Revolution #195, March 14, 2010
Prisoner writes on the Pornofication of the Prisons
Feb. 23, 2010
I just received your letter, as well as the editorial: "International Women's Day 2010: A Time to Act."
I want your readers to know that I am constantly struggling with prisoners about the importance of the liberation of women as part of the emancipation of all humanity, which is not easy by any stretch of the imagination but still must and can be done. Men's prisons, as the one ex-prisoner pointed out to you, are heavily "pornified" directly & indirectly.
As most of you know by now, I have been state raised by cold steel & concrete since I was 13 years old… I'm 31 now. I can remember when I first entered juvenile prison, some of the officers would bring in porn movies for us to watch depending on how we "behaved." If we were really "good"—which I never was according to their standards—the institution would bring in a bus load of girls in from the female institution & organize dances. In other words, we had to be "good" & be considered "model" prisoners in order to be able to have the "privilege" to participate in the oppression & exploitation of women. I can't help but to look back & cringe at what was being promoted & the damage this caused to all the girls, as well as boys that were involved, especially given the reality that most of us came from homes where we had to watch our mothers & sisters being abused by the "man, or men of the house."
As I graduated to the "Big House," where I now languish away, the "pornofication," oppression & exploitation of women takes on a whole other dimension. It is more in your face & promoted on all levels from all directions. Officials will ban the Revolution newspaper from coming into the facility, but will allow unlimited porn magazines & materials to enter.
Just the other day, "Orange Crush" came storming in here armed with their oak sticks, shields, leaded gloves, helmets, & shotguns to do a massive shakedown & humiliation campaign. We were handcuffed & forced to walk with our heads down, & for those who dared to raise their head, they were swiftly beaten & dragged away. Once they got us into the chapel, they lined us up in front of—get this—a giant painting of the "Last Supper" where they forced us to strip naked, bend over & spread our ass cheeks, & lift our nut sac all while we had to look at this Jesus with his white skin & cold blue eyes.
Still in all, according to the reactionary "prison politics" of the day, there is nothing worse than for "another man to call another man a bitch," yet its perfectly okay for these same men to refer to the women of the world, who truly hold up half the sky, as "bitches" and "hoes."
You can rest assured that I will continue to fiercely struggle with prisoners from a revolutionary communist perspective on the importance of the liberation of women, which is a must for the emancipation of all of humanity. With this being said, & my commitment & contribution to getting this done, I would like for you to arm me with "A Declaration: For Women's Liberation & the Emancipation of All Humanity."
I would like to close up this letter with a quote from Bob Avakian's amazing & insightful book "Away With All Gods":
"The point is not to apologize for or to extol bourgeois society and its forms of the oppression of women; but, in some significant aspects, this is very different in these 'modern' imperialist countries than it is in the countries where feudal relations and traditions, or remnants of them, continue to exert a significant influence, and where, along with that, patriarchal domination is more overt and entrenched in a traditional form. That's important to emphasize: in a traditional form...
"All this is very complex because, to a significant degree, the ways in which women are oppressed in a country like France, or the U.S., appears, especially to people coming from a traditionalist framework, to involve 'an excess of freedom.' Women are not regulated in all the same ways and not required to wear traditional clothing in the same way, nor to act in the same 'modest' manner. In reality, this 'freedom' for women is part of a different web of oppressive relations, which often assumes extreme expression in its own way. There is pornography, soft or hard core, everywhere you turn. Advertising, to a very great extent, is based on the use of the female body to sell commodities—and the female body itself is, in very extensive and very degrading ways, treated as a commodity."
Let's all work & struggle to do away with "the burkha & the thong—hideous embodiments of the degradation of women," which can only thoroughly be done by way of a true communist revolution. We must continue to work & struggle towards such a revolution… International Women's Day 2010, is truly "A Time to Act!" Revolutionary prisoners stand with & fight along side the women of the world!!
Thank you for everything. Continue to provide me with revolutionary literature such as:
- A Declaration: For Women's Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity
- The Science of Evolution by Ardea Skybreak
- The Science of Revolution by Lenny Wolff
- Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy
- Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage: A Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
and anything else you feel I need in order to be effective in the fight for a better world.
P.S. I would also like for you to send, if possible, Bob Avakian's "A Leap of Faith and a Leap to Rational Knowledge" and "God the Original Fascist" by A. Brooks.
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