International’s event (including the “slogan” and the march etc.), we were facilitators for the venue, and when they asked us to get performers, we got Frinjan who suggested a long list names which they agreed upon. as for the RM5 donation, it’s for The Ricecooker’s funds which helps us with the rent of the new space (which is what all these Rice Above! shows are about).

    Other than that, it was a good night; with good acts/bands, a lot of people came together and celebrated. On how effective it was on propagating the cause or how “men” shouldn’t do it etc., I don’t want to comment much apart from the fact that i have a dick dangling between my legs, thus i’m condemned as an alien to the cause, and shouldn’t have bothered to do anything anyway.

    I suggest you to forward your concerns to AI.



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