rights

Kaberi Gayen's picture

Feminist Responses towards Fundamentalisms and Neo-liberal Economy

This is the first installment of a six-part series, orignally posted at e-BangladeshThe next episode will be posted tomorrow.

Episode - One

This is the time of globalisation – globalisation of capital, thought processes through information technology and fundamentalisms. Women are the first victims of the globalisation of the ‘triumph of invested capital’ and they are the worst victims of religious fundamentalisms. But women issues are almost missing in the contemporary mainstream socio-economic, political and communicative discourses; the woman’s voice is scant in the ‘public sphere’. This paper presents a comparative analysis of eastern and western forms of fundamentalisms with an especial emphasis on the inbuilt male-centric components of hegemonic constructions of both the fundamentalisms and how the eastern and western feminisms are addressing these issues. The paper casts light on how in the era of overwhelming information revolution, the all-controlling, and patriarchal nature of fundamentalisms and capital wash away the marginal voices and widens the gap between hegemonic discourses and the participation of women as ‘others’ in that process. Unless the social control on the means of production as well as information can be established, this only being possible in a participatory democratic process, this marginalisation cannot be reduced. Therefore, this paper suggests that despite significant differences between various streams of feminisms in the eastern and western perspectives, women movements throughout the world demands a three-sided fight: against religious fundamentalisms, all powerful capital and for democracy .

Key words: fundamentalisms, feminisms, neo-liberal capital, communicative discourses, public sphere, participatory democracy

Introduction

Today’s world is passing through “The Clash of Fundamentalisms” (Ali, 2002). Jensen (2006) argues that there are four fundamentalisms that interplay the threat to a sustainable democracy – religious, national, economic and technological. He mentioned these four types of fundamentalisms in the context of ‘threatened’ democracy of the USA. There might be differences of opinions regarding the taxonomy of fundamentalism, but there is hardly any confusion about two vigorous forces that are controlling the whole world right now (perhaps, they always did in different names): religious fundamentalisms and corporate capitalism or neo-liberalism, which is to some scholars “synonymous these days with economic fundamentalism, or market fundamentalism” (Jensen, 2006). While the threat of religious fundamentalisms is well discussed in public spheres and well documented and conveyed, a thought especially established in the readymade example of 9/11 and women’s position in the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the threat of corporate capital still seem like a concern issue only among leftists and at the best within academia.

arvan's picture

[FCKH8.com] Straight Talk About Gay Marriage

There may never be a video or PSA that is better suited for this website.

Prop 8 is H8. F-bomb the forces of H8 and help fund the fight for equal marriage rights. Get your T-shirt - do good and look good doing it. $5 from each shirt goes to groups working to make sure everybody has the right marry who they love.

(h/t The Ultimates)

Buck Angel's picture

Buck Angel: It Gets Better

A video I made for Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" Project on YouTube.  Reaching out to GBLTQ kids on how life will get better.  I had a pretty messed up time as a kid.  But I made it to become the man I am today.  I wanted to share with you a part of my life that is sad but I made it!  You can too.

Please if you have the time contribute to this cause!  We should all be apart of helping out youth grow up to be happy individuals!  We all deserve that much.

Thank You Dan Savage!

More on the project here.

Help is here:
http://www.thetrevorproject.org/
http://www.scarleteen.com/
http://wearetheyouth.org/

Please email me here buckangel@buckangelentertainment.com

arvan's picture

The Long, Dark Night of My Sex-Positive Soul

So first, a little background on sex-positive.  

There is no organized sex-positive movement.  It is a discussion that has grown over the recent years, starting in the 1930's.  It can mean a great many things to just about everybody and that is kind of the point, really.  The basic idea is that sex is a natural part of human, mammalian existence and that we can embrace it in its variety as a part of normal life. 

People in many groups organized around specific aspects of sex and identity often participate in sex-positive conversations and find the ideals and values of their individual and group identities overlapping sex-positive thoughts and goals.  Some of the more frequent of such groups and individuals identify in terms of Sex work, BDSM & Kink, LGBTQI "Pink" , disability, feminism, genderqueer, transhuman and many, many more.

If you want to read some good primers on sex-positivity, try this post by Clarisse Thorn, The Center for Sex-Positive Culture or any of the links on our blogroll listed under 'sex-positive'.

Note: I spend a good portion of this post, talking about my own experience.  This is not because I'm particularly enamored with myself, but rather to offer my recent thoughts as one person's reactions to something that may echo in your life someplace.  It may not.  I won't pretend to know how anyone else should feel or react and I won't dictate to others the terms of their identity.

I have been having a crisis of faith lately.  This is of course funny because I am not religious and the faith in crisis is more about my own identity than how I feel about invisible beings.  In the larger sense it is about what it means to be 'sex-positive' but it really is about how to deal with privilege.

In the span of a week or so, I attended several Sex-Positive events.  One was the showing of a documentary film with discussion afterward, the second was a discussion on sex-positive at a BDSM social club and the last was an invitation to join a group of sex-positive activists.  I suddenly realized how very privileged the conversations and these groups were.  At one event, there were some people of color but at the others, it was all white, professional, educated, middle to upper class and english speaking US citizens.  I like everyone in these groups and this post is not about them but about my experiences and thoughts about privilege.

arvan's picture

Violence against Women and Girls in Haiti: The Enemy Within

Narrated by TV journalist Daljit Dhaliwal, this 21st Century short documentary goes deep into Haiti's makeshift camps to expose acts of violence and sexual assaults that women, especially young girls, have encountered since the country's devastating earthquake in January left 1.5 million homeless.

While measures are being taken by, for instance, the Haitian National Police, UN police and UNIFEM (part of UN Women), to curb such type of violence, this video underscores what has yet to be done to ensure the safety of women and girls as Haiti continues to build itself back from the ground up.



 

Publisher: 21st Century with support from UNIFEM (part of UN Women);

Date of Release: October 2010

arvan's picture

Sex Worker Rights - A Public Service Announcement from FIRST

Celebrating the strength and diversity of sex workers.  A Public Service Announcement from FIRST

Sex workers face extreme levels of stigma and social exclusion, often fearful of the social consequences of speaking openly about their work.  When they do, they risk being stereotyped, with few people looking beyond the label of "sex worker" to see the unique lives each person leads.  This video is an attempt by this experiential community to highlight the strength and diversity of those who are currently or have been engaged in sex work.  We would like to thank those who participated in this video, as well as acknowledge that there were a far greater number of people who could not due to the social consequences they could face in their relationships, careers, and day to day lives.  For more info check out the FIRST Advocates Website at firstadvocates.org.  This video was created by Rachel Malek for the FIRST Coalition.  Inspired by the I Am a Sex Worker video produced by the Sex Work Awareness Project.

FIRST is a coalition of feminists advocating for rights and equality for sex workers, and the decriminalization of the consensual adult sex trade.  For more information visit firstadvocates.org.

arvan's picture

"Humans Null and Void" Exposes Abuse of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Humans, null and void

by Yana Buhrer Tavanier in Skopje, Demir Hisar, Demir Kapija, Negorci and Negotino

Time stands still in residential institutions for adults with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems in Macedonia where the lack of care, abuse, filth and neglect are all miserably present.

This is the outcome of a months long journalistic investigation, conducted mostly undercover in all institutions for adults with intellectual disabilities or mental illnesses in Macedonia.

It’s not just the striking lack of care, the human rights abuses, the inhuman and degrading treatment, the stench, the filth.  One of the fundamental things an institution does to you is to rob you of your identity, to erase who you are, to deprive you of substance, to crush you and leave you a hollow shell, to take away your face and replace it with a mask, the same one worn by everyone around you.  Even worse, institutions also make the concept of time cease to exist.  A permanent hell. Humans, null and void.  

(From Humans Null and Void)

Read the investigation.

See the photo galleries here and here.

See the similar investigation, conducted by the same author a year ago, covering Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia here.

arvan's picture

Sex Verification in Sport

(From OII)

The science and management of sex verification in sport.

R Tucker, M Collins, South African Journal of Sports Medicine. ISSN: 1015-5163

Abstract:

http://ajol.info/index.php/sasma/article/view/50506/0

The verification of gender eligibility in sporting competition poses a biological and management challenge for sports science and medicine, as well as for sporting authorities. It has been established that in most sporting events, the strength and power advantage possessed by males as a result of the virilising action of hormones such as testosterone produce significant advantages in performance. For this reason, males and females compete largely in separate gender categories.

Controversies arise as a result of intersex conditions, where the classification of individuals into male or female is complex. The present review provides the historical context to the debate, identifying the origins of gender verification as a means to deter cheating. It describes how various testing methods have been attempted, including physical examinations of genitalia, molecular techniques including genetic screening, and complex multidisciplinary approaches including endocrinological, genetic and gynaecological examination. To date, none appear to have provided a satisfactory resolution to the problem, and appear instead to have unfairly discriminated against individuals as a result of inappropriate application of testing results.

Sporting authorities have formulated position stands for the management of such cases, but there is not absolute agreement between them and little evidence to support whether intersex individuals should or should not be allowed to compete in female categories.

Full Text: PDF
http://ajol.info/index.php/sasma/article/viewFile/50506/39186

Editorial Comment:

This article highlights the problems sports officials create for themselves when they attempt to determine an athlete’s sex from a binary perspective.

The mythical Adam and Eve model of biological sex comes crashing down in the face of medicine’s inability to develop a definitive method of sex determination.

It is time sports bodies such as the IOC and the IAAF accepted that natural variations in biological sex are no different than variations in race, ethnicity or for that matter, height or hair colour.

In some spheres of human endeavour, some individuals have natural advantages over others. Natural advantage plus hard work and training create winners. Its called competition and its what sporting events are for and why athletes participate. We think Administrators should allow them get on with it, finding other ways to sniff out drugs cheats, without destroying the lives of innocent athletes.

arvan's picture

Insurgency Turns Malay-Muslim Women into Leaders

By Marwaan Macan-Markar

SONGKHLA, Thailand, Sep 23, 2010 (IPS) - When her husband was arrested for links to an insurgency raging in this southern region, Pattama Heemmima joined the ranks of Malay-Muslim women forced into the unfamiliar routine of visiting police stations, military camps and courts to secure the freedom of their imprisoned kin.

At the same time, there was no local organisation she could turn to for help regarding her husband, Nawawee Daohumso, who was taken in by the Thai police in March 2008 for his alleged role in a killing a civilian.

But by the time a court acquitted Nawawee in March 2010 -- enabling him and 34-year-old Pattama to rebuild a marriage that was only two months old when police made the wrongful arrest -- Pattama had found an answer to her search for a local helping hand.

She and her elder sister, Anchana Semmina, had resolved to take on new roles as activists for justice. In mid-2009, the two sisters had set up the Hearty Support Group in the southern Thai province of Songkhla to help families struggling to secure the release of their jailed fathers, husbands and sons.

"I wanted to help these women who were desperate after their husbands or sons were arrested by the police, the military," says Pattama. "I had learnt so much after my husband’s arrest that I wanted to share it with the others in my community."

arvan's picture

Spark Summit - Challenging the Sexualization of Girls

Friday, October 22 · 12:00am - 11:30pm

New York, NY- Hunter College

On the heels of APA’s task force report that found the sexualization of girls so pervasive that “virtually every media form studied provides ample evidence,” a coalition of organizations is taking action.

SPARK stands for Sexualization Protest: Action, Rebellion, Knowledge

Current SPARK partners include:

Women's Media Center
Hardy Girls Healthy Women
TrueChild
Ms. Foundation
ASAP Initiative at Hunter College/CUNY

The SPARK Summit will bring together girls and media professionals, thought leaders and funders, researchers and activists – and will serve as a national call to action and campaign for change.  As a first step towards building a broader coalition, a convening was held in May, thanks to generous funding from the NoVo Foundation. Participants included the Ford Foundation, Girls Inc, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and the APA, which will be a part of the summit’s policy/research committee.

Who: girls, girl-serving organizations, activists, media professionals, researchers, funders, thought leaders and allies

The SPARK summit is an exciting day-long event with the purpose of igniting a movement for girls' rights. Participants will have the opportunity to speak out, push back on the sexualization of girls, learn, and have fun with one another!

An interactive website is being developed for participants to take action in the months leading up to the summit.

If you are interested in partnering with us, supporting our work, or promoting the summit, please email SPARKsummit@gmail.com

For updates, follow the summit on Twitter: @SPARKsummit.

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