Saturdays’ socialist speak out
There is much that can and will be said and written about the rape and murder of Jill Meagher. Let us say goodbye and recognise the grief her family is feeling. Our thoughts are with you.
Here is one comment from a woman I know which I think captures some of the issues and highlights again for me the unknown I as a man have about the daily fear, concern and mistreatment many women suffer. This comment touches on ‘blame the victim’ analysis.
The Jill Meagher story has been on my mind all week. What’s shocked me even more than the news of her murder is the flood of responses blaming the victim: that women should “know better” than to walk home alone.
I guess I’m one of those “stupid” women – I walk home late at night through a “sex and drugs” suburb, and walked around Brunswick and the red light area of Collingwood at all hours when I lived in those suburbs. This is because, like many women, I don’t have a car and can’t afford daily taxi fares.
The idea that women should be escorted everywhere after dark, or simply not leave the house at all, takes away a woman’s own sense of agency and ignores the everyday reality that life doesn’t (or shouldn’t) stop every time the sun goes down.
It’s also about blaming the individual, thus alleviating the accountability of society as a whole – a society that so often teaches women not to be raped, rather than teaching men not to rape.
It breaks my heart that, even after this tragic and very public example of violence against women, some people are still judging the woman for the means she chose to get home.
Lindsay Tanner, former Minister for Finance and Deregulation (the chief axe wielder) in the Rudd government, has released a book of essays in which he defends former PM Kevin Rudd. Evidently all would have been right with the ALP if only steady Kevvie had remained at the helm.
I don’t think so and will write something more on this later next week. In the meantime let me just say (a bad joke for those in the know) it doesn’t matter who is selling Labor’s shit sandwich, it’s still a shit sandwich and we’re not buying it. Just because Labor asks if you want fries with that doesn’t make the dish they are serving us any more palatable than that of their conservative brothers and sisters in neoliberal arms.
On facebook Australian soldiers apparently threatened to arm themselves and sort out Muslim protestors.
Julia Gillard went to the UN and in response to street demonstrations across the Muslim world – oh sweet irony of ironies lost on the fools – said violence was not the way. Our troops continue to fight and kill and maim in Afghanistan; we went into Iraq and one million civilians died as a consequence of the invasion; we support sanctions (war by economic means) against Iran; we are turning a part of Darwin into a US troop base and drone headquarters; we spend $25 billion on ‘defence’; but violence is not way…
Also at the UN peace loving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waved a placard around that read behead all those who insult the prophet. Actually he had a diagram about bombing Iran before it could get to a stage of having enough weapons grade material to make one nuclear bomb. Israel has between 100 and 200 of these humanity destroyers.
Let me get this right. Israel, an apartheid state which continues its genocide against the Palestinians and is armed to the teeth courtesy of US support, occupies the high moral ground. Is that it? Logic and Western imperialism are not brothers.
Back in Australia the ideologues of the Liberal Party continue their destruction of public services across the States. Health, education, transport and a range of other services, all of them important to workers and their well being, are being attacked. These cutters and wreckers are an Abbott government writ small.
In Tasmania the conservative Upper House narrowly rejected an equal marriage Bill. The struggle continues and must now intensify as clearly the parliamentarians are out of touch, once again, with the electorate at large.
And in other news, possibly less interesting to most readers but of importance to me, the fact that former Democratic Socialist Party leader Jorge Jorquera has joined Socialist Alternative has provoked a lot of interest and discussion on the left. Socialist Alternative will examine on a case by case basis applications to join from those who don’t share all of the basic views of the organisation about for example state capitalism but share a commitment to fighting here and now in Australia against the ravages of capitalism and see workers’ revolution as the necessary precondition for addressing the ills capitalism creates and imposes on us.
To that end Socialist Alternative is in discussions with the Revolutionary Socialist Party about the future relationship between the two groups. Socialist Alliance has since approached Socialist Alternative for talks. In response the organisation said that ’Socialist Alternative has agreed to attend an initial and exploratory discussion about possible collaboration and unity.’
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