Resource: Downloadable Self-Defense Manual for Feminists

2 03 2011

Just surfing the web this morning, and came across this not-so-little “brochure.”  I haven’t had a chance to really read it yet, but just picking through some of the pages, this looks like an awesome resource! Here’s an excerpt from the Preface:

This important manual developed by Marina Bernal, Artemisa, and Elige, is a valuable asset for all women
engaged in the task of constructing and inhabiting a world in which all of us can fulfill our best potential. An
indispensable tool, it invites us to stand our ground while attempting to undo the injustices meted out to us,
and nurture the inherent resources that are so easily depleted: our bodies, affection, intelligence, creativity,
spirituality…and ourselves.

For many of us the word “ourselves” brings a certain sense of discomfort, while the daily battle against
discrimination and living life on fair terms leaves us with no time or inclination to deal with any issue that
may not be of the utmost urgency. It also seems selfish, unpardonable and even cowardly to focus on
ourselves. But sooner or later our bodies are afflicted with migraines or paralytic strokes; or the woman, man, or trans person whom we love, leaves us because he or she is tired of seeing us for only a few hours in a year or a day. Suddenly, we turn 70 and discover that our activism did not automatically entitle us to a
pension…and then we crumble or continue to plod on as mere shadows of ourselves.

A unique feature of this manual is that it talks of realities that are almost always never understood, such as
the breach that exists between our discourse on human rights and social justice, and the reality of the labour
practices adopted by our organizations and work spaces. It is imperative that we recognize ourselves as
workers with rights and duties and break free from the rhetoric of “sacrifice”, which only serves to justify
forms of violence that we would never accept in a factory or workshop, yet continue to live with every day in
NGOs, collectives, and groups.

Self-Care and Self-Defense Manual for Feminist Activists

It’s copywrite jointly held by three organizations:

Artemisa, Grupo Interdisciplinario en Género, Sexualidad, Juventud y Derechos Humanos, 2006.
Artemisa is an interdisciplinary group working on gender, sexuality, youth and human rights in Mexico.

Elige, Red de Jóvenes por Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos, A.C., 2006
Elige, a feminist youth organization comprised of young women and men, is a leading advocate for young people’s sexual
and reproductive rights in Mexico and throughout Central America.

CREA, 2008.
CREA advances women’s human rights and the sexual rights of all people by building leadership, influencing social
movements, expanding discourses, and creating enabling social and policy environments.

PS – My anti-virus program says this document is OK.

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