Judea Beatrice, an activist in Boston, explains why reproductive rights are planning for a protest to defend our clinics from the growing attacks by the anti-abortion right
… Our demands are free abortion; universal reproductive health care; an end to coerced sterilization; reproductive autonomy for all people, including disabled and trans people; and a safe environment in which to bear and raise children. We will also be taking a stand against mass incarceration and in solidarity with Palestine.
Planned Parenthood does not support our protest, saying that that it will create chaos and barriers to access. Other activists have voiced concerns that we will make it harder for the most oppressed to access care at Planned Parenthood.
But many of the women organizing this protest are Planned Parenthood patients. We have experienced right-wingers screaming at us as we try to get our annual pelvic exam. We are standing up for ourselves and for women around the country who need abortions and asserting that birth control is a basic right. We are not an alien group of people infringing on patient access. We are the very women who are affected by bigoted pro-lifers, acting in self-defense. To say that we are creating chaos is blaming the victim. It is blaming us for our own oppression. Right-wing terrorists are the ones creating chaos.
As we watch the horrifying slaughter unfold in Gaza, bear in mind the Israeli psychosis that fuels and justifies it. Here are comments from three rightwing Israelis – two leading politicians and a professor – who very much reflect a strain of mainstream thinking in Israel, one that the international media largely avoids noting.
Each, in their different ways, is advocating a genocide of the Palestinians.
Ayelet Shaked, of economics minister Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party, calls on her Facebook page for murdering the mothers of what she terms Palestinian “terrorists” (a very broad concept indeed in current Israeli thinking) so that they cannot give birth to more “little snakes”:
They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists. They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists. …
[The terrorists] are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.
Mordechai Kedar, a lecturer on Arabic literature at Bar Ilan University, believes the sisters and mothers of Palestinian “terrorists” should be raped:
A terrorist, like those who kidnapped the boys [in the West Bank on June 12] and killed them, the only thing that will deter them, is if they know that either their sister or mother will be raped if they are caught. What can we do? This is the culture that we live in.
Note that his university did not reprimand him. They defended his comments:
The purpose was to define the culture of death of the terrorist organizations. Dr Kedar illustrated in his words the bitter reality of the Middle East and the inability of a modern and law-abiding country to fight the terror of suicide bombers.
And finally we have Moshe Feiglin, a deputy speaker of the Israeli parliament and a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, urging the Israeli army to kill Palestinians in Gaza indiscriminately and use every means possible to get them to leave:
[Netanyahu] announces that Israel is about to attack military targets in their area and urges those who are not involved and do not wish to be harmed to leave immediately. Sinai is not far from Gaza and they can leave. This will be the limit of Israel’s humanitarian efforts. … All the military and infrastructural targets will be attacked with no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’. …
The IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations. … The enemy population that is innocent of wrong-doing and separated itself from the armed terrorists will be treated in accordance with international law and will be allowed to leave. Israel will generously aid those who wish to leave.
This psychosis is not going to get better on its own. In fact, it’s going to get much worse. How much worse will depend entirely on the continuing inaction of western leaders.
Jonathan Cook is an award-winning British journalist based in Nazareth, Israel, since 2001. He is the author of three books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Blood and Religion, Israel and the Clash of Civilisations, and Disappearing Palestine. Jonathan was awarded the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism in 2011, for his outstanding analysis and being one of the reliable truth-tellers in the Middle East. His reports and commentaries have appeared in major newspapers, including the Guardian, Observer, New Statesman, International Herald Tribune and Le Monde diplomatique. He has also been a senior consultant with the International Crisis Group.
Jessie Redmon Fauset (April 27, 1882 – April 30, 1961) was an African-American editor, poet, essayist and novelist. Fauset was the literary editor of the NAACP magazine The Crisis from 1919 to 1926. She also was the editor and co-author for the African-American children’s magazine The Brownies’ Book.
She studied the teachings and beliefs of W.E.B Du Bois and considered him to be her mentor. Fauset was known as one of the most intelligent women novelists of the Harlem Renaissance, earning her the name “the midwife”. In her lifetime she wrote four novels as well as poetry and short fiction.
As Crisis literary editor, Fauset fostered the careers of many of the most famous authors of the Harlem Renaissance, including Countee Cullen, Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, and Langston Hughes. In fact, Fauset was the first person to publish Hughes. In his memoir The Big Sea, Hughes calls Fauset the “midwife” of the Harlem Renaissance.
Here are the facts: Debra Harrell works at McDonald’s in North Augusta, South Carolina. For most of the summer, her daughter had stayed there with her, playing on a laptop that Harrell had scrounged up the money to purchase. (McDonald’s has free WiFi.) Sadly, the Harrell home was robbed and the laptop stolen, so the girl asked her mother if she could be dropped off at the park to play instead.
Harrell said yes. She gave her daughter a cell phone. The girl went to the park—a place so popular that at any given time there are about 40 kids frolicking—two days in a row. There were swings, a “splash pad,” and shade. On her third day at the park, an adult asked the girl where her mother was. At work, the daughter replied.
The shocked adult called the cops. Authorities declared the girl “abandoned” and proceeded to arrest the mother.
The war on working class Black women in the U.S. continues apace. This time, a mother of a 9-year old child is arrested and jailed for the “crime” of dropping her daughter off at the park to play with other children while she had to go to work at a minimum wage job at McDonald’s (which fittingly happens to be located inside a WalMart).
Now the woman’s poor child is in the hands of the South Carolina state authorities [a state which STILL proudly flies the Confederate Flag at its Capitol building].
The irony is that the justification employed by state officials is that the mother put the child at risk by leaving her in the park where some random strangers might have just come along and kidnapped her child. As it turns out, that is exactly what happened, but the kidnappers were the police! They came along and snatched this woman’s child and now she risks losing her daughter forever!
Today. Tuesday, July 8th. 5pm. City Hall Plaza, Boston.
How Fox News covered women’s issues this morning.
Activist and freelance journalist Ben Norton reports from Washington, D.C., on a rally to highlight the impact of the U.S. injustice system on women and families.
"I HAVE the right to not be silent," a speaker declared, her amplified words projecting loudly and triumphantly from the Sylvan Theater, a stage directly adjacent to the Washington Monument.
The speaker, a formerly incarcerated mother, joined a wide array of people raising their voices at a June 21 Free Her rally against mass incarceration and the war on drugs in Washington, D.C.
In all, 30 people, from a variety of distinct backgrounds—ranging from formerly incarcerated mothers, to children and family members affected by mass incarceration, to feminist activists, to poets, to lawyers committed to social justice and more—took to the podium to share their stories and ideas. “Free our mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, wives,” a speaker declared, speaking for the feelings of the impassioned crowd.
The turnout to the rally was inspiring. There were around 100 people present at any point in the event, with an estimated 300 coming through in total to learn and participate. Many brought chairs to listen for the whole four-hour event.
Discussions of mass incarceration and structural racism in the U.S. “justice” system tend to revolve around how much men of color—and in the age of the New Jim Crow, Black men in particular—are targeted by the racist “war on drugs.” This is certainly true, as any look at the victims of, for example, “stop and frisk” racial profiling or police violence show.
Free Her, however, took a perspective on mass incarceration not often heard: the effect of the prison-industrial complex on women, and their families.
In horrific news out of Fort Myers, Florida, a trans woman of color has been murdered, and her body set on fire, then dumped in a garbage bin. I just can’t right now, I just can’t even.
IN WHAT could have been an article from the satirical website The Onion, right-wing Washington Post columnist George Will announced earlier this month that campus survivors of sexual assault are “privileged.”
Will’s article sparked immediate fury and outrage, including from rape survivors who wanted to know: What exactly are the “privileges” they now enjoy?
… FOR THOSE of us committed to combating sexual violence, the past few weeks have presented a snapshot of the world that can be confusing.
On the one hand, we have more ugly and blatant evidence of the victim-blaming and sexism that exists in mainstream politics and culture. Will’s column on campus sexual assault was followed by another horrendous Washington Post op-ed article suggesting that more marriage would end rape.
On the other hand, there has been a lot of evidence of people who are fed up by the dominant attitudes about sexual assault.
In the wake of the Isla Vista shootings, activists in Seattle, Portland and other cities took to the streets to bring #YesAllWomen into the streets for a public demonstration. When the men’s rights activist group A Voice for Men—which has a whole page on its website devoted to rape denial—announced plans to host a national conference in Detroit, activists launched a national petition and brought together a coalition of feminist, LGBTQ and labor groups to protest the conference—and won.
… None of this is a matter of coincidence. It is a result of how continued pressure has begun to shift the national conversation around sexual assault.
The thing about a conservative backlash is that it doesn’t work so well when our side outnumbers theirs. Since Will’s article came out, his official Facebook page has been essentially taken over by people horrified by his rape apologies and misogyny. Even his most recent articles, unrelated to rape apology, are swamped with comments from people fed up with his misogyny—including, it should be noted, self-described conservatives.
It was the explosion of SlutWalk demonstrations around the world, the well-organized campaigns against sexual violence on college campuses, the public outcry after the Steubenville, Ohio rape case and community cover-up and all the work of activists in between that has begun to shift the political terrain—and made this movement and its language impossible to ignore.
The poll shows a significant shift in American opinion on the causes of poverty since the last time the question was asked, nearly 20 years ago. In 1995, in the midst of a raging political debate about welfare and poverty, less than a third of poll respondents said people were in poverty because of issues beyond their control. At that time, a majority said that poverty was caused by “people not doing enough.” Now, nearly half of respondents, 47 percent, attribute poverty to factors other than individual initiative.
A slight majority of white respondents still said that poverty was mainly a result of individual failings. But the number of whites who believe poverty is primarily caused by outside forces rose from 27 percent to 44 percent between 1995 and 2014. Among black respondents, 59 percent said poverty is caused in greater part by factors other than personal choice, compared to 45 percent in 1995.
Men and women were also split: over half of women said poverty is structural, compared to just under forty percent of men.
Working mothers at Walmart took part in strikes and other actions to draw attention to low wages and rotten working conditions.
In the wake of the Isla Vista killings, activists in Detroit took a stand against an anti-feminist “men’s rights” conference.
ACTIVISTS SCORED a victory against sexism when the “men’s rights activist” (MRA) group “A Voice for Men” apparently canceled plans to hold its First International Conference on Men’s Issues at the Hilton’s DoubleTree Hotel in Detroit after public protest.