Sunday, March 9, 2008

This and That Blog RoundUp

Sixteen Maneuvers to Avoid Really Dealing with Racism is wonderful and is at feministe. Hat tip What Tami Said.

Yesterday was International Women's Day. Women for Women International is a great organization: "sponsor a woman survivor of war and change a life!"

While some give their best, others give their worst. Here is Phyllis Schlafly on International Women's Day:

"The radical feminists want to remake our laws in order to eradicate everything that is masculine from our culture and create a gender-neutral society," concluded Schlafly. "The United States should seriously reconsider lending its stamp of approval to future IWDs."

I attended a speech by Schlafly one time. It was at a Jesuit college whose tuition was in the $20,000 per year range, which is quite a chunk of quarters to pay for an education if you are among the more than 50% female student body and what you should really expect is to stay home and have babies. We in the Women's Studies group attended, wearing matching t-shirts that had some sort of slogan on them (I can't remember now). Sometimes it was hard not to laugh. Hardly any actual students attended, other than our protest group. The audience was made almost entirely of old white Republicans. Apparently, the local Republican party had sent out emails about her visit, so that's who showed up at her speech.

Here, rightwingwatch dishes on this heapin' helpin' o' rightwing hypocrisy:

Why would such an independent-minded, ambitious, self-motivated and capable woman devote so much effort to making sure that members of her sex would benefit from their dependence upon men? How could Schlafly reconcile her professed anti-elitism and opposition to day care with the fact that, although presenting herself as a traditional wife and mother, she ran for Congress twice, campaigned hard for Goldwater, crisscrossed the country speaking out for conservative causes, wrote more than a dozen books and enjoyed the services of a housekeeper who stayed with her family for 26 years?

Kathryn Jean Lopez says that once Hillary Clinton's campaign is over, we can also do away with feminism:

It would mark the end of the silly-women-talk on the national political scene. The beginning of female candidates running as candidates, without a heavy serving of identity politics…America is ready to quit this feminist silliness that men and women are equal, and that women don’t have different, natural responsibilities to the children they give birth to than men do.

Right - because when women and people of color support candidates who look like them and may share their experiences in the world, that's called "identity politics," but when white doodz support candidates who are white and male, that's just called "voting." And god forbid parenting would be about men taking responsibility for their seed.

Let's explain it again for Schlafly and Lopez:

Translated from French, the above sign says, "Feminism never killed anyone; machismo kills every day." Hat tip The F-Word for these three items (and what a great name for a blog).

The Burning Times has a great post about the silencing of older feminists and how it prevents our passing on herstory. She also has links to two MORE great blog posts on this subject (dear dog, will I ever finish reading these internets??). I said this recently in a comment over at Heart's site, but I'll say it again. I am shocked every single day to discover how little herstory I know. We really do seem doomed to perpetually reinventing the wheel because our previous work on how to do it is constantly being erased. I am an educated woman. I was raised by a feminist to be a feminist (although my mom was a liberal and I'm a radical, but the point is that I was given more feminist tools in childhood than are most). I have a degree in Social Justice Issues with a Women's Studies concentration. I read all of the feminist herstory and theory I can find time to read. And yet, the more I read the more frustrated I become by my own ignorance.

The Burning Times also explains about "the porn test," with what may be one of the most insightful things I've ever read:

Porn does destroy women. Sometimes by tiny increments, sometimes in one fatal blow. It infringes upon women's lives, and is increasingly inescapable. The destruction of the individual woman by porn may take many years, but it is also a destruction of women as a class over many hundreds of years. For as long as porn exists, it will be destroying women, one by one, relationship by relationship, state by state, and globally.

on the death of ecofeminist Val Plumwood, covered over at the Society of Women in Philosophy


Debs said...

Thanks for the links! It's so important, I'm getting quite obsessed with it - we must never forget the women who have struggled and fought before us for rights that we may take for granted now.

And we must also never forget that it is not our fault if it does slip out minds from time to time. Patriarchal societies such as ours are *desperate* for us to forget. They go to enormous lengths to stop women talking to each other and organising, they isolate us in our homes with the role of 'wife' or 'mother', they isolate us at work with their sex discrimination and harassment, they isolate us politically by making laws in the interests of men only.

And all of this is why we must keep talking (the internet is great for this - here I am in the UK, and there you are in the US, and we are talking! How cool!) and organise and resist with all our strength!

Sorry, I've got a real bee in my bonnet about this at the moment! xx

R. Eustis said...

Val Plumwood was a heck of a theorist. I've read a bunch of her work for my dissertation. I tend toward exactly the kind of fuzzy deep ecology affinities that would have annoyed her, but I still appreciated her writing very much. I'm very sad to hear that she died.

NOLA radfem said...

Her stuff was definitely dense reading (I admit I often had to go over stuff more than once), but she was one of those people whose work and perspective are unique.

I was surprised to hear of her death also.

Alas, if she'd been a movie star or something...

NOLA radfem said...

P.S. What was the dissertation on?