Monday, November 25, 2013

botín de guerra: war trophy

this is a repeat post, because I saw this term mistranslated several different ways today (including war bounty!) in tweets honoring today as international day against violence against women.  (by the way, I also learned today that the reason we focus on this on Nov. 25th of all days is because it was the day that the Mirabel sisters were killed in the DR in 1960.  It was proclaimed as a day of action by activists in '81 and recognized by the UN in '99).

botín de guerra: war trophy

"El cuerpo de la mujer no es botín de guerra" is a slogan of the Ruta Pacifica de Mujeres in Colombia. This photo is from their mobilization in Nov. 07 where they shut down the border between Colombia and Ecuador to highlight how many women are being forced to flee their homes and cross that border, and how war particularly affects women.

When I first heard this slogan the term that came to me in the moment was war booty, which not only sounds like pirates, but makes you think of women's butts! Clearly one to avoid. So my next thought was spoils of war, but that is a much higher register in English and sounds ridiculous in a chant. Women's bodies are not war trophies, now that seems to do it.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

plantón: protest camp (Mex), demonstration (Col)

In Mexico a plantón is a somewhat long term encampment, a protest camp occupy style. The Mexican teachers union (the largest union in the Americas) annually during contract negotiations does a plantón in the main plaza in Mexico city, and this year they were violently ousted by riot camps.

Thanks to my colleague Eric for pointing out to me that in Colombia the word is used quite differently, to refer simply to a short demonstration, often in front of a building.  Today a plantón in miniskirts is being held in front of the restaurant Andrés Carne de Res to protest rape culture and the comments by the owner that the young woman raped in his parking lot asked for it.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

sitdown strike: huelga de brazos cruzados (o brazos caidos)

according to wikipedia, "A sit-down strike is a form of civil disobedience in which an organized group of workers, usually employed at a factory or other centralized location, take possession of the workplace by "sitting down" at their stations, effectively preventing their employers from replacing them with strikebreakers or, in some cases, moving production to other locations."

(thanks to Jorge Lawton for the cruzados version, not sure exactly how it varies by country but both should be understandable)