Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

United Families and Friends Campaign 2013 Procession October 25, 2013

Filed under: class,grassroots organizations,human rights,immigration,race — Monkey @ 5:06 pm

MEET 12.30PM TRAFALGAR SQUARE – MARCH TO DOWNING STREET

The United Families and Friends Campaign (UFFC) is a coalition of families and friends of those that have died in the custody of police and prison officers as well as those who are killed in immigration detention and secure psychiatric hospitals. It includes the families of Roger Sylvester, Leon Patterson, Rocky Bennett, Alton Manning, Christopher Alder, Brian Douglas, Joy Gardner, Aseta Simms, Ricky Bishop, Paul Jemmott, Harry Stanley, Glenn Howard, Mikey Powell, Jason McPherson, Lloyd Butler, Azelle Rodney, Sean Rigg, Habib Ullah, Olaseni Lewis, David Emmanuel (aka Smiley Culture), Kingsley Burrell, Demetre Fraser, Mark Duggan and Anthony Grainger to name but a few. Together we have built a network for collective action to end deaths in custody.

During the late nineties the families of the most controversial deaths in police custody victims came together to form UFFC. Since then we have campaigned for justice for our loved ones and our efforts have yielded some results. The police self-investigation of deaths in custody, previously overseen by the Police Complaints Authority, was replaced by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. The Attorney General was forced to undergo a review of the role of the Crown Prosecution Service. We continue to monitor these developments. Since last year, and in particular through the case of Sean Rigg, the IPCC has been found not fit for purpose.

No reforms or reviews have ever addressed the lack of justice in outstanding cases such as Joy Gardner, Brian Douglas and Shiji Lapite, to name a few. These are human rights abuses and must be dealt with accordingly. Nothing can replace due process of law and with so much overwhelming evidence against police officers accused of murder or manslaughter, the question remains why have they not been convicted? UFFC has supported cases such as Ricky Bishop, Roger Sylvester, Mikey Powell and Harry Stanley. In recent years other high profile cases such as those of Ian Tomlinson, Jean Charles De Menezes and Sean Rigg show how the IPCC and the CPS have continued to fail us. In the last two years alone we have had the deaths of David Emanuel (aka Smiley Culture), Kingsley Burrell, Demetre Fraser, Lloyd Butler, Mark Duggan and Anthony Grainger. The deaths have not stopped and nor shall we. Our Annual Remembrance Procession will take place on 26th October 2013.

UFFC is supported by Migrant Media, Newham Monitoring Project, Pan African Society Community Forum, 4wardEver UK, Garden Court Chambers, Institute of Race Relations, INQUEST and Defend the Right to Protest.

The UUFC facebook page with more information is here.

 

“Real men objectify women with dignity and decorum” July 2, 2013

Filed under: class,race,violence — Stacey Goguen @ 12:56 pm

Ta-Nehisi Coates has a post up about eviction, masculinity, power, class, and violence.  Near the end he throws in a line about objectification, after observing that the men who cat-call women on the streets tend to be those without a certain kind of power:

Real men objectify women with dignity and decorum.

From the comments (which are often worth reading on his column):

Samquilla: “Real men” objectify women by polite head-patting such as deciding not to hire them for certain positions, not paying attention to their thoughts and ideas, etc., not by yelling cat calls in the streets. That is the province of men who don’t have the power to objectify in a less visible and more socially sanctioned way.

Ta-Nehisi Coates: The point I am driving at is that profane exhibitions of power–rioting for instance–are not exhibitions of lower morality. The morality isn’t in the exhibition, it’s in the actual belief. Men who cat-call are not men with less morality then men who don’t, they are–more often–men with the same morality, but with less power. [...] My point is we often mistake the display of power for a display of morality.

 

Presumed Incompetent March 4, 2013

Filed under: bias,class,gender,race — philodaria @ 4:06 pm

Just came across this book, and I thought several of our readers would be interested in it: Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia. 

 

Living on the margins in modern Britain January 7, 2013

Filed under: class,colonialism,mental health,politics,poverty,prostitution,work — Monkey @ 5:04 pm

What makes a life in modern Britain go well? Doing ok involves keeping oneself (and maybe dependent loved ones) fed, warm, and sheltered; being part of human networks that provide emotional and practical support; possessing the emotional and cognitive tools to function day-to-day, and navigate life’s obstacles; being born in a geographical location that means one finds oneself on the right side of borders legislation; existing in a cultural niche where one is presented with opportunities, other than robbing, drugs, and violence. Doing ok in modern Britain depends to a large extent on luck – accidents of birth and upbringing, together with other factors that are mostly beyond one’s control. For those who are unlucky, life is tough. Journalist, Laura Page, interviews five people living on the margins in modern Britain.

 

What Is the Current State of Feminism’s PR? October 9, 2012

Filed under: class,comedy,internet,intersectionality,race,technology,trans issues — Stacey Goguen @ 4:51 am

I hope everyone had a very nice Let’s-Glorify-Imperialism Day.

I came across this screen shot on failbook (which surprising takes quite a few shots at oppressive cultural patterns) and at first I had myself a mighty wince over seeing all the hackneyed stereotypes of feminism get thrown around.  But then I found the article that the screen shot comes from, and that adds a whole new context: the #sorryfeminists hashtag was created by feminists.  To mock these stereotypes. (here’s the article on Slate):

One of the most frustrating parts of being a feminist is how negative stereotypes created to discredit feminism are now pretty much conventional wisdom. Like the population at large, actual feminists can be funny and sexy, despite our bad rap as sexless and dour. It’s like living in Oz but repeatedly being told you’re in Kansas. That frustration boiled over this morning when Deborah Needleman, the editor of T Magazine (and the stylish wife of Slate‘s own Jacob Weisberg), put up this joking tweet suggesting that feminists dislike women being sexy:

At this point, stereotypes of feminists are mocked so thoroughly that it’s impossible to determine if someone who invokes one is trying to reinforce it, making fun of it, or playing up the ambiguity so that you get a little from both camps. Anna Holmes, the founder of Jezebel, and Irin Carmon of Salon (full disclosure: real-life friends of mine who are, may I say, ridiculously sexy ladies) decided to respond in a way that the Internet does best: embracing the confusion by creating the hashtag #sorryfeminists on Twitter.

It worked. The #sorryfeminists meme is, as I type, expertly tearing apart the idea that feminists hate fun, hate sex, and hate beauty. (It’s also, like any other Twitter meme, devolving into layers of irony and meta-jokes that pretty much stop making sense altogether.

So it seems like there are both people using the #sorryfeminists hashtag to make fun of stereotypes and makes fun of feminists.

Okay and now there’s yet another level.  If you actually look on twitter (#sorryfeminists) there’s a lot of people using this hastag to critique the white-washing and middle-class-centrism of feminism and its public face.   For instance:

#sorryfeminists is fun/funny to people who can afford to be that stereotype, or who have the knowledge to refute that stereotype.

Cutesy side of 2nd wave. What #sorryfeminists is NOT addressing? Those OTHER labels: at worst oppressive/racist, at best willfully blind.

You gotta stop this echo chamber of white feminists who are given book deals to recycle the same tired ideas. #sorryfeminists I’m not sorry.

If I was introduced to white feminism 1st I would’ve NEVER been a feminist. Thank goodness for Black/brown feminist scholars

Feminism has a double PR problem. It still hasn’t shaken some of these ridiculous stereotypes but it also all too often puts forward white middle class women and issues that are particularly (or only) pertinent to white middle class women–so they become interpreted as “the” issues of feminism.
(I sometimes catch myself doing this still: abortion is not the only issue for women’s reproductive rights and health; balancing work and family is not a “new” issue for lots of families;  fighting to gain respect for not changing your last name has little resonance for people whose marriage isn’t recognized as legitimate no matter what they do with their name, etc.)

So in the name of helping improve feminism’s PR, I’m giving a shout out to some of my favorite blogs that join in the dismantling of anti-woman oppression and that address issues that aren’t often given the spotlight:

Because We’re Still Oppressed

Angry Black Bitch

Womanist Musings

Geek Feminism

fbomb

Racialiscious

The Jaded Hippy

 

Badassery Incarnate, pt 1: Glorifying Rich White Men (And Erasing Everybody Else) September 30, 2012

Filed under: class,gender,masculinity,race,silencing — Stacey Goguen @ 2:04 am
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While visiting Los Angeles last week, I saw the trailer below during the previews for a movie. As I sat there in the darkened theater, I thought to myself, “Self.  You are writing a blog post about this when you get back to the East Coast.”

I present to you: The Men Who Built America

In the trailer, this tag line appears: “America wasn’t discovered. It was built.” It then flashes between depictions of men like Vanderbilt, JP Morgan, Rockefeller, Ford, Edison (I assume), and Carnegie–all of them rocking suits and  yelling various things which peg them as badass, ruthless, and unaplogetic capitalists.
There’s a lot to talk about here. (after the jump)

(more…)

 

Stereotypes and the first laptop September 25, 2012

Filed under: bias,class,gender stereotypes,technology — philodaria @ 4:34 am

An interesting article over at the Atlantic on how gender stereotypes and the keyboard might have made it more difficult for the first laptop to catch on.

‘This is an amazing fact. We had this product. It was designed for business executives. And the biggest obstacle, one of the biggest obstacles, we had for selling the product was the fact — believe it or not — that it had a keyboard. I was in sales and marketing. I saw this first-hand. At that time, 1982, business people, who were in their 40s and 50s, did not have any computer or keyboard in their offices. And it was associated with being part of the secretarial pool or the word processing (remember that industry?) department. And so you’d put this thing in their office and they’d say, “Get that out of here.” It was like getting a demotion. They really were uncomfortable with it.’

Though Hawkins doesn’t quite say it. There is a distinct gendered component to this discomfort. Typing was women’s work and these business people, born in the 1930s and 1940s, didn’t scrap their way up the bureaucracy to be relegated to the very secretarial work they’d been devaluing all along.

Of course, it also cost something like $20,000 in today’s currency–still, this makes me wonder what interesting cases for agnotology we might find in forms of practical knowledge.

 

An immigrant in limbo between two Americas June 11, 2012

Filed under: class,discrimination,education,immigration,jobs,work — David Slutsky @ 7:04 am

“Maria Gomez, a UCLA graduate with a master’s in architecture, grew up believing in the American Dream while living in its shadows as an illegal immigrant.”

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An immigrant in limbo between two Americas, by Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times (June 8, 2012)

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Click here for this important, timely, moving story

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… makes me think of my grandparents migration, my parents work, and how my situation(s) in the world relates to the situations of others… What do readers think of Maria Gomez? Does this story about her relate in any particular ways to your views of certain stereotypes or your moral judgments about immigration?

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High Pay too High – findings of UK High Pay Commission November 23, 2011

Filed under: class,global justice,poverty,work — Monkey @ 8:55 am

The High Pay Commission is an independent body set up to investigate high pay in the UK. A year long investigation culminated in the publication of a report on Monday. Those who’ve been keeping an eye on the recession will be wholly unsurprised to learn that the poorer members of society are bearing the costs of austerity cuts, whilst the top 0.1% of earners are getting richer. The Commission states that:

In 1980 top bosses were well rewarded, but they had not pulled so far away from the rest of society. Since then some of them have enjoyed an increase of over 4000% to what are now multi-million pound packages… so much wealth has been channelled to those at the very top. This is a trend that has led to such a huge rise in inequality over the period that Britain now has a gap between rich and poor that rivals that in some developing nations.

Amongst the figures quoted by the Commission, is the salary of the chief executive at Lloyds Bank (now partly owned by the State), which the Commission states has increased by more than 3,000% since 1980 to more than £2.5m – 75 times the average Lloyds employee’s salary. In 1980, it was just (‘just’ – hah!) 13.6 times the average. Lloyds have responded with the claim that “The High Pay Commission’s figures are flawed. They have compared the average basic salary of our employees to a remuneration package awarded to the CEO that includes salary, bonus and benefits. As a result they have reached an inflated number that is entirely unrepresentative of the truth” – because everyone knows that bonuses and benefits aren’t really part of one’s salary, just little treats left by the banking fairy.

A copy of the High Pay Commission’s report, including recommendations such as not-doing-salary-deals-in-secret, can be downloaded from here.

 

Uttar Pradesh – extreme violence against women July 23, 2011

Uttar Pradesh – a state in Northern India – is seeing an increasing number of extremely brutal attacks on women. In the latest case, a sixteen year-old woman was assaulted with knives and axes before being gang raped. The woman and her family are too scared to stay in their village. They have abandoned their home and land to stay with relatives. This is just one of hundreds of rapes and attempted rapes that have happened this year in Uttar Pradesh. The attacks are a tragic example of the intersection between gender, class, and poverty. Women are accorded very low status in the region. Moreover, many of those attacked are Dalits – members of India’s lowest caste, which used to be known as ‘untouchables’. An analysis of rape figures carried out by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties in Uttar Pradesh found that 90% of the victims were Dalits. Poverty makes things worse, as people are unable to afford sanitation in their homes, forcing them to go out into their fields at night to go to the toilet. Many women are attacked whilst performing their ablutions. Campaigners say that most of the rapists are people with money and political power. Roop Rekha Verma of Sajhi Duniya (Shared World), an organisation based in Lucknow that works with women says, ‘It’s a very difficult situation here… There is a lot of violence: Crimes are escalating; gender problems are increasing; girls are being attacked, both in rural and urban areas… These cases are so brutal that we wouldn’t have believed that they could happen – we thought such things could happen only in novels and films’. You can read more here.

 

 
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