The Most Dangerous Place in the World to be a Woman: How the Afghan War Has Undermined Women's Rights
By PAT KENNELLY - Counterpunch
Over the last ten years, the U.S. and NATO poured trillions of dollars into the occupation of Afghanistan, opening over 400 military bases around the country. From these bases NATO forces launch hundreds of night raids per month and dozens of drones fill the sky. These NATO operations have caused greater insecurity for women. They create countless widows, destroy homes, and foster a psychological terror that women are not safe and secure, even in their own homes.
Behind the Black Mask and Shattered Glass: Pre-Sentencing Interview with G20 Arrestee Kelly Pflug-Back by Comrade Black
On May 28, Kelly Pflug-Back will stand in front of a Toronto courtroom to be sentenced...I first met Kelly when she was a 16 yr old traveler kid who had just arrived in Victoria...Over the years Kelly became quite the well known community organizer and activist. So it was a surprise when her picture went out across the internet, TV news, and newspapers last year following the G20 as police released pictures of their most wanted suspects in their sweep of 1100 activists who were arrested, most of which would be released with no charges.
By Eli Mills - Vancouver Media Co-op
A study has recently been released by the BC Centre For Excellence in HIV and the University of British Columbia that proves what community advocates have been saying for years: safer indoor spaces for sex work save lives...“It’s common sense if you think about it...Imagine yourself preparing to work outside in the cold, negotiating services and fees in strangers’ cars. Then imagine yourself preparing to work out of your apartment building, which happens to be staffed with caring, vigilant support staff committed to helping you stay safe no matter what.”
By Samantha McGavin - May 9, 2012
Across North America, Mother's Day is widely celebrated. Families pay tribute to women's contributions to the family with a nice meal, flowers, jewelry, clothing, even electronics. The National Retailers' Federation estimates that over $16 billion was spent in the U.S. last year to mark the day...But the day did not begin as a day of consumerism to celebrate mothers' contributions to the home and family; once upon a time it was a day meant to celebrate their contributions to society.
Challenging Convictions: Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Writing in Solidarity with Prison Abolition
Like much prison abolition work, the call for this anthology comes from frustration and hope: frustration with organizers against sexual assault and domestic violence who treat the police as a universally available and good solution [and] frustration with prison abolitionists who only use “domestic violence” and “rape” as provocative examples...But, this project also shares the hope and worth of working toward building communities without prisons and without sexual violence. Most importantly, it is anchored in the belief that resisting prisons, domestic violence, and sexual assault are inseparable.
By Sasha Wiley - rabble.ca
I don't think these men are inherently bad people, at all, but I do find it necessary to challenge their misogyny, rooted as it is in what amounts to a cycle of oppression; the transference of the hatred and contempt they feel the world has for them onto the women around them. They blame women for their feelings of alienation because when we can blame someone who has even less power than we do, it is easy to enact our anger without social reprisal.
The Bedford decision would give more power to the police, pimps and madams. While prostitutes would be legally entitled to hire a bodyguard and "work" indoors, with the endorsement of the Ontario "Justice" establishment, "johns" would be in the clear, free to pay, come and go. Fortunately, survivors are organizing and speaking out about the daily reality of the sex industry, urging us all to consider the hidden side of this court decision.
By Adrie Naylor - Znet Commentary
One of the key political and economic goals of neo-liberal capitalism has been to individualize and re-privatize the responsibility for caring, socially reproductive labour. The social supports that are currently provided by the state, victories of previous waves of feminist and working-class mobilization, have long been targets for rollback. When Margaret Thatcher proclaimed, "there is no society," she was articulating precisely this neo-liberal logic: there should exist no support, no caring labour outside the family.
Sunday, March 25, 2012 - Green Left Weekly
"...[T]he foreign troops should leave Afghanistan immediately. The US occupiers have made life hell by massacring innocent civilians and supporting this brutal regime of warlords and fundamentalists...Democracy and justice can’t be imposed by a foreign power — especially by the US with its history of overthrowing democratic regimes and imposing dictators and murderers on countless nations since World War II."
Call for Submissions: Challenging Convictions - Survivors of Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Writing on Solidarity with Prison Abolition
The call for this anthology comes from frustration and hope: frustration with organizers against sexual assault and domestic violence who treat the police as a universally available and as a good solution and frustration with prison abolitionists who only use “domestic violence” and “rape” as provocative examples. But, this project also shares the hope and worth of working toward building communities without prisons and without sexual violence. Most importantly, it is anchored in the belief that resisting prisons, domestic violence, and sexual assault are inseparable.
Israeli troops respond to International Women's Day demonstration at Qalandia checkpoint with water cannons, flash grenades and tear gas.
By GAIL DINES - Counterpunch Weekend Edition
Ever since Rush [Limbaugh] let out his true feelings about women as “sluts” and “prostitutes”...the media and blogosphere has been alive with discussions about the Republican “war on women”...Yes, there is a war on women, but is it is not just the Republicans who have been waging this...What gets less air time is the never-ending war that both Democrats and Republicans have been waging against women with policies that create an economic climate that makes women and children’s lives intolerable.
By John Pilger - March 09, 2012
That ["Labor" Prime Minister of Australia Julia] Gillard might be a nightmare to the Aboriginal women, men and children whom this quintessential machine politician has abused and blamed for their impoverishment, while implementing punitive and racist measures against their communities...is apparently not relevant. That Gillard might be a nightmare to refugees detained behind razor wire, children included...is of no interest.
Scoring for Information: Police Infiltration Tactics Viewed as a Violation of Women's Bodies and Rights
By Kelly Pflug-Back - The Dominion
For marginalized women whose communities have historically been harmed by governmental powers, the thought of having been intimate with someone who represents state authority is profoundly violating...“Sexual consent means being fully aware of the circumstances, being aware of everything that is necessary for your safety”...[U]ndercover agents strategically take advantage of characteristics that are traditionally stereotyped as being feminine, such as compassion, nurturing and emotional receptivity.
By GAIL DINES - Counterpunch Weekend Edition
I usually like watching Meryl Streep, but I seriously hope that she doesn’t win an Oscar on Sunday for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher. I couldn’t stand the thought of more people going to see such a dreadful piece of right-wing propaganda. I actually paid money to see The Iron Lady...All I could think about during the torturous 100 minutes, was what great timing this film is for the Republicans. Just as they try to sell neo-liberal ideology to an increasingly impoverished working class, here comes a movie that celebrates one of their most ardent proponents.