The Clitoraid Campaign now has its own campaign page. You can find full details of the events leading up to the start of the campaign to the present at http://bit.ly/9okGBF

 

 

I  decided to create a separate page chronicling the story of our collective engagement with Clitoraid because I hope that archiving a history will offer a context for the next wave of mobilization against the Raelian cult and its activities especially in Africa.  This is NOT THE DEFINITIVE STORY of the challenge to Clitoraid and I welcome any contributions to create as broad and detailed a picture as possible.

While I’ve tried as best as possible to list the events chronologically, life is never as linear and tidy as we’d like it :)

  • I first heard of Clitoraid on March 29th.  I was actually in the midst of teaching my African Politics class when I glanced down at my computer and saw a tweet about it from Maneno.  I showed the website to my class and we had a fabulous discussion of the problems with their approach.
  • A week latter I still couldn’t get Clitoraid out of my mind but the more I read about them the more disturbed I became. On Monday April 5th  I decided to make a quick call to Good Vibrations to confirm that they knew they had made a mistake in their decision to support Clitoraid and that they were re-thinking their approach.  Camilla Lombard, their Events and Publicity manager confirmed that they had decided to downplay their knowledge that Clitoraid was a project of the Raelian cult and dismissed me and my concerns with demand for proof that Clitoraid was problematic.  After the call at 10.46am I tweeted: called goodvibes who funded clitoraid. Responded to with requests for scientific evidence. No African women consulted. What to do now?
  • It made sense to me to ask Good Vibrations to drop their support of Clitoraid because they are a San Francisco based company that I had long supported.  The store and their philosophy of sexual pleasure as a birthright for all was a key element of my feminist awakening in college and frankly, I felt betrayed by their lack of sensitivity to African women in the clitoris adoptions.  Further, it made sense to engage them because I too am based in San Francisco so even thought the larger conversation we were having was a global one, there was a major local element for me.
  • crafted an email to Camilla Lombard about why their support of Clitoraid was problematic.  I decided to copy to everyone whose email address was available on their website because I knew it would be easy for Camilla, as an individual, to ignore my critique and never pass on the word within the organization..........

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Thanks, Sokari, for the update. Your link to the campaign page didn't save correctly - here's the correct link which I then also updated in your post: http://savingafrica.wordpress.com/clitoraid/ 

I think this is a terrific case study in citizen action that is worth studying by anyone interested in digital activism. Be sure to click through to read the full story which is only excerpted in Sokari's post on Kabissa. 

The features that I found interesting: 

  • one person, Wanjiru, drove the process and achieved the result with the help of many other outraged people around the world
  • the campaign was successful, I think, because Wanjiru took on a hyperlocal aspect of the case - she lived in San Francisco and decided to target an organization she knows and supports in San Francisco that supported Clitoraid

I would be interested to see how the story continues, and what the impact will be on the Clitoraid project itself which presumably continues its activities in Africa. 

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