I wish I had known Carol’s work when I was in high school, being scared that if I came out as bisexual that the sex ed and HIV prevention work I was doing would be discounted, as just something only queer people cared about. I got over it, I did come out, and it wasn’t a huge deal. People had already decided I was a dyke and a whore (and a witch, oh the 90’s), and coming out actually just meant I finally had a posse, all the other disaffected queer kids in my school who coalesced around our little direct actions. I say all this to remind myself that I didn’t come out of feminism, not at first, and that’s not where I got my sexual politics. Which meant I also didn’t really understand right away that feminists weren’t immediate allies with what I was curious about. At the time I felt that everything we were curious about—sex ed, abortion, queer rights—it was all equally controversial.
Or maybe that’s why I was always out about sex work, even in those hostile spaces. I’d already dealt with queer bashing. I didn’t really expect to experience whore bashing, particularly in what we all took pains to call “safe spaces.”
…What made feminism at all viable for me, as a practice and as a community, was getting far away from all of that, getting outside of the mainstream bubble of feminism. It was doing the baby steps work you and I did in our early 20’s, to learn from women who organized their own food banks, syringe exchanges, and child care. Then after that, learning from and supporting reproductive justice activists, women of color and queer people and trans people, finding connections around bodily autonomy, criminalization, gender and sexual identity. I had to go find my power, if I can say something that desperately earnest. So no, I’m not concerned with “Feminism,” but I am a feminist. I’m not into policing the borders of feminism, of who should call themselves that. I don’t want to defend feminism. I want whatever I do, in some way, to produce power for people who are fighting to survive under patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism."
This is Britain’s growth business today: laundering oligarchs’ dirty billions, laundering their dirty reputations.
It could be otherwise. Banking sanctions could turn off the financial pipelines through which corrupt officials channel Russian money. Visa restrictions could cut Kremlin ministers off from their mansions. The tax havens that rob the national budget of billions could be forced to be accountable. Britain has the power to bankrupt the Putin clique.
But London has changed. And the Shard — the Qatari-owned, 72-floor skyscraper above the grotty Southwark riverside — is a symbol of that change…The Shard is London, a symbol of a city where oligarchs are celebrated and migrants are exploited but that pretends to be a multicultural utopia. Here, in their capital city, the English are no longer the ones calling the shots. They are hirelings."