All organized religions seem to get themselves mixed up in some shady hierarchies…..but F*** imperial feminism.
“The gang rape and death of a young Indian woman has sparked an outpouring of national grief and outrage, and a question: Will the tragedy prompt change, in laws and attitudes toward women, in the world’s largest democracy?”
“…Outrage and protest about the assault escalated violently last week when police used batons, water cannon and tear gas in clashes with hundreds of demonstrators; one policeman died in the protests. Indian authorities, fearing a new wave of demonstrations yesterday, deployed hundreds of policemen to seal off the President’s palace, the Prime Minister’s office and key ministries, which have been the scene of battles between police and civilians. They closed 10 metro stations and banned vehicles from some main roads in the centre of the capital.
Although more than 1,000 people gathered at two locations, the demonstrations were peaceful. In one spot, a wreath studded with white flowers was laid on the road, a candle lit and a silent tribute held for the young woman. Near by, members of a theatre group played small tambourines and sang songs urging society to wake up and end discrimination against women…”
Indian Rape Sparks Gender-Inequality Debate (WSJ video: 3 minutes, 14 seconds)
“The death of the victim of a gang rape in India has set off a fresh wave of national grief and outrage. The WSJ’s Nisha Gopalan [and Deborah Kan] conside[r] whether it could also lead to legal changes to protect women’s rights.”
For what it reveals, explicitly or implicitly, see here for India’s government on gender statistics and gender (in)equality
Founded in Kiev in 2008 to protest the country’s burgeoning sex industry (“Ukraine is not a brothel!” was the slogan of their first — and still clothed — demonstration, which aimed to dissuade foreigners from visiting prostitutes in the capital), Femen has since evolved into a vanguard of militant activists who have dubbed themselves the storozhevyye suki demokratii (the “watch-bitches of democracy”) and “modern-day Amazons,” some of whom demonstrate topless to, says their website ”defend with their chests sexual and civic equality throughout the world.”
The article ends with this remark: ‘Just what de Beauvoir would have thought of topless demonstrations is anyone’s guess.’ Perhaps our erudite readership would care to weigh in? This seems unduly dismissive about the possibility of anticipating and reconstructing the views of a very important philosopher.
Pussy Riot is a female Russian punk band who staged a protest against Putin’s close ties with the Orthodox Church earlier this year. As is well-known, the three-woman band burst into Moscow’s main cathedral and sang a protest song on the altar. They were arrested, and have been in prison ever since. They were originally sentenced to two years in jail. One member was freed on appeal, receiving only a suspended sentence, on the grounds that she had been pulled away from the altar before the song began. But the sentences of the two other members have been upheld. Rumour has it that they have been sent to two of the harshest, Soviet-era prison camps – far away from their friends, supporters, and family, including their young children – but I understand that this has not been officially confirmed. You can read more from Reuters.
The distinguished reporter and political commentator, Elizaberh Drew, thinks so. Below are the beginning and end of her NYRB piece, which has unrestricted access. Her evidence is worth considering. Also worth thinking about is what women can do. Too many important issues are at stake.
The Republicans’ plan is that if they can’t buy the 2012 election they will steal it…Having covered Watergate and the impeachment of Richard Nixon, and more recently written a biography of Nixon, I believe that the wrongdoing we are seeing in this election is more menacing even than what went on then. Watergate was a struggle over the Constitutional powers and accountability of a president, and, alarmingly, the president and his aides attempted to interfere with the nominating process of the opposition party. But the current voting rights issue is even more serious: it’s a coordinated attempt by a political party to fix the result of a presidential election by restricting the opportunities of members of the opposition party’s constituency—most notably blacks—to exercise a Constitutional right.
This is the worst thing that has happened to our democratic election system since the late nineteenth century, when legislatures in southern states systematically negated the voting rights blacks had won in the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
Several hundred Canadian scientists and their supporters held an unprecedented protest march on Tuesday to demonstrate against the government’s decision to close down major facilities and fire research staff.
The protesters, who say the right-of-center Conservative government dislikes science, walked through central Ottawa behind a woman dressed as the Grim Reaper and a coffin designed to mourn the “Death of Evidence.”
“Evidence is the way that adults navigate reality. To deny evidence is to live in a fairy world … when countries engage in fantasy it’s called state propaganda,” Simon Fraser University professor Arne Moores told a crowd of around 800 people gathered on Parliament Hill.
Canadian readers– tell us more! Fill us in! Send us better links than this! (Please)
They are going out on a nine-state trip to argue that the Ryan budget is bad for the poor and bad for the country.
Bill Moyers’ team is going along and there will be follow-ups on his pages too.
“Unite Women”, a new non-partisan organization of women and men, has issued a call for a wave of marches and rallies across the U.S. (and on Facebook) on Saturday April 28, 2012.
The YouTube promo video has some great images of women protesting. Anyone got ideas for poster slogans?
Here’s the call:
Texas turned down $35 million in federal funds for the Medicaid Women’s Health Program. This means that at least 300,000 low-income and uninsured women in Texas will have no access, or significantly reduced access, to basic reproductive health care.
A proposed bill in Arizona requires women to prove to their employers that they need birth control in order to treat a medical condition if they want their prescription to be covered by their insurer.
Pennsylvania and Texas require all women seeking a legal abortion undergo a medically unnecessary vaginal ultrasound probe, including rape victims. Pennsylvania’s governor suggests women “close their eyes” during the procedure.
Oklahoma passed a personhood amendment declaring a fertilized egg is a person, which could make birth control illegal and partial miscarriages unable to treat until the woman’s life is in danger.
Topeka, Kansas decriminalized domestic violence in late 2011, hoping to balance their budget.
Today, women pay up to 50% more than men for the same health coverage.
Being a woman is not a pre-existing condition.
Join the Facebook event
Help defend women’s rights and pursuit of equality. Join the movement all across the United States on April 28th, 2012, as we come together as one to tell members of Congress in Washington, DC and legislatures in all 50 states, “enough is enough.”
Follow Unite Against the War on Women at:
This time they arrested Naomi Wolf for discussing walking up and down a side walk.
The feminist author Naomi Wolf has criticised the erosion of the right to public protest in the United States after she was arrested alongside Occupy Wall Street demonstrators in New York.
Wolf was led away in handcuffs after addressing protesters outside an awards ceremony held to honour New York’s governor, at which she was a guest.
She told the Guardian on Wednesday: “When I came out, the protesters had been pushed across the street. This happens in Britain, too, with kettling. Police keep inventing this right to barricade people in and tell people where to protest, but in the United States this is wrong: it’s against the first amendment rights of freedom of assembly.
“So I walked over to where they were – they were backed up against the wall. Police said there was a permit saying they couldn’t walk on the sidewalk. There was this giant phalanx of police.”
After discussing the issue with officers, Wolf said she established that the event’s permit did not prevent people from walking on the sidewalk outside the venue. Along with a small number of other protesters, she started to pace up and down the sidewalk.
“Then, a huge group of men in white shirts, who seem to be affiliated to the New York police department, but who are not self-evidently so – bigger and fitter than the rank-and-file blue-shirted officers – came in droves. About 30 or 40 of these men appeared.
“They got a megaphone – which the protesters are told is illegal – and they started shouting that we were illegally disrupting an event and we should disperse.”
Wolf said she “calmly” disputed the order with one of the officers in white shirts, who are more senior than those in blue shirts. “By this time I was surrounded by them. One of them asked me if I was going to get out of his way. I didn’t think consciously that I couldn’t step away, but I froze. My conscience froze me.”
Officers then detained Wolf, and took her to a precinct where she said she spent about half an hour in a cell. Her partner, the film producer Avram Ludwig, was also arrested. Both were later released with a summons for “refusing a lawful order”.
To be more serious for a moment, the clip seems scary to me. It turns out that one cannot conduct a calm argument with the police. If you are wrong, you can get arrested.
Far worse than being an undergraduate in a logic course.