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Catherina

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Name: Catherina
Gender: Female
Member since: Mon Mar 3, 2008, 02:08 PM
Number of posts: 34,318

About Me

\"Indeed, in my four-plus decades in journalism, I have never seen a more thoroughly biased and misleading performance by the major U.S. news media. Even during the days of Ronald Reagan – when much of the government’s modern propaganda structure was created – there was more independence in major news outlets. There were media stampedes off the reality cliff during George H.W. Bush’s Persian Gulf War and George W. Bush’s Iraq War, both of which were marked by demonstrably false claims that were readily swallowed by the big U.S. news outlets. But there is something utterly Orwellian in the current coverage of the Ukraine crisis, including accusing others of “propaganda” when their accounts – though surely not perfect – are much more honest and more accurate than what the U.S. press corps has been producing. There’s also the added risk that this latest failure by the U.S. press corps is occurring on the border of Russia, a nuclear-armed state that – along with the United States – could exterminate all life on the planet. The biased U.S. news coverage is now feeding into political demands to send U.S. military aid to Ukraine’s coup regime. The casualness of this propaganda – as it spreads across the U.S. media spectrum from Fox News to MSNBC, from the Washington Post to the New York Times – is not just wretched journalism but it is reckless malfeasance jeopardizing the lives of many Ukrainians and the future of the planet.\" Robert Parry, Ukraine, Through the US Looking Glass, April 16, 2014 http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/04/16-6

Journal Archives

Militarization, Feminism, and the International Politics of Banana Boats

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cynthia Enloe on Militarization, Feminism, and the International Politics of Banana Boats

....

Let's go back to this Dole California ship in the background. That’s a gendered ship! Let’s look at some of the gendered aspects involved in this banana boat. Who produces Dole bananas? It’s women that are working on the banana plantations in Central America. And what about the ship’s crew? It's a small crew because it's a container ship—but they aren't simply ‘men’. I would guess they are Filipino men navigating bananas from Central America to California. And they have relationships at home; they're sending money home. Dole, moreover, has a whole executive hierarchy that, in my guess, are male and probably they don't look anything like the crew on that ship, let alone like the plantation workers. And it is here in San Diego feeding the American public—through shopping done by women. So, that ship is definitely making the world go round. It's definitely key not only to what we eat for breakfast, but also to globalized capitalism. You can't explain that ship in its entirety without asking which men, why those men, and what their relationship is to which women.

That's one of the things that I learned—I read a lot of history and, going back to what I was affected by, when I was first becoming a feminist in my academic work, the people I was reading were overwhelmingly historians and that has been so good for me. Amongst the first historians that I read were historians of the globalized textile industry. One of the things that I learned from a historian named Judy Lown, who is British, was that the early textile entrepreneurs requested—informed—their engineers to create textile looms—the technology with levers if you will—so that they could be worked by children and women. This then gets naturalized to ‘Oh, the textile industry is perfect for women, because look at the machinery!’ But in fact, it was the entrepreneur who said, ‘no, make these machines usable for women’, because at that point, if you could get farm girls off British farms, you could pay them less than the skilled male weavers.

So structures matter, but it doesn't mean that gender doesn't matter. There's an assumption, maybe by people who don't do gender research, that actually gender is all in the area of culture. Gender is structured and is made structured, because structures are human-made. Conducting gender research means to always ask ‘What role is masculinity playing, and what role is femininity playing?’ Where are the women, where are the men, why are they each there, who gains from them being in those places?—and you're off and running. Pick the topic and you're ready.

It is true that the legitimation of many structures is the process by which we are persuaded that these structures are natural. That is the idea that the labour market is the invisible hand. But that's why I look for decisions in history because if I can find the decisions, meaning the decisions made one way rather than another way, then there's evidence that that structure actually not only was created in the first place, but has to be maintained every day.

...

But the protector is the one who gets to know the outside world. If you're protected, you are domesticated. And you're in the private sphere, and you're definitely in the local, domestic sphere—and you're grateful. If you are the protector, you're presumed to have to know about the greater world, because how else could you be the protector? So even if you are not worldly, there's pressure on you to act as though you are able to assess the threats. That just sets up the whole political hierarchy. If the protected is feminized and the protector is masculinized and the protector is supposed to be worldly and rational and strategic and the protected is supposed to be nurturing and grateful, you have patriarchy. Patriarchy can take so many different forms. It can fit a lot of different personalities and a lot of different structures, so you can have patriarchies that are quite comfortable. I oftentimes think that patriarchy, as a particular way of ordering human life, wouldn't work if a lot of women weren't persuaded that it was good for them.

...

Cynthia Enloe’s career has included Fulbrights in Malaysia and Guyana, and guest professorships in Japan, Britain and Canada, as well as lecturing in Sweden, Norway, Germany, Korea, Turkey and at universities around the U.S. Her books and articles have been translated into Spanish, Turkish, Japanese, Korean, Swedish, and German. She has written for Ms. Magazine and has appeared on National Public Radio and the BBC. Enloe’s twelve books include Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics (2000), Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives (2004), and Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link (2007). Her newest book is Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War (forthcoming from University of California Press, spring, 2010). In years past, Enloe’s feminist teaching and research has focused on the interplay of women’s politics in the national and international arenas, with special attention to how women’s labor is made cheap in globalized factories (especially sneaker factories) and how women’s emotional and physical labor has been used to support governments’ war-waging policies—and how many women have tried to resist both of those efforts.


http://www.theory-talks.org/2012/05/theory-talk-48.html



think I'm in love. Again. For the 5th time this week probably.

I don't think you're missing anything

Not only does the transphobia discredit her because of the angle she's coming from, but her logic on other things is faulty. She also plays very loose with facts and omits, flat out dismisses, anything that contradicts her assertions.

Everything in her books is always frozen in time, without a thought for the larger picture, as if things happened in a rigid, static, sterile vacuum with no deviation from what she set out to *prove* in the first place.


That's all you missed dear Gormy. I want all the time I was forced to spend on Sheila Jeffreys' works back.

You can't even make up some of the stuff she wrote. Here's just an example, as quoted by her friend Bindel

cross-dressing is a result of “men adopting the behaviours of a subordinate group in order to enjoy the sexual satisfaction of masochism”


and this, explained by Bindel here
Appealing to their heterosexual sisters to get rid of men "from your beds and your heads", they started a debate, which reached its height in 1981 with the publication of an infamous booklet, Love Your Enemy? The Debate Between Heterosexual Feminism and Political Lesbianism (LYE). In this, the RFs wrote that, "all feminists can and should be lesbians. Our definition of a political lesbian is a woman-identified woman who does not fuck men. It does not mean compulsory sexual activity with women."

The message of LYE immediately provoked a strong and often negative reaction. While some radical feminists agreed with the group's arguments, many went wild at being told they were "counter-revolutionaries", undermining the fight for women's liberation by sleeping with men. The main author of LYE, Sheila Jeffreys, says that the backlash to the booklet "even among lesbians, was quite shocking. Quite a few were angry with the group for writing it. They felt it exposed them to hostility from outraged heterosexual feminists."

It's no surprise that the booklet was so controversial. "We think serious feminists have no choice but to abandon heterosexuality," it reads. "Only in the system of oppression that is male supremacy does the oppressor actually invade and colonise the interior of the body of the oppressed." It also asserted that penetration "is more than a symbol, its function and effect is the punishment and control of women".


Maybe my words are too harsh but I can't get past the transphobia either and what I saw as deliberately divisive rhetoric that wasn't coming from a position of love for all women or equity for all humans.

It's good to see you btw

Responses to RadFem2012 show our queer, feminist communities are standing strong against transphobia

The responses to RadFem2012 show our queer and feminist communities to be standing strong against transphobia


Earlier this month, feminists were dismayed to see that the upcoming radical feminist conference RadFem2012 had installed a policy of only allowing ‘women born women living as women’ to attend – a clumsy phrase originally reading ‘biological women only’, and specifically intended to exclude transgender women.

Further, RadFem2012 had booked Sheila Jeffreys to speak – an old-school, terrifyingly transphobic radfem activist who has before called for transition-related surgery to be banned and who has a forthcoming book in which she criticises the very existence of transgender people. I was amazed that feminists existed who still felt that the human rights of trans folks could be a matter up for debate by cisgender people, let alone that there was evidently an entire feminist conference willing to platform and support these views.

A resistance quickly mobilised in response to RadFem2012 – a few people got angry on Twitter, and the conversation grew to a huge group of trans feminists, cis allies and many people in between. The blogosphere has exploded with messages of support and solidarity.

...

Large organisations have also expressed their support. The NUS Women’s Campaign said, ‘”We are committed to ending transphobia … and as such we condemn RadFem’s policy.” The Brighton Feminist Collective said, ‘”We will not support an event which fights for equality by promoting inequality, nor will we accept this strange formation of a hierarchy of women.’” Individual university-based feminist societies, including the Royal Holloway and Oxford groups, have also issued statements of support.

The venue, Conway Hall, has now expressed concerns to the conference’s organisers over hate speech and the legality of excluding transgender women from the conference, and they are currently in discussions.

...

http://www.lesbilicious.co.uk/the-responses-to-radfem2012-show-our-queer-and-feminist-communities-to-be-standing-strong-against-transphobia/



Together, standing strong against hate!

RadFem still wants her

I agree with you. There's nothing radical or feminist about this kind of bigots.


The venue blocked her. I don't know what RadFem 2012 is going to do, move their conference so they can still have their guest or go ahead there without her. They still have her up on their website http://www.radfem2012.com/speakers.html

The venue is still getting hammered. Both these tweets are from yesterday. The last one sounds as if the whole event may get booted out of Conway Hall.

conwayhall ‏@conwayhall
@AmberHolywood @terristange @LeeLysandra more info about our position on #RadFem & SJ coming soon, thanks for your patience.
Expand
Reply Retweet Favorite

conwayhall ‏@conwayhall
@TheRealSGM @FeministatSea More info on #RadFem soon. Suffice to say any bookings cancelled at our request are fully refunded. Thanks.
Reply Retweet Favorite
http://twitter.com/conwayhall/status/207779580931616769


I've been really shocked at some of the things I've read about RadFem, and MichFest, this weekend. Julie Bindel is being her normal, hateful, transphobic self over this, throwing as much gasoline as she can to fan the bigotry.

I'm not impressed with one of the other speakers, Gail Dines either.

Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 14:42:16 -0500
From: Gail Dines <gdines AT WHEELOCK.EDU>
Subject: Re: Texts on Radical feminism
Radically Speaking is a great collection and students do well with the
articles. I also suggest anything by Sheila Jeffreys as she applies radical
feminism to a wide range of topics. Her new book on beauty is excellent. And of
course, Andrea Dworkin's books formed the back--bone of radical feminism today.

Gail

Gail Dines
Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies
Chair of American Studies
Wheelock College

http://userpages.umbc.edu/~korenman/wmst/radicalfem.html

How is stuff like this not hate speech?

After you tipped me off last week, I started paying more attention to their hate on the internet.

How thefuck isn't this hate speech? This is from someone who bills herself as an expert on lesbian affairs and disabled to boot.

Warning. Vanje, Yardwork, other sensitive beautiful friends, don't read this.


I knew those fuckers were disgusting, but really, they’re worse than I thought in how they don’t even pretend to care about females. To blame us for them being killed by other men? Their arrogance and oppressiveness is amazing. It is funny though that they are so used to Feminists immediately bowing before them that they don’t know how to deal with that we don’t care what happens to them. They expect we’ll be shocked to see statistics about them being killed, and don’t realize, some of us wish they would ALL be dead.

http://wewillnot.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/wtf-is-with-the-intersex-comments/#comment-1020


I'm still reeling from that, and other comments from the RadFem community. These Janice Raymond followers seem seriously disturbed

That same one, RadFem extraordinaire, hasn't changed her tune a single bit

DEFINING LESBIANS OUT OF EXISTENCE: “TRANSWOMEN” ARE MERELY CASTRATED MEN

Rewind the clock back a few decades and remember how society treated Lesbians, how it said homosexuality was a mental disorder, how paranoid it was and THIS IS HOW YOU REPAY ALL THE ACTIVISM THAT GAVE YOU RIGHTS? By oppressing the next set of very real, current victims? I bleed for the pain they put people like Chaz Bono through. What haters.

I'm shocked. I never saw such hate from any of the Feminist or LGBT groups I've mixed with over decades. Who are these people who openly talk about political alliances with fundamentalists to take care of this *problem*?

I'm stopping now because if I type anything else, I'll be too angry to restrain myself.

Red Plenty

I came across this quote today so now the book intrigues me. Has anyone read it? Can you give personal recommendations?


But Marx had drawn a nightmare picture of what happened to human life under capitalism, when everything was produced only in order to be exchanged; when true qualities and uses dropped away, and the human power of making and doing itself became only an object to be traded. Then the makers and the things made turned alike into commodities, and the motion of society turned into a kind of zombie dance, a grim cavorting whirl in which objects and people blurred together till the objects were half alive and the people were half dead. Stock-market prices acted back upon the world as if they were independent powers, requiring factories to be opened or closed, real human beings to work or rest, hurry or dawdle; and they, having given the transfusion that made the stock prices come alive, felt their flesh go cold and impersonal on them, mere mechanisms for chunking out the man-hours. Living money and dying humans, metal as tender as skin and skin as hard as metal, taking hands, and dancing round, and round, and round, with no way ever of stopping; the quickened and the deadened, whirling on. That was Marx’s description, anyway. And what would be the alternative? The consciously arranged alternative? A dance of another nature, Emil presumed. A dance to the music of use, where every step fulfilled some real need, did some tangible good, and no matter how fast the dancers spun, they moved easily, because they moved to a human measure, intelligible to all, chosen by all.

http://crookedtimber.org/2012/03/03/red-plenty-2/




Reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Red-Plenty-Francis-Spufford/product-reviews/1555976042/ref=la_B001HCV3N8_1_1_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

I almost didn't post it

because I knew it would have that effect but it's intolerable that such haters still have a platform. It's not even one of the worst quotes.

"Janice G. Raymond is professor emerita of women's studies and medical ethics at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst". Medical ethics?

What's even more upsetting is that the National Center for Healthcare Technology commissioned her as an expert on transexual matters.

A former Catholic nun isn't the first person anyone should be listening to on matters of sex, prostitution and transsexualism. I'm happy haters like this are being discredited but what about all the damage they've caused?


In the early eighties, there was a report, written for the US Government, called Technology on the Social and Ethical Aspects of Transsexual Surgery. This report argued that transition-related treatments were medically unnecessary. As a result, consideration of federal and state aid for trans people was dropped, and private insurance companies quickly followed suit, disingenuously expanding the definition of “transition-related” to include absolutely anything that could even conjecturally be related to hormone treatments, including various types of cancer. Trans people have died as a result.

I wonder how many people know who was responsible for that report, who it was that convinced the US government (and, indirectly, insurance companies) that helping trans people wasn’t important. You’d probably think it was some fundiegelical Republican, right?

Nope. It was Janice Raymond.

If you feel like being enraged, you can read a copy of her report (trigger warning for transphobia, obviously). If you don’t feel like reading, you’re not missing much, as it’s basically the same “morally mandate it out of existence” horseshit that was in her book. (And yeah, like most transphobic feminists, she almost makes a couple of really good points, but is so focused on eliminationism that she doesn’t actually arrive at helpful conclusions. Or so it appears — frankly, I can only read a few sentences of it at a time without wanting to scream and kick things.)

So yeah — if you’ve ever wondered why I can’t be “understanding” and “patient” with feminist transphobia, now you know why: tens of thousands of trans people have died because of it.

http://kiriamaya.tumblr.com/post/2531500528/in-the-early-eighties-there-was-a-report-written


National Center for Healthcare Technology (NCHCT) was a short-lived, quasi-governmental body funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Medical Ethics, Janice Raymond, and the Modern Transsexual Woman

April 1, 2012

...

You may find it curious that the person commissioned by NCHCT to produce an expert opinion on the necessity and efficacy of transition-related healthcare would come from a background of involvement with the Roman Catholic church, an organisation with a long-standing and publicly acknowledged antipathy to sexual and gender minorities, and that furthermore, this same person would not possess a single medical, let alone psychiatric qualification that would allow that person to serve as an expert on matters of medical concern.

...

the paper produced by Raymond contained highly controversial language concerning transsexuality, language that is not only long deprecated, but was certainly not settled opinion even in its day, with the possible exception of within the small, but vocal, circles of academic radical lesbian feminism. In this paper Raymond:

- Uses inflammatory positioning of sexual reassignment surgery as “mutilation”.
- Dismisses established medical and psychological practice in favor of her own, personally developed but uncritically challenged, version of ethics.
- Compares the desire of transsexual women to access transition-related healthcare to hypothetical desire of people of color who may have imagined changing the color of their skin to avoid the stigma assigned to people of color that is common to the oppressively racist cultures.
- Asserts, despite any medical or psychiatric certification whatsoever, that the challenges posed by transsexual lives are not medical or psychiatric concerns, but more properly concerns of sociology.
- Positions medical and psychiatric assistance to transsexual people as actually detrimental to the health of transsexual people.
- Portrayed falsely inflated fears of gender clinics being used as mechanisms of societal enforcement of behavioral norms.
- Invokes fears of predatory medical practice for the purposes of obtaining profit at the expense of transsexual people.
- Conflates sex with chromosomal type, reproductive capacity, and falsely claims that recognition of the need for transition-related healthcare amounts to reification of the argument that gross biology is the sole important determiner of gender.
- Falsely claims pre-eminence of an experiential basis for gender based on an individual’s position within society, rather than on that individual’s own psychological and physical makeup.
- Equates transition-related therapies with heroin abuse and addiction.
- Derides surgical therapies for an inability to necessarily affect psychiatric conditions, as if this were ever a concern in the first place. This flies in the face of all previous research, particularly that developed by Harry Benjamin, who advocated only the employment of such therapies as were sufficient to alleviate the symptoms of dysphoria in each individual case.
- UNETHICALLY misrepresents previous research relating to sexual reassignment surgery and its possible effects on post-transition happiness.
- Claims that transition-related therapies are experimental and dangerous, and have led to causation of disease, without any significant evidence to back up the claim aside from two cases reported by a single source in which it was speculated by the treating practitioner that cross-sex transition-related hormone replacement therapy was responsible for causing breast cancer in the two patients
- Calls for the “elimination of transsexualism” via attritive legislation.
- Insists that feminists who do not experience transsexualism be given authority to help restrict and regulate the right of transsexual people to access appropriate healthcare.


In the wake of this paper, the federal government removed all support for funding access to appropriate cross-sex transition-related healthcare, and in short order, private insurance firms followed suit. It has been an uphill battle ever since for us to regain that access, an uphill battle that has now stretched into a fourth decade.

That such a paper was ever allowed to be commissioned from a person who had absolutely no medical or psychiatric credentials, let alone clinical experience treating transsexual patients is utterly appalling, and a travesty of justice on scale which I cannot even begin to assess. It is not hyperbole to suggest that untold thousands of deaths have been caused by the removal of healthcare options and the subsequently reinforced societal stigma that this paper succeeded in pursing.

http://telegantmess.tumblr.com/post/20279482296/medical-ethics-janice-raymond-and-the-modern

A magnificent bipartisan effort of "Let Them Eat Cake" has been alive and well since the 1990's

We must never forget our part in this. I thank Peter Edelman and his wife Marian Wright Edelman for being morally consistent about the problem, regardless of which administration is in charge.

Here are some quotes I had on my computer from an old research paper. My paper focused on children but it's all the same war.

In America's 1990s, to be poor is not so a much socioeconomic status as it is a serious character flaw, a defect of the spirit. Federal statistics tell a tale of loss and want so dreadful that Dickens, of A Tale of Two Cities fame, would cringe.

Consider: seven million people homeless, with less than two hundred dollars in monthly income. Thirty seven million people, 14.5 percent of the nation's population, living below poverty levels. Of that number 29 percent are African Americans, meaning that over 10.6 million blacks live in poverty.

Both wings of the ruling "Republicrat" Party try to outdo themselves in announcing new, ever more draconian measures to restrict, repress, restrain, and eliminate the poor. One is reminded of the wry observation of French writer Anatole France: "The Law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread."

Already U.S. manufacturers have fled to NAFTA -friendly Mexico, and only the Zapatista insurgency in Chiapas has slowed an emerging flood of Western capital. Outgunned in the industrial wars by Japan and Germany, the United States has embarked on a low-technology, low-skill, high-employment scheme that exploits the poor, the stupid, and the slow via a boom in prison construction, America's sole growth industry.

Increasingly, more and more Americans are guarding more and more American prisoners for more and more years. And this amid the lowest crime rate in decades. No major political party has an answer to this social dilemma, short of cages and graves for the poor.

The time is ripe for a new, brighter, life-affirming vision that liberates, not represses, the poor, who after all are the vast majority of this Earth's people. Neither serpentine politics, nor sterile economic theory that treats them-people -as mere economic units offers much hope. For the very politicians they vote for spit in their faces, while economists write them off as "nonpersons."

It must come from the poor, a rebellion of the spirit that reaffirms their intrinsic human worth, based upon who they are rather than what they possess.

- Excerpt from Howard Zinn's book "Voices of People's History of the United States", pg 566, WAR ON THE POOR

The book is online here http://www6.svsu.edu/~jalewis2/HIST1700/PDF/HIST%201700%20Zinn%20Voices%20of%20Peoples%20History%20Reader.pdf



Mr. President, the cosmetic improvements made in this bad bill cannot possibly justify its passage. It is no answer to say that this bill is less extreme than previous bills. Less extreme is still too extreme.

This bill condemns millions of innocent children to poverty in the name of welfare reform. But no welfare bill worthy of the name reform would lead to such an unconscionable result. This bill is not a welfare reform bill--it is a ``Let them eat cake'' bill.

In fact, welfare reform would have nothing to do with the tens of billions of dollars in this bill in harsh cuts that hurt children. Cuts of that obscene magnitude are totally unjustified. They are being inflicted for one reason only--to pay for the massive tax breaks for the wealthy that Bob Dole and the Republican majority in Congress still hope to pass. Today the Republican majority has succeeded in pushing extremism and calling it virtue. It is nothing of the sort. This bill will condemn millions of American children to poverty in order to provide huge tax breaks for the rich.

...

The United States already has more children living in poverty--the United States already spend less of its wealth on its children--than 16 out of the 18 major industrial nations in the world. The United States has a larger gap between rich and poor children than any other industrial nation. Children in the United States are twice as likely to be poor than British children, and three times as likely to be poor than French or German children. And we call ourselves the leader of the free world? Shame on us. Shame on the Senate. Surely we can do better-- and there is still time to do it.

-Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) “Statement By Senator Kennedy On The Passage Of The Welfare Bill,” July 23, 1996, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-1996-07-23/html/CREC-1996-07-23-pt1-PgS8501.htm




“Mr. President, several weeks ago, during the consideration of the welfare reform bill, I came to the floor and expressed my views on that legislation. At the time, I characterized the bill as an unconscionable retreat from our Nation’s more than 60-year commitment to America’s poorest children. Unfortunately, I still believe that to be the case today.”

In the past 60 years, while we have disagreed and quarreled in this country on some issues, all Americans, regardless of party or ideology, understood that it was in our national interest to protect the most innocent and defenseless of our people--the 9 million children who collect Aid to Families with Dependent Children.

With the passage of the welfare reform bill, I believe we have abandoned that 60-year-old commitment.

- Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) “Statement By Senator Dodd On The Passage Of The Welfare Bill,”, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-1996-09-30/html/CREC-1996-09-30-pt1-PgS11867.htm




Upon resigning his position as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services

"There will be suffering. Some of the damage will be obvious -- more homelessness, for example, with more demand on already strapped shelters and soup kitchens. The ensuing problems will also appear as increases in the incidence of other problems, directly but perhaps not provably owing to the impact of the welfare bill. There will be more malnutrition and more crime, increased infant mortality, and increased drug and alcohol abuse. There will be increased family violence and abuse against children and women, and a consequent significant spillover of the problem into the already overloaded child-welfare system and battered-women's shelters."

- Peter Edelman, 'Atlantic Monthly', The Worst Thing Bill Clinton has Ever Done, March 1997


and last but not least, this stirring letter from his wife Marian


"...Protect Children from Unjust Policies"

An open letter to President Clinton
from Marian Wright Edelman, President and Founder of the Children's Defense Fund

I am calling for your unwavering moral leadership for children and opposition to Senate and House welfare and Medicaid block grants, which will make more children poor and sick.

As president, you have the opportunity and personal responsibility to protect children from unjust policies. It would be a great moral and practical wrong for you to sign any welfare "reform" bill that will push millions of already poor children and families deeper into poverty, as both the Senate and House welfare bills will do. It would be wrong to destroy the 60-year-old guaranteed safety net for children, women, and poor families, as both the Senate and House welfare bills will do.

It would be wrong to leave millions of voteless, voiceless children to the vagaries of 50 state bureaucracies and politics, as both the Senate and House bills will do. It would be wrong to strip children of or weaken current ensured help for their daily survival and during economic recessions and natural disasters, as both the Senate and House bills will do. It would be wrong to exacerbate rather than alleviate the current shameful and epidemic child poverty that no decent, rich nation should tolerate for even one child.

Both the Senate and House welfare bills are morally and practically indefensible. Rather than solve widespread child deprivation, they simply shift the burden onto states and localities with far fewer federal resources, weakened state maintenance of effort, and little or no state accountability. As you well know, these block grants are not designed primarily to help children or to make families more self-sufficient. They are Trojan horses for massive budget cuts and for imposing an ideological agenda that says that government assistance for the poor and children should be dismantled and cut while government assistance for wealthy individuals and corporations should be maintained and even increased. Do you think the Old Testament prophets Isaiah, Micah, and Amos--or Jesus Christ--would support such policies?

Neither the Senate nor House welfare bill is an example of the good competing with the perfect. Both are fatally flawed, callous, anti-child assaults. Both bills eviscerate the moral compact between the nation and its children and its poor.

If child investments are unfairly and indiscriminately cut by many billions of dollars, there is perhaps some prospect of recouping the money over time when new child suffering becomes apparent, as it did after the Reagan cuts and as it will this time as pending cuts are many times worse. But longer-term and perhaps irreparable damage will be inflicted on children if you permit to be destroyed the fundamental moral principle that an American child, regardless of the state or parents the child chanced to draw, is entitled to protection of last resort by his or her national government. If any piece of the framework or cornerstone of the laws--AFDC, Medicaid, family and child nutrition--is dismantled, we may not get them back in our lifetime or our children's.

What a tragic step backward for America when so many children already are left behind. Both you and I know that there are lessons from American history, including the end of Reconstruction, when the immoral abandonment of structures of law and equity led to decades of setbacks for powerless Americans and battles we still are fighting today. What a tragic irony it would be for this regressive attack on children and the poor to occur on your watch. For me, this is a defining moral litmus test for your presidency.

We cannot heal our racial divisions or prepare our nation for the future unless we give poor Black, Brown, and White children a healthy and fair start in life. These pending block grants will make that task so much harder. Together with the proposed tax policies, they widen the income gulf between America's haves and have-nots. You have spoken too eloquently and worked too long for children to wipe it out with your signature now.

It is nonsense for congressional leaders to argue that they are protecting children from a future debt children did not create by destroying the vital laws and investments children need to live, learn, and grow today. That is the domestic equivalent of bombing Vietnamese villages in order to save them. It is moral hypocrisy for our nation to slash income, health, and nutrition assistance for poor children while leaving untouched hundreds of billions in corporate welfare, giving the Pentagon almost $7 billion it did not request.

The Children's Defense Fund wants welfare reform. But we want fair reform that does not pick on and hurt children and that provides parents jobs and safe child care. We want reform that prepares our children for the new millennium-not reform that pushes them back to past inequities within and among states.

We want to "end welfare as we know it." But we do not want to replace it with welfare as we do not want to know it. We do not want to codify a policy of national child abandonment.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt correctly said: "Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the constant omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference." Every president since FDR--Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush--preserved the minimal national guarantee of income assistance for poor children. It is a precedent I hope and trust you will uphold. What was right and compassionate in FDR's day is right today and will be right tomorrow.

There is an even higher precedent that we profess to follow in our Judeo-Christian nation. The Old Testament prophets and the New Testament Messiah made plain God's mandate to protect the poor and the weak and the young. The Senate and House welfare bills do not meet this test.

(Published Nov. 3, 1995 in The Washington Post)

http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/Politics/edelman_open_letter.html

UPDATE to Radfem Sheila Jeffreys, transphobe, barred from speaking at RadFem 2012 by venue

See Update in post 18. They threw them out!

* ~ * ~

(Crossposed from the Feminist Group. Some background here. They are explicitly barring trans women from attending.)


Sheila Jeffreys, RadFem2012 and the imaginary trans conspiracy
May 29, 2012

...

Kickass feminist and activist, the thoroughly inspirational Roz Kaveney recently wrote a takedown of this particular branch of radical feminism, rightly likening it to a cult (although arguably there are also fascistic overtones to the radfem party line on this issue). If you haven’t read it yet, please do. It’s utterly brilliant.

Sheila Jeffreys has responded to Roz’s excellent piece with an argument with so many holes it would be better suited to function as a colander. Again, this piece is worth reading, though for the exact opposite reasons to the one above. Jeffreys’s entire argument hinges upon the idea that it is only trans people who could possibly ever object to this particular murky brand of transphobia.

This is, of course, patently untrue. I’ve written myself that transphobia has no place in feminism, and I’m hardly the only one. One does not have to be trans to care about the rights of trans people. One simply has to be free from bigotry.

Jeffreys claims persecution from the trans community in the form of utter horrors such as glitter bombing and captioned photographs. Perhaps the most stark example of the hideous persecution faced by poor Jeffreys and her transphobic ilk is that Jeffreys claims the RadFem2012 conference venue to have banned her from speaking, citing evidence of her hate speech that she believes to be entirely reasonable. Throughout, notably, Jeffreys can only blame a shadowy cabal of trans people: the idea that cis allies may have in any way been involved simply fails to occur to her.

...

http://stavvers.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/sheila-jeffreys-radfem2012-and-the-imaginary-trans-conspiracy/


The above article merits reading in its entirety.



Here's the opening of her ridiculous complaint in the Guardian:

Criticism of the practice of transgenderism is being censored as a result of a campaign of vilification by transgender activists of anyone who does not accept the new orthodoxy on this issue. A recent Comment is free piece by the transgender activist Roz Kaveney, headlined "Radical feminists are acting like a cult", criticises a forthcoming radical feminist conference, at which I was to be a speaker, on the grounds that I and "my supporters" may be guilty of "hate speech" for our political criticism of this practice.

Though Kaveney's comments about me are comparatively mild in tone, the campaign by transgender activists in general is anything but. This particular campaign persuaded Conway Hall, the conference venue, to ban me from speaking on the grounds that I "foster hatred" and "actively discriminate". On being asked to account for this, Conway Hall appeared to compare me to "David Irving the holocaust denier". The proffered evidence consists of quotes from me arguing that transgender surgery should be considered a human rights violation – hardly evidence of hate speech.

...

What is clear is that transgender activists do not want any criticism of the practice to be made. They do not just target me, but the few other feminists who have ever been critical. Germaine Greer was glitterbombed, a practice that can be seen as assault and can endanger eyesight,

...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/29/transgenderism-hate-speech?fb=optOut


"hardly evidence of hate speech"? Really Sheila?

Radfem Sheila Jeffreys, transphobe, barred from speaking at the RadFem 2012 venue!

(Some background here)



Sheila Jeffreys, RadFem2012 and the imaginary trans conspiracy
May 29, 2012

...

Kickass feminist and activist, the thoroughly inspirational Roz Kaveney recently wrote a takedown of this particular branch of radical feminism, rightly likening it to a cult (although arguably there are also fascistic overtones to the radfem party line on this issue). If you haven’t read it yet, please do. It’s utterly brilliant.

Sheila Jeffreys has responded to Roz’s excellent piece with an argument with so many holes it would be better suited to function as a colander. Again, this piece is worth reading, though for the exact opposite reasons to the one above. Jeffreys’s entire argument hinges upon the idea that it is only trans people who could possibly ever object to this particular murky brand of transphobia.

This is, of course, patently untrue. I’ve written myself that transphobia has no place in feminism, and I’m hardly the only one. One does not have to be trans to care about the rights of trans people. One simply has to be free from bigotry.

Jeffreys claims persecution from the trans community in the form of utter horrors such as glitter bombing and captioned photographs. Perhaps the most stark example of the hideous persecution faced by poor Jeffreys and her transphobic ilk is that Jeffreys claims the RadFem2012 conference venue to have banned her from speaking, citing evidence of her hate speech that she believes to be entirely reasonable. Throughout, notably, Jeffreys can only blame a shadowy cabal of trans people: the idea that cis allies may have in any way been involved simply fails to occur to her.

...

http://stavvers.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/sheila-jeffreys-radfem2012-and-the-imaginary-trans-conspiracy/


The above article merits reading in its entirety.



Here's the opening of her ridiculous complaint in the Guardian:

Criticism of the practice of transgenderism is being censored as a result of a campaign of vilification by transgender activists of anyone who does not accept the new orthodoxy on this issue. A recent Comment is free piece by the transgender activist Roz Kaveney, headlined "Radical feminists are acting like a cult", criticises a forthcoming radical feminist conference, at which I was to be a speaker, on the grounds that I and "my supporters" may be guilty of "hate speech" for our political criticism of this practice.

Though Kaveney's comments about me are comparatively mild in tone, the campaign by transgender activists in general is anything but. This particular campaign persuaded Conway Hall, the conference venue, to ban me from speaking on the grounds that I "foster hatred" and "actively discriminate". On being asked to account for this, Conway Hall appeared to compare me to "David Irving the holocaust denier". The proffered evidence consists of quotes from me arguing that transgender surgery should be considered a human rights violation – hardly evidence of hate speech.

...

What is clear is that transgender activists do not want any criticism of the practice to be made. They do not just target me, but the few other feminists who have ever been critical. Germaine Greer was glitterbombed, a practice that can be seen as assault and can endanger eyesight,

...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/29/transgenderism-hate-speech?fb=optOut


"hardly evidence of hate speech"? Really Sheila?
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