Tag: feminism

ACM: 24 hour Childcare – A “Revolutionary” idea that is an obtainable reform! by NY Brit Expat

Today is Mother’s Day in Britain (aka “Mothering Sunday”) and this topic is extremely appropriate. The idea of accessing 24 hour childcare is an old one … the questions that arise are why this is an important issue and why we should we be advocating for it? The next obvious question is how can we actually obtain it, in other words, what policies can ensure that this is viable and offers a positive transformation (that offers fulfilment to women and children where their needs and wants are covered) rather than a negative one?

How do we understand the oppression of women? Is it something that can be easily solved with reforms within the system (e.g., unequal pay, equality under the law, access to education and work)? Or does our oppression derive from the nature of class societies, property ownership, and our role in social reproduction? For me, it is the latter and that is why I do not think that reforms are sufficient, but they certainly can be done and must be done, if only to address inequality. These reforms may not affect our oppression much (which will require the overthrow of class societies based upon property), but they will make our lives easier and they will also get allies to understand the nature of our oppression. I do not know about you, but I simply refuse to wait until the revolution for women’s oppression to be understood and inequality to be addressed. We are raised in the context of our societies and if we do not address this before we transform society, then, I am certain that those raised in these societies will never understand the need for change (or it will always be put off as there are other more immediate things that need to be addressed, as usual).

Not a Pretty Girl

Body photo body2.gifI would be remiss if I didn’t include my most successful diary ever as one of the chapters in my autobiography.  Presented here with some minor rewrites, this chapter comes from January of 2009.

The graphic to the left is named us propecia Body.  Some might consider it NSFW, but it’s just an assemblage of red pixels on a yellow background.

Annie Lennox on feminism, gay, and transgender

 photo Annie-Lennox_zps6304e59e.jpgAnnie Lennox has been viagra generico 25 mg pagamento online a Napoli interviewed several times lately and expressed some ideas worth noting.

We’re coming to a place where [feminism] needs to be inclusive.

I think the LGBTQ community are a part of that movement and we’re all sort of connected on this particular level and it’s very exciting – watch that space.

I am so happy to see now that transgender women and men are able to come out of the shadows finally and say ‘Look we’re here. Why do we need to pretend we don’t exist?’

It’s a very interesting time.

–Lennox

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Women and Solidarity … United, We Must Stand! by NY Brit Expat

I have recently been thinking a lot about building a feminist movement irrespective of our differences of analysis and experiences of oppression and exploitation. As I often do when looking for assistance, I turned to those that have experience and a wealth of information hoping to learn from them.  This time, I turned to Bell Hooks (Feminist Theory: from Margin to Center), for inspiration and she provided so many brilliant insights, that I am going to reference some of her many ideas throughout this piece.

 photo 744503be-f6b8-4a08-bb16-a1af88e9d69a_zps88112721.jpg


Feminism is often defined as a movement and an analysis that maintains that women must have equality in the economic, social, cultural and political spheres. It has never really been a singular movement; it is more correctly defined as a collection of movements trying to achieve the aims of equality for women in various spheres. The need for this movement derives from the clear inequality that women face on a daily level whether in the home, at work, in ability to access things from the most basic fundamental right of controlling one’s own body to accessing the same work at the same pay as men, from equal and shared responsibility for household labour and raising children to accessing the political sphere on an equal level to men.  

TERF Wars

I suspect that some of my readers must be wondering by now why I haven’t responded with my thoughts on the recent outbreak in the transgender/TERF hostilities.

In case yoIu have been completely unaware of the issue, TERF stands for “trans exclusive radical feminists,” although I’ve always thought they were more reactionary than radical.  I should note that they don’t like the term, viewing it as an insult, even though it was invented by other feminists…feminists who wanted to distance themselves from the TERFs.

Although the hostility has been simmering for quite awhile, the most recent outbreak can be traced to the publishing of an article in The New Yorker by Michelle Goldberg, entitled does insurance pay for generic propecia What is a Woman?, which presented a very one-sided treatment of the dispute.

To quote a TERF, from the beginning of the rift in 1973:

I will not call a male “she”; thirty-two years of suffering in this androcentric society, and of surviving, have earned me the title “woman”; one walk down the street by a male transvestite, five minutes of his being hassled (which he may enjoy), and then he dares, he dares to think he understands our pain?  No, in our mothers’ names and in our own, we must not call him sister.

–Robin Morgan

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Gay Marriage – Fools Rush in Where Angels Fear to Tread by Geminijen

Last week the decision in Ohio broadening the scope of gay marriage put one more nail in the coffin of homophobic culture and was a win for equal rights– or was it?  Don’t get me wrong.  I am in full support of gay marriage and everyone having the same civil rights.  The trouble with fighting for a civil reform is that we are fighting for the right to be included in the existing system and that doesn’t take into account the fact that we are basically fighting for the right to be as f**ked up as everybody else.

The movement for gay marriage came out of the gay movement which came out of the male gay culture. The agenda of this movement for  social change has always focused on reform demands for the same civil rights (i.e., gay marriage) that the heterosexual community already has.

Then along came  the lesbian feminist movement calling, not for the right to assimilate into traditional gender roles, but the elimination of those roles altogether; eliminating the assumptions that women should be submissive and challenging the basis of marriage entirely since it had originated as an institution in which men literally bought and owned women, their labor and their children.

Although the majority of states that have weighed in still ban gay marriage,  there are 17-19 states (depending on how you are counting) that have now legalized gay marriage. The most common way has been through the courts, though a couple of states have been through legislative votes and in recent years all the decisions and votes have been going in the right direction (for legalizing gay marriage).

The dominant liberal media has been strongly behind the LGBT community on this issue.  None of the problems or oppressive social structures that have been associated with the nuclear family seem to make it into the media as we watch the two little old ladies who have lived together for 50 years finally gain social respectability and generous tax breaks as they take their vows, or the two gorgeous young men who just put out $500,000 for a fabulous destination wedding. Most recently, the media has been touting “statistics” that show that gay marriages have less divorces than straight marriages.

In fact many young heterosexual people are waiting longer and longer periods to marry, if they choose to marry at all, and the number of divorces for heterosexual marriages hovers around 50%. And the data that is currently being aggressively promoted by the media to show that homosexual and lesbian marriages are more stable is laughable given the lack of statistics or very small samples over very small periods of time that are available.  

So why the rush by the media and the dominant culture to support gay marriage?  Even a few Republicans have gotten on board (which really makes me suspicious given how in every other area of my life the Republican platform’s interests have been directly opposed to my interests)? Is it a sincere desire to accept gay folks for who we are or is it more about shoring up and reinforcing the failing institution of marriage? And why is marriage so important to them? Of all the policies issues we as a LGBT community could focus on, is Gay Marriage actually our first choice or is this the main LGBT policy issue because the dominant culture picked it for us?

I can hear the comments, even from anti-capitalists, now: It’s another one of those picky humorless Lesbian Feminists who just won’t give it a rest.  OK, it’s only a reform, but it’s hard out there in a capitalist world and why can’t we just get a few tax breaks now with out this ridiculous harangue? Besides, I finally found my one true love and we want to proclaim it to the world like everyone else.  We’ll get rid of the nuclear family after the socialist revolution.

Even I have occasionally drunk the Kool Aid. I remember when I was in graduate school writing whole treatises on the evils of the nuclear family, I went to a Bette Midler concert with my girlfriend where, with an entire concert hall of other lesbians, we held hands, and with tears in our eyes, loudly joined in the refrain:

“We’re going to the chapel and we’re going to married,

we’re going to the chapel and going to get maaaried,

we’re going to the chapel and we’re going to get maaarried,

we’re going to the chapel of love!”

(The repeats are necessary to get the full emotional effect)

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=dove-acquistare-viagra-generico-50-mg-a-Torino

What we do and don’t get out of Gay Marriage on both the personal and policy level.



On a personal level, the most important advantages of gay marriage to me would be 1) the tax breaks (over 400) that I would get and the other legal conveniences such as hospital visiting rights, joint insurance, etc; 2) sharing the rent and utilities, the cleaning, etc.; being able to roll over and have an intimate relationship without having to go out and look for it. But all of these things could be available to me in a domestic partnership (if, in fact, the states gave all the same rights to domestic partnerships as marriages).  What I couldn’t get is the social respectability that comes with two people signing up for a lifelong monogamous relationship that only comes with marriage sanctified by God and shows that I am an adult capable of a committed adult relationship — otherwise why would there be two separate categories if one was not better than the other? Like marriage is like the black belt of relationships.  

I kind of resent this because, personally, when I was married, I tended to find the two by two Noah’s Ark relationship kind of isolating. One of the things I enjoyed most about the Lesbian community was that the very fact that marriage was not available to us, led to the development of more alternative types of arrangements. While plenty of women did live in couples similar to heterosexual marriages, many lived in relationships which involved three or more people.  Also I found that many of us found our best friends and most committed relationships were with ex-lovers. Kind of like a community of sisters (think Sister Sledge and We Are Family).

I also find that in marriage, because of its origin in heterosexual marriages, there is a tendency to sometimes mimic the gender roles (who is the husband? Who is the wife?). Since the traditional marital relationship was also based on extreme inequality where the husband literally “owned” the wife, some of this power inequality also filters into gay marriages even though it not legally mandated in modern marriages.

Besides reinforcing the inequality between the two people in the relationship, marriage reinforces and magnifies other forms of inequality.  For one, single people (who constitute and increasing percentage of the population) do not get the tax breaks or other financial benefits society bestows on marriage. Also, if two men marry, since men in a patriarchal society still make more money and accumulate more wealth than women, are likely to end up in a more upscale lifestyle than if two women marry since our incomes are lower.  Moreover, if there are children (which is true in most cases) the women are more likely to be the custodial parents than the men and have to bear the labor and monetary costs this implies.

My personal policy solution would be to shore up civil unions that would in fact be equal to the advantages of marriage but would not 1)be based on sexual relations or required monogamy. In such cases, two single friends could apply, a grandma raising her nieces child could apply, several people in whatever kind of relationship (sexual or not)could apply.  

Such a legal structure would further, if there are children involved, provide a stipend to the “parents” for raising the children.  This would eliminate the blatantly unequal financial start children have in life, depending on what private nuclear family they were born into.

Speaking of focusing on private versus publicly funded solutions to our personal economic relationships,  I think it is important to understand that capitalism is intent on preserving private arrangements for reproducing the next generation of children (i.e., marriage) because it gets them off the hook for paying for the necessary public services (childcare, physical nurturing, etc) to reproduce the next generation and greatly increases capitalism’s profits.

So let’s get marriage out of the public domain and leave it to the religious sphere where it belongs and focus our energies on civil unions.  

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: IWD in Cardiff, Wales – a talk on Austerity and Women by NY Brit Expat

This year, I was invited to speak at an international women’s day event by the sisters of the Cardiff Feminist Network as part of a series of actions which included a Take Back the Night march, a pro-choice rally and then an event in a park in which there was poetry and various speakers addressing a number of topics including feminism, violence against women, the oppression of Palestinian women, and my talk on the impact of austerity on women in Britain. There was food, a wonderful audience of committed feminists taking place in a public park where in effect since there was no license or permission, the group had taken use of public land to have a celebration of International Women’s Day. My talk was kindly taped by a friend and comrade, Nick Hughes, who then posted it on facebook and on then youtube.

The talk was long, not because it was planned that way; but one person who was supposed to speak was late and the food was not ready to be served. So, since I carry around so much information with me when I am planning to speak, I was able to talk for almost a half hour.

So today’s anti-capitalist meetup will actually be like a meetup. That is, we will have a speaker (me), my talk (minus the spontaneous bad jokes and righteous anger) will be here to read. Then we can actually have a discussion on the topic, since the speaker is right here. This was supposed to go up on the 16th of March, but was preempted by the deaths of Bob Crow and Tony Benn which needed to be commemorated. The issues addressed in my piece, unfortunately, are still extremely relevant.

 photo 176d9f2d-6931-4455-ab43-995f1ef3f4b3_zpsd3728eda.png

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Left Unity – The New Party that Could by NY Brit Expat

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=treat-tinnitus-with-prednisone-20mg LEFT UNITY HAS BEEN CREATED! Yes, this is the new political party, not necessarily the reality of “Left Unity” itself. Like all births, it is never easy. But it has the possibility of actually changing electoral politics in Britain. And like all births, it should be recorded.

Tonight’s piece covers a piece of news, some coverage of the student occupations in Britain including two petitions in response to the actions of the universities to these occupations, and a short homage to Nelson Mandela and the endless hypocrisy of our mainstream politicians.

While, of course, the justifications for permanent austerity under the Tories and the pensionable age being shifted to 70 and tax breaks for married people whose earnings were over a certain level, while somehow continuing impoverishment of the majority were sort of glossed over (really if impoverishment of the majority is required for your system, wouldn’t you start to raise the obvious point that the system is NOT worth it?) were found all over the BBC following the Autumn Statement of Minister of the Exchequer, George Osborne, many things that should have been said never quite made it to the news of the BBC. Given that they have a 24-7 news channel; surely a few moments could have been spared from their extensive scheduling.

 photo 48c24fd0-8ffe-4aad-8267-47dc36c0181c_zpsa840885c.jpg

Gloria Steinem does a 180

 photo MonicaR11_zpsc5b732e7.jpgIn late September http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=buy-cialis-in-canada http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=acquistare-vardenafil-originale TransGriot writer http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=quanto-costa-viagra-generico-200-mg-online-a-Roma Monica Roberts took Gloria Steinem to task for her writings in the 1980s about transpeople.

You long time TransGriot readers know I’m not a feminist and I cringe when I hear Black women even say the term because of its history of marginalizing women of color to the point they left the movement.

And don’t even get me started on its outright hostility to trans women, which is why I identify as a womanist.

And yes, it’s time to unmask another one of the feminist icons, Gloria Steinem as a transphobe.

–Roberts

Steinem wrote at the time, “At a minimum, it was a diversion from the widespread problems of sexual inequality.” She writes that, while she supports the right of individuals to identify as they choose, she claims that, in many cases, transsexuals “surgically mutilate their own bodies” in order to conform to a gender role that is inexorably tied to physical body parts.  She concludes that “feminists are right to feel uncomfortable about the need for and uses of transsexualism.”

–Roberts

Steinem concluded the article with the famous quote:

If the shoe doesn’t fit, must we change the foot?

AC Meetup: Differences Matter-Wage and Wealth Gap for Single Mothers Of Color by Diana Zavala

click here The following is a guest diary by Diana Zavala. An educator, political activist and single mother of two, this is the second guest diary that Diana has written for us. Diana presented this piece as part of the panel at Left Forum 2013 organised by Geminijen.

Three years ago I found myself closing the chapter on my marriage. I did this against the advice of my friends who tried persuading me to stay for the children, for the sake of security and until I finished my studies. I had spent 10 years in an unsatisfying marriage and the thought of one more day for the sake of something/somebody else just was not acceptable. I left the marriage and while the emotional release was satisfying; but being independent and having to be responsible for my family was a reality I don’t think I fully grasped.

I decided there had to be a way that women in my situation could qualify for public assistance. Here I was a student, with two kids, huge rent bill, no health insurance, but these circumstances were only temporary I thought, and with a little assistance I would be able to overcome them and get myself back on my feet. I thought ‘hey, I’m not the quintessential “welfare queen” so demonized by society’, I’m someone who needs help and can become independent with some assistance. I discovered it wasn’t the case, that women who were in my predicament had no safety nets available for them to bounce back. I didn’t qualify for anything because I had too much money from child support which was just enough to cover the rent. The Welfare office recommended I become homeless in order to apply for Section 8 housing and I didn’t qualify for Food Stamps, nor did I qualify for Medicaid.

Here it was, I had been a high school teacher before getting married, I left teaching to care for my son while my husband’s career progressed and so did his income and retirement. I had no money and no savings and was being advised to become homeless so I could qualify for housing assistance and food stamps, so I could provide for my children.

I had walked into the office feeling like a strong feminist who had left her marriage choosing independence from a husband and who could make it on her own. I was college educated, employable, and young enough to have energy to fight and overcome. I came out of the office understanding that my situation was no different from other women who leave, that while I had education and language, my status as a single mother did not differ much from that of my mother’s when she immigrated from Honduras after she divorced my father.

Progressive Attitudes and Misplaced Piety

A recent series of posts written by a blogging friend of mine raises some serious questions.  In it, he discusses ways in which many of us who mean well go completely wrong.  We live in a post-Christian society, but we carry over aspects of religiosity of which we may not even be consciously aware.  In seeking to be Good Liberals™, we reveal our indebtedness to the same relative framework, one held also by our ancestors.  Before I introduce my larger point, I need to assert here that I am not arguing that anyone ought to hold racist ideas or that doing so is acceptable.  Rather, I’m critiquing the means by which we often resort to eradicate them.  Here is the first.

The Bostonians: A Review

The late 19th Century American novelist Henry James commented on the emergent First-wave Feminist movement in his novel lasix dosage 12 lb canine The Bostonians. In 1984, James’ book was adapted into a movie. Itself a selection of the Merchant Ivory school of period piece dramas, the film promises more than it provides, but is a minor gem nonetheless. James was a skeptic of Feminism and feminists, revealing both to be nothing more a collective of than uncompromising, ideologically polarizing fussy old maids. However, the author is also highly critical of the counter-weight to these passionate reformers, the charming, but manipulative Mississippi lawyer and frustrated writer, Basil Ransome. We will be formally introduced to him later in this review.

Load more