Editorial: Voices of Women and Gender Minorities

Editorial for Fightback magazine’s crowdfunded issue dedicated to paid radical writing by women and gender minorities.

Articles will be posted over the coming days. While stocks are limited, please contact us for a paper copy.

Tēnā koutou katoa,

When I think of radical politics, grassroots organising and transformative actions, I always think of the women and gender minorities I know, who are leading, supporting and working hard, both out front and behind the scenes. Fierce wahine, fearless whakawahine, fa’afafine and transwomen, those who are staunch in their refusal to fit within the gender binary, women with big ideas, bigger hearts, and unrivalled strength and compassion.

When I look at socialist or political media, I have struggled to find these voices present. There could be a million reasons for why this is, however I know it is not for a lack of women and gender minorities wanting to change the world and to end capitalism. We cannot afford to have this absence of strong leftwing political voices from our communities. At the time of writing, the Human Rights Commission had released an ‘Equality at Work’ report showing that across the board in terms of unemployment, pay and leadership roles, women are still underrepresented. Māori and Pasifika women and women with disabilities are still facing the harshest marginalisation of all. Transgender women and gender minorities are not even mentioned. More than ever, we need analysis and action that comes from a place of feminism, socialism, decolonisation and intersectionality.

Earlier last year, one of our male comrades came up with an idea to address the lack of women writing for this magazine. To provide a practical response to the issue of women and gender minorities facing higher barriers to work and live, he proposed that we crowdsource some funding to pay contributors for their work. While this may be a small one-off payment, we want women and gender minorities to know that their ideas are valued on the socialist left. We want to acknowledge the unpaid work that is done year after year, whether in the home, workplace, whānau, family, organisations or activism. We aimed to give back to those women and gender minorities who believe in challenging this flawed socio-economic system and to offer fuel in the ongoing fight.

For a niche radical magazine, we were excited to receive so many pitches and donations, and I truly have been honoured to gather these articles, stories and poetry. We exceeded our funding goal, and are proud to say that (despite the fee we owe to Pledgeme), the money we raised will be split entirely between the contributors. In this issue, I wanted to provide a space that navigated the personal and political without resorting to separate boxes that compartmentalise our experiences and struggles. To welcome the complexities that are inevitable when it comes to gender, sex, race and class, acknowledge the personal and structural trauma that shadows/overshadows us, and paddle this waka into a place that can see, feel and touch new  worlds and true transformation. This work is only one part of a longer history that looks back and traces forward, and only the tip of the maunga when it comes to radical work in our communities. We hope you find new whakaaro in these pages, and we encourage you to keep writing, speaking, acting, gathering and dreaming to organise for an end to all oppression and exploitation at the hands of colonisation and capitalism.

Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora te manuhiri. Nāu te rākau, nāku te rakau, ka mate te hoariri.

Your food basket and my food basket will satisfy the guest. Your weapon and my weapon will dispose of the enemy.

Kassie Hartendorp – Editor.


Pip Clarke – Cover Design

Izzy Joy – Layout

Vita, Bronwen Beechey – Sub-Editors

Daphne Lawless – Support

Fightback Aotearoa – to Byron Clark for the concept, Ian Anderson and Joel Cosgrove for the background mahi.

Everyone who contributed to and supported this mahi.

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