Monday, December 20, 2010

Feminists Debate the Sexual Allegations Against Julian Assange

In this interesting interview Jaclyn Friedman argues the sexual assault allegations shouldn’t be dismissed just because they’re politically motivated, while Naomi Wolf says by going after Assange, the state is not embracing feminism, it’s "pimping" it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The March of the Women

By Mark lause

Dame Ethel Smyth wrote the March of the Women (1911) for the Women's Social and Political Union, the leading organization of the suffragists in Britain. It was used as the theme for the BBC's "Shoulder to Shoulder," which isn't available on DVD and has not been rebroadcast for decades here. The graphics are in the public domain, and the performance is that of the Rainbow Chorus from May 2009.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dehumanizing Men and Empowering Women?

I'm interested in the degree to which spin radically changes perspectives of reality. It is common to claim that things like pornography objectify women, making them an object of male interests.

But what of an opposite view? Does not the sex industry depict men, inherently, as mindless animals interested only in bestial pursuits? And further, doesn't that depiction, in some way, place women as superior to men?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Icelandic Men

I just heard an NPR report about the financial collapse in Iceland. For years, Iceland had a profitable fishing industry -- so profitable that they were able to pay for extensive education for everybody, including things like graduate school and even study abroad.

One problem: highly educated people don't like fishing, or smelting aluminum (Iceland's only two real job sectors.)

Enter investment banking. In the last few years, Iceland emerged as a financial powerhouse of sorts. Led by well-educated males, Iceland's economy emerged with tons of apparent assets.

Then the collapse.

I think each person who lives in Iceland would owe something like $330,000 to pay off the country's debt. Obviously this is unlikely to happen.

What came next, of course, is that Iceland elected new government, featuring the first openly gay head-of-state -- a lesbian who blames Iceland's economic woes, in part, to meddling men who thought they were smarter than they were.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Noam Chomsky on Pornography

Leading intellectual Noam Chomsky did an interview with Hustler magazine. He says he wasn't aware of the content of the magazine and he doesn't approve of porn. He talks about it in this video.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Feminism should not co-opt "abortion"

The issue of whether life starts at conception is a medical issue, or a theological issue, or a spiritual issue -- but I don't think it a gender issue. Certainly, as a man, I will never know what it means to become pregnant. But I also know that plenty of women count themselves among the ranks of the pro-life movement.

(Personally, I have no position on the abortion issue. I am forever "undecided." Blame it on Peter Singer.)

Organizations like N.O.W. (National Organization of Women) should be at the forefront of the fight for gender equity. Instead, their divisive stance on the abortion issue alienates pro-life women. Part of me thinks this could be part of a divide-and-conquer strategy that benefits male hegemony. By causing a rift on this front between pro-life and pro-choice women, a comprehensive movement towards women's rights gets thwarted.

Feminism would be better served to leave that particular hot-button issue off the plate for the doctors and the preachers to figure out.

So radical, it hardly looks like feminism anymore?

I am a radical feminist, and a man, inspired by two key texts by Wendell Berry. These are must-reads for any serious feminist, especially male feminists.

The first -- a prequel, of sorts, to the main feminist treatise -- is simply about why Wendell Berry does not want to buy a computer. Read it here. Things get interesting, not during his main essay, but when readers sent him angry letters. He responded, but then he took a closer look at the issue in his lengthy sequel: Feminism, The Body, and The Machine. This is a must-read, as I said before.

I am tempted to excerpt, but that would do the work injustice. Read them, and let me know what you think!