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.
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.
“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
In Guatemala, the Mayan Women’s Movement (MWM), a part of the Council of K’itche People, works with trade unions and farmers to stop mining, hydroelectric dams, monoculture crops, mega-tourism, and infrastructure-building by corporations that destroy natural resources and push them [=>]
In June the U.S. Supreme Court will decide if buffer zones around clinics that offer abortion are a violation of freedom of speech. Court watchers say they look ready to rule the zones illegal. That would be a tragedy.
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.
A pedestrian walking by our clinic summed up the absurdity of anti-abortionists: “Why would you take life advice from someone screaming standing on a sidewalk corner?!”
A.H., Clinic escort
Here’s my favorite quote from our favorite protester this morning “I bet you guys voted for that Halfrican American Obama!” What is wrong [=>]
Readers’ Views from Nov.-Dec. 2013 N&L: U.S. RACISM AND BLACK AND LATINO STRUGGLES; LABOR UNDER ATTACK; CTA vs. THE HOMELESS; DISABILITY AND HUMANITY; ABORTION IS A HUMAN NEED; EGYPT’S CONTRADICTIONS; DETROIT CRISIS; NUCLEAR PERIL; WHY A NEWSPAPER LIKE N&L?
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.
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 [=>]
With lightning swiftness a super-majority of Michigan lame-duck Republicans passed a series of oppressive bills at the end of December. Defying voters’ expressed views, they passed an anti-union “right-to-work” law, an anti-abortion bill and a dictatorial emergency manager act. This was accomplished despite a record number–over 12,500–of protestors who stormed and occupied the legislative chamber [=>]
Uprisings in Egypt and Syria confront counter-revolution
Slightly over two years since the beginning of Egypt’s revolution, those heady days can seem distant. The current government of Mohamed Morsi was able to push through a reactionary Constitution. It includes anti-working class Articles allowing for child labor and forced labor, in certain circumstances; limits the right to [=>]
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 [=>]
In July, Cairo, Egypt, launched a new TV channel called Maria employing only niqab-clad women. The employees use the rhetoric of empowerment, stating this is a response to discrimination in hiring women who wear the fundamentalist garments covering all but the eyes. However, the channel’s owner, Abu Islam Abdallah, stated he founded it [=>]
Port Louis, Mauritius—LALIT is the only political party that has, over the decades, campaigned for abortion decriminalization, and finally, in June, Parliament passed a new Abortion Law to replace the 1838 total [=>]
by Terry Moon
Everyone has heard—and a great many rightly condemned—the unconscionable statement by Missouri Republican Congressman and Senate hopeful Todd Akin: “from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” he said, referring to pregnancy from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing [=>]
In May, delegations of Japanese officials came to Palisades Park, N.J., where more than half the community is of Korean descent, to request the removal of a memorial to the Korean “comfort women.” They shockingly claimed that the more than 200 women, who were forced to be sex slaves for the Japanese military [=>]
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 [=>]
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
Over 300 people packed the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg, Penn., on Sept. 28 calling for the defeat of two bills, one requiring abortion clinics to become outpatient surgery clinics and one banning state-run health insurance providers from covering abortion. Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal told the crowd, “This (legislation) is not about [=>]
Unite Here, a union for service workers, has filed charges against the management of Hyatt Hotels for turning heat lamps on hotel housekeepers picketing the Chicago Hyatt for safer jobs in July in near 100 degree temperatures. Nearly all hotel housekeepers are women and most are women of color and immigrants. After downsizing, they [=>]
Chicago–Twice in April, Chicagoans took to the streets to protest the presence of hate and ignorance in the Windy City.
On April 2, the Chicago-based, Catholic anti-choice group, Pro-Life Action League (PLAL), hosted a tribute dinner for Joe Scheidler at the Merchandise Mart Holiday Inn. Scheidler is a well-known bigot who is not just anti-choice, but [=>]
From the new issue of NEWS & LETTERS, May-June 2011:
Woman as Reason
Abortion and the Left
by Terry Moon
Our Draft for Perspectives in this issue contains these paragraphs: “It is not only that women’s human rights are under siege by the U.S. Congress and state legislators, it is that the barriers put up, the requirements women face, are themselves [=>]
From the new issue of NEWS & LETTERS, May-June 2011
Part II of
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2011-2012
Revolution and counter-revolution take world stage
- I. The Arab Spring
- II. The wars at home
- III. Japan: earthquake, tsunami and meltdown
- IV. Revolution, organization and philosophy
- V. Marxist-Humanist Tasks
(Part I was posted yesterday. Parts III through V to come in the next few days)
II. The [=>]
Chicago–Feb. 26 was International Walk for Choice day, made urgent in the U.S. by the inhuman legislation pending in Congress (see article this page). Besides Chicago, Walks–really demonstrations–were held from coast to coast in more than 50 cities, from Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Cruz in California, to New York City; from Olympia, Washington, [=>]
During February, the Republican Party has led the largest legislative attack on women’s reproductive rights and health in recent history. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed several bills that, if passed by the Senate and signed by the President, would have a devastating impact on women’s health as well as abortion rights. One would [=>]
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 [=>]