A roundup of women’s actions worldwide including: feminists jailed in China before International Women’s Day; the unfair and punitive jailing of Purvi Patel for having a miscarriage; the fightback against the increase in sexist, racist, homophobic and classist harassment in Sci-Fi fandom; and the women’s hunger and work strike against terrible conditions at the Karnes Detention Center in Texas for migrant women and children.
Review of ‘She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry’
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 goes liveMarch 7, 2015
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.
From Turkey to USA, women as force & reason fight inhumanityMarch 5, 2015
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.
Özgecan Aslan: Sexual assault and murder in Turkey spark widespread outrage, demonstrationsFebruary 17, 2015
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.
Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights — a reviewNovember 22, 2014
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 [=>]
Racist election deepens reactionary direction of U.S.November 20, 2014
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….
Readers’ Views, September-October 2014, Part IAugust 31, 2014
From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters
U.S. CRISES: RACISM, POLICE, LABOR STRUGGLES
New York News and Letters Committee prepared a flyer on Eric Garner (see: “NYC Police murder Eric Garner” this issue) headlined: “Wanted For Murder: Daniel Pantaleo.” It denounced the fact that the cops who killed Garner are [=>]
Women fight for freedom against growing retrogressionMarch 13, 2014
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.
War against abortion is war against women (Readers’ Views)March 8, 2014
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 [=>]
Review: Sweetening the PillFebruary 17, 2014
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.
Readers’ Views, Nov.-Dec. 2013, Part 1December 14, 2013
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?
Readers’ Views, September-October 2013, Part IOctober 11, 2013
Readers’ Views, September-October 2013, Part I
Rise Up TexasSeptember 27, 2013
An overflow crowd at Bluestockings Bookstore in New York City heard Hallie Boas speak on “Come and Take It: How the Fight to Protect Wom¬en’s Healthcare Is Launching a New Wave of Feminism in Texas.”
The politics of degenerate capitalismMay 2, 2013
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.
From India to Egypt to U.S., women fighting for freedomMarch 17, 2013
From the March-April 2013 issue of News & Letters
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 [=>]
Undoing Michigan electionFebruary 6, 2013
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 [=>]
Abortion rights actionDecember 18, 2012
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 [=>]
Obama’s re-election doesn’t end clash of two worldsNovember 26, 2012
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 [=>]
Readers’ Views, September-October 2012, Part 1October 15, 2012
CAPITALIST CRISIS AND REVOLT
I appreciated Franklin Dmitryev’s Lead article in the July-August N&L, on “Spain, Greece, Europe: Capitalist crisis and revolt,” for showing how the so-called “radical Left” is not really so radical. They think they can solve things through managing the economy and redistributing wealth, and channel energy into politics.
The boldfaced paragraph in the [=>]
Abortion victory is won in MauritiusSeptember 25, 2012
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 [=>]
Woman as Reason: Retrogression’s stenchSeptember 23, 2012
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 [=>]
Women Worldwide, July-August 2012July 25, 2012
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 [=>]
Fighting the war against womenJuly 15, 2012
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 [=>]
Komen and capital vs. self-developmentMarch 24, 2012
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. [=>]
New attacks on women take fascistic turnMarch 20, 2012
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 [=>]
March-April 2012 News & Letters is onlineMarch 13, 2012
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
Women Worldwide, Nov.-Dec. 2011December 1, 2011
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 [=>]
Women World Wide, September-October 2011September 28, 2011
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 [=>]
Women as Reason: No power for bishops or mullahs!September 24, 2011
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 [=>]
July -August 2011 Readers’ ViewsSeptember 2, 2011
From the July-August 2011 issue of News & Letters:
- AS REVOLUTION AND COUNTER-REVOLUTION TAKE WORLD STAGE
- CHINESE ART PROJECT
- HEALTHCARE IN 2011
- NEW RIGHT=OLD LEFT?
- FREEDOM RIDES, 50 YEARS AFTER
- WOMEN’S LIBERATION SPEAKS IN MANY VOICES
- BURMA AND NORTH KOREA
- FIGHTING FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
- VOICES FROM BEHIND THE BARS
AS REVOLUTION AND COUNTER-REVOLUTION TAKE WORLD STAGE
Congratulations on a fine May-June issue. Thanks especially for [=>]
Review of UnplannedAugust 4, 2011
Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line by Abby Johnson with Cindy Lambert (SaltRiver, 2011).
The religious Right has hailed Unplanned as an anti-abortion classic for a new era. It signals more cooperation between ultra-conservative Catholics and evangelicals. The book claims that newer anti-abortion protesters are non-violent [=>]
Hate out of Chicago!May 20, 2011
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 [=>]
Abortion and the LeftMay 16, 2011
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 [=>]
The wars at homeMay 8, 2011
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 [=>]
Readers’ Views (March-April 2011)April 2, 2011
THE MIDDLE EAST EXPLODES: WHAT HAPPENS AFTER?
The Middle East events are bringing lots of people to talk about 1979 as well as the 2009 movements in Iran. I appreciated Raha’s essay in the Jan.-Feb. issue, Philosophy and Iran’s revolution: Where to now? because it raises the question of what could go wrong right now in [=>]
Walk for Choice 2011March 29, 2011
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, [=>]
Vicious attacks on women’s healthcareMarch 24, 2011
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 [=>]
Women World Wide, Nov.-Dec. 2010December 7, 2010
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 [=>]