Chilean women won a limited but important victory Aug. 21., when the Constitutional Tribunal ruled to legalize abortion in three situations: rape, incest, and when the woman’s life is in danger.
An in-depth Marxist-Humanist view of the state of the women’s movement in the U.S. and worldwide as it responds to the rising fascism of U.S. President Trump and other world leaders.
Women’s Liberationist Terry Moon writes about the revolutionary force and reason of Syrian women including those in Raqqa fighting ISIS, in East Aleppo fighting Bashar al-Assad, in Salamiya and Daraya–documenting the forms they chose to fight for freedom.
Women’s news worldwide including a march against rape culture in cities in Canada; a march across Israel for peace by Israeli and Palestinian women; and South African teenagers challenging health clinics to give young women contraceptive information.
As women in the U.S. face a bleak future when it comes to abortion rights, they can learn from Polish women who recently stopped anti-abortion legislation in its tracks, showing the need for revolutionary thought and activity.
From the September-October 2016 issue of News & Letters
Women have been fighting for our freedom for centuries and yet we are still raped, beaten, enslaved–treated as less than human. We will never be free under capitalism, which has only made women’s lives worse and now threatens our existence [=>]
Women and men showed their opposition to rape culture and support for victims of sexual harassment, assault and rape by marching in the annual Slut Walk, in Chicago.
A view of what the failed coup in Turkey has wrought, including mass arrests of teachers, trade unionists, doctors, medical personnel, and others as Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, makes a grab for total power.
Readers’ Views on Hate: Orlando to Brexit; Black Lives Matter; Muhammad Ali and Dr. King; Duterte in the Philippines; News & Letters Readers Unite!; and Deadly Assault on Women From the U.S. to Israel.
Terry Moon explores how the rape of a woman by a Stanford University student can become a turning point, rather than a stopping point, in the struggle to end rape culture, and the necessity for revolution to be total from the start and to be permanent.
Stanford University students protest the light sentence given to the rapist of a woman student; Nepalese girls and the charity WaterAid create a photo exhibit documenting unjust restrictions during menstruation and childbirth; Amina Zioual and her feminist organization, The Voice of the Amazigh Woman, fight against patriarchal customs and sharia law.
Part II of the Draft Perspectives 2016: The worldwide war against women includes attacks on abortion rights, counter-revolution in Egypt, attacks on women by UN troops. Women celebrated International Women’s day in Turkey and other countries.
Contents: Introduction; I. Discontent, revolt and reaction in the U.S.; II. The worldwide war against women; III. Chinese labor in revolt; IV. Counter-revolution and revolution in the Middle East and North Africa; V. Toward organizational new beginnings. The fact that the old, crumbling order will not go away quietly explains why we print the Marxist-Humanist Draft Perspectives in the pages of the paper of News and Letters Committees. It is an open window onto the needed philosophy of revolution, without which all revolutions and freedom movements remain incomplete.
An article by a formerly incarcerated person who gives a critical review of a conference on the criminal (in)justice system that leaves out the heart of the issue because it leaves out those most impacted by incarceration.
Official Call for national gathering of News and Letters Committees to work out Marxist-Humanist perspectives for 2016-2017
Article outlining the seriously flawed agreement between the governments of Japan and South Korea regarding the so-called “comfort women,” actually women kidnapped into sexual slavery to serve Japanese Soldiers during World War II. The article includes the list of demands of the surviving women who were left out of the agreement’s negotiations.
Readers’ thoughts on “Srebrenica, Bosnia, 1995; Europe and the World, 2015”; “Struggles against Racism”; “After Cecil, People Are Next”; “Teachers and Children”; “Workers, Customers Pay.”
Report of a meeting of over 200 Transgender people, their allies and a handful of elected officials who came together at Hostos College in the Bronx in late July for a city- wide conference on the status and situation of Transgender people in New York City.
From the signing of a nuclear weapons agreement by the U.S. and Iran, to the ongoing war in Syria including the roles of Turkey and of the Left, this wide-ranging article delves into the Middle East situation with an emphasis on the forces fighting for genuine freedom and a multi-ethnic society.
The video of Cpl. Eric Casebolt’s June 5 attack on Dejerria Becton and other kids at a pool party in McKinney, Texas, went viral because it was simultaneously shocking and commonplace. In 2015 USA, protests were inevitable and were heard around the world.
Now there is the convening in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on May 7 of the Women’s Court on war crimes against women during the war in the 1990s. Women came together from all corners of the former Yugoslavia to demand justice for the crimes committed against them during the wars and the suffering that followed.
Worldwide, the refugee crisis is unprecedented and is fueled by war, terrorism and climate change. The worldwide response is paltry with country after country turning away or deporting frantic and desperate people in search of a safe haven.
New York—Police here have been told to halt stop-and-frisk policies because they unfairly target Black and Latino youth. But the Transgender community in Jackson Heights, New York, is undergoing its own particular form of stop and frisk. Trans women, especially Trans women of color, are stopped on a daily basis, told that they have to submit to a search (which they don’t) and if they are found in possession of a condom (which is legal) they are arrested for loitering or prostitution.
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry is a documentary of the women’s liberation movement (WLM) in the U.S., from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. Filmmaker Mary Dore used a wealth of historical news coverage to give a sense of the breadth of organizations and depth of demands in the explosive growth of the WLM. Activists, identified within archival footage—including women like Fran Beal of the Civil Rights Movement’s Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lesbian rights activist Karla Jay, and Judith Arcana of the abortion underground organization Jane—gave contemporary interviews interspersed in the film.
UltraViolet, a mostly online petition-generating organization, recently went out into the real world by holding 25 or so “meet and greet” events in 15 different states. The one I went to was on the north side of Chicago.
Another savage sexual assault and murder—this time in Turkey—brought forth thousands of demonstrators, mostly women, throughout the country and beyond. Özgecan Aslan was a student taking a bus home. Worldwide, women are not only railing against sexism and challenging men to change what is often deadly behavior and when not deadly, deeply oppressive; they are as well explicitly extending their critique to the state itself.
Preview of article on women’s oppression and freedom struggles worldwide for March-April issue. Comment now so that your thoughts can be taken into account in the finished article.
From Ferguson to Staten Island; Revolutionary Rojava; Youth Protest; Violence Against Women; Detroit Solidarity; Paris March; Recalling Mary Jo
“Men Explain Things to Me” by Rebecca Solnit is a book of seven essays that eloquently describe how patriarchy attempts to distract us from the fact that seemingly isolated incidents and seemingly separate oppressions are part of a system of profound and devastating violence.
From the November-December 2014 issue of News & Letters
Readers’ Views, Part 1
WOMEN FIGHT RAPE, HARASSMENT AND ABUSE
When I voted, many posters reminded folks that within 100 feet of the polling place you may not “interrupt” a person, nor “harass” nor even speak about your political views. [=>]
Thuma and Kaba focused on reviving a strong movement against the imprisonment of women who have defended themselves against violence—who have injured or killed men who raped and/or abused them. They presented as a model the defense of women of color in the 1970s, like the campaigns for Joanne Little, Inez Garcia and Yvonne Wanrow, all prosecuted for killing men who had attacked them or their children. (All three spoke for themselves in News & Letters.)…
The vicious gang rape and murder of a young student, Jyoti Singh Pandey, on a Delhi, India, bus in December 2012 was the moment when Indian women’s simmering anger boiled over into rage and a determination to transform society…. Now another militant movement against abuse of women has erupted in Kolkata (Calcutta), where over 100,000 people marched on Sept. 20 for women’s freedom and against police violence. This new eruption began on Aug. 28 when a woman student at Jadavpur University was sexually assaulted and the University’s response was worse than insufficient….
The explosive advances of the army of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), crossing from Syria into northern and central Iraq, have brought deeper miseries to the Iraqi people who might have expected they had already endured the worst, including the effects of U.S. imperialist policy. Atrocities from mass shootings and beheadings to systematic kidnapping and rapes of women—that the world and U.S. foreign policy ignored when IS carried them out against anti-Assad revolutionaries in Syria—in Iraq no longer remained hidden.
Since the beginnings of the Women’s Liberation Movement in the early 1960s, we have been fighting rape, and rape culture. Finally, 50 years later, a U.S. president issued some mild recommendations on how to fight rape on college campuses, and two Democratic women have introduced legislation to make colleges more accountable for preventing and dealing with campus rapes.
When you are despised for who you are, as those murdered by Elliot Rodger were—and women are not the only ones on a list that includes any differently sexed person, immigrants and all minorities but especially Blacks, people with disabilities, and that’s only in the U.S.—then a revolution has to be more than an economic change, it even has to be more than “from each according to his or her ability, to each according to his or her need.” Revolution has to be so deep and total that all human relationships are transformed. To do so, it must be total from the start…
Women’s Memorial March in Canada, and Save Wiyabi Project; premiere of docudrama film “¡PODER!” on girls in Concepcion Chiquirichapa, Guatemala; Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s “Stop Telling Me to Smile” project.
Violence continues in the Central African Republic. French troops are present, but not heavily involved in peacekeeping. The French were never in CAR for humanitarian reasons, but to protect investments, something that has become less pressing for them with the closure of their once-profitable Areva uranium mine.
Narendra Modi states openly that his program will be to unleash “free market” reform coupled with authoritarianism in government. Modi’s history tells us what his authority portends: the massacre of 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat.
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.
News and Letters Committees has posted its
OFFICIAL CALL FOR CONVENTION
to Work Out Marxist-Humanist Perspectives for 2014-2015
February 23, 2014
To All Members of News and Letters Committees
The sharpness of revolution and counter-revolution contending now, while the prolonged global capitalist economic crisis refuses to end, cries out for a philosophical [=>]
Queer Notes: Discrimination in Russia; Intersex in Germany; no prison for rape in Iowa; transition surgery in Iran; Lembembe murdered in Cameroon.
Latin America in View, Sept.-Oct. 2013: Ecuador oil drilling; Brazil rapes; Mexico Escuelita Zapatista.
We are living in contradictory times, especially when it comes to women’s struggle for freedom. On the one hand you have a Women’s Liberation Movement that has never been more radical, unified and global. On the other hand there is more repression, and the violence is more brutal and deadly than ever before.
It is instructive to compare the 1990s, when pretty much only the women’s movement gave vocal support to Bosnia, with Syria today. Some of the same crimes are happening now.
The rulers are not about to sit back and let revolt freely develop. All sorts of reactionary ideas and attitudes have been ushered into the mainstream of politics and the media.
AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY
When the Green Movement started in Iran over the 2009 election, the so-called leaders were part of the government who were against Ahmadinejad. The growth of the movement of women and youth got so big it became “out of control” by the so-called leaders. The government leaders got scared because [=>]
We do not believe that the state is taking the rape and murder of Thandiswa Qubuda seriously. The state holds poor people in contempt. We are just voting fodder to them. We are not human beings to them. It is clear that the leadership in the struggle against rape will have to come from below. It is time for real action against rape.
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 [=>]
The March-April 2013 issue of News & Letters is available on the web.
News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 2
March – April 2013
From India to Egypt to U.S., women fighting for freedom
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 [=>]
RAVAGES OF CAPITALISM SHOW NEED FOR NEW WORLD
The article on “Climate chaos and capitalism” (Sept.-Oct. 2012 N&L) is very relevant, especially the conclusion about how capitalism’s contradiction is that the growth of the economy, of capitalist production, means more global warming and climate change worldwide.
Activist for humans and environment
The technologies we [=>]