Category: Gender & Gender Politics

The State of the Sudanese & Algerian Uprisings: Livestream Event, June 1

What sparked these latest uprisings, and what has made them so successful thus far? What are the balance of forces today in Algeria and Sudan? And what has changed since 2011 that may allow for a different outcome than the bleak reality we have seen across the Middle East for the past six years?

A State of Terror

Sara Henríquez feels betrayed. As a student in the 1980s, she spent all her spare time working towards the Nicaraguan revolution, as a Sandinista youth and university leader, as part of the ‘literacy crusade’ and harvesting coffee and . . .

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The #MeToo Movement in the Middle East

The #MeToo movement against sexual assault and rape has animated women throughout the world.  In the Middle East too, despite the wars led by authoritarian states, various imperialist powers,  and extremist religious fundamentalist forces, a #MeToo movement is rising. How . . .

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The Key to the Key: A Socialist Feminist Rank-and-File Strategy

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Kim Moody’s “Rank and File Strategy” has influenced much of DSA’s approach to labor organizing. To draw out what he calls socialist “class consciousness,” Moody recommends fomenting member-led struggles in unions that advance self-empowerment. By joining “transitional organizations,” or rank-and-file reform caucuses such as Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), he believes, workers gain experience directly confronting management over working conditions. These organizations prepare workers for larger fights to come.

Cancel Kavanaugh – Walkout October 4th

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CANCEL KAVANAUGH. WALK OUT AGAINST PATRIARCHY.
WE ARE SURVIVORS, BELIEVE US.

An Israeli twist on homophobia and racism

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At the mass rally held by the LGBT movement at Rabin Square on July 22, 2018, protesters not only demanded to be accepted as different, but also called for full equality. They cried out against the injustice caused by a government that excludes homosexual men from having children through a surrogate mother.

Developing Marx’s Mode of Production Theory

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It is not surprising that Karl Marx is having a comeback today, after the 2008 financial crisis, the growing awareness of capitalism’s propensity to crises and ecological problems, and the fact that global inequality has increased to an obscene degree – all of which Marx foresaw.

Some Reflections on #MeToo

Image#MeToo has seen countless people coming forward with experiences of sexual violence and harassment and has become central to conversations around gendered violence.

Lou Andreas-Salomé vs. The Patriarchy

Film Review

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Lou Andreas-Salomé, The Audacity to Be Free

Directed by Cordula Kablitz-Post, 1 hr. 53 min

Cinema Libre Studios, 2016

This biopic is not subtle. From its opening scene featuring a pyre of books and a frenzied crowd cheering as a manic speaker justifies the burning of Marx, Trotsky, Freud and “everything that is not German” followed by a romp through Lou Andreas-Salomé’s prodigiously intellectual life and her last days as a target of the Nazis, the film is as much about the pain of choosing a vaporous freedom as it is the flailing pursuit of fulfillment by a self-assertive, iconic woman.

Intersectionality and Divergence

My Life in the LGBT and Labor Movements

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Looking back on nearly 25 years of involvement in the LGBT movement, and 45+ years in the labor movement, I am struck by the way those paths have crossed, intertwined and separated over the long term. This arc took me into unexpected territory, where queer identities, once deeply hidden and guarded, have achieved wide mainstream acceptance and support, while organized labor, once powerful and self-confident, now struggles to maintain its existence.

Christian Socialism-From-Above

ImageOn March 19th, 2018, Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi signed into law the earliest abortion ban in the United States, restricting abortions after 15 weeks in the entire state. The day after, the Supreme Court housed debate on the legality of a California law regulating speech at anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers, which required that they present information about affordable abortion, contraception, and prenatal care, and to display signs saying that they are not a licensed medical clinic, in cases where they are not. This has re-ignited debate over the appropriate stance for the left to take on abortion, and whether there is space on the left for anti-abortion views.

Future History: Women’s Revolt Sparks Global Revolution

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The Future Historians’ International Study Group and Collaborative Writing Project has obtained the following excerpts from the 2117 high school history book “Then, Now and How.” The title of this chapter is “#MeToo and the origins of today’s egalitarian society.”

For more information, go to http://futurehistorians.org/doku.php?id=start.

Comfort With Misogyny? Neoliberal Feminism, Reality TV Shows and Politics

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One of the issues that received much discussion after the elections last winter was the fact that an overwhelming number of women voted for Trump despite his misogynistic commentaries and vulgarity. Some analyses espouse that Trump's women voters are victims of sexist and misogynistic views ingrained in the American culture. They, according to the analyses, perceive sexual harassment or misogynistic remarks as an unfortunate behavior that men do and women can tolerate or ignore. While that explanation is truthful it does not highlight some deeper dimensions of the phenomenon. Obviously, Trump's misogynistic remarks were downplayed by his women voters beyond the description "unfortunate." Why were these remarks downplayed ? It seems that in the current media programming in the U.S such remarks are normalized and even exalted.

Weinsteins in the Workplace: Will Unions Be Part of the Solution Or the Problem?

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The exploding national debate about workplace harassment of women by powerful bosses or male co-workers is a great opening for unions to demonstrate their importance as one form of protection against such abuse.

Unfortunately, when unions are not pro-active on this front in their dealings with management or, worse yet, allow bullying or sexual harassment among staff or members, their credibility and appeal as a sword and shield for women (or anybody else) is greatly reduced.

#MeToo

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The #MeToo campaign on social media, women sharing of experiences of sexual harassment, shows how a new generation of women, with male supporters, demands that we examine systemic sexual oppression.  We  will undoubtedly hear complaints that #Me2 is unwarranted. One predictable trope from the Right is what we heard in response to Trump’s pawing and groping: "These are personal matters, not issues that our society has to address. This is life. Get over it." 

So, about this Googler’s manifesto

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On August 5 a Google employee named James Damore published a 3,500 word manifesto entitled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” in which he agued the biological inferiority of women, making them incapable of being equally talented computer engineers. First circulated internally among Google’s thousands of employees, the manifesto was posted in its entirety on the web by Gizmodo on August 5. Google fired Damore, the manifesto’s author, on August 7.

On August 5, Yonatan Zunger, a former Google employee who had only recently left the company, wrote a response to Damore, published by Medium, which we republish here. – DL

Materialism and Feminism: An Interview with Johanna Brenner

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George Souvlis: By way of introduction, could you explain what personal experiences strongly influenced you, both politically and academically?

Johanna Brenner: I grew up in a staunchly liberal family and remained politically liberal until I joined the movement against the Vietnam war, where I was introduced to anti-imperialist politics and then Marxism and “third-camp” socialism. In the late 60’s I was part of the student left that turned toward organizing the working-class. I was a student at UCLA. We organized student support for a teamster wildcat strike and we had a group called the Student Worker Action Committee that published a newspaper, Picket Line, where we covered different worker and community struggles in Los Angeles. I was rather slow to embrace feminism, but in the 1970’s I got involved with a socialist-feminist group called CARASA (Coalition for Abortion Rights and Against Sterilization Abuse) which began in New York City. Some friends and comrades formed a Los Angeles branch of CARASA and we were able to connect to radical women of color doing community organizing around sterilization abuse in LA. From that point on, I have been deeply immersed in Marxist-feminist theory and politics.

Reports on the Resistance: A Day Without a Woman, For a Feminism of the 99%

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As millions of women around the world held meetings and conferences, rallied and marched to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, many also joined an International Women’s Strike, a Day Without a Woman, that in the United States had the character of an anti-Trump movement.

Women's March 2017: The Birth Of a New Women's Movement (?)

ImageI came back when the Women’s March in D.C. exhausted but thrilled, convinced that we are seeing the birth of a new women’s movement. Hearing about all the other Women’s Marches around the world only confirmed that impression. The size, the inclusiveness, the defiant but good-humored spirit and the progressive politics make me very optimistic.

Labor and "Pussy Power"

 ImageThe Women’s March was glorious. Yes,  I disagree with much said in the speeches, but that wasn’t an issue because like the vast majority of people who participated, I didn’t go to hear celebrities or politicians talk.  I participated to show my rage and frustration at Donald Trump and the policies he and the GOP are preparing to impose on us. Women like me, disgusted, dismayed, enraged at Donald Trump’s misogyny, which the GOP has endorsed, flooded to this demonstration.  

We brought family, friends, supporters, male and female, protesting the human rights and climate deniers whom Trump has brought with him into office. There was some diversity but this was primarily a march of young White women who carried signs about their bodies, “Pussy power” being the most prominent at the New York march.  “Pussy power” strikes me as especially apt. Like women who fight patriarchy, it’s naughty. It evokes the strength in numbers. Most of all, the march birthed a new social movement which will owe its life to pussy.

Reports on the Resistance: Millions of Women March Against Trump and His Policies

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Millions of women around the world marched on Saturday, January 21, to repudiate Republican Donald Trump’s presidency, his vulgar and misogynistic language and behavior, and his anti-woman policies. On Trump’s first full-day as president, he was greeted in Washington, D.C. by a magnificent pink demonstration of women in protest promising he would face four years of resistance.

[Cet article est également disponible en français.]

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