Women in the US today are oppressed. Women are subject to alarming rates of harassment, abuse and sexual violence. Women are more likely to be poor and often earn less than men on average. Although progress has been made, there is still an expectation that women should perform (without pay) the majority of domestic and care labor. Objectifying, demeaning and trivializing representations of women in popular culture abound. Attacks on women’s reproductive rights have escalated in recent years.
At the same time, LGBTQ people, too, are subject to a variety of forms of oppression and violent discrimination. Bigots and conservatives continue to stigmatize and attack these communities on a regular basis. Businesses and government continue to discriminate against and persecute anyone who doesn’t identify as heterosexual. And for our trans sisters and brothers, the magnitude of these injustices is often especially intense.
Here in Chicago, we are committed to fighting these interconnected injustices. Many of our members are active in Feminist Uprising to Resist Inequality and Exploitation (FURIE). FURIE is currently waging a campaign to show support and solidarity for Purvi Patel, an Indiana woman who is currently facing criminal charges for “feticide.” FURIE is also organizing to demand justice for Rekia Boyd, a woman who was murdered by a CPD officer. In addition, we are helping to support and build for the upcoming Blame the System, Not the Victim speak-out and march. We are active in organizing efforts targeting so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” as part of our more general commitment to fighting for reproductive justice on all fronts. ISO members also organize regular study groups and public forums on themes such as #BlackTransLivesMatter, feminism and the history of women’s liberation movements.