Socialism Art Nature

This is Harvard University’s idea of a “feminist” discussion. Having the most unrepresentative cross-section of elite American women speak about their experiences ruling over the world. Nevermind that the vast majority of women in the U.S. have most likely had their lives made miserable by precisely these “powerful women.” Goldman Sachs executives, Homeland Security operatives, New York Times editors — it’s a veritable menagerie of evil-doers!

Yes, it’s true, a tiny minority of women have made their way into the upper circle of power. And now they too have the privilege of administering the oppression, exploitation, and subjugation which afflicts the majority of this society’s population, male and female.

Real women’s liberation means overturning the class inequality and oppressive divisions which capitalist society depends upon; not merely putting the control of the status quo, capitalist society, in the hands of an infinitesimal number of ruling class women.

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Office of the President


Dear Members of the Harvard Community,

President Drew Faust invites you to join her in Sanders Theatre on Monday, April 7, at 4:00 p.m. for a panel discussion entitled “When Women Lead: Insights and Experience from Women in Power.”

Four distinguished women leaders will consider the changing roles of women in business, education, and politics, as well as the challenges and opportunities facing women in positions of authority. Karen Gordon Mills, A.B. ’75, M.B.A. ’77, former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, and Senior Fellow at the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School, will moderate the discussion. Jill Abramson, A.B. ’76, Executive Editor of the New York Times; Edith Cooper, A.B. ’83, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs; and Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California and former Secretary of Homeland Security, will serve as panelists. Questions from the audience will be welcomed following their conversation.

Tickets will be provided at the door until capacity is reached. Please arrive early to secure your seat. All members of the community are welcome to attend.

Office of the Presid
ent
Harvard University


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The state of Israel is trying to use “pinkwashing”—trumpeting its supposedly liberal, feminist and gay-friendly social atmosphere—to wipe away the stain of its military occupation and apartheid treatment of Palestinians. In so doing, apologists for Israel aim to draw away potential liberal supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

One of the Israeli government’s frequent strategies is to tour Israel Defense Force soldiers—with the aim of humanizing its occupation forces and, in this case, promoting its military as a beacon of gender equality. In response, the Campaign for BDS at Ohio State Campaign for BDS at Ohio State issued this statement.

We also came to understand how overt repression is buttressed by deceptive representations of the state of Israel as the most developed social democracy in the region. As feminists, we deplore the Israeli practice of “pinkwashing,” the state’s use of ostensible support for gender and sexual equality to dress up its occupation.
—From a report by a delegation of indigenous and women-of-color feminists after their visit to Palestine

Protesters take a stand against pinkwashing Israeli apartheid

Protesters take a stand against pinkwashing Israeli apartheid


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Nadia Kamil’s Feminist Burlesque Routine Is Both Deadly Serious And Utterly Hilarious (VIDEO)

A tip of the hat (and a twirl of the tassle) to comedian Nadia Kamil for this piece of live comedic joy: a feminist burlesque act.

It all kicks off around 1 min 45 seconds - but make sure you watch Kamil’s introduction to the routine, too.

We’re not sure burlesque - or feminism - has ever been so much fun…


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Red Feminism: American Communism and the Making of Women’s Liberation (Reconfiguring American Political History)
Drawing on substantial new research, Red Feminism traces the development of a distinctive Communist strain of American feminism from its troubled beginnings in the 1930s, through its rapid growth in the Congress of American Women during the early years of the Cold War, to its culmination in Communist Party circles of the late 1940s and early 1950s. The author argues persuasively that, despite the devastating effects of anti-Communism and Stalinism on the progressive Left of the 1950s, Communist feminists such as Susan B. Anthony II, Betty Millard, and Eleanor Flexner managed to sustain many important elements of their work into the 1960s, when a new generation took up their cause and built an effective movement for women’s liberation. Red Feminism provides a more complex view of the history of the modern women’s movement, showing how key Communist activists came to understand gender, sexism, and race as central components of culture, economics, and politics in American society.  … Historians have generally contended that the American Communist Party of the 1930s-1950s had little interest in women’s issues and that its party line stated that sex oppression was merely a by-product of bourgeois decadence. Weigand, an archivist at Smith College, overturns this conventional understanding by uncovering a history of feminist activity within the Communist Party and detailing its later influence on the women’s movement of the 1960s and ’70s. She argues that while such Communist women as Mary Inman, Betty Millard and Eleanor Flexner had to fight against party officials’ refusal to admit that working-class men might abuse their wives, they also had to battle more banal instances of everyday sexism. For example, there was quite a controversy surrounding the Daily Worker’s “cheesecake” photos of scantily clad women (with captions such as “Mrs. New YorkA and she can cook too!”) and the struggle to get such images removed from official party literature. Weigand argues that the writings of early Communist women helped shape the core values of second-wave feminism: a 1946 letter in the Worker, for instance, calling for “an end to the separation of ‘personal’ and ‘party’ life” profoundly anticipates the “personal is political” mantra of ’70s consciousness-raising groups. Equally interesting is Weigand’s discussion of the Party’s antiracist work and its sometimes naive attempts at promoting racial equality: in one effort to encourage desegregation, the party offered dancing lessons to white men so they wouldn’t be embarrassed to ask African-American women to dance at party functions. Although this richly detailed study is academic in focus, it will appeal to general readers interested in the history of U.S. progressive movements and women’s history.

Red Feminism: American Communism and the Making of Women’s Liberation (Reconfiguring American Political History)

Drawing on substantial new research, Red Feminism traces the development of a distinctive Communist strain of American feminism from its troubled beginnings in the 1930s, through its rapid growth in the Congress of American Women during the early years of the Cold War, to its culmination in Communist Party circles of the late 1940s and early 1950s. The author argues persuasively that, despite the devastating effects of anti-Communism and Stalinism on the progressive Left of the 1950s, Communist feminists such as Susan B. Anthony II, Betty Millard, and Eleanor Flexner managed to sustain many important elements of their work into the 1960s, when a new generation took up their cause and built an effective movement for women’s liberation. Red Feminism provides a more complex view of the history of the modern women’s movement, showing how key Communist activists came to understand gender, sexism, and race as central components of culture, economics, and politics in American society.

  … Historians have generally contended that the American Communist Party of the 1930s-1950s had little interest in women’s issues and that its party line stated that sex oppression was merely a by-product of bourgeois decadence. Weigand, an archivist at Smith College, overturns this conventional understanding by uncovering a history of feminist activity within the Communist Party and detailing its later influence on the women’s movement of the 1960s and ’70s. She argues that while such Communist women as Mary Inman, Betty Millard and Eleanor Flexner had to fight against party officials’ refusal to admit that working-class men might abuse their wives, they also had to battle more banal instances of everyday sexism. For example, there was quite a controversy surrounding the Daily Worker’s “cheesecake” photos of scantily clad women (with captions such as “Mrs. New YorkA and she can cook too!”) and the struggle to get such images removed from official party literature. Weigand argues that the writings of early Communist women helped shape the core values of second-wave feminism: a 1946 letter in the Worker, for instance, calling for “an end to the separation of ‘personal’ and ‘party’ life” profoundly anticipates the “personal is political” mantra of ’70s consciousness-raising groups. Equally interesting is Weigand’s discussion of the Party’s antiracist work and its sometimes naive attempts at promoting racial equality: in one effort to encourage desegregation, the party offered dancing lessons to white men so they wouldn’t be embarrassed to ask African-American women to dance at party functions. Although this richly detailed study is academic in focus, it will appeal to general readers interested in the history of U.S. progressive movements and women’s history.


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Newest issue of the revamped International Socialist Review (Winter 2013-14) now live on the website!
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Issue #91
Winter 2013-14


Issue contents
















Gender and Sexuality


Black feminism and intersectionality

By Sharon Smith
“Although we are in essential agreement with Marx’s theory as it applied to the very specific economic relationships he analyzed, we know that his analysis must be extended further in order for us to understand our…











Features









Theory


A new ISR for a new period

By Paul D’Amato
We are pleased to introduce our readers to a newly formatted and reconceptualized International Socialist Review. For the last decade, the ISR has been a bimonthly magazine with a web site that mirrored its print…










Reviews









History


The spirit of those frenzied days

Review by Ian Birchall







Prelude to Revolution:
France in May 1968
By Daniel Singer
Haymarket Books, 2013 · 504 pages · $18.00



A few years ago I was in an arts center in Southern Paris. While waiting for the play I had gone to see, I bought a…




















Issue contents





Upcoming articles from this issue:
Explaining gender violence in the neoliberal era by Tithi Bhattacharya
Is there anything to defend in Political Marxism? by Neil Davidson
Race and class in the US foster care system by Don Lash
Interview with Victor ToroBuilding the revolutionary Left in Chile : The MIR, Popular Unity, and Chile’s prerevolutionary moment
Statement of the Internationalist Workers Left (DEA)The deepening crisis and prospects for the Left in Greece
Reviews A new perspective on antiquity’s greatest slave rebel by Paul D’Amato The backward-looking prophet? by Brooke Horvath We are all Troy Davis by Lily Hughes Exploring the high moments and small mountain roads of Marxism by Paul Le Blanc Fighting Jim Crow by Marlene Martin Socialists and the civil rights movement by Bill Roberts War in the Shadows by Lee Wengraf A “post-class” vision of resistance by Jason Netek

Newest issue of the revamped International Socialist Review (Winter 2013-14) now live on the website!

===

Issue #91

Winter 2013-14
Issue contents

Features

A new ISR for a new period

We are pleased to introduce our readers to a newly formatted and reconceptualized International Socialist Review. For the last decade, the ISR has been a bimonthly magazine with a web site that mirrored its print…

Reviews

The spirit of those frenzied days

Prelude to Revolution:

France in May 1968
A few years ago I was in an arts center in Southern Paris. While waiting for the play I had gone to see, I bought a…
Issue contents

Upcoming articles from this issue:

Explaining gender violence in the neoliberal era
by Tithi Bhattacharya

Is there anything to defend in Political Marxism?
by Neil Davidson

Race and class in the US foster care system
by Don Lash

Interview with Victor Toro
Building the revolutionary Left in Chile : The MIR, Popular Unity, and Chile’s prerevolutionary moment

Statement of the Internationalist Workers Left (DEA)
The deepening crisis and prospects for the Left in Greece

Reviews
A new perspective on antiquity’s greatest slave rebel by Paul D’Amato
The backward-looking prophet? by Brooke Horvath
We are all Troy Davis by Lily Hughes
Exploring the high moments and small mountain roads of Marxism by Paul Le Blanc
Fighting Jim Crow by Marlene Martin
Socialists and the civil rights movement by Bill Roberts
War in the Shadows by Lee Wengraf
A “post-class” vision of resistance by Jason Netek


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The first issue of the new International Socialist Review journal format is off to the printer! Featuring: Black feminism and intersectionality by Sharon Smith Explaining gender violence in the neoliberal era by Tithi Bhattacharya Race and class in the US foster care system by Don Lash Is there anything to defend in Political Marxism? by Neil Davidson Building a revolutionary Left in Chile - an interview with Victor Toro Plus new book reviews by Ian Birchall, Paul D’Amato, Brooke Horvath, Lily Hughes, Paul Le Blanc, Marlene Martin, Bill Roberts, Lee Wengraf, and Jason Netek.
www.isreview.org

The first issue of the new International Socialist Review journal format is off to the printer! Featuring:

Black feminism and intersectionality by Sharon Smith

Explaining gender violence in the neoliberal era by Tithi Bhattacharya

Race and class in the US foster care system by Don Lash

Is there anything to defend in Political Marxism? by Neil Davidson

Building a revolutionary Left in Chile - an interview with Victor Toro

Plus new book reviews by Ian Birchall, Paul D’Amato, Brooke Horvath, Lily Hughes, Paul Le Blanc, Marlene Martin, Bill Roberts, Lee Wengraf, and Jason Netek.

www.isreview.org


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The NYC media are most interested in the new mayor’s wife Chirlane MCCray because she once identified as a lesbian, but I find the most fascinating thing about her is that she was a member of the Black Marxist feminist group the Combahee River Collective that put out this phenomenal statement. She is now at the heights of power in the financial empire of this country and without a sustained struggle from labor and a broad left here, the pressures to adhere to a mostly corporate agenda will be insurmountable.


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 … What is perhaps most remarkable though is the way that Brand was immediately attacked by factions of the left, which decided that rather than piggyback off of the sudden popular interest in revolutionary ideas that Brand’s comments provided, they would rather denounce him as an inauthentic revolutionary who fails to pay due attention to favored leftist causes such as fighting patriarchy, LGBTQ liberation and immigrant rights.

That’s right – the left is briefly given a window of opportunity in which much of the country is openly discussing revolutionary ideas, and instead of welcoming and leveraging that opportunity, the leftist instinct is to attack the messenger and effectively shut the window by bringing up divisive issues related to identity politics and the culture wars.

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Yeah, um, no. Anti-sexism is not merely a matter of ‘identity politics’, ‘culture wars,’ or a ‘favored cause’ of leftism. It IS leftism. It is NOT about demanding that all who espouse socialist ideals be 100% perfect. But a left-wing movement that doesn’t actively address social oppression (racial, gender, etc) is simply not a left-wing movement. Populist? Certainly. Progressive? Debatable. Socialist? Certainly not.


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Soooooo good. Not that it is necessarily an either-or, but I am going to make it one anyway: Give me Laurie Penny over Russell Brand any day!!!!

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Once more on Russell Brand, socialism, and sexism

image

Sharing some important observations from a friend (below). Personally, I am ecstatic that Brand called for socialist revolution on the BBC last nite. I hope he does this a lot more. But this does not mean that his sexism should be ignored or not criticized. In fact, it is absolutely necessary for us to do so. We can both support Brand’s jeremiad against capitalist inequality, while also supporting the numerous women who have been alienated by him over the years because of his misogyny, and want to see it put to a stop.

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Dear Left, go watch one of Russell Brand’s stand up routines. Doesn’t matter which, just pick at random.

While it’s good that a celebrity is fed up with the political system, it’s beyond difficult to champion a guy who only has a stage from which to speak because of his sexism. He’s famous for prank calling rape crisis centers, leaving messages about having sex with a guy’s young granddaughter, and bragging about convincing vulnerable women to sleep with him. That’s how he has the stage, so to see people I intellectually respect taking time out to defend this guy is more than a ltitle disappointing (Sharing the interview? Sure, I did. Defending him as someone you want on your side? Fuck no.)

Dude was repeating Occupy-type rhetoric, which is cool, but being unable to restrain himself from objectifying women in the same breath shows he’s got a ton more studying to do. So, until then, find some other mouthpieces and/or reconcile yourself to the fact that celebrities will not magically repair the left, and in fact, it’s regular people like us that have to do all that grunt work.

I’m embarrassed that I even need to make the point that Russell Brand shouldn’t be taken seriously, and that feminists don’t want to see their fellow activists actively defending one of the most famous misogynists in Western media/questioning the idea that he actually hates women (spoiler alert: he does), but apparently a lot of people still don’t get it.

Also, I feel I should add this excellent supplementary comment made as a follow-up by the same individual who initially posted the original commentary I pasted above:

Make whatever use of his vocalizing radical ideas on a mass platform as you can to ensure that you don’t need his voice to normalize those ideas in the future (i.e. if people are interested in left politics because of that interview, great, get those people involved in organizing and discussions) However, be aware that those who know anything about him and aren’t guys who hate women may be put off from the source it’s coming from, and at the least accept that as valid (which I saw many people blatantly not doing). Finally, recognize that he didn’t say much beyond slightly-more-coherent-Occupy-rhetoric, and thus, isn’t the most radical or refined voice out there, so use the other voices to engage people and amplify those.


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 … I keep intending to find some of the literature she wrote as an adult on socialism and whatever else.  I haven’t gotten to it yet, but I suspect I would like it.

===


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Radical theater artist Madeline Burrows has worked on her one-woman project, MOM BABY GOD, for the better part of two years. In the show, Burrows plays several characters from the U.S. anti-choice movement, which she created based on extensive research and undercover work. The show is touring, with stops in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Burrows spoke with Brit Schulte about the project in an interview for Red Wedge.

Madeline Burrows in Mom Baby God (Cat Guzman)Madeline Burrows in Mom Baby God (Cat Guzman)

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MOST RADICALS dream of infiltrating the bigots to get the scoop on what makes them tick, but what propelled you toward this project and investigation?

BACK IN 2011, when there was the threat to cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood, I became fascinated by the rhetoric and tactics of the anti-abortion movement. At the time, NARAL was conducting undercover investigations of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), and I was involved with a local campaign to expose a CPC in Western Massachusetts.

As part of the campaign, I went undercover to see what kind of false medical information they were giving out. It was a totally jarring and eerie experience—there were baby clothes pinned to the walls and medically-inaccurate fetal development kits—and even though I wasn’t actually a teenager facing an unplanned pregnancy, I experienced firsthand the kind of intense emotional manipulation that takes place in CPCs.

That experience left me convinced that in order to fully understand and represent the movement, and understand how it shapes the way we think and feel about abortion, I needed to experience it from the inside.

DID YOU have an endgame in mind when you set out? Was it always performance or theater?

MY GOAL was always to create a solo performance based on the material, but what that has looked like has changed a lot. Originally, I wanted to do a more documentary theater-style piece that included both pro-choice and anti-abortion perspectives. So in the early phase, I did a really broad range of research and interviews, including a number of interviews with older women who were abortion rights activists in the ’80s and ’90s, as well as women who had had abortions. Their stories were incredible, and it was really hard to say goodbye to them.

But I felt like if left-wing audiences came to the show and saw their own views represented, it would let them off the hook in a way. I didn’t want this to be a comfortable piece of theater. I wanted audiences to leave with the same kind of urgency that I felt after immersing myself in the anti-abortion movement—a feeling that this is happening right now, and we need to figure out how we’re going to respond to it.

WHY THE vehicle of theater? Or what do you think theater can accomplish?

THEATER HAS the unique ability to give audiences an opportunity to step into another world. And unlike a movie which you can pause at any time, theater forces you to engage immediately. It is also an art form that creates a space for people to experience something collectively as an audience, which I think can be a powerful thing.

DO YOU think a project like this will resonate with a certain audience, or more broadly? What has the response been so far?

THE SHOW follows a teenage girl who is dealing with her emerging sexual desires inside of this completely sexually repressive and sexist context. I think any woman, or really anyone, who has grown up in the era of abstinence-only sex ed, will relate to experiencing the contradictory sexual atmosphere that exists, where girls and women are encouraged to “be sexy,” but “don’t have sex.”

We’ve had some audience members who grew up involved in right-wing youth activism and have since broken from it, but you definitely don’t have to be a full-on right-wing youth activist to be affected by the political climate that attacks women and reproductive rights.

The audiences so far have been largely pro-choice and left-wing audiences. But we’ve had some surprises, too. At one performance, during the post-show discussion, two women got into a heated debate. One of the women described herself as being “middle ground” on the issue, and the other was a staunch abortion rights supporter who had had an illegal abortion as a teenager pre-Roe v. Wade. A third person, who I later learned was a crisis pregnancy center director and abstinence educator, stormed out in the middle of the performance.

HAS THERE been any backlash to speak of? Or are our opponents oblivious? Tell me about the whole Students for Life American wanting to be on the mailing list—ha!

YES, THE executive director of Students for Life just asked to join our e-mail list, and another higher-up in the group “likes” us on Facebook. Other than that, we’ve received a few pieces of right-wing hate mail, but not a ton.

We’re very up-front with what our political position is, so I think they’re keeping an eye on us for now. If they want to come to the show and protest it, they can go right ahead. But I imagine they’re pretty perplexed with how to respond, because everything in the show is based on real events I attended. This is their rhetoric. I’ve seen no need to exaggerate it. So if they protest, they will be protesting themselves—not a very strong tactical choice, right?

WHAT HAVE you learned about yourself—personally and politically—from this project?

THAT CREATIVE ideas don’t just happen out of nowhere. We grow up learning so much about the “great man” theory of history, where brilliant ideas supposedly just sprout effortlessly out of the heads of individuals—who, incidentally, always happen to be rich white men—but that’s not how ideas come to be.

Being an artist requires a creative practice that means a lot of work and a lot of trying and failing. And it’s never a solo pursuit. It means collaborating with other creative people who you can bounce ideas off of and who bring other skill-sets to the table.

I think there’s an idea, particularly in the U.S. where there is such a low level of federal funding for the arts, that artists should be doing what we do for free, as a hobby on top of everything else, or that it is selfish to want to be able to live comfortably as an artist—and by that, I mean be able to afford food, rent, health care and vacation. So one thing is that I’ve become more convinced that there needs to be arts funding to pay artists so they aren’t having panic attacks every month because they’re working full-time jobs on top of unpaid creative work.

HOW DO your other art-making endeavors inform your performance?

I’M A musician, in a feminist punk band called Tomboy. I’ve definitely been inspired by the fearlessness I’ve felt in the punk scene to just get up and perform and make mistakes and take your work on the road, and I’ve wanted to bring that into theater.

WHAT ARE you trying to move your audience toward? A position? Awareness? Action?

I WANT audiences to feel a sense of urgency. The right wing has a lot of momentum and they’ve gained a lot of ground in the past 40 years, particularly in rolling back reproductive rights. And I would say that they’ve won so much ground because they’ve been building a grassroots, in-your-face, unapologetic movement.

That’s what we need to build, and I think activists are starting to grapple with how to do that and learn from movements of the past. So I hope this show taps into that conversation which is already happening.

Every show will be followed by a short post-show discussion, and I hope those can be a place for people to digest the right-wing rhetoric in the show and talk about what we’re going to do to challenge it.

First published at Red Wedge.


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Helen Keller: “‘WOMAN’S SPHERE IS HOME,’ BUT WHERE IS HOME?” (1912)

"We women have often been told that the home contains all the interests and duties in which we are concerned," says Miss Helen Keller in the current number of "The Metropolitan Magazine." "Our province is limited by the walls of a house, and to emerge from this honorable circumscription, to share in any broad enterprise, would be not only unladylike, but unwomanly.

"I could not help thinking of this the other day when i was asked to go to a far state and take part in some work that is being done for the blind. If i accepted the invitation, should i not be leaving my proper sphere, which is my home? I have thought of it many times sine i learned that there are in America over six million women wage earners. Every morning they leave their homes to tend machines, to scrub office buildings, to sell goods in department stores. Society not only permits them to leave their proper sphere; it forces them to this unwomanly desertion of the hearth, in order that they may not starve.

"Woman’s sphere is the home, and there, too, is the sphere of man. The home embraces everything we strive for in this world. To get and maintain a decent home is the object of all our best endeavors. But where is the home? What are its boundaries? What does it contain? What must we do to secure and protect it?"

Later she defines the home as “where those things are made without which no home can be comfortable.”

"Once the housewife made her own butter and baked her own bread," says Miss Keller. "She even sowed, reaped, thrashed and ground the wheat. Now her churn has been removed to great cheese and butter factories. The village mill, where she used to take her corn, is today in Minneapolis; her sickle is in Dakota. Every morning the express company delivers her loaves to the local grocer from a bakery that employs a thousand hands. The men who inspect her winter preserves are chemists in Washington. Her icebox is in Chicago. The men in control of her pantry are bankers in New York. The leavening of bread is somehow dependent upon the culinary science of Congressmen, and the washing of milk cans is a complicated art which legislative bodies, composed of lawyers, are trying to teach the voting population on the farms.

"It would take a modern woman a lifetime to walk across her kitchen floor; and to keep it clean is an Augean labor. No wonder that she sometimes shrinks from the tasks and joins the company of timid, lazy women who do not want to vote. But she must manager her home; for, no matter how grievously incompetent she may be, there is no one else authorized or able to manage it for her. She must secure for her children clean food at honest prices. Through all the changes of industry and government she remains the baker of bread, the minister of the universal sacrament of life.

"When she demands to be mistress of the national granary, the national kitchen, the national dairy, the national sewing-room, whoever tells her to confine herself to her house is asking her to move forward and backward at the same time. This is a feat which even her inconsistency cannot achieve.

"The inconsistencies reside not in woman and her relation to her plain duties, but in her circumstances and in some of her critics. She can put a basket on her arm and bargain intelligently with a corner grocer; but she cannot understand the problem of nationalizing the railroads which have brought the food to the grocer’s shop. She is clever at selecting a cut of meat; but the central meat-market must not be opened to her investigation; a Congressional committee, which she did not choose, is doing its whole duty as father of the house when it tries to find out who owns the packinghouses in Chicago, how much money the owners make out of her dinner, and why thousands of tons of meat are shipped out of the country while her family is hungry.

"She opens a can of food which is adulterated with worthless dangerous stuff. In a distant city a man is building himself a palace with the profits of many such cans. If a petty thief should break into her pantry, and she should fight him toot and nail, she would be applauded for her spirit and bravery; but when a millionaire manufacturer a thousand miles away robs her by the peaceful methods of commerce, she has nothing to say, because she does not understand business, and politics is not for her to meddle in.

"Woman’s old ‘domestic sphere’ has become not only an empty shell with much of the contents removed, but a fragile shell in which she is not safe. Beside her own hearth she may be poisoned, starved and robbed. When shall we have done with the tyranny which applies worn-out formulas to modern conditions? When shall we learn that domestic economy is political economy? The noblest task of woman is to get bread for her children. Whatever touches her children’s bread is her business.

"What is there so cold, sordid, inhuman in economics," asks Miss Keller, "that we women should shrink from the subject, disclaim all part in it when we touch it daily in our domestic lives?

[Source: “”WOMAN’S SPHERE IS HOME,” BUT WHERE IS HOME?” New York Tribune (1911-1922): 7. Dec 12 1912. ProQuest. Web. 7 Oct. 2013.]


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simonjadis:

coldandwrathful:

  #THIS THIS THIS #OH MY GOD YES #FEMINISM IS ABOUT CHOICE #FEMINISM IS ABOUT MAKING SURE EVERY PERSON OF EVERY GENDER IS FREE TO CHOOSE WHATEVER THEY WANT AND FEEL IS BEST #FOR THEIR BODIES THEIR JOBS THEIR RELATIONSHIPS ETC ETC ETC #WITHOUT BEING RIDICULED OR JUDGED OR BELITTLED OR HATED OR FETISHIZED OR DEMONIZED FOR THOSE CHOICES #A WOMAN IS FREE TO SHOW HER BODY BUT SHE IS ALSO FREE TO COVER IT UP WITHOUT BEING HOUNDED FOR SETTING FEMINISM BACK A HUNDRED YEARS #BECAUSE SHE ISN’T ACTUALLY DOING THAT 

I don’t often see the “oh gosh we need to save these poor ladies by banning head-coverings" sentiment but when I do I get absolutely disgusted. Because that’s not feminism, that’s just a really misguided white-savior complex pushing your cultural standards onto other women. And I’m pretty sure that trying to control how women dress is the exact opposite of what feminism is.

simonjadis:

coldandwrathful:

#THIS THIS THIS #OH MY GOD YES #FEMINISM IS ABOUT CHOICE #FEMINISM IS ABOUT MAKING SURE EVERY PERSON OF EVERY GENDER IS FREE TO CHOOSE WHATEVER THEY WANT AND FEEL IS BEST #FOR THEIR BODIES THEIR JOBS THEIR RELATIONSHIPS ETC ETC ETC #WITHOUT BEING RIDICULED OR JUDGED OR BELITTLED OR HATED OR FETISHIZED OR DEMONIZED FOR THOSE CHOICES #A WOMAN IS FREE TO SHOW HER BODY BUT SHE IS ALSO FREE TO COVER IT UP WITHOUT BEING HOUNDED FOR SETTING FEMINISM BACK A HUNDRED YEARS #BECAUSE SHE ISN’T ACTUALLY DOING THAT 

I don’t often see the “oh gosh we need to save these poor ladies by banning head-coverings" sentiment but when I do I get absolutely disgusted. Because that’s not feminism, that’s just a really misguided white-savior complex pushing your cultural standards onto other women. And I’m pretty sure that trying to control how women dress is the exact opposite of what feminism is.


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The inferiority of women is man-made.

Helen Keller (11 June 1916)

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Source: Keller, Helen. “Woman Suffrage: An After-Dinner Speech made by Helen Keller in Chicago, June eleventh, 1916, to the delegates of the new Woman’s Party.” Chicago, 11 June 1916. Speech. Helen Keller Archives. Box 212. American Foundation for the Blind, New York.


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