This was missed by most media
Some cities, such as Madrid and Barcelona, turned violet to demand the decriminalization of abortion.
Feminist platforms throughout Spain have held today, for the first time in the country, the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion. The festival, which began in Latin America in the 90s, gained special importance on this side of the pond due to the announcement of the Minister of Justice, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, of the anti abortion legislation.
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The reactionary males are scared.
They’re clever enough to see the curve of history (herstory) points to female empowerment but stupid enough to think they can stop this dynamic.
I’m arguing that it’s crucial for women to manage human society or there will be no human society in the very near future.
And the same goes for the climate, oceans, natural world etc etc
Me with some colleagues from around the world
Gender and International Human Rights MA
Coventry University 2010
Once Dora had parked the Land Rover, Sharon led the women through Birmingham Shopping Centre until they were standing outside NEXT.
A muzak version of Kraftwerk’s Showroom Dummies played quietly from hidden speakers.
‘These dummies aren’t representative of ordinary women,’ said Sharon smiling. She closed her eyes and concentrated. Within seconds the mannequins began to change shape. The nearest’s arms shortened until it resembled Nina’s Thalidomide-deformed outline. Others became like human chameleons, changing colour rapidly to create a huge range of shades in every hue imaginable, all done in crazy stripes, spots, splashes and splotches.
Next Sharon made their doll’s faces transform; some had big noses, chins grew and ears dangled. Spots and pimples appeared; moustaches and beards sprouted. Long legs shortened and became hairier and one model now sported an artificial leg.
‘That’s for all the amputees,’ Sharon said without opening her eyes.
Now fingers thickened and feet grew wider. It was like a mash-up between The Clothes Show and the Incredible Hulk. Thin fashion garments stretched and split while several dozen styles of plastic buttons pinged like semi-automatic fire as the bodies bulked-out beneath. Nina and Dora watched wigs change colour, length and style, while another dummy lost her hair completely.
‘That’s for women receiving radio- and chemotherapy,’ shouted Flora.
On the other side of the parade was a fashion boutique containing loads of male and female dummies kitted out in the latest styles. Sharon glanced at the window and they began to melt. Within seconds the display looked like a 3D Salvador Dali painting. Dora couldn’t resist it. ‘Four cheers for the surrealists!’
Another doll transformed until it resembled the strap-on woman’s body on the cover of The Female Eunuch. ‘Homage to Professor Greer!’ shouted Aisha.
A fibreglass model of a bull stood on the pavement, promoting the Bull Ring Shopping Centre. As they passed it became plastic; the horns receded and udders grew beneath. Sharon shrugged her shoulders. ‘For our transgender friends.’
Sharon strolled to the main window of Marks and Spencer. She closed her eyes and puffed out her cheeks until her face was bright red, causing the shop dummies to swell sympathetically. Dora began a NASA-style countdown in reverse. ‘Size eight, ten, twelve, fourteen – mission control, do you have my size in one of those pretty little silver capsules? Sixteen, eighteen, twenty – we’re losing you honey, sorry, I mean Houston…’
Sharon opened her eyes and tossed a question to the group. ‘Who said “Fat is a feminist issue”?’
Kate was first. ‘Susie Orbach?’
‘Right first time,’ answered Sharon. ‘Give that woman a low-fat coconut!’
As they walked down the passageway that led to Debenhams, Sharon glanced at the Miss Selfridge sign to her left. Miraculously, it now read Ms Selfridge.
‘Cool!’ said Lesley.
At the next shop, Kate laughed out loud. When Sharon asked her why she explained, ‘You know me, always playing with words and letters in my mind. It just struck me as funny that tampon is an anagram of Topman.’
‘And they’re both stuck up!’ quipped Pross.
stayed at home
did the domestic work
This interesting article brings the personal and the political together.
On 24 January 2011, a Toronto police officer gave a talk on crime prevention. When speaking about rape, he uttered the now infamous words, “Women should avoid dressing like sluts.” Enraged at his words and the culture of victim-blaming it reflected, Canadians marched to let everyone know that women’s clothes were not responsible for rape; rapists were. Although it was a Canadian police officer who had made those comments, the rape culture that gave rise to the sentiment was not confined to Canada. Women from around the world recognised it, shared their outrage, and have joined in the movement, with Slutwalk protest rallies popping up in more than 40 countries so far.
From the start, Slutwalk has been controversial, even among feminists. Some seek to reclaim the word ‘slut’, to redefine it to mean a sexually liberated woman, instead of a judgmental term used to cast aspersions on the morality…
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Is it Bye-Bye Blokes?
I recently reblogged an article from my friend MADD suspicions about male and female brain types.
Click here to have a go at the fun quiz he found.
Also I’ve been reading, laughing and learning psychology from the witty and suave but spiky PinkAgendist. Stop by if you enjoy perceptive pieces.
And of course other fine blogs I haven’t time to mention now, but will soon.
We all affect each other.
Their posts led me to think about thinking – always fun but a slightly weird experience as well.
In my more political posts I’m calling for a paradigm shift in human affairs to move from a male-managed world to a female- and child-friendly future.
With cooperation rather than competition as the guiding principle.
No violence. Local organisation of life. Less people.
Women managing human society and reproduction.
No nation states and therefore no armies, weapons of mass destruction and no National Security.
But for this argument to make sense there must be actual differences between the sexes – not just differences we learn in life – but innate differences.
So yesterday I argued that we are all Equal But Different.
The title of this blog is Different But Equal
Let’s look at some differences now and start with brains.
How often have you heard men say, “I just can’t understand women…” or “My wife doesn’t understand me…”
Do women find men equally difficult to understand, or do they, on average, have more empathy and so can work men out?
Is there such a thing as female thinking or awareness? Can there be a ‘male’ type of thinking?
Are men and women more different or more the same?
And what about the brains of homosexual folk?
All interesting questions.
That’s why the relationship between sex differences in the brain and human behaviour is so controversial in psychology and society generally.
If there are real differences between the sexes then the implications are immense.
Recent studies show there are measurable differences in female and male brains.
For instance, there is a difference between sexes in the transcription of a gene pair involved in brain development unique to Homo sapiens.
Consequently female and male brains show differences in internal structure.
One of the main areas studied is the proportion of white matter relative to gray matter.
Gray matter is made up of neuronal cell bodies. The gray matter includes regions of the brain involved in muscle control, sensory perception such as seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, and speech.
White matter is the tissue through which messages pass between different areas of gray matter within the nervous system.
So the gray matter can be thought of as the processing areas, while the white matter connects.
Blood flow is also different between women and men, with females able to move blood more quickly to the areas needed and not losing functions in old age as much as males.
There are also differences in the structure and size of certain areas in male and female brains.
Studies found men on average to have larger parietal lobes, responsible for sensory input including spatial sense and navigation.
Women usually have larger Wernicke’s and Broca’s areas, regions that are responsible for language processing.
Postmortem and imaging studies over the past two decades have revealed structural differences in both global structures and sexually-related brain structures between heterosexual and homosexual subjects.
Researcher Simon LeVay showed that parts of hypothalamus related to sexual orientation not gender.
The hypothalamus is an area known to be involved in sex differences in reproductive behaviour, mediating responses in menstrual cycles in women and the back of the hypothalamus regulates male-typical sexual behaviour.
These results were obtained from postmortem analysis of hypothalamic nuclei of known homosexual subjects compared to heterosexual patients.
The size of the brain’s hemispheres is a sexually dimorphic trait in which men tend to show asymmetry in the volumes of their hemispheres while women show more symmetry.
A recent study found homosexual men showed hemispheric volumes to be symmetric similar to heterosexual women and homosexual women showed asymmetry in hemispheric volumes as heterosexual men do.
However differences in brain physiology between the sexes and sexual preferences do not lead to differences in intellect.
This points to females and males taking different but equally successful routes to achieve the same outcomes.
Evidence for this was found in a 2004 study finding men and women achieve similar IQ results by utilising different brain regions.
So this suggests there is no singular underlying neuro-anatomical structure for general intelligence.
In simple language, different types of brains work equally well.
So, different but equal.
Equal but different.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN EQUALITY?
Nowadays we talk about ‘equality’ and ‘everyone being born equal’, but what exactly do we mean?
We speak of ‘equality of opportunity’ and ‘equality under the law’ but if we are unsure about the concept of ‘equality’ in the first place then these phrases don’t mean a whole lot.
People have said to me, “But humans are different, so how can they be equal?” or “We have to have difference – it’s just natural” and “I’d hate it if everybody was the same…”
These arguments are mistaking ‘Equality’ for ‘similarity’ or ‘sameness’. This kind of mistaken thinking is often a cover for discriminatory practices.
These arguments take the form of;
Women are different to men, so they shouldn’t earn as much as males,
Black folk are different to Europeans so it’s alright to enslave them.
But different doesn’t mean inferior.
Obviously there are differences between people, but there is no intrinsic reason why that should preclude equality.
Equality means everyone has the same right of respect from other individuals and to be treated fairly by social institutions.
Equality means we all have the same right to self-expression, self-determination and the chance to live and grow. Clearly there is a long way to go to achieve this.
What we are saying can be summed up by the phrase, “Equal but different…”
Click here to listen to the brilliant Au Pairs sing about this idea.
Our diversity is our strength, not an opportunity to discriminate against others.
Although the majority of us live in modern societies that claim to be democracies, there are plenty of old ideas still circulating that hark back to the pre-democratic systems that promoted inequality.
These hierarchical systems of social organisation are the biggest obstacles to developing truly modern societies where everyone has an equal stake and input into all aspects of life.
It’s worth briefly examining the ideas that were used to justify inequality in the past.
(Latin; scala naturae, literally “ladder or stairway of nature”) was a concept derived from Plato and Aristotle and developed more fully in Neoplatonism.
The Chain charts a fixed hierarchical structure of all matter and life.
The chain starts from God and progresses downward to angels, demons, fallen and renegade angels, stars, the Moon, kings, princes, nobles, men, wild animals, domesticated animals, trees, other plants, precious stones, precious metals, and other minerals.
Each link in the chain could be divided further into its component parts.
In medieval feudal society, the king was at the top, succeeded by the aristocratic lords, next came the merchants and then the peasants below them.
Solidifying the king’s position at the top of humanity’s social order is the doctrine of the Divine right of Kings.
In the family, the father was considered head of the household; below him came his wife; below her, their children.
This mistaken notion that some are more important than others underpins racist and sexist thinking, and that some nations can dominate other countries.
While there are small differences between people of various races, there is more divergence within each race than with other races.
However, there are marked differences between the sexes – this is called Sexual Dimorphism.
Men and women have different bodies statistically, meaning men tend to be taller and heavier with more muscle than women. However individuals may not display these attributes – some women are taller than some men for instance.
Crucially, modern research points to differences in brain organisation and processing systems, and I think this is really important.
Men and women think differently yet this isn’t taken into account in education and other aspects of life.
In my next post I will examine these differences in more detail.
DON’T FIGHT THE SYSTEM – IGNORE IT!
The Max Keiser show, On The Edge, was really good this week and the guest Mike Ruppert from collapsenet.com explained clearly the ideas behind my novel DOG Sharon: The Future is Female and the related Womanifesto!
Mike Ruppert is an interesting character with plenty to say about the state of the human world. He’s advocating growing your own food, getting together and building local partnerships, and ignoring the authorities as much as possible. He suggests we let ’em sink in their own incompetence, because their business model has failed.
A paradigm shift in human consciousness is needed to move onwards and upwards. But it’s no good tinkering with the system or looking to leaders.
EVERYBODY IN EVERY GOVERNMENT IS OUT OF THEIR MINDS – THERE’S A TOTAL DISCONNECT WITH REALITY! Mike Ruppert
The inequality of the current economic system has developed from the idea that all the lands of the Earth and all the peoples are just commodities that may be owned by a small elite.
This hierarchical system can be easily visualised as a pyramid with a king, emperor, prime minister, president, priest, pope, patriarch, imam, ayatollah, shah, csar or tyrant on the top and everyone else beneath.
Below the kings come the nobles and below them the middle classes. Of course, the bottom tier is by far the largest as it is made up of the working masses.
Without the masses the elites would be at the bottom, so they need lots of new workers.
Shit comes down, money and power flows up.
It’s a brilliant idea – if you’re near the top.
But, most of us are at the bottom.
In the shit.
Lowerarchy is the opposite of Hierarchy 😉
As more and more of us see through the illusion of control a tipping point of consciousness will be reached which will allow everyone else to make that leap.
That’s the paradigm shift.
The only way is up…
If any good is to come out of the orchestrated protests taking place across much of the Islamic world, it is surely to show the complete absence by the so-called faithful of any confidence in their god. The same goes for the crazy evangelicals and Roman Catholics railing against women’s empowerment and harmless gay people. If they had even the slightest belief that their deity was real they would leave these issues to be sorted out supernaturally and get on with their own lives. So we can be sure that the protests prove there is no god. The concept of the father God is dead – the future is female!
Next we can look and listen and see who is behind all this. On the one hand we have the men in the US who made the film “Innocence of Muslims”.
They may belong to a religion – Coptic Christianity and Zionist Judaism have been mentioned, although there is no proof of this – or it may be an intelligence agency project designed as part of a centuries-old divide and conquer strategy.
Britain and the US have played the religious fundamentalist card many times to destroy the legitimate aspirations of self-determination by many nations across the world.
Exactly the same way that they’ve used fake fears of “communism” to justify invasions, installing despots and unleashing death squads.
Both the US and UK have deliberately created the situations in Iraq and Egypt where theocratic regimes dominate rather than let the people find modern democratic solutions to their society’s problems. The UK has schemed with the Muslim Brotherhood for decades to counter nationalist movements in Egypt and paid Shia ayatollahs to wreak havoc in Iraq in order to keep cheap oil flowing under the rule of the evil Shah.
Similarly, the US traded with the ayatollahs in post-revolutionary Iraq in order to buy weapons and pay for their illegal war against the democratically elected Sandinista government in Nicaragua.
Oliver North wasn’t acting alone folks – it was a deliberate US policy.
And what about Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia has spent more money on promoting their monstrous Wahhabist version of Islam than any PR project, ever.
Think about that for a minute – more money than any other PR project…
Everybody I’ve asked to guess which is the biggest PR campaign, has come up with reasonable answers like ‘Coca-cola’, ‘Soap powder’ or ‘Volkswagen’ but it’s those lovable old sheiks – the House of Saud. Britain and more recently the US have created and buttressed this evil state with one reason in mind…
Successive US and UK governments have known full well, all along, what the Saudis were doing and they just let it happen.
Remember what nationality most of the 9/11 hijackers were? Which nationalities gave most money to Osama Bin Laden to fund al Qaeda? Yep – Saudis. Yet both US and UK bigwigs bend over backwards to congratulate the Saudis for being ‘moderate’ and a bulwark against ‘extremism’.
Next in line for funding and supporting extremism comes Pakistan, another state created and supported by the West. Pakistan’s ISI created and still supports the Taliban and Haqqani network yet our government hails it as a partner in the fight against terrorism.
Even a cursory reading of the histories of South America and the Middle East will confirm the above, but how many people actually investigate things for themselves?
While folk are caught in the maze of religion they have no time to learn their own history and how the elites have fooled them so many times and for so long. They debate endlessly about unanswerable questions while the men in control continue to build their empires.
The Greeks were already discussing mathematics, physics, astronomy, geometry, philosophy, drama, criticism and poetry, among other things, over 2,500 years ago and had invented the gymnasium, democracy and some brilliant architecture.
I don’t mean to argue they created all this from scratch as they obviously built on earlier work by the Babylonians, Egyptians and others. Also the Indus and Chinese cultures were also investigating these and other areas of knowledge.
But Islam – in its present Saudi-sponsored form, earlier versions were much more enlightened – and modern Christianity are taking us down an intellectual one way street, a cul-de-sac, a road to nowhere.
That is why both religions oppose the empowerment of women – they know that as women become more educated and powerful they will take our species towards enlightenment and away from warfare and domination.
So they try to stop women having control over their own bodies and thus control of reproduction, because they know that whoever controls reproduction, controls the future.
The religious and political leaders are only too aware they need new workers, congregations and soldiers, so attempt to keep women ignorant and powerless – but they’re fighting a losing battle.
That is why I wrote my satirical novel, DOG Sharon: The Future is Female (DOG is an acronym for Daughter Of God).
The book is an attack on male-defined religions and the use of violence as a political system.
Supporters of the present system claim there is no alternative but they know this isn’t true. Evidence for this can be seen in how they kill and imprison activists the world over. They know the general trend of history is toward self-expression and self-determination so they murder, repress and lie to hold back the tide.
But as the clever King Canute showed his ignorant followers hundreds of years ago, time and tides halt for no man…
THE FUTURE IS FEMALE
This is a short trailer I made about my novel to get the idea across. The soundtrack starts after a bit 🙂
Excellent writing on a crucial issue – a must read!
Last night, I attended a public debate hosted by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, on the rights of anti-abortion protestors to campaign outside abortion clinics. The pro-choice half of the panel consisted of Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS, and Sarah Ditum, a writer and journalist. The opposing half consisted of Andrea Minichiello Williams, founder of Christian Concern, and Max Wind-Cowie, a writer with centre-right political beliefs.
Both Ann and Sarah gave excellent speeches. While fully supporting the notion of freedom of speech as essential to the exchange of ideas, they argued that freedom of speech does not extend to the right to bully, harass, and intimidate. As Ann asserts, “It is not a kind of charter that allows you to say anything you want, to anyone you want, at any time you want, in any place you want.” And you can be sure that when anti-abortion protestors camp outside…
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QUESTION: What links shelf stackers, till cashiers, actuaries, carers and ex-carers, refuse collectors, apprentices, waitresses, nursery workers, laundry and dry cleaners, farm workers and labourers, women from the French feminist group La Barbe who wear beards and take the piss out of male power, bouncers and bar attendants, box office clerks, hospital auxiliaries, porters, consultants of every hue, hospitality workers, taxi drivers, warehouse assistants, council officers, retail assistants, women who describe themselves as actors and actresses, bus drivers, train drivers, driving instructors, hairdressers, betting shop workers, food processing operatives, assorted adwomen, TV engineers, a prime number of mathematicians and statisticians, therapists, TU officials, toolmakers, town planners, camerawomen, a trichologist, welfare rights officers, a Mrs Big, van drivers, brewers, painters and decorators, factory workers, childcare workers, community and youth workers, textile and clothing factory workers, car park attendants, editors, more traffic wardens, scaffolders, funeral directors, teams of door-to-door saleswomen, an intelligence officer, teaching assistants, breeders, teachers, lecturers, dinner ladies and school cooks, inspectors, bingo-callers, telephone engineers, cabin crew, beggars, cafe and restaurant staff, anthropologists, market researchers, Big Issue vendors, chambermaids, masses of secretaries and armies of administrators, lots of unemployed women, tax collectors, VAT women, chemists, pharmacists, telesales, spammers, hackers, air traffic controllers, customs officials, conwomen, factory inspectors, meter readers, opticians, network engineers, service engineers, numerous students, several politicians, psychologists and social psychologists, a couple of canal boat brokers, bursars, reflexologists, captains of vessels and a captain of industry, authors, carpenters, surveyors, bakers, coaches, road workers, pop stars, archivists, art dealers, plasterers, beauticians, career criminals, forensic accountants and a former terrorist?
Let those without sin cast the first stone…
The men are all showing their dick(ybows) and are fully dressed.
This video says about itself:
The Women of Tahrir
This short film seeks to highlight the powerful role women played in making the Egyptian revolution of January 25th  possible.
Egypt: Women’s Movement Calls for Anti-Harassment March
By Omnaya Talal, 6 September 2012
A new Egyptian women’s movement announced that it will begin its activities by organizing an anti-harassment march that calls for a law that criminalizes the use of violence against women.
The movement, that goes by the name “The Egyptian Women’s Front”, has garnered the support of many political parties including Tagamoa, Al-Wafd, the Nasserist, Egyptian Democratic, Free Egyptians, Popular Coalition and Al-Ghad parties.
The movement also garnered the support of the women rights coalition, the Creativity Front and a number of organizations dedicated to women rights and young movements and initiatives.
One of the founders, Hoda Badran, said that there has…
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Double standards of the highest (or more properly lowest) order
Two interesting, but separate issues here – Criticism of Racist Israel and the sense or nonsense of postmodern writings around gender – a very good article
From Kenan Maliks blog Pandaemonium
Judith Butler is a queen, perhaps the queen, of poststructuralist philosophy. A pioneer of queer theory and one of the world’s leading feminist philosophers, she made her name with her 1990 book, Gender Trouble, which dismisses the idea of sex and gender as fixed categories, viewing them instead as forms of social artifice. Butler introduced in the book the concept of gender as ‘performativity’: by behaving as if there were male and female ‘natures’ we create the social fiction that these natures exist.
Next week Butler is due to receive the prestigious Adorno Prize. Awarded by the city of Frankfurt to honour its most celebrated philosophical son, Theodor Adorno, the triennial award is given for ‘outstanding work in the fields of philosophy, music, theatre and film’. Previous winners have included such luminaries as Jurgen Habermas, Zygmunt Bauman, Norbert Elias, Pierre Boulez, Jean-Luc Goddard and György…
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Awful attacks on Afghani women
Pastors – they’re only in it for the money, drugs, property, sex and power…
The Bollocks Book for Girls and Boys!
Hands up who can remember their fathers working Saturday mornings? I’m 54 and can just recall those days. Well folks – that’s what your political masters have in store for all you naughty lazy people – and you can forget the Minimum Wage as well.
So to all those who parrot the government’s lies about ‘Austerity’ and ‘We’re all in this together’ bollocks – do you now see that you were used? Used as working people have always been used – in wars, coalmines, factories, offices and brothels.
I can understand the bosses and billionaires saying it – understand but not condone – because they benefit from your stupidity, from your ignorance.
But in an age where we can all find out about history, science, politics and technology there’s no excuse for being ignorant.
So who wants to bring more children into a world like this? Perhaps you think it will be different for your kids – tell me how. Perhaps you think children will somehow make you ‘whole’ – they don’t. Did you make your parents whole? Of course not.
Every extra person is an additional load on the planet’s resources.
But wait, I hear folk thinking – there’s plenty of space for more people – if we all lived closer together, or, or…
And don’t bother looking to religions for an answer because they’re part of the problem – a massive part – following these fools will make things worse. For you, me and all the kids who are hungry, thirsty and have no hope of a decent life.
So take a look at yourself and ask – am I part of the solution or part of the problem? There’s no time to sit on the fence – we’ve reached the tipping point and there’s no going back.
Do something about it – before it’s too late.
GREECE’S eurozone creditors are demanding that the government in Athens introduce a six-day working week as part of the stiff terms for the country’s second bailout.
The demand is contained in a leaked letter from the “troika” of the country’s lenders, the European commission, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund. In the letter, the officials policing Greece’s compliance with the austerity package imposed in return for the bailout insist on radical labour market reforms, from minimum wages to overtime limits to flexible working hours, that are likely to worsen the standoff between the government and organised labour in Greece.
Again, this is not satire…