Archive for 'sexism'
Facebook’s ‘community standards’ are the ‘standards’ of rich white men who find women’s bodies offensive if they aren’t titillating them. The power Facebook has is overwhelming. This abuse of its power reflects the dominant ruling class paradigms of misogyny, racism and sexism. Facebook’s decision to censor a photo of traditional Aboriginal women and ban Celeste Liddle is Donald Trump writ small. Where is our Chicago in response?
Dozens of women were sexually assaulted on New Year’s Eve in Germany. But rather than connecting the events to everyday sexist violence, politicians and the media have turned to stoking up racism. Silke Stöckle and Marion Wegscheider respond in this article for German socialist group Marx21, translated by Kate Davison and re-published from Socialist Worker UK
All the members of the Turnbull government share the antediluvian delusion that austerity – cutting government spending on workers and the poor, cutting wages, sacking workers for example – will solve the economic problems of capitalism. This is their bedrock and the sexism, racism and homophobia of this government (and in varying degrees of the Labor Opposition) flow from this deep well of ruling class essentialism. The sexism, racism and homophobia, by distracting and dividing workers, help reinforce the government’s capacity to achieve its economic agenda of shifting more and more wealth and income from labour to capital. It is no accident that the government which attacks unions attacks women, Aborigines, refugees and gays.
Why did Briggs distribute a photo of the female victim to colleagues before and after this blew up? Did he discuss the photo with anyone? If so, what was the nature of those discussions?
We know from the Royal Witch Hunt into Trade Unions that this is a government keen on stamping out bullies and referring all ‘errant’ behaviour to the relevant authorities. Well Mr Turnbull, here is your chance. Refer the photos and their leaking to the Australian Federal Police and Fair Work Australia for investigation. The AFP can see if taking the photos, distributing them to colleagues and leaking them to the press are crimes, and who did what in relation to the leaking and publication. Fair Work can protect the female victim from the bullying that is the leaking of the photos and their publication by investigating and then taking punitive action against the bullies. Over to you Mr Turnbull. Or are you just a smarmy version of Tony Abbott?
Having more women as bosses will not challenge the system that gives rise to women’s oppression. It will only reinforce it. In the meantime, women workers, including junior doctors, could join unions and turn them into organisations that defend their interests. In the words of the famous song, don’t be too polite girls, don’t be too polite.
We are faced with a fast food political choice on 14 September – between a Maccas Labor Party and a KFC opposition. We won’t be able to survive long on either diet, and sometime soon after 14 September they’ll be force feeding us austerity. There will be no foie gras, just dead ducks all over the place.
There is an alternative to this battle of the fast food political behemoths. It is the revolutionary left, small, isolated from the class, but building gradually and gaining a toehold in the debates of society. Socialist Alternative is part of that revolutionary left. Check us out if you want a steady and healthy political diet of debate and discussion, of ideas and action, of making sense of this slaughterhouse world.
Women like Gillard or Thatcher running the ship of the capitalist state make no difference to the dynamic drivers of the system – the need to extract surplus value from productive workers, women as cheap carers and raisers of the next generation of workers, and all that flows from that – the second class citizenship of women, the low wages, the systemic sexism.
What has made a difference is the organised struggles against oppression, especially militant action by unions. Julia Gillard is part of the problem. Ordinary working women are part of the solution.
It is important to fight every manifestation of Labor’s neoliberalism now, its attacks on workers, its racism, sexism and homophobia, its kowtowing to religious bigotry.
But that will not be enough because any gains, even if won through mass action, itself problematic in today’s environment of class peace, will be under attack as the needs of capital for more and more profit reinforce the attacks on women, Aborigines and the discrimination against gays and lesbians and the acquiescence to religious bigotry of all parties in government, Labor or Liberal.
A revolutionary workers party, big enough to offer an alternative vision of real democracy and production to satisfy human need, is needed now. That is what Socialist Alternative and its unity project is about.
‘A campaign against rape in isolation from all other aspects of women’s oppression will not serve the purpose. Rape, like domestic violence and sexual harassment, is a symptom of a deeply unequal class-based society that leads some men to think they can control women, including sexually. This is reinforced by women’s material inequality and lower status in society. We must challenge sexism and through the process of struggle will see millions of people questioning the brutal, sexist and exploitative capitlaist society in which we live and look for alternatives beyond capitalism.’
Production and reproduction became separated into public and private spheres. This subordinated women’s role to that of men’s. There was nothing natural about this in terms of biology or gender. It can only be understood in terms of the development of private property and class society.