Adjunct faculty Stephanie Guillord, the Atlanta Campus on April 2nd, 2014 as it discussed the sovereignty of our bodies. A lively discussion followed wherein we discussed how to move from Gender as social control of the body to a reality where gender is a liberatory reality.

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“The control of society over individuals is not conducted only through consciousness or ideology, but also in the body and with the body.” – Michel Foucault

“We were born naked. The rest is drag.” RuPaul

 

Specifically, the course challenged participants to discuss:

  • How do we move from physical and sexual violence to physical safety and sexual autonomy?
  • How do we move from a surveillance and discipline binary to a society where freedom of movement, universal citizenship, collective assembly, and healing practices are core values.
  • How do we liberate ourselves from the contstraints and regulations of family formation to a more fluid future?

Join us next week at 9 Gammons to join the Class.

“The control of society over individuals is not conducted only through consciousness or ideology, but also in the body and with the body.” – Michel Foucault
“We were born naked. The rest is drag.” RuPaul
Learning Objectives:
1. Understand binary gender as a fundamental tool of colonialism to control bodies.
2. Investigate the patterns of state- and cultural-based violence and connect to how breaking the body breaks social movements.
3. Explore decolonial strategies that confront & dismantle social control and that liberates our genders and our bodies.

1. Gender Matters
1. TheBinary system is a foundation of colonialism and social control. Primary institutions enforce the capitalist & imperialist systems: CHURCH/STATE/BANK
2. Our bodies are tracked, policed, monitored, shamed, and incarcerated
3. The body is a frontline for learning about power. The body is a primary site where we contest power.
First Round Robin Question:
Name a moment in history (or in your own experience) when power was confronted by transgressing gender or body binaries.

2. The Body as Battleground
Three patterns of social control of the body – based on maintained by gender have been established and configured through colonialism:
1. Physical & Sexual Violence
2. Surveillance & Discipline
3. Constraints & Regulations of Family Formations
HANDOUT: Front & Back Chart / Pairs work on examples from history & present(10min)
3. The Broken Body
1. The practices of social control are not just tactics to control populations (and land), but essential to control collective and individual psyches & organizing.
2. The colonized body is singular, dominant, and threatened
3. Social movements are undermined by the colonization of the body.
4. Liberating the Body
Flip side of the chart.
• Physical safety and sexual autonomy
• Freedom of movement, citizenship, collective assembly, and healing practices
• Liberated and fluid family formations (10 min)
HANDOUT: Pairs work on liberated side of chart. (10min)
Second Round Robin:
What Southern legacies and practices help us advance social movements that can hold & support the liberated body?

CLOSING ACTION
Closing Quote: “Survival is the least of my desires . . . We, as a community are capable of so much more than endurance.” Dorothy Allison, queer Southerner
10 min written reflection question:
During this summer’s Southern organizing projects, how can we express the power of the collective body and confront social control?

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