Politics

Alexandra Kollontai: the Brutal Bolshevik‘s Legacy to Feminism

Born to a wealthy Russian military family at the height of the Victorian era, Alexandra Kollontai rejected the upper-class life.

Opinionated and intelligent, she dove into politics young. Driven by the conviction that “bourgeois feminists” could never really understand the plight of The People, at 21 she ran away from her army officer husband and married a poor cousin. But it was the dangerous conditions in a local factory that caused her to snap. Devoting herself to Marxism, Alexandra left her second husband and made the acquaintance of the important men in the revolutionary Bolshevik party.

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World’s “Freest” Economy Squeezes Citizens Into Boxes

What do words like ‘freedom’ and ‘liberal’ actually mean?

Hong Kong has been in the news for a while now. Many of us will have at least a passing familiarity with the fact that the Chinese government is experimenting with various methods of running them into the ground.

But a more long-standing problem – in the country deemed 2020’s Freest Economy by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal – is the spiraling price of real estate.

Vox recently published a video addressing the issue. Land scarcity, the obvious suspect in an island nation of millions, is not the problem. Only about 3% of Hong Kong is zoned for urban housing.

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Something Positive: The Great Green Wall of Africa

It’s been a very long year so far. Between disease, financial crunch and political upheaval, it seems like the world is just plain confusing, if not actively out to get us.

In times like these, it’s important to occasionally take time out for something majorly positive.

Today’s installment of Something Positive features climate change. I know that sounds weird, but bear with me.

Women in underdeveloped countries often suffer the most from the personal and economic effects of climate change. So it was with no small relish that I learned how successful (and cheap!) the Great Green Wall of Africa has been so far.

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Father’s Day Madness: Guns, Guns Everywhere

Just popping in to bring attention to something I noticed in the news this morning.

This weekend was Father's Day in the United States. Usually, this holiday passes with little more fanfare than some cards at the drugstore and persistent Home Depot commercials.

This year, as we will all have noticed by now, is unique. This year, Father's Day was marked by random outbursts of violence across the country.

I'm not even talking about the protests. Or the riots. Or the looting. Or the brutal acts of political pageantry.

Chicago had it worst, with 60 people shot across the city. Nine of them have died, in unrelated situations where someone decided to start pulling a trigger. New York City has seen 18 shootings this weekend.

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Does A New Depression Mean A Sharp Turn Right?

We have all developed our little quirks in dealing with daily life during lockdown. Your faithful writer has been vacillating between following the pandemic and its politics like a sexy murder trial, and avoiding anything remotely topical to cover the smell of my brain sizzling. Last night I was pulled from panicked reverie by the compulsion to respond to an article on Medium. 

We’re Watching An Economy Die is one of those rare treats that is both inescapably enjoyable and deeply disturbing. Umair Haque goes to great lengths to convince us that we are seeing the death throes of democracy in the United States. That the inevitable, eternal outcome of widespread poverty is a hard turn Right. We will blame minorities, elect fascists and become “the world’s first poor rich country.“

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Class War! America’s False Choice

The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal has done us the service this week of openly arguing that their bottom line is more important than our lives.

It’s behind a paywall, but Fox Business was kind enough to provide a free version for our perusal. The headline, ‘Rethinking the Coronavirus Shutdown‘ vaguely presages its thesis subheading: “No society can safeguard public health for long at the cost of its economic health.“

Yes, yes they can. Many countries around the world are running a skeleton crew of essential services to stave off, ya know, a pandemic.

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Coronavirus Exposes Personal Weakness, Too

 

Around the world, the spread of the pandemic has illustrated the existing social patterns in real time. Here in Tennessee, we are some of the last to see people getting sick. West Virginia was recently declared the 50th state to see an official case of coronavirus.

Watching it take over the conversation on Reddit, Twitter, and finally YouTube, was like watching a bowling ball from the perspective of a pin. I got to learn which of my friends pay attention to the outside world. Which of my friends, whether on purpose or not, had been absorbing right-wing talking points.

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Astroturf Populism: What Happened to Elizabeth Warren?

Last Fall, I was planning to throw all my little weight behind Elizabeth Warren.

She speaks my language, about families and ground-level economics. I was excited to have a woman candidate whose policies I could actually support. Her background with disabled children and low-income families seemed to indicate a person who understood some issues that have been ignored by mainstream politics for way too long.

But recently, readers may know, she has pushed herself as a vocal supporter of Trans Rights.

I was disappointed by this because I had not gotten around to doing any real digging. I was hoping adding pronouns to her website was lip service, but she has been pro-Trans for a while.

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OK, Boomer: Daddy Was A Gerrymandering Villain

….OK, Boomer.

Two words have crystalized our generational friction as we slip into the second decade of the 21st century. The “entitled” Millennials and our

Zoomer cousins are beginning to see we are in for a struggle to inherit the world.

Stephanie Hofeller has it worse than most. Her Dad, Thomas Hofeller, was the architect of today’s political landscape. Called “The master of the modern gerrymander” by The New Yorker, Tom died in 2018 and left a lot of interesting things behind.

Stephanie has been using her father’s files to chip away at his work. She was instrumental in the Supreme Court ruling against including a citizenship question in the 2020 census, after Tom’s cache revealed a study showing the question to be “advantageous to Republicans and non-Hispanic whites.” Which, obviously, is a faux pas.

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Conservatives??!? Feminism Vs. Tribalism

The Washington Post spilled a lot of digital ink recently to pose a simple question:

What does it mean when left-wing feminists and conservatives work together?

“Tensions between the TERFs and transgender activists erupted at the Seattle Public Library as hundreds of women -“

Stop right there. Please enjoy this photo of those hundreds of “women.”

Hot stuff, no?

It’s fun when formerly-trustworthy pillars of Journalism leave out inconvenient facts, isn’t it? It’s like a Journalism scavenger hunt!

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Political Lesbians and the Death of Postmodernism

Political lesbianism has always been controversial.

First coined in the 1960s, women are encouraged to “get men out of their heads and out of their beds.”

Which may very well be good advice. But the group promoting this plan, the Revolutionary Feminists, were very much literal and total in their meaning.

Choose to Be A Lesbian?

Their most famous outing was a booklet published in 1981. It established, among other things, that lesbianism is a choice any woman can make.

Wait a minute. Sexual orientation is a choice? That’s exactly the opposite of the foundation of the Gay Rights Movement. Gay people can’t just choose to be straight. And vice-versa.

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Did Meghan Murphy Make the Transwomen Disappear?

Yesterday evening in Toronto, the irrepressible Meghan Murphy spoke for about 30 minutes at the public library.

Her program, Gender Identity – Society, the Law and Women, follows in a string of appearances in Canada and Britain. These events are increasingly controversial, and the Toronto library was the scene of vehement protest.

Meghan is a Feminist freelance writer. She has become more and more high-profile since Gender ID became law in Canada.

(Seriously, they even record crime statistics according to the offender’s “expressed gender” rather than sex. Get ready for a spike in “female” crime in Canada….)

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Donald Trump’s Spiritual Advisor is A Satanist

More specifically, a hedonist. And a total maniac. It’s spit-take-worthy irony that she would pray for the abortion of “satanic pregnancies.”

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Even the most casual of Christians will be familiar with Jesus’ messages of charity and peace. Heal the sick, the meek shall inherit the earth, all that. These things are central to the popular idea of his character.

It’s not one of my favorite stories, but I can see how some people find good things in it.

Then, there’s Prosperity Doctrine.

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Capitalists Are the Enemy of Us All (The Revolution Will Be Commodified)

 

Hug a conservative. We must beware of tribalism.

It’s the old story of the single-issue voter, red vs. blue, conservative vs. liberal.

It’s what causes the thought error that, because radical feminists and religious fundamentalists agree on the existence of biological dimorphism they must, in fact, be members of the same group.

Or that someone who is “Pro-LGBT” supports social programs or civil liberties.

As those on the Left are fighting to defeat corrupt Republicans, we must remember who it was that corrupted them.

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BrazenShe’s Radical Feminism for Beginners

In my recent adventure with the Trans Rights Brigade, I ran into some serious misunderstanding about what Radical Feminism is.

Coincidentally, this week I also found a very good, concise statement of the Radical Feminist platform over at Women’s Liberation Radio News.

“Third Wave” Isn’t Feminism

Before we dive in, I want to spotlight the fact that “Third Wave” Feminism is actually backlash against the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960s and 70s.

The 1970s saw significant legal progress for women. We acquired the privilege of applying for credit, terminating unwanted pregnancies, and legal protection against housing discrimination. The UN declared 1975 International Women’s Year. Women’s Studies became a feature on campuses everywhere.

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Bathrooms and Abortions: Divided Left Leaves Progress in Danger

Not so long ago, there were no ladies’ rooms.

No powder rooms. No little girls rooms. No restrooms full of stalls, each with a little metal box on the wall. “Lack of access to toilets effectively tied women to their homes, putting them on a leash as long as their bladder capacity.”

This would not be a good system for me.

Museum of London describes the problem for us, “‘Respectable’ women couldn’t relieve themselves in alleys as men did, and the few toilets available in Victorian London were overwhelmingly built for men. Women who wished to travel into central London or even further for leisure and pleasure had to carefully plan where they could ‘stop off.'”

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Dementia Trumps Donald?

The time has come once again to name names. Donald Trump is draped in red flags.

I usually save my political rants for more general social themes but, once in a while, I feel compelled to get specific. If you like my Trump posts you are in for a treat. If you don’t…. who am I kidding? No way Trumpers read my blog!

Several years ago I worked as a Certified Nurse Aide. Seldom have I felt as entitled to the space I take up as when I was changing dementia patients’ diapers. (Not sure what that says about me, but I digress.)

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Feminism In Action: Dr. Sam Collins Builds Women’s Leadership

Every once in a while I will get hopeful and apply for a few remote jobs, writing jobs, things that would just be interesting to do.

On Indeed, of all places, I found an ad wanting someone to write a woman-centered blog.

That’s me! I tightened up my resume and composed a real zinger of a cover letter after doing some research. The company and its founder amaze me, she is someone we should all know about.

Originally from England and based in Los Angeles, Dr. Sam Collins has been out there fighting the good fight for a long time. For 17 years she has been working to boost representation of women in business and government.

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Trump is Baby Boom’s Death Rattle

Tonight I attended the monthly meeting of my local Democrat Executive Committee. I represent my ward with my male counterpart Dave.

We didn’t do very well in this recent election. There was disappointment but still a light mood in the room. Until 2016, the Democrats had no organization in East Tennessee at all.

Two of the women there had worked the polls. “Up came this lady, had to be 80, with a walker!”

“‘What brings you out today?’ And she said, ‘The President called me personally.'”

There were a couple groans.

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More Sociopaths: Trevor Noah Recaps

As I was writing my post inspired by Dr. Martha Stout’s fantastic book The Sociopath Next Door, Trevor Noah was in front of cameras explaining why it’s more relevant than ever.

In one of The Daily Show’s Between the Scenes segments, Trevor says he thinks President Trump’s “most powerful tool is that he knows how to wield victimhood.

“He knows how to offer victimhood to people who have the least claim to it. Which is a really, really powerful tool because …. he’s saying the real victims of the #MeToo movement are men.

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