amw (amw) wrote,

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Internationale Solidarität!

I went on strike today. It wasn't a full day strike because i wanted to be in the office for a meeting just after lunch, but after that i walked out. Of course, i can work flexible hours and did several hours work last Saturday so was probably due a few hours off anyway, but it's the principle. I made sure everyone knew my reasons, and must admit to being a little disappointed that only one person had even heard about the strike and the demos.

In Berlin there were at least three semi-coordinated demonstrations, one organized by Polish immigrants (i think), one organized by a women's immigrant/refugee/squatter group that requested cis-men not march, and one all-inclusive gig where all the usual suspects were showing up (Die Linke, Democrats Abroad, various socialist groups etc). I went to the refugee one because it started closer to my house, it was closer to my heart and - not gonna lie - i was curious what a demo with no men would be like.

It's taken a long time for me to be able to feel not like an "impostor" in women's spaces. I've been living as a woman for 17 years, almost as long as i lived as a boy before that, and definitely have no idea what it means to be an adult man. From the perspective of society - bar a few ignorant and/or transphobic asshats - i am a woman. My post-operative anguish is well-documented here through most of my 20s, but appears to finally be over now that i quit taking hormones. I guess i identify internally as non-binary these days, but i am too old to give a shit about fighting that point. It's hard enough being an immigrant and a trannie and a lesbian and a woman, no need to confuse everyone even more by talking about genderqueerness or (lately) asexuality. Still, even though i am a woman, the fact i never had a girlhood makes me feel like i don't belong sometimes.

Anywho, here i was, in a (temporary) women's space. I have to say it was pretty amazing. Of course there were other transwomen there, and some genderfuck types, and a drag queen, and - yeah - a few men, but it was mostly ciswomen from many different backgrounds - immigrants and punx and dykes and moms and every combination. It was great to hear speeches in several languages and hear about a lot of intersectional issues, in particular around immigration and oppression in other parts of the world. It was also refreshing to not hear any mansplaining or see any of those sleazy "allies" who often come across to me as only showing up to get some tail. I guess women's spaces do have a place in the world, even if my fantasy end-game is that the concept of gender is destroyed altogether.

It was also interesting to attend this demo in general, it being perhaps the first protest i have been to primarily in solidarity with people far outside of my circle. The Rigaer 94 protests last year were a lot more personal - we were aggressively fighting back against the riot police who had invaded several city blocks in my neighborhood. Given how my white and class privilege pretty much balances out whatever other minority statuses i hold, i felt like today was more about showing solidarity with oppressed women all over the world than any of my own challenges.

I don't know if it will matter - once all the demos met up at Oranienplatz i'd guess there was a few thousand people, but we didn't set fire to any cars so probably the media doesn't give a shit. Still, a couple of anarchists let off flares and fireworks along the route to boost our morale. I will try to add a picture to this post as an experiment for posting pictures on LJ.

So, yeah. That was my International Women's Day. Oh, this morning i also got a Yellow Fever vaccination. The receptionist was a woman. The doctor was a woman. The nurse was a woman. I don't think any of them were striking. I played Ani DiFranco in the office this morning, but i realized it's not very good background music for work, so i played Tracy Chapman instead.

Also, i bought a pussyhat.
Tags: gender, protest

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