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feminism

The dawn of our liberation: The early days of the International Communist Women’s Movement

 

 

By Daria Dyakonova

 

‘If women’s liberation is unthinkable without communism,
then communism is unthinkable without women’s liberation.’ — Inessa Armand[1]

 

October 13, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentaries — On July 30, [1920] in the evening, slender columns of women workers wearing red kerchiefs and holding banners make their way to the Bolshoi Theater from remote districts and outskirts of Moscow. The slogans on the banners run: ‘Through the dictatorship of the proletariat in all countries to the full emancipation of women.’

 

What’s next for #MeToo? The McDonald’s strikes have an answer.

 

 

By Alex Press

 

October 6, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Vox — McDonald’s workers in several states are going on strike Tuesday over sexual harassment. Workers in some (but not every) McDonald’s in 10 cities — Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Orlando, San Francisco, and Durham — walked out at lunchtime. They say they won’t return until tomorrow.

 

Equality with a vengence: The over-incarceration of women

 

 

By Anna Kerr and Dr Rita Shackel

 

September 1, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Precedent — The increased incarceration of women for violence-related offences in some Australian and overseas jurisdictions points to pervasive systemic gender bias and discrimination in the criminal justice process. Emerging anecdotal and recent research and court-related data are disturbing and suggest that women’s fundamental human rights and freedoms are under attack.

 

Read full article (pdf) here.

 

Argentina: They are afraid of us

 

 

By Verónica Gago

 

August 26, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Viewpoint Magazine — The contempt implied by the Argentine Senate’s rejection of the bill to legalize abortion rewrites – and makes us remember – a scene that we know well: the domestic scene, where all our effort seems to become invisible, almost as if it didn’t exist, as if it didn’t count. Thus the Parliament sought to repeat what, for centuries, the patriarchy has wanted us to get used to: an act of disdain to discredit us. Where our power does not enter into the account, where it does not count. But, this time, due to the unfolding of the feminist movement we cannot go back to that scene of submission and invisibilization ever again. Our fury comes from the certainty that there is no going back and that the power we have gained cannot be reversed. Based on that certainty, we also say that we will never return to a condition of clandestinity.

 

The fight for the right to abortion spreads in Latin America despite politicians

 

 

By Fabiana Frayssinet

 

August 25, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from IPS News — The Argentine Senate’s rejection of a bill to legalise abortion did not stop a Latin American movement, which is on the streets and is expanding in an increasingly coordinated manner among women’s organisations in the region with the most restrictive laws and policies against pregnant women’s right to choose.

 

Approved in Argentina by the Chamber of Deputies and later rejected by a vote of 38 to 31 on Aug. 9, the bill to legalise abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and the historic social mobilisation on the streets offered hope for other countries in the region.

 

The Guttmacher Institute estimates that between 2010 and 2014, some 6.5 million abortions were practiced annually in Latin America and the Caribbean, up from 4.4 million between 1990 and 1994.

 

When feminism sets the political agenda

 

 

By Nazaret Castro

 

July 6, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Equal TimesOn 14 June, the women of Argentina made history: in a very narrow vote (129 in favour, 125 against), and a denouement that left the public on tenterhooks until the very end, the Congress of Deputies approved a bill to decriminalise abortion, processed, to everyone’s surprise, by the country’s conservative president, Mauricio Macri. It is now up to the Senate to decide whether the bill will become law, but the women’s movement nonetheless felt they had secured a victory: they had shown that pressure from below is able to sway a vote that for many years seemed to be a lost cause.

 

Abandoned by the state: How the police fail survivors of sexual assault

 

 

By Marienna Pope-Weidemann

 

June 29, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Red Pepper — A study released today revealed that one in five festival goers have been subject to sexual harassment there, with the figure rising to 43% of women under 40. Campaigners say the report should be a wake-up call for the industry to “start treating sexual violence as seriously as other crimes.” The sinister extent of rape culture in this country remains widely unseen – especially where it extends to the state itself. 

 

Much of the rhetoric around tackling sexual violence focuses on encouraging women to come forward and report their assaulters to the police – to treat it as a crime, and use the formal mechanisms of police and state to deliver justice. But those mechanisms have perennially failed survivors of sexual assault.

 

'If we stop, the world stops': Behind the millions-strong women’s strike that shook the Spanish state

 

 

By Julian Coppens and Dick Nichols

 

March 20, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On an International Women’s Day (IWD) in which demonstrations took place in an unprecedented 177 countries, the Spanish state stood out as the place where the mobilisation for women’s equality was biggest — at least five million, the greatest mobilisation for women’s rights in history. Why?

 

There are many causes. To begin with, the #MeToo campaign of women film stars, media personalities and political figures coming out against sexual harassment by creeps in positions of power had a big impact in Spain, where machismo is all-pervasive. Yet that campaign wouldn’t by itself have produced the explosion of protest from women of all generations and all walks of life that took place in 120 cities and towns across the peninsula on March 8.

 

This was the biggest Spanish mobilisation of women ever, and on an oceanic scale that recalled the May 15, 2011 protests and square occupations that launched the indignado movement and made it such a potent factor in politics.

 

It was always #MeToo: Korea’s fight against sexual violence

 

 

By Hwang Jeong-eun

 

March 3, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Strategy CenterIn October 2017, in the U.S., the hashtag #MeToo went viral as women shared online incidents of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. The hashtag soon made news headlines with accusations of sexual misconduct by film producer Harvey Weinstein.

 

On January 28, 2018, Prosecutor Seo Ji-hyun’s historic televised revelation of sexual harassment in 2010 by a senior prosecutor stirred the rapidly spreading #MeToo movement in Korea’s judicial and cultural arts sectors. While Seo’s accusations were being investigated, revelations of sexual assault spread into the culture and entertainment sectors. This soon prompted the supporting hashtag #WithYou. Though the #MeToo movement marked a specific advancement in the fight against sexual violence, it is also part of a larger historical movement.

 

Women, nature, and capital in the Industrial Revolution

 

 

By John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark

 

January 30, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Monthly Review — The remarkable rise in recent years of “social reproduction theory” within the Marxist and revolutionary feminist traditions, identified with the studies of such figures as Johanna Brenner, Heather Brown, Paresh Chattopadhyay, Silvia Federici, Susan Ferguson, Leopoldina Fortunati, Nancy Fraser, Frigga Haug, David McNally, Maria Mies, Ariel Salleh, Lise Vogel, and Judith Whitehead—to name just a few—has significantly altered how we look at Karl Marx’s (and Frederick Engels’s) treatment of women and work in nineteenth-century Britain.[1] Three conclusions with respect to Marx’s analysis are now so well established by contemporary scholarship that they can be regarded as definitive facts: (1) Marx made an extensive, detailed examination of the exploitation of women as wage slaves within capitalist industry, in ways that were crucial to his overall critique of capital; (2) his assessment of women’s working conditions was seriously deficient with regard to housework or reproductive labor;[2] and (3) central to Marx’s (and Engels’s) outlook in the mid-nineteenth century was the severe crisis and threatened “dissolution” of the working-class family—to which the capitalist state in the late nineteenth century was compelled to respond with an ideology of protection, forcing women in large part back into the home.[3]

 

Feminist organising and the women’s strike: An interview with Cinzia Arruzza

Cinzia Arruzza interviewed by George Souvlis and Ankica Čakardić. FIrst published at Salvage

Identifying the foundations of women's oppression, charting the course of struggles for liberation

 

 

By Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

 

April 3, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  reposted from Liberation, central organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation — March 8 – International Women’s Day – was born in the struggles that women factory workers in their thousands waged against bondage a century ago. Communists began the tradition of observing IWD in memory of those struggles.

 

Ironically, the powers-that-be and the advertisements all across try to hide the real legacy of Women’s Day and seek to establish a different narrative. They try to tell us that International Women’s Day (IWD) is an occasion when husbands are supposed to buy women washing machines and kitchen gadgets, when boyfriends are supposed to buy them flowers, and governments are supposed to make promises for ‘women empowerment’. So it is important for us to collectively reassert the fighting legacy of the international women’s day and draw lessons for the tasks and challenges at hand. On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2017 let us reiterate some key concerns of the women’s movement.

 

Striking for ourselves on International Women's Day

 

 

By Liz Mason-Deese

 

February 20, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Viewpoint MagazineWhen women in Argentina, and across Latin America, decided to go on strike on October 19, 2016, the mobilization surpassed all expectations. Organized in only a matter of days, the call resonated across Latin America and hundreds of thousands of women across the continent went on strike, marched, and protested. The strike was an immediate response to the brutal rape and murder of sixteen year old Lucía Perez in Mar del Plata as well as a series of other femicides and violent repression at the National Women’s Meeting in Rosario.

 

With the slogans “not one less” and “we want ourselves alive,” they were striking not only for an end to violence against women, but also to highlight the connection between this violence and the economic violence of the devaluing of women’s labor. This insistence on the relationship between male violence and the devaluing of women’s labor was one of the strike’s central messages and organizing principles.

 

#czarnyprotest: The Black Protest for abortion rights in Poland

 

By Katarzyna Bielińska-Kowalewska

February 24, 2017 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Politics In Poland the law on abortion is one of the most restrictive in the European Union, sex education does not exist, and contraception is both expensive and hard to obtain because a medical prescription is often needed.

According to a 1993 law, abortion is allowed only in three cases: when pregnancy is a threat to a woman’s life or health; when there is a high possibility of severe malformation or illness of a fetus, confirmed by a prenatal exam; or when a pregnancy is the result of a crime (rape, incest, or pedophilia). In other cases it is criminalized. A doctor or anyone else who helps a woman to perform an abortion, including a partner, a family member, or a friend, may be punished with three years of imprisonment. A woman who has aborted is not prosecuted. For more than 20 years this very restrictive law has been called a compromise by conservative, liberal, and social-democratic politicians.

US: International Women’s Strike platform (plus 'For a Feminism of the 99% and a militant International Strike on March 8')

 

 

February 20, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Women's Strike USA — The International Women’s Strike on March 8th, 2017 is an international day of action, planned and organized by women in over 30 different countries.  

 

In the spirit of solidarity and internationalism, in the United States March 8th will be a day of action organized by and for women who have been marginalized and silenced by decades of neoliberalism directed towards working women, women of color, Native women, disabled women, immigrant women, Muslim women, lesbian, queer and trans women.  

 

March 8 will be the beginning of a new international feminist movement that organizes resistance not just against Trump and his misogynist policies, but also against the conditions that produced Trump, namely the decades long economic inequality, racial and sexual violence, and imperial wars abroad.  

 

How was the March 8 International Women’s Strike woven together?

 

 

By Ni Una Menos Collective

 

February 20, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Viewpoint Magazine — Last October 19, the call for a women’s strike to protest the femicide of sixteen year old Lucía Pérez, who was stabbed to death, connected male violence with forms of labor, economic, social, and territorial violence and precarization, and denounced them as a new “pedagogy of cruelty” on women’s bodies (in a scene with undeniable colonial echoes).

 

That femicide occurred the day after the 31st National Women’s Meeting in Rosario (Argentina), in which 70,000 women participated and, in a closing march, occupied forty street blocks. The meeting only appeared in the press because it was repressed at the end. At the beginning of that same month, women in Poland convoked a national strike rejecting the changes that were being imposed in local legislation to further restrict access to legal abortion.

 

Following the October 19 Women’s Strike and the formation of alliances of women from different parts of the world, the call emerged for an International Women’s Strike on March 8.

 

Women’s Marches: from protest to movement? (plus Angela Davis speech at Women's March on Washington

 

 

“Over the next months and years we will be called upon to intensify our demands for social justice, to become more militant in our defense of vulnerable populations. Those who still defend the supremacy of white male hetero-patriarchy had better watch out.

 

“The next 1,459 days of the Trump administration will be 1,459 days of resistance: Resistance on the ground, resistance in the classrooms, resistance on the job, resistance in our art and in our music.

 

Kurds and Turks are at the edge of a cliff: An interview with arrested Kurdish women’s rights activist Ayla Akat

 

 

Nadje al-Ali and Latif Tas interview Ayla Akat

 

November 4, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Open Democracy — Ayla Akat, lawyer, former Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) MP for Batman, KJA Spokesperson and prominent Kurdish women’s rights activists based in Diyarbakir (Amed) was arrested a few days ago alongside other Kurdish women’s rights activists.

 

They were protesting against the illegal arrest of Gültan Kışanak, co-mayor of Diyarbakir, who has been detained together with the city’s male co-mayor, Fırat Anlı. In addition, 27 elected Kurdish co-mayors are in prison in Turkey, while 43 of them were dismissed. On 11 September 2016, the central government appointed deputy governors as trustees to replace the dismissed Kurdish mayors who were elected by more than 70% of the public vote.

 

Rendere lo stupro inimmaginabile

 

 

[Original in English here.]

 

di Kamala Emanuel

 

Making rape unthinkable

 

 

By Kamala Emanuel

 

September 28, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — "'It's only a penis' rape, feminism and difference"[1] is a fascinating piece of anthropology and provides with a useful starting point for a much needed discussion. In it, Christine Helliwell provides an account and discussion of an incident that vividly illustrates what it is to live in a society where rape is unthinkable. The incident, and the essay, provide much food for thought for feminists in the West, regarding how we might imagine our society without rape, the threat of rape and even the possibility of thinking of rape, and what steps we might take to achieve a society like that. At a time when Western feminists are characterising our culture as a rape culture, the picture painted by Helliwell of a society free of rape provides us with a contrast that can help us better understand our own society and what it is in it that makes rape possible, even inevitable.

 

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