Readers’ Views: facing far right’s threat; don’t scapegoat; Canadian strike; Transgender troops; women’s liberation; homeless in Los Angeles; defend dissidents; why read N&L.
Readers’ Views on: environmental and social crises; Martin Luther King Day; healthcare crisis, Donald Trump and the election; brutal “justice”; and who reads News & Letters.
The lightning move by Republicans in Congress to prepare to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare—before Donald Trump even took office, with only the vaguest idea of what is to replace it, and with full knowledge that a large majority of Americans oppose the repeal of its most important provisions—gave a sign of how far the new single-party government intends to roll the clock back, with dizzying speed.
Foregrounding the new formal solidarity between Trust Black Women with Black Lives Matter, we explore the thought and actions of women worldwide, including the struggle for reproductive justice in the U.S.; women fighting war and terrorism in places like South Sudan and Syria, the successful fight of domestic workers to organize, and the need to make the revolutionary content of such actions explicit.
demonstration supporting reproductive justice and Planned Parenthood
Is Caitlyn Jenner who is for taking away access to birth control, locking up our children and friends in prisons, denying full equality and autonomy to other LGBTQ people, supports war, deportation raids and all kinds of other evil stuff somebody who we should support?
From the November-December 2014 issue of News & Letters
Pro by Katha Pollitt is a wake-up call to the pro-choice movement to reclaim abortion as a positive social good. Ever since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion, we have allowed religious Right rhetoric to sneak into our own discussions so that even we now [=>]
The U.S. government took an ominous, reactionary political turn in the 2014 midterm elections, with Republicans taking control of the Senate. Extreme pro-war Senators like Joni Ernst in Iowa and Tom Cotton in Arkansas join veterans like Senator “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” John McCain, who will now control the Armed Services Committee and is hell-bent for new “boots on the ground” in Syria and Iraq. The whole Republican campaign—including these pro-war, pro-fossil-fuel, pro-“fetus is a person” candidates—ran on a cynically deceptive anti-Obama mantra….
The war against birth control is a war against the idea that women are actually human beings who have a right to control their fertility and plan when and if to have a child.
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2014-2015: From the U.S. to Ukraine, crises and revolts call for philosophy. II. Revolt and retrogression at home. A. Women under attack. B. Many dimensions of revolt
May-June 2014 News & Letters online: “From the U.S. to Ukraine, crises and revolts call for philosophy”; “Unchaining the revolutionary dialectic”; much more…
While experiences in the squares of the Arab Spring, in Turkey’s Gezi Park, in the streets of Spain and Greece, and in the U.S. Occupy Movements have revealed moments of what new human relations between women and men could look like, those moments of hope and exhilaration have been followed by devastating reaction and retrogression.
Sweetening the Pill: or How We Got Hooked on Hormonal Birth Control by Holly Grigg-Spall has provoked controversy among feminists, especially over its contention that the birth control pill and other hormonal contraception are unsafe.
World in View
by Gerry Emmett
Ex-Pope Benedict’s reactionary career
Pope Benedict XVI’s sudden resignation announcement on Feb. 11 took the world by surprise. It is the first time in almost 600 years that a Pope has decided to quit. He has announced that he will continue to live in the Vatican, bearing the title “Pope emeritus,” and [=>]
by Terry Moon
Two recent events have shown the deep and seemingly intractable worldwide oppression of women and, at the same time, revealed women’s militancy and determination to change their oppressive reality. First was the vicious gang rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey at the end of the year on a Delhi, India, bus. This [=>]
Chicago—On Oct. 20 dozens of determined women and some men demonstrated against the war on women, this time spearheaded by the Catholic hierarchy in cahoots with crazy anti-abortion, anti-birth control fanatics. This was the same bunch who came out on June 8 (see “Fighting the war against women,” July- Aug. 2012 N&L) to try to [=>]
by Franklin Dmitryev
The two worlds of the rulers and the ruled shone through the suffocating blanket of propaganda surrounding the election in which Barack Obama won a second term. A pronounced gender gap and long lines at the polls in African-American and Latino areas reflected the determination to defeat the reactionary Republicans and retain the [=>]
The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women, by Elisabeth Badinter
The Conflict is a brief overview of its subject that occasionally makes poorly supported generalizations, but it has sparked an important debate within feminism. Badinter criticizes not motherhood itself, but the new trend of “attachment parenting” (AP) which involves spending as much time [=>]
Chicago–On June 8 about 30 determined activists for reproductive justice faced off around 800 anti-abortion, anti-birth control fanatics. The fanatics acted like thugs, sending people to our demonstration with their signs to try and block us from view and to start arguments, or try to record pro-choice demonstrators. Many times police had to order them [=>]
To mark the 20th anniversary of the original “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro, here is what I wrote about it at the time (from the July 1992 News & Letters):
Ideological pollution at ‘Earth Summit’
by Franklin Dmitryev
The UN Conference on Environment and Development (or Earth Summit) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, began June 3 with [=>]
From the May-June 2012 issue of News & Letters:
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2012-2013
II. In the belly of the beast
A. Occupy and anti-Occupy
The very new phenomenon of the Occupy Movement brought this moment of revolutionary new beginnings squarely to the U.S. Though not now a revolution, it nevertheless transformed the political atmosphere in the [=>]
Chicago—On Feb. 23 women’s health advocates gathered at 230 S. Dearborn downtown at 12:45 PM, in front of Senator Richard Durbin’s office to demonstrate support for women’s access to health insurance that covers birth control, regardless of where we work.
The gathering was organized by the Illinois Choice Action Team, the all-volunteer group representing NARAL Pro-Choice [=>]
Woman as Reason
by Terry Moon
Over 40 years ago, 12 Boston women got together to talk about women’s health. This was in 1969, when no one talked about women’s sexuality. Abortion was illegal and birth control had been legalized nationally—for married couples—only in 1965. [=>]
The depths of this society’s inhumanity have been laid bare by the intensity of the war on women’s bodies, minds and lives. Poor women are taking the brunt as those in power in state and federal governments mount an assault so reactionary that birth control, something considered a settled fact of life, is actually in [=>]
Syrian revolution fights Assad’s genocide, world powers watch
The Syrian Revolution is a serious challenge to the order in the region and beyond. Israel, Iran, and Saudi Arabia all have much to lose from the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad’s Baathist family dynasty, as do their imperialist patrons.
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya
Women as thinkers and revolutionaries
OFFICIAL CALL FOR CONVENTION
to Work Out Marxist-Humanist Perspectives for 2012-2013
February 26, 2012
To All Members of News and Letters Committees
Where we must begin is with the world in upheaval, from Occupy Wall Street to Arab Spring, still going after more than a year.
Nothing better shows the old order’s bloody desperation to prevent a [=>]
by Terry Moon
The racist U.S. Right has used the specter of terrorism in attacking Muslim religious law, Sharia, as a way to build and deepen fear of all Muslims and forward their reactionary agenda of racism against all minorities, sexism, and anti-immigrationism. Genuine feminist organizations like the decades-old Women Living Under Muslim Laws and the [=>]
Woman as Reason
by Terry Moon
The Pope made quite a splash a few months ago with his comments in Peter Seewald’s book Light of the World, where he grudgingly accepted the use of condoms in extremely limited situations: “there may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a [=>]
Participants at the 25th National Gathering of Women in Paraná, Argentina, denounced physical attacks on feminists by right-wing Catholics who infiltrated their workshops on “Women, Contraception, and Abortion,” resulting in injuries. Feminists shouting “No More!” physically ousted the anti-abortion fanatics. That same night, thousands of women marched, singing chants against the dictatorship of the [=>]
The FDA has officially approved the morning-after contraceptive ella.
(See pdf of National Women’s Health Network testimony for more background.)
In the article below, from the July-August 2010 issue of News & Letters, Terry Moon examines the fundamental questions raised by the politics of contraceptives and of the medical establishment’s relationship to women.
Woman as Reason