Launch of Money: A Feminist Issue

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 22/10/2018 - 9:23am in

Join Australian Feminist Studies (AFS) and the School of Social and Political Sciences (SSPS) at the University of Sydney for the launch of AFS’ special issue on ‘Money’. The issue asks: how is money a feminist issue?

Speakers include:

Lisa Adkins (Head of School, Social and Political Sciences) whose editorial explores how “the new monetary order is a pressing feminist issue… that demands… the building of new and complex theoretical models that are able to engage with what money is now and what it can do.”

Jane Elliott (King’s College, London) who (with Seb Franklin) interviews Marxist feminist theorist Silvia Federici in the special issue on topics as far reaching as: biotechnology; the mystification of gendered labour; the disciplining of productive bodies; and the reproduction of feminism and other social movements in the twenty-first century.

Other contributors to the special issue include:

Melinda Cooper (A/ Professor & ARC Future Fellow, SSPS Department of Sociology and Social Policy) who discusses money as punishment, including the relationship between money and penalty in contemporary neoliberal/neoconservative states.

Silvia Federici (Professor Emerita & Teaching Fellow, Hofstra University) who asks: what are the consequences and implications for women of the imperative waged work and the rolling back of welfare provisions?

Mehita Iqani (A/ Professor and Senior Lecturer, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg) who discusses how wealth is communicated visually and asks how post-feminist sensibility interacts with wealth.

Event details

When: Thursday 25 October 2018, 5.30pm – 8.00pm
Where: Social Science Building, Room 650, Science Road, University of Sydney
RSVP: afs.journal@sydney.edu.au

The post Launch of Money: A Feminist Issue appeared first on Progress in Political Economy (PPE).

Some Fatherly Advice

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 18/10/2018 - 6:00pm in


Sex, Children, Feminism

Stop sexualizing kids by trying to teach them sex ed!

The Woman Voters Are Coming For You

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 18/10/2018 - 6:00pm in

Not so docile! from the 1910's.

On Female Rage

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 11/10/2018 - 6:00pm in

Who is allowed to be angry? Whose anger is believed?

It’s Not ALL Bad

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 10/10/2018 - 6:00pm in

Supreme Court silver lining.

David Rosenberg on Tory Support for the British Union of Fascists

Last week, David Rosenberg of the Jewish Socialist Group put up an article describing the events culminating in the ‘Battle of Cable Street’. This was an attempt by Oswald Mosley and his thugs in the British Union of Fascists to terrorise the local Jewish population by marching through the East End of London. He didn’t get very far.

Rosenberg’s article describes how Mosley and the rest of his thugs were beaten off, despite a police presence to guard them, by an anti-fascist coalition of Jews, including the Jewish People’s Council Against Fascism and Anti-Semitism, Irish Catholics, trade unionists, the Communists and Independent Labour Party, as well as the Labour League of Youth. This was despite advice from the Board of Deputies and Jewish Chronicle that Jews should remain indoors and not attempt to resist the Blackshirts marching through their neighbourhood. The confrontation between Mosley and his thugs, and their defeat by working class, radical Jews and gentiles, has become the stuff of legend. I’ve heard folksongs about it. It’s naturally celebrated as the time working class Brits very definitely showed ‘No Pasaran!’ to Fascism.

The article’s also worth reading for what Rosenberg says about the support for Mosley in the Tory party and the House of Lords. I think it was Rosenberg, who was so shocked by the current president of the Board, Marie van der Zyle, who declared that the Tories were ‘good friends of the Jews’, that he put up a list of notorious episodes of anti-Semitism in the party. Of their support for Mosley and the BUF, he writes

Two major parliamentary debates on antisemitic terror in the East End took place in 1936. MPs detailed the wave of attacks on their Jewish constituents, but the only response Home Secretary John Simon could muster was to call for “all sides” to behave reasonably. Pathetic, though perhaps better than the sniggering of Tory backbenchers in the House in 1934 after violence erupted at a 15,000-strong fascist rally at Olympia in June that year.

The rally audience included 150 MPs looking for political inspiration, while
House of Lords members turned up in black shirts. The violence at Olympia was one way. Eighty anti-fascists needed medical treatment, yet Tory MPs parroted the BUF line that anti-fascists had attacked Mosley’s thugs. William Greene, Conservative MP for Worcester asked in the House: “Is it not a fact that 90 per cent of those accused of attacking Fascists rejoice in fine old British names such as Ziff, Kerstein and Minsky?” Frederick MacQuisten, Conservative MP for Argyll enquired: “Were some of them called Feigenbaum, Goldstein and Rigotsky and other good old Highland names?” A fellow Tory MP, Captain Archibald Ramsey frequently railed against what he called the “Jewish imperium in Imperio (empire within an empire),” claiming that the correct term for “antisemite” was “Jew-wise”.

There’s also a photo of Captain Archibald Maule Ramsay in dress uniform. He was one of the most venomous and splenetic of British Fascists in this period. I think he was the head of one of the various pro-Nazi, British anti-Semitic organisations.

Rosenberg’s article concludes

As recent political interventions have shown the “advice” offered to the Jewish community from its self-defined “leaders” has not improved in the decades since. The current Board of Deputies president, Marie Van der Zyl displayed either political ignorance or amnesia when she told an Israeli news channel recently that the Conservative Party have “always been friends of the Jewish community”. Meanwhile, anti-fascists must face up to the renewed threat to minorities, not just here, but elsewhere in Europe and America. We still have much to learn from those who united in resistance and built an anti-fascist majority in their communities in 1936.


He’s absolutely right. On this side of the Pond the past few weeks have seen UKIP’s party conference, which under Gerard Batten has become much more openly racist, and which as speakers Paul Joseph Watson of Infowars, Carl Benjamin, AKA Sargon of Akkad and ‘Count Dankula’, all of whom have extreme right-wing, anti-feminist and Islamophobic views and are fiercely opposed to immigration. The EDL are back on the rise and over the other side of the Atlantic Donald Trump has very strong connections to the Alt-Right and real anti-Semites. In Europe, ultra-nationalist, racist and anti-Semitic parties have taken power in Hungary and Poland. And the Tories, who have now allied themselves with Far Right parties like the Sweden Democrats and True Finns, aided the Hungarian president, Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party last week by voting against an EU motion censuring them.

We do need a revived antifascist movement, both here in Britain and abroad, to combat this. And this means a revived local, working class activism. Margaret Hodge, the Blairite MP for that part of the Metropolis allowed the BNP to take control of Tower Hamlets council because she did precious little to oppose them. As a token of their appreciation, they sent her a bouquet of flowers when seven of them got elected to the council. As the Jewish bloggers have pointed out, it was when activists from the left of the Labour party and other radical groups started traipsing round the borough knocking on doors and alerting local people to what the BNP really represented, that the Nazis were finally voted out.

A Trained Pigeon

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 07/10/2018 - 1:08am in



And most bizarre, I think—the moment I will not be able to forget, so utterly sincere and consistent and emotional did it seem, the emotional peak of his long, rambling statement—was when Kavanaugh told us the single thing he loves doing most in the world. Not the law (though this is the job he’s interviewing for). Not parenting (though he is a sentimentalist of kids and parents, or perhaps of himself-as-a-kid-and-parent). It was coaching youth athletics. “I love coaching more than anything I’ve ever done in my whole life.” Then a pause, and the explosion. “But thanks to what some of you on this side of the committee have unleashed, I may never be able to coach again.”

Book Review: Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom Struggles by Imaobong D. Umoren

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 01/10/2018 - 8:48pm in

In Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom StrugglesImaobong D. Umoren traces the lives of three black women activist-intellectuals—Una Marson, Paulette Nardal and Eslanda Robeson—whose work relating to race and gender reached across borders in the twentieth century. The book’s account of the lives of these ‘race women internationalists’ succeeds in showing their centrality to historical narratives about anti-colonialism, feminism, socialism and Pan-Africanism, writes Bethan Johnson

Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom Struggles. Imaobong D. Umoren. University of California Press. 2018.

Find this book: amazon-logo

‘Wakanda forever!’ If cultural commentators are correct, these words are prophetic: Black Panther heralds a seismic shift in the global cultural landscape. The film has brought new energy to long-sustained conversations about Pan-Africanism and left viewers wondering about the relationship of the African diaspora to the proverbial continental homeland. The phrase and hand gesture from the film have, in the intervening months, been used by black activists as a show of black pride and black power, thereby forging a connection between battles over domestic race-related issues and conceptions of black excellence and solidarity.

While Imaobong D. Umoren could not have predicted the popularity of Black Panther and its immediate incorporation into the zeitgeist, the release of her debut book, Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom Struggles, certainly feels fitting at a time when discussions about the boundary-less nature of African diasporic power appear to be back under the spotlight. In Race Women Internationalists, Umoren traces the lives of three largely forgotten black female activists/intellectuals—Una Marson (1905-65), Paulette Nardal (1896-1985) and Eslanda Robeson (1895-1965)—who, motivated by an abiding belief in racial justice and desire to connect the African diaspora with the land of their ancestors, attempted to influence international politics and improve the lives of those in the African diaspora in the mid-twentieth century. Their work on issues relating to race and gender, reaching across state borders, garners them the moniker found in the title: ‘race women internationalists’. Through a comparative study of these three women, Umoren works not only to recover their stories, which have been largely lost to history, but also towards ‘growing black women’s internationalism, black women’s intellectual history, and more broadly, African diaspora studies’ (xvi).

Umoren opts for a chronological approach to recounting the lives and significance of Marson, Nardal and Robeson. Following a brief introduction, Umoren utilises significant moments in both international and personal affairs to make the women’s decades-long careers in activism more digestible, with chapters on interwar feminism and black internationalism (1920-35), the Spanish Civil War and the invasion of Ethiopia (1935-39), World War II and its aftermath (1939-49) and decolonisation (1950-66).

Umoren further divides chapters so that each woman’s activities are discussed within their own subsection. She admits that certain evidentiary limitations at times prevent a given subject’s story within a chapter to be of equal size, but nevertheless succeeds in presenting a fairly-balanced analysis of each woman. Her willingness to avoid the urge to tell a single, generalised story about all three and her command of the format allow readers to easily compare the subjects’ lives, and to understand the political realities and social trends of various moments in the twentieth century.

Image Credit: (themostinept CC BY SA 2.0)

The preponderance of the book focuses on recounting the lives of Marson, Nardal and Robeson. In this, Umoren shines. The book is overflowing with details; there seems to be no rock left unturned in Umoren’s research. Due to her mastery of the facts and a clear approach to their display, moreover, comparisons of the women unfold naturally and her analysis of their activities remains fairly objective (she is willing to point out when a subject makes demonstrably false statements, but does not weigh in on the merits of an argument or ideology), without the overstated interjection of the authorial voice.

In the sections devoted to Marson, Umoren eloquently shows the difficulties associated with Marson’s activist journey as a poet and playwright who discussed issues of race and gender. Born in Jamaica just after the turn of the century, Marson began a career in poetry that eventually brought her to London and to a wider audience (including a period with the BBC, where she was the first black female broadcaster). Umoren shows how the struggles Marson faced in England’s capital, stemming from the racism and sexism she experienced and heard from her compatriots, strengthened Marson’s poetic voice, pushing her to engage critically and honestly with the struggles of life for people from the Caribbean, particularly Caribbean women.

Umoren is, however, cautious about overstating Marson’s internationalist project, frankly describing how Marson struggled over the course of her lifetime—in part as a result of her mental and physical illnesses—to articulate her support of racial unity. Using the chronological framework, Umoren guides readers through Marson’s life in such a way that allows us to see the thread of anti-colonialism that connects Marson’s support of Pan-Africanism in the 1930s through to her concerns about approaches to Jamaican independence all the way to her work on feminist internationalism in Israel.

When discussing Paulette Nardal, Umoren is particularly strong in her analysis of how interconnected Nardal viewed Christianity, liberalism and anti-colonialism. Over the course of her life, Nardal observed and reported on a range of issues for publications in both France and Martinique as an esteemed journalist. Umoren captures the breadth of topics that impassioned Nardal. The book displays how this Martiniquais who was to be the first black student at the Sorbonne devoted her life to numerous causes that earned her the title of race woman internationalist. Nardal wrote on themes of gender and race, while also supporting Harlem Renaissance writers. Moreover, she sought to influence politics by writing about anti-colonialism during the Italian invasion of Ethiopia and working as a specialist for a short time with the United Nations. Nardal also contributed to international feminism by founding l’Association le Rassemblement féminin to discuss politics and social issues with the women of Martinique, as well as publishing a magazine for women entitled La Femme dans la cité based on the activism of her group.

The activism of American-born Eslanda Robeson has the potential to be overshadowed as the result of her marriage to a prominent actor and activist, Paul Robeson, but Umoren instead showcases her consistent support of black, feminist and postcolonial causes, as well as her interest in other radical-left ideas. Umoren highlights Robeson’s relationships with influential Asian and African leaders (such as Hastings Banda and Patrice Lumumba). Umoren also acknowledges her connections to major institutions such as the United Nations and the Sojourners for Truth and Justice, to show that Robeson was not simply a casual observer of left-wing politics, but in the middle of it. Moreover, Robeson’s numerous trips to various nations in Africa throughout her adult life are used most effectively by Umoren to highlight the particular nature in which her subject engaged with the real conditions in the continent, but also, in a more theoretical sense, of how travel impacts activism.

The lives of the first black female BBC broadcaster, a well-travelled journalist and an advocate for the United Nations make for entertaining subjects, to be sure. However, Umoren’s work would have benefited from a clearer justification of her choice of subjects, as well as greater discussion of how these women fit within the larger tapestry of a class of women she refers to as ‘race women internationalists’. In her introduction, Umoren explains that each of her subjects represents a different strand of popular intellectual internationalism, each defining their activism based on their own concerns about various forms of identity politics. However, for those without a strong grounding in this area of history, it is difficult to gauge whether they are representative or exceptional of the larger cohort. While it does not alter Umoren’s primary object of chronicling the activities of these three women and contrasting their experiences of being race women internationalists, it is significant for the broader impact of her own work. Umoren is also less forthcoming about how impactful any of these women were, particularly with regards to the overall Western societies in which they lived. With only a few references to how many people might have consumed any of the works they released—magazines, radio broadcasts, etc—readers who wish to assess the impact of these women will need to do additional research.

Furthermore, while Umoren artfully lays out the various activities of her subjects, this richness comes at the expense of any detailed engagement with theoretical frameworks that might have strengthened her analysis. For example, she aptly notes the silencing of her subjects in historical memory and attributes this to gender bias, but her avoidance of theoretical analysis of the interplay of gender, race and activism that would have influenced the lives and activities of these three women will leave some readers feeling unfulfilled.

Given Umoren’s attempts to highlight her subjects’ centrality in the political and social milieu of the era, Race Women Internationalists features such a plethora of organisational and individual names that a non-specialist may feel unmoored or may not understand their significance without follow-up research. However, for those willing to use the book as a starting point to enrich their knowledge of race women internationalists, Umoren’s diligent research and exposition of various meetings, organisations and influencers provide ample points from which to begin. For those who already boast a strong familiarity with the topics and movements with which Umoren’s subjects were engaged, the work achieves its stated aim to redress the academic eclipsing of black female internationalists. In both cases, however, readers will leave Race Women Internationalists with a great deal more knowledge about Marson, Nardal and Robeson, as well as agreeing with Umoren’s foundational claim that race women internationalists warrant greater inclusion in the narratives historians will tell about anti-colonialism, feminism, socialism and Pan-Africanism in the years to come.

Bethan Johnson is a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge. Her doctoral research explores the rise of militant separatist groups in Western Europe and North America in the mid-Cold War-era. The work explores the life-cycle of violent ethno-nationalism, driving forces behind radicalisation along separatist lines and authoritative methods for ending and avoiding deadly conflicts. Her master’s dissertation, also undertaken at the University of Cambridge, studied the manipulation of cultural nationalism for political unionist purposes by Lady Llanover in nineteenth-century Wales.

Note: This review gives the views of the author, and not the position of the LSE Review of Books blog, or of the London School of Economics. 


Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 26/09/2018 - 6:04pm in

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Protests against UKIP Racism at their Party Conference

A few days ago, on the 21st and 22nd September, 2018, UKIP held their annual party conference at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre. The event was billed as the party’s 25th birthday celebration.

The Kippers’ were expected to launch their new manifesto at the conference, copies of which were to be given out to everyone attending. The party announced that they would have “brand new policies on the economy, housing, taxation, policing, the foreign aid budget and many other important areas, all designed with the key principle of putting our people first”.

Hope Not Hate have pointed out that Batten himself is a long-time anti-Muslim activist, and since he became the party’s new fuehrer in February has taken it even further to the right. The anti-racist, anti-religious extremism organization said that the manifestos would indicate whether Batten was putting his islamophobic rhetoric into policies.

The conference was also going to include three other extreme right-wing personalities. These were Paul Joseph Watson, Carl Benjamin, alias ‘Sargon of Akkad’, and Mark Meechan, alias Count Dankula. Watson used to be the British best mate of Alex Jones, the notorious conspiracy theorist, on his channel, InfoWars. He seems to have gone his own way and is now putting out his videos on YouTube. According to Hope Not Hate, in 2013 Watson declared that the 7/7 bombings were a false flag event, and that Media Matters also reported Watson’s extreme views on race. He claims that liberals are anti-science, because they don’t accept that people from Africa and the Middle East have lower IQs and are more aggressive. Benjamin, or ‘Sargon’, is a Sceptic who has decided that his mighty intelligence has allowed him to perceive how false feminism is, and posts videos on the internet attacking it. Which suits UKIP, some of whose members have extremely misogynist and reactionary views about women. As for Count Dankula, he’s the idiot that got tried and convicted of anti-Semitism ’cause he taught his girlfriend’s do to do the Nazi salute.

The conference was also due to vote on whether to accept Tommy Robinson, the former founder and leader of the EDL, as a member. Robinson had been banned under the party’s rules forbidding former members of the BNP and EDL from joining the party. Despite Batten’s support, the vote was cancelled by Tony McIntyre under a legal technicality. But Robinson’s supporters were still expected to turn up at the conference to make their views known.

See: https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/2018/09/21/watch-ukip-conference/

There were mass protests against the party and its racism outside the conference. Yesterday, RT UK put up this video of the demonstration on YouTube. The video show protestors chanting ‘We are here to say racist UKIP go away’. They hold placards denouncing UKIP’s racism and also saying ‘Refugees’ welcome. One elderly lady tears up one of the placards, saying ‘That’s what I think of them.’ Presumably she’s an irate Kipper, not a member of the protesters.

The video shows one man talking to the camera, who states that

UKIP is becoming increasingly irrelevant in British politics. I think that’s why they’re clutching at straws, trying to court the Far-Right to try and rebuild their ranks because they are really on the margins of politics with very few supporters.

Another man say that

Since the Brexit referendum, where they were very important and very influential, they have declined and have internal squabbles and a much more smaller organization, and they’ve been associating themselves with Far-Right demonstrations against Muslims.

A third man gives his opinion on the Kippers, saying

Gerard Batten has taken UKIP to the extremes of the Far-Right, the fact that he wants Tommy Robinson to be in his organization speaks volumes.

It’s significant that Tommy Robinson is still a controversial figure for the Kippers, despite the very public islamophobia and racism of some of their members. But Robinson has been welcomed in Israel, and the Blairite MPs and Marie van der Zyle, below, of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, were more than happy to attend the fake protest against anti-Semitism organized by the North West Friends of Israel. Who are firm friends of Tommy Robinson and the EDL.

Yes, it is childish, but I’m still not sick of this joke yet.

This shows very clearly just how racist and islamophobic the Blairites and the Board are, when even UKIP is more liberal and anti-racist.