Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Censored Woman, Anti-Imperialist Feminist Subversive Art: Blog for International Women's Day 2012

Here is the message from the Oppressor (CENSORSHIP ALERT):


Regarding your account:

The YouTube Community has flagged one or more of your videos as inappropriate. Once a video is flagged, it is reviewed by the YouTube Team against our Community Guidelines. Upon review, we have determined that the following video(s) contain content in violation of these guidelines, and have been disabled:

Bondage 101, Feminist Ties and Lesbian Love - The Art and Exercise of Bitter by Annie Lennox -

For more information on YouTube's Community Guidelines and how they are enforced, please visit the help center

The YouTube Team


Here is the response from the still-oppressed (on with the feminist tirade):

So much for freedom of speech. Of nonverbal speech. Of SPEAK. Of FEMINIST SPEAK. Of LESBIAN SPEAK. Of ART SPEAK. Of ANARCHY SPEAK. You bet your little trick pony I am ENRAGED. I'm about to go Mel Pazzaglia (my Rebel Grandmother!) on you, You Tube of Filthpaste.

You know there is something WRONG with the system when you cannot COMMUNICATE with its administrators. Administrators are expected to have someone to answer to, but who does You Tube have to answer to? What higher law imposes itself upon the Loo Tube? Brothers at You Tube, do not call yourselves administrators. Think of something more appropriate - like DICK-tators.

The Gods and Monsters above have "reviewed" my political art creation and deemed it to be in violation of their general policy. Hmm, let me scratch my balls and try to understand this. You mean to tell me that a WOMAN taking CONTROL of her own body and using it to MAKE A STATEMENT about body-image, power dynamics, interpersonal relationships, and oppression is a VIOLATION of your terms? Do you mean to tell me that a politically oriented art piece about SYSTEMATIC oppression, PATRIARCHAL oppression, and SELF-IMPOSED oppression is inappropriate? I want to RESPOND to You Tube, but - heh, funny thing - there is no way to respond to or CORRESPOND with You Tube about this issue.

When I make a video response to the BONDAGE You Tube imposes on its artists and creationists (who, they should know, are the source of fuel that keeps their system running), will You Tube ban that, as well? My video was titled "Bondage 101" in order to attract viewers. But it is not what those clicking on the link are expecting to see. The You Tube Team, if it had its eyes open, would be able to SEE this. The funny thing is that You Tube knows what kind of videos get hits. They know what they are willing to allow and they have ULTERIOR MOTIVES behind their banning of certain videos.

I have seen all sorts of videos that make themselves visible on You Tube that I find offensive, demeaning and inappropriate. Hell, the whole genius network is running rampant with indecent trash. I am not sure what kind of guidelines the You Tube team uses to determine what is "appropriate." The team thinks it is appropriate to let all sorts of fools make asses of themselves. Are they operating on the assumption that WE, the viewers, are all idiots who are incapable of handling anything that might be truly transgressive? I have seen bare asses. I have seen I have seen a man getting run over by an ice cream truck. You Tube has seen it too, and they don't mind one bit.

It's the video of a fully-clothed stay at home mother tying herself to a chair and struggling to break free from the chair to which she tied herself that they cannot allow. Right, I get it, because the Brain of the Team is tiny and cannot comprehend the TRUE NATURE of the video. The video was a form of TRANSGRESSION. It was a political act intended to undermine the heterosexist oppressive colonialist, greed-based, conservative, religious, patriarchal AUTHORITY. If you look at the images in the video themselves, WITHOUT interpretation, you see a woman tie herself to a chair and then struggle to stay standing with her knees bent while she is attached to the chair. She looks troubled and in struggle. What about that is inappropriate? Doesn't a woman have a RIGHT to tie herself to a chair? Isn't that her right? Doesn't a woman have a right to stay with the chair, even if it's unhealthy and painful? Who owns the woman's body? The chair? The videographer? The publisher of her art? The oppressor of her oppression? The cause of her struggle? You Tube? No - THE WOMAN OWNS HERSELF. She is tied to the chair, and tied herself to it - maybe willingly and maybe under coercion; but, with or without the chair, she is herself and she belongs to herself. She will have to figure out what she needs to do with the chair. We all have our crosses to bear. In the struggle against oppression, a woman might bear a chair.

Now, onto interpretation of the art itself instead of the censorship. Is it really painful for the woman or is she pleasuring herself? God forbid we allude to a woman's RIGHT to pleasure herself. The porn industry puts out (!) enough demeaning garbage to fill China with. Ask yourself this simple question. Who is PUTTING OUT the porn? Who is running the porn industry? Are the actresses and performers in the films in charge? Is the money going directly to them? No WAY, no how. Are the women who are most-central to the profitability of porn calling the shots? EXACTLY.

Who do you think is IN CHARGE? MEN, that's who. The majority of the profits made by anyone in anything are being enjoyed by, you know it: MEN. Men are in charge. Men are the authority. A patriarchal approach to LIVING and LIFE prevails. AND when someone, even a wacky little stay at home mother, tries to RECLAIM her power and rebel against AUTHORITY - guess what happens? The Men come in to SET THINGS STRAIGHT and MAINTAIN their authority by silencing the woman's voice. In order to maintain their authority, The Authority must perpetually render invisible The Oppressed. Censorship is one strategy used in imperialist oppression. How ironic - they want to put a GAG on a video about "BONDAGE." Well we know one thing. We know that the You Tube Team thinks there is only one way to interpret Bondage - and that is their way. They see the world, and my video, through a patriarchal heterosexist lens. What a SHOCK.

The woman in the censored video was a character I was playing, SHE was not ME - although she may be LIKE me in many ways. She, let's call her Jane Bond, was a woman BOUND to oppression. You saw her tie herself to the chair at the beginning of the video. But by the end of the video, you are probably wondering whether what you saw was, in fact, the act of a woman choosing, of her own free will, to tie herself to a chair. Was there someone or something in the background, something you could not see, that was leading this woman by overt FORCE or psychological manipulation to tie herself to the chair? Was there something, some internalized patriarchal piece of bullshit, that caused her to tie herself to the chair? Is it a HOSTAGE situation? Was she a hostage to You Tube or to love or to heterosexuality? How would you know when you don't know the context of the bondage?  You don't have a full picture of the story, do you? You have your imagination, though. Imperialism crushes imagination, don't you think?

Outside of the viewing window lies a UNIVERSE OF POSSIBILITY - but the PATRIARCHAL AUTHORITY does not want you to use your own brain, to question or to imagine. They want to tell you what IS, they don't want YOU to determine what is for YOURSELF. You see, your free and empowered thinking poses a threat to their regime (and to the regime of domination-and-submission). The Team at You Tube "interprets" my video as an S/M video because that is how The Team, itself, thinks and operates. They, the members of "the team," were responding to the transgressive WOMAN in the distorted mirror who was showing their twisted selves.

(Team You Tube, I think I understand you perfectly now. You ARE the chair to which the woman is tied. You're there, behind the scenes, telling her what she can and cannot do. You tell her to tie herself to the chair and then you tell her to struggle and then you tell her to GET STRONGER. Well, you know what. The woman who is tied to the chair is getting stronger every day. And you better watch out because soon her thigh muscles will be so toned that she will be able to walk off the set tied to your goddamn chair. She's gonna take the chair out from under your asses, from under your eyes, from under your authority. She will be stronger than you, and she will use the chair to rise up against your SADISTIC authority. You (Tube) don't want her to free herself, you don't want her to be herself. You want her tied to Your Chair. You want to hide her, silence her and render her invisible. Don't you know better, Team? Don't you know that when you oppress the oppressed that they always rise up against your authority? ("It's just those little bits of History Repeating...") The woman bound -to the chair- is Every Woman. Every woman you have ever gagged, bound and tortured for your own self-fulfilling satisfaction.)

For Every Woman out there, this message is for you: the struggle is not over. There is work to be done. Oppression and imperialism still exist everywhere. We need to work independently and together to uproot the system. This year the theme for International Women's Day (March 8)  is "Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures." We, as a culture and as members of the global community can involve, educate, and inspire girls in a positive way by helping them to FIND their OWN autonomous voices in the the midst of the standardization and censorship that lead to oppression based on domination and submission. We can help women and girls to express themselves in the face of ridicule, to face the threat of domination, to work the system that renders them submissive until the system works and benefits them ALL as equals.

Gender Across Borders and CARE are hosting the Third Annual Blog for International Women’s Day, and they have requested that the IWD bloggers describe a particular organization, person, group or moment in history that helped to inspire a positive future and impact the minds and aspirations for girls. Well I cannot say that the BANNED video IS appropriate for girls, but I can say that what it represents helps to inspire a FREE future - and, surely, FREEDOM (to express, to organize, to peacefully protest, to create political art) will have a positive impact on the minds and aspirations of girls.

Every Woman inspires, Every Woman impacts. The Woman in the Banned Bondage Video is ONE particular example of Every Woman in history helping to build a world where it is just as acceptable for women to tie themselves to chairs as it is for girls in bikinis to be exploited by the heterosexist authority. To International Women's Day, to Women Tied to and Walking Off with Chairs all over the world and to every woman who has ever been censored - this blog's for you!

You Tube may be unaware, but at this day and age Sisters are Doin' IT for Themselves...(Thank you, Annie Lennox, for inspiring me - YES, "SING MY SISTER.")

Annie Lennox

This is a call for the national implementation
Of mother-to-child transmission prevention
Programme in all the maternity hospitals
In South Africa

Sing, my sister... sing!
Let your voice be heard
What won't kill you will make you strong
Sing, my sister... sing!

You don't need
To disrespect yourself again
Don't hide your light behind your fears
My women can be strong
You've known it all along
What you need
Is what you haven't found

Sing, my sister... sing!
Let your voice be heard
What won't kill you will make you strong
Sing, my sister... sing!

Women are the mothers of the world, my friend
I tell you womankind is strong
Take your beautiful self up to the heights again
Back to the place where you belong

Sing, my sister... sing!
Let your voice be heard
What won't kill you will make you strong
Sing, my sister... sing!

C'mon my sisters now
Sing loud and sing proud
Sing my sister... sing!
Use your voice to call out
Let your voice be heard
Use your voice
For freedom
Let your voice be heard
Everywhere you go
For freedom
Yes freedom

This won't be the last woman-and-chair that You Tube will encounter. This won't be the last you will hear from me on this issue. And this won't be the last of the Woman Bound.

Artist, Jenny Saville

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