I Know Why the Caged Birds Scream

By pattrice | 19th May 2009 | Filed under Feature

(Originally published in Satya Magazine, February 2006)

Three women walked past the electrified fence and onto the Happy Hens Egg World compound, which confines 220,000 hens in rusty cages 60 miles west of Melbourne, Australia. As the women began documenting the deplorable conditions in the sheds, videotaping the sights and sounds of crowded birds in constant misery, they were set upon by seven male employees of the egg factory, demanding they leave. The women agreed to leave voluntarily but the men attacked them anyway, pushing and shoving them through the dim and dusty shed.

Patty Mark and Debra Tranter just after the assault

Hearing her comrade cry out in distress, one of the activists grabbed the wall of the shed and said that she would not leave without her friend. The youngest worker grabbed both her breasts and squeezed them hard, putting his mouth next to her ear and snarling, “that made you move, didn’t it?” She screamed and fell on the floor. The men grabbed her by the ankles and dragged her body along the length of the grimy walkway.

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Annals of an Archaic Anarchist

By pattrice | 9th Oct 2008 | Filed under Book Review

pattrice jones

Originally published in the Summer 2005 issue of Impact Press.

Review of The Voltairine de Cleyre Reader edited by A.J. Brigati (AK Press)

Quick — name two 19th century female anarchists. If you got stuck after Emma Goldman, then it’s time for you to meet Voltairine de Cleyre. Born into poverty in Michigan in 1866, converted to anarchism by the 1887 execution of the Haymarket martyrs, and active as a popular speaker and writer from the 1890s until her premature death in 1912, Voltairine de Cleyre was called by Emma Goldman “the most gifted and brilliant anarchist woman America ever produced.”

Like Goldman, de Cleyre condemned the objectification and exploitation of women with the same urgency with which she challenged the legitimacy of governments. Speaking with more force and honesty than many self-proclaimed feminists manage to muster today, de Cleyre dared to denounce marriage laws that permit husbands to rape their wives as “sex slavery.”

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Interview with Jill Johnston

By pattrice | 18th Jul 2008 | Filed under Interview

by pattrice jones

This is the transcript of a 1999 interview with lesbian feminist author and activist Jill Johnston. An edited version of the interview ran in the webzine LesbiaNation accompanying this profile of Jill Johnston.

pj: I’ve heard more than one lesbian of a certain age say, “there wouldn’t be a lesbian nation if it weren’t for Lesbian Nation.”

JJ: I saw myself as spearheading something back then, but there was also a group of us. I mean, there was a consensus. It’s just that I happened to have a voice, I had already established a space in a newspaper which was a radical newspaper so therefore I just happened to have that vehicle. A lot what I wrote depended on the people I knew who kept informing me of things I might not have known about. So it wasn’t me alone. And, of course, it was entirely dependent on the consensus that was developing. Any regrets that I might have are purely professional in that I did go way out on a limb and then created problems for myself.

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