Feminism and women’s rights

Real “wellbeing” means addressing the demands of midwives, teachers – women

During the election period in 2017, historian Anne Salmond wrote hopefully about an emerging trend she called “Jacindamania.” The appeal of Jacinda Ardern, leader of New Zealand’s Labour Party, was due to the fact that people want real “change”: “after 33 years of the cult of the ‘free market’ from both major parties, many Kiwis are finding …

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Gender harms women: Feedback on international recommendations to the New Zealand government

Feedback on the recommendations from New Zealand’s third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council in Geneva The governments of Iceland and Australia have recommended that New Zealand amend Section 21 of our Human Rights Act (HRA) 1993, by adding “gender identity” as a prohibited ground for discrimination. The concept of “gender identity” …

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"Where are the women?": An interview with Cynthia Enloe

I began to read feminist literature — real, radical feminist literature — around 2014, and found it transformative. Cynthia Enloe is one of my favourite feminist authors, because reading her book Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics broadened my horizons all over again. Cynthia’s work looks at the sexual politics of …

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Feminists must think radically to reject sex self-identification laws

Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them. — Assata Shakur   On the evening of February 25, feminists in New Zealand celebrated a victory. A reformist campaign named Speak Up For Women has been drawing attention to …

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Transgenderism: the latest phase of disaster capitalism

Believers in the shock doctrine are convinced that only a great rupture – a flood, a war, a terrorist attack – can generate the kind of vast, clean canvases they crave. It is in these malleable moments, when we are psychologically unmoored and physically uprooted, that these artists of the real plunge in their hands …

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Conquest: on the inseparability of militarism and prostitution

As long as men have gone to war, they have kidnapped women and children for sexual slavery. According to historian Gerda Lerner, military conquest led to the enslavement and sexual abuse of captive women in the third millenium BC. In The Creation of Patriarchy, Lerner writes, “As slavery became an established institution, slave owners rented …

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The creation of patriarchy: How did it happen?

I began with the conviction, shared by most feminist thinkers, that patriarchy as a system is historical: it has a beginning in history. If that is so, it can be ended by historical process. Gerda Lerner, The Creation of Patriarchy This essay draws heavily on three texts: Gerda Lerner’s ‘Creation of Patriarchy,’ Marilyn French’s ‘The …

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Censored piece: Jeez, Louise – may we have our own thoughts, please?

This piece starts with an explanatory note and story about the article to follow. The article itself – which is about gender authoritarianism – begins below the italics, if you prefer to skip. On November 30, I wrote this article at the suggestion of a well-known columnist, who passed it on to New Zealand Herald …

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Pride, police, politicians, pundits and prison abolitionists: What's going on?

To say the least, there are echoes of the Emperor’s new clothes in our annual Pride Parades. Since 2013, Auckland’s Pride board has received significant state and corporate support to run an annual festival famed for extravagance and exhibitionism in the heart of New Zealand’s biggest city. Meanwhile, the public is supposed to accept a …

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By the numbers: The oppression of women and girls globally

Last updated: 26.01.19 Previous: 23.01.19, 22.01.19, 30.12.18, 28.12.18, 27.11.18, 15.11.18, 13.11.18, 3.11.18, 21.10.18, 17.10.18, 12.10.18, 10.10.18, 2.10.18, 29.09.18 Military spending According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, global military spending now exceeds 1.3 trillion dollars. Source: Aric McBay, “Civilization and other hazards”, in “Deep Green Resistance”. Murder and male violence A new report shows …

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