My younger sister, 18, is in her first year of college studying marine navigation. She sees herself travelling the world one day, the captain of a cruise ship or similarly large vessel. Already, she has faced overt and repeated sexism, from her male peers. Both my sister and her female roommate have found themselves subjected to sexist jokes and unwanted sexual advances from those who do not appear to understand the meaning of the word "no." They have been told by a female teacher that for the two per cent of women in the industry, sexual assault is an inevitability. My mother, an airline captain, has been counselling her on how to make it in an industry where women are not easily accepted. A great deal of her advice hinges on keeping the peace with male colleagues; knowing what to let slide, when to confront colleagues directly about their behaviour, and when to report them.
The past decade, particularly 2020 with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, has shone a light on the full extent of existing inequalities in the world. Ahead of this International Women’s Day, we would like to draw attention to ways that women – whether Indigenous, rural workers or those enduring an occupation – resist and mobilise in the face of multiple, long-term crises. Existing patriarchal systems, structural inequalities and discriminatory laws have long stalled meaningful progress towards gender equality and women’s rights. For women living in crises such as conflicts, facing recurrent environmental disasters and cyclical financial shocks, the Covid-19 pandemic has come as an additional blow, severely impacting their right to adequate food. Conflict is a key and persistent driver of food system breakdown: more than half of undernourished people live in countries experiencing conflict. Extreme weather, economic shocks and climate change are also prevalent drivers of food crises and greatly affect food systems.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it agonizingly clear that the systems under which we are living were already broken. The pandemic has only exacerbated the crisis of the capitalist system and removed any illusions about this reality. However, the impact of the crisis has not been uniform. The neoliberal capitalist model, which survives and profits by exploiting the vulnerable, again fell back on its same old ways. As a result, it has been the workers, the migrants, the women, and others, whose unpaid and underpaid labor serves as the basis for capitalists to profit, who have suffered the most. In this conversation with Renata Porto Bugni from the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, we discuss the study done by the organization...
Before I found myself “sheltering in place,” this article was to be about women’s actions around the world to mark March 8th, International Women’s Day. From Pakistan to Chile, women in their millions filled the streets, demanding that we be able to control our bodies and our lives. Women came out in Iraq and Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Peru, the Philippines and Malaysia. In some places, they risked beatings by masked men. In others, they demanded an end to femicide -- the millennia-old reality that women in this world are murdered daily simply because they are women. This year’s celebrations were especially militant. It’s been 45 years since the United Nations declared 1975 the International Women’s Year and sponsored its first international conference on women in Mexico City. Similar conferences followed at five-year intervals, culminating in a 1995 Beijing conference, producing a platform that has in many ways guided international feminism ever since.
As a “Women’s” working group of the CIG, we would like to remember the words of Comandanta Yesica at the end of her closing speech at the Second International Gathering of Women who Struggle held at the caracol “Torbellino de nuestras palabras” in the Zapatista mountains in resistance and rebellion, on December 29, 2019: “One last thing before we finish and close this Second International Gathering of Women who Struggle. It’s regarding time. We know that no matter the day, week, month or year, there will be a woman somewhere in the world who is afraid, attacked, disappeared or killed. We have said before that for women who fight there is no time to rest. Therefore for those of you listening, reading or watching us, we want to propose a collective action here.
We dreamed “that the patriarchy burned” and that it was possible to inhabit spaces free of cruelty. For a long time, we graffitied it, theorized it, protested for it, and proposed it. We then came to shout this dream in a territory free of femicides. Here we cried it and wailed it. Here we sang it, danced it, cared for it in this valley of organization and work. From December 26 – 29, 2019, the Zapatista women sheltered us in their collective and rebellious lap to clothe us in dignity inside the seedbed carrying the name of Commander Ramona, who died 14 years ago. Walking in her footprints, in those of Susana and of all the founding mothers of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, we arrived at this gathering that never should have been.
By Robert Jensen for Common Dreams - I am not as abusive as Harvey Weinstein, nor as narcissistic as Bill O’Reilly. I’m more respectful to women than Donald Trump, and not as sleazy as Anthony Weiner. Judged by the standards set by these public reprobates, most of the rest of us men appear almost saintly, and therein lies a danger. The public disclosure of these men’s behavior—from the routinely offensive to the occasionally criminal—is a good thing, and all those who have been harassed and raped should continue to speak out. But we should not let the most egregious cases derail the analysis of how a wide range of men’s intrusive and abusive sexual behaviors against women (as well as against girls, boys, and vulnerable men) are so woven into the everyday fabric of life in a patriarchal society that the intrusion and abuse is often invisible to men. Pause for the required disclaimer: Not all men are rapists. To acknowledge that sexuality in a culture of institutionalized male dominance (a useful shorthand definition of patriarchy) takes place within a larger framework of male domination/female subordination is not to accuse all men of rape. Another required disclaimer: Not all sex in patriarchy is rape. To take seriously a feminist critique of patriarchy and men’s violence is not to suggest that intimate relationships can never reflect mutuality and equality.
By Eleanor Goldfield for Occupy - This week on Act Out!, can you see me from your digital filter bubble? The scary thing is you probably don't even realize that everything you see online is, in fact, filtered. We dive into the various kinds of online censorship that are shaping our ever-more-narrowed world view. Up next, what women learn from the patriarchy's ills. And finally, No NAFTA – a ghost from trade deals past is back, and so is the fight for fair trade over free trade.
By Staff for Economic Policy Institute. July 31st is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, the day that marks how long into 2017 an African American woman would have to work in order to be paid the same wages as her white male counterpart was paid last year. Black women are uniquely positioned to be subjected to both a racial pay gap and a gender pay gap. In fact, on average, black women workers are paid only 67 cents on the dollar relative to white non-Hispanic men, even after controlling for education, years of experience, and location. Pay inequity directly touches the lives of black women in at least three distinct ways. Since few black women are among the top 5 percent of earners in this country, they have experienced the relatively slow wage growth that characterizes growing class inequality along with the vast majority of other Americans. But in addition to this class inequality, they also experience lower pay due to gender and race bias.
By Flood The System - We envision Flood the System as a step towards building the DNA of a robust movement that has the collective power to challenge global capitalism, racism, patriarchy, and oppression. This booklet is designed to give you a sense of why we need to escalate, what Flood the System might look like, and what structures we will all use to organize. The authors drew inspiration for this booklet from the 1986 Pledge of Resistance Handbook, the 1999 WTO Direct Action Packet and the 2014 Ferguson Action Council Booklet. This booklet was edited by Arielle Klagsbrun and Nick Stocks.
By Sean McElwee in Salon - More than a century ago, German scholar Werner Sombart published a book entitled ”Warum gibt es in den Vereinigten Staaten keinen Sozialismus?” or, “Why Is There No Socialism in the United States?” Today, many scholars and political thinkers ask the same question, and the answers vary broadly. While many of the answers – racism, the malapportionment of the Senate, federalism, a pro-business Supreme Court, low levels of civic participation – all have some truth and explanatory power, it remains difficult nonetheless to square democracy and inequality. Democracy was supposed to be “the road to socialism,” after all. Now a new study by Nicholas Stephanopoulos sheds light on why “democracy” hasn’t reduced inequality: Because it doesn’t exist.
For a public radio service, NPR is notoriously known for its lack of diversity within its staff, audience and guests invited onto their shows—problems that NPR has itself acknowledged (6/30/14). A new FAIR study finds thatNPR’s diversity problem also extends into the board of trustees of its most popular member stations: Two out of three board members are male, and nearly three out of four are non-Latino whites. Fully three out of every four trustees of the top NPR affiliates belong to the corporate elite. While a majority of the board is populated by NPR station managers with backgrounds in public media, the rest of the board members have strong ties to the corporate sector. This includes NPR CEO Jarl Mohn, who has an extensive background in commercial media, having held executive positions within E! Entertainment, MTV and VH1.
By Dhyana Taylor and Jacob Kerr In Huffington Post - Six LGBT immigrant rights activists were arrested Tuesday after blocking a street near the White House to protest the Obama administration's treatment of LGBT immigrants in detention. Protesters, organized by advocacy group United We Dream, took turns criticizing Obama administration detention policies as some participants linked themselves with chains or lay in the street and blocked traffic. “We are asking President Obama to free all LGBT people from detention because detention is not protecting them. Detention is brutalizing them,” said Brooke Cerda-Guzmán, an undocumented transgender woman who was arrested. The protest came a week after an undocumented transgender woman was kicked outof the White House for heckling President Barack Obama about immigrant detention.
Research shows that a strict gender education for girls and boys starts at birth. Terrence Real, a family therapist and author of “I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression,” cites a study in which 204 parents watch a video of an infant crying and are asked to react. When told the baby is a girl, mothers and fathers both say that the child is frightened. When told they are watching a boy infant cry, they label the emotion as anger. The researchers, John and Sandra Cundry, concluded by writing, “It would seem reasonable to assume that a child who is thought to be afraid is held and cuddled more than a child who is thought to be angry.” Little boys who cry are told to “man up.” Aggressive and even violent little boy behavior is not corrected or redirected.
By Michael McLaughlin in Huffington Post - A former Baltimore police sergeant took to Twitter Wednesday to air a stunning list of acts he said he participated in and witnessed during his 11 years on the city's force. Michael Wood gave a no-holds barred look at his career in a previous radio interview, but his tweets gained traction for their brazen admissions that officers lied to get overtime, illegally searched "thousands of people" and committed gross acts during raids, like urinating and defecating on suspects' beds. A spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department confirmed that Wood left the force in 2014. In subsequent tweets, Wood promised to reveal more and expressed surprise at the attention paid to his commentary.