You may have been wondering what For the Birds has been up to since the Big She-Bang in August. Upon reaching the one-year mark of organizing together, we took some time to explore internal group dynamics, discuss conflicts and patterns, and strategize for how we could improve ourselves in the future.
The Big She-Bang IV also represented the beginning of our efforts to reach beyond the D.I.Y. punk community to connect with other New York city-based feminist projects, artists, and musicians. While reviewing your feedback from the Big She-Bang survey (thanks for participating!) and discussing our own thoughts about the event, we began a productive discussion about For the Birds’ racial and ethnic composition, and the types of climates we seek to create at our events.
While we strive to create safety for all types of feminists coming from diverse racial backgrounds, gender presentations, sexual orientations and ways of life, we realize that we will always have more to learn about how to bridge the gaps between different feminist communities here in New York. We discussed how punk has the potential to create a climate of “whiteness” that feels alienating for non-punk-identified folks, as well as dynamics of privilege and discomfort within our own collective.
We hope to continue these internal conversations as we once again begin to actively engage in booking events, tabling, and outreach after this period of reflection. We have identified several goals to guide us in the coming year:
+ To reach out past our usual comfort zone of D.I.Y. punk to plan, collaborate on, and attend feminist events from different communities in the city.
+ To enrich our distro with zines and pamphlets from even more voices usually marginalized by mainstream society, such as feminists of color and transfolk.
+ To implement structural changes in the ways we organize together so that workload is evenly shared, all voices are heard, and existing safe space policies are easier to maintain.
+ To keep race and privilege on the table in our conversations and in our organizing, through the use of an anti-racist ally Birds subgroup, readings and discussions.
+ To make more contact with other feminist groups in the form of meetings, co-sponsoring events, and keeping each other informed of our projects so that we can strengthen the New York City feminist movement!
That said, we are back in the game and would love to hear from you about exciting feminist events you would like us to be a part of! Stay tuned for updates to our website, additions to our distro, and events which celebrate the diversity of feminisms in our city. While we definitely still hope to maintain a feminist presence at D.I.Y. punk events, we are especially interested in seeking out other subcultures, styles of music, feminist agendas, creative projects and modes of expression. Please get in touch!