Discrimination and inequity are integral to patriarchy – not accidental, individual, natural, or necessary, but, rather, essential to a whole system of beliefs that defines some people as less valuable than others because of their gender, sex or sexuality. Patriarchy works together with other systems that reinforce injustice and inequity, such as capitalism, neoliberalism, white supremacy, colonialism, and religious fundamentalism.
The touchstone for all our work is women’s lives, experiences, and dreams. A woman’s heart, mind, and body absorb the grim reality of patriarchy. For deep and lasting change, women’s whole selves must be at the center of leadership and organizing, a principle that gives meaning to the phrase, ‘from survivors to defenders.’ When women are at the forefront of change, they don’t just address issues; they transform communities and systems.
Lisa VeneKlasen, JASS co-founder
1. Feminism is plural and intersectional
2. Feminism is global
3. Feminism is visionary and transformative
4. Feminism is about power
As a feminist movement-building organization, JASS helps strengthen and build the power of activists and organizations to challenge and transform deep-rooted systems of domination and inequity. We seek to:
● transform the structures that reproduce patriarchy and other systems of oppression
● challenge the narratives that replicate patriarchy and other systems of oppression
● counter the violence that patriarchy and all forms of oppression generate
● support the collective power of movements
JASS distinguishes the important work of building feminist movements from the work we do, which is feminist movement-building.
Building feminist movements: organizing around gender-equality goals
Feminist movement-building: bringing gender equality goals and feminist perspectives into all kinds of movements
IN MANY VOICES
What makes feminism transformative in the JASS approach is that it looks at feminism as an ideology and as a social change strategy that has opened the door and really examined how power operates in the most private, hidden, I would say policed spaces of society.
Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.
Chimamanda Ngozo Adichie
The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.
To understand, challenge, and undo patriarchy, JASS shares a range of feminist group processes on the We Rise website, including these key examples.