Readers’ Views on What is socialism?; Surviving the prison system; Women fight back; and Exploiting prisoners
A review of “Last Days at Hot Slit: The Radical Feminism of Andrea Dworkin,” edited by Johanna Fateman and Amy Scholder.
What is bringing all reactionary forces together at this moment is the recognition by creatures like Donald Trump that women are the implacable enemy of emerging fascism.
Women Worldwide column on Equal Playing Field organization; 30,000 women marching in South Korea against “molka”; and forced marriage in Sudan.
Adele’s review of Bonnie Morris’ “The Disappearing L,” which takes up why the Lesbian culture of the 1970s through the 1990s is disappearing and what was worthwhile in it.
Review of “Wombs in Labor: Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India,” by Amrita Pande. Pande references divergent feminist viewpoints but studies surrogacy as a form of labor so that she goes beyond moral questions to the question of how a labor market in wombs is created and how the laborers experience this market.
Review by feminist Adele of Andi Zeisler’s book, We Were Feminists Once: from Riot Grrrl to Covergirl®, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement, exploring how a once revolutionary feminism is being taken over by “marketplace feminism.”
In 1995 Andi Zeisler
The late Revolutionary Olga Domanski is remembered for reminding us that Absolute Method is the only way for feminism, as part of a totally new society built on truly human foundations, to be completely realized.
Eyewitness report of a trip to Rojava in Syria in mid-2015.
ACT UP Chicago grew out of an organization that began in 1984 of Dykes and Gay Men Against Racism and Repression. We became an AIDS activism organization, first called Chicago For Our Rights, then by spring Chicago for AIDS Rights. We pushed for lowering the prices of AIDS drugs, and the release of more of them. By October and the national action in Washington, D.C., we had become ACT UP Chicago. AIDS is a global issue today. This time around, I’d like to see an AIDS activist movement that’s organized by poor, working-class, mostly people of color.
In the absence of successful social revolution, today’s total crisis is shown in a world capitalist order that is falling apart economically, politically, environmentally, and in thought. That does not mean that we can wait for capitalism to collapse and step aside for a new society. On the contrary. Its desperation makes it that much more vicious, and it threatens to doom all of humanity with it.
Revolt and Counter-Revolution, from Greece to Syria; Here Come the Reformers; Women’s Freedom; Against Racism
Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution by Laurie Penny (Bloomsbury Publishing Plc., 2014) describes how neoliberalism is the new face of capitalist patriarchy. Even feminism has been repackaged once again as the opportunity for middle-class women to climb the corporate ladder and earn more money with which to buy more products.
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.
The 20th “Conference of Parties” was held in Lima, Peru, and, rather than action, issued a “Call for Climate Action” without binding commitments or effective monitoring. The U.S. and other nations as good as admitted the bankruptcy of capitalism by arguing that binding commitments had no chance of being adopted.
“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. [=>]
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 [=>]
Protect Aminetou Mint El-Moctar in Mauritania; female genital mutilation in the U.S.; Maryam Mirzakhani is the first woman to win “Nobel Prize of mathematics.”
Review of “Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement” by Sarah Erdreich
Oppression of women in tech industry; El Salvador demonstrations over miscarriage jailings; Brazilian Stop the Catcalls project.
LABOR AND IMMIGRATION
On April 8, about 100 people, the majority young Latinas/os, gathered in front of Los Angeles City Hall to protest the deportation of immigrants. Obama’s administration has aggressively deported 2,000,000 immigrants. We held signs reading: “Not Even One More!” and “No Separation of Family!” Separation of family members has serious adverse effects [=>]
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.
Review by Adele of “Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels,” by Sikivu Hutchinson (Infidel Books, 2013).
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.
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.
Readers’ Views from the March-April 2014 issue of News & Letters, part 2.
Women worldwide, March-April 2014: Sexism in chemistry profession; Shulamit Aloni; Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina of Pussy Riot.
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 [=>]
Michael Gilbert reviews “Stay Solid! A Radical Handbook for Youth.”
Doris Lessing; Margherita Hack; gender segregation at UK universities
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.
The way we construct experience with language has effects on its transmission and on the configuration of subjectivity, not only in aesthetics and ethics, but also in understanding politics. That is the case in the crimes committed against women in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua and other states in Mexico.
Women Worldwide: Ada Lovelace Day; Diana Nyad; FEMEN
Review of “Christian Nation: a Novel” by Frederic C. Rich, a work of speculative fiction in which the religious Right takes over the U.S., turning it into a brutally totalitarian state.
Women are not only fighters in Sudan’s battles to overthrow al-Bashir, but they are also determined to continue the great tradition of women of the Arab Spring: to make sure that their revolution does not stop until all human relationships are transformed.
Readers’ Views, September-October 2013, Part I
Close to 2,000 people rallied in Chicago against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
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.”
Women Worldwide: Turkey anti-fundamentalist demonstrations; Egypt sexual violence; California in vitro fertilization; Saudi Arabia segregation.
Review of The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption by Kathryn Joyce, which explores the religious Right’s renewed enthusiasm for domestic and international adoption.
Latin America in View, Sept.-Oct. 2013: Ecuador oil drilling; Brazil rapes; Mexico Escuelita Zapatista.
For Egyptian women to experience freedom, the revolution has to continue, and for that to happen the revolutionaries have to oppose both Morsi and Sisi’s bloodthirsty military and fight for the vision of a new society that sustained them in Tahrir Square.
On April 9 rallies were held across the U.S. to mark the day women’s earnings catch up to what men’s were at the end of 2012.
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.
Tunisia, Syria and Egypt show the determination of the masses to continue their revolutions in the face of vicious counter-revolution.
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.