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Valley of the Sex Dolls: Our Post-Apocalyptic Future Is Grimmer Than You Thought

December 12, 2018

By Cory Morningstar and Forrest Palmer

 

“Patriarchal systems of capitalism and colonialism don’t recognize or value inherent worth in women’s bodies and the work women do, and instead commodify them. Once women’s bodies are objectified in this way, it positions violence against women as justified, embedding it into the fabric of society. Violence against women is and remains the bedrock for all other kinds of violence.” — Battered Women’s Support Services

The near-term and even more so post-apocalyptic future will be grim – a reflection of the neoliberal and patriarchal ideologies that will bring us face to face to a new form of mind pollution – a collective conditioning to the continued social degradation of women. With the rise and proliferation of plastic sex dolls and sexbots – our increasingly desecrated landscapes will soon be filling up with disposable bodies. Many dismembered and almost exclusively, female in form.

Production of sex robots Abyss Realbotix

Industrial scale production is already here. Akin to a slaughterhouse, these life-like forms hang suspended from the ceiling on chains bound to the neck. Row upon row, the headless forms represent a new era in commodification, exploitation and ultimate degradation – the socially acceptable and financially profitable desecration of the female body.

The irony of the politically correct backlash toward plastic straws in contrast to the acceptable growing tsunami of plastic waste exclusively in female form  – is lost. Silicone heads, torsos, breasts, arms, legs, removable vaginas, dirty and worn, will protrude from garbage bags and trash bins. A growing number of these forms will resemble dead children – the discarded remains of the anatomically-correct imitations of five year old girls, created exclusively for paedophiles. After all, according to the manufacturers, “It’s not worth living if you have to live with repressed desire.”

As a sign of the depravity of man, rivers, streams, lakes, oceans and all other places of waste disposal will overflow with plastic corpses that grossly mimic the female form. The sheer abundance of female bodies floating face down – or face up – will become so commonplace, an already desensitized society will become even more indifferent to the grotesque spectacle. Left solely to the machinations of men, female body parts fill up landfills by the tens of thousands – to such an extent – real women will be indistinguishable from the plastic corpses, literally lost amongst the rubbish.

Above: Sex dolls assembly in Abyss Creations laboratory. Credit: Eduardo Contreras/San Diego Union-Tribune

Above slaughterhouse image. This was the first of six “related images” suggested by Google to the sex doll assembly photo above

The line between real – and plastic – will continue to blur until it disappears all together. The need to separate real and plastic becomes at first inconvenient, to then more difficult, to then most difficult, to finally, no longer necessary. This is the beauty of social engineering – a gradual but steady progression that goes undetected – thereby ensuring it’s eventual completion and success.

“This system of violence is called patriarchy, and over the past two thousand years it has come to rule most of the world. Patriarchal civilization is based on exploiting and consuming women, living communities, and the earth itself.” — Women’s Caucus, Deep Green Resistance

An old description for vulgar terms such as “fuck”, “shit” or “damn” is to describe them as “four-letter words”.  Yet, there seems to not be a problem with one particular four letter word:  rape.  This is illustrated by the current preoccupation with sex dolls, where the object personifying the female body is sexually dominated and/or assaulted, yet can’t even speak or respond to “her” vile treatment. It demonstrates the indifference that is prevalent in most societies when it comes to rape of the female body, be it imagined – or real. Is there any greater reflection of this type of rape mindset than a man procuring a doll to have sex with whereby he can essentially control her every action without thought, participation, feeling and/or contribution to what should be a mutual act between willing partners?

And it is this mentality that has now completely enveloped the entirety of man’s existence, who has furthered his depravity by unleashing the same mentality onto the Earth herself.

The need to control, dominate and manipulate without a response from its victim is part of the euphoric experience of pilfering perpetual and increasing resources from that which he has no respect. The same euphoric feeling from raping the animated human body has extended to inanimate objects: sexbots, sex dolls and the Earth herself. She, being the Earth, provides all of the pleasures without any pangs of guilt in terms of the verbal and physical responses from an unwilling participant.

A sex doll and other rubbish litters Sincil Dike, 2018,  (Image: Bill Brown)

Yet, the primary mistake of modern man is his false belief that the ongoing structural collapse is not a reactive expression by the Earth in direct response to his misdeeds. Although the Western edifice built off this centuries long and ever expansive rape is formidable, it is not affected to the same degree as the environmental victims in the Global South who fight to survive in far more vulnerable circumstances. However, the growing yet still imperceptible fissures continue to go unacknowledged by those in the most insulated parts of the world.

Juxtaposed with a rapidly warming planet, planetary environmental collapse and accelerated resource depletion – the ramifications of this cultural arrogance – is in the midst of unfolding. Blind to the sixth extinction event, now well underway, this grotesque waste of energy and resources is no match for the grotesque human reductionism that feeds the momentum for the furthering of collective human depravity and indifference.

 

[Cory Morningstar is an independent investigative journalist, writer and environmental activist, focusing on global ecological collapse and political analysis of the non-profit industrial complex. She resides in Canada. Her recent writings can be found on Wrong Kind of Green, The Art of Annihilation and Counterpunch. Her writing has also been published by Bolivia Rising and Cambio, the official newspaper of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. You can support her independent journalism via Patreon.]

 

[Forrest Palmer is an electrical engineer residing in Texas.  He is a part-time blogger and writer and can be found on Facebook. You may reach him at forrest_palmer@yahoo.com.]

 

 

 

 

Looking Down That Deep Hole: Parasitic Intersectionality and Toxic Afro-Pessimism, Part 2

Black Agenda Report

February 1, 2018

By Bruce Dixon

 

This week we take a longer look down the deep hole that is the most popular flavor of intersectionality.

When I took a swipe at intersectionality last week, declaring that it was a hole, that afro-pessimism was a shovel and it was high time to stop digging, some friends and comrades were displeased. As far as they were concerned, questioning intersectionality amounted to a frontal attack on the place of women in the struggle against capital, patriarchy, white supremacy and empire, utterly inconsistent with my own politics and that of Black Agenda Report. I also threw some rocks at afro-pessimism, which I labeled the nappy headed step child of intersectionality, to the disappointment of its defenders, some of them friends and comrades too. Additionally neither group admits to understanding why I lumped them together, so I’m taking this opportunity to clarify both critiques and what joins them.“The second intersectionality according to Smith, is rooted in post-structuralism which categorically rejects socialism and class analysis…”

Intersectionality is a termed coined by California law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989 in her attempt to convince her fellow officers of the court to refine anti-discrimination law by incorporating the recognition of multiple overlapping oppressions into anti-discrimination law. While the term hasn’t made much headway the last three decades in the arguments of lawyers or the decisions of judges, it’s become a pervasive buzzword with multiple meanings in the realms of politics and the nonprofit industrial complex.

Nowadays, and perhaps from the start, as Sharon Smith explains in an indispensable August 2017 Socialist Worker article titled “A Marxist Case for Intersectionality ,” there are two separate, distinct and mutually incompatible intersectionalities. The first, she says is firmly in the camp of the real left, those who oppose and aim to overthrow capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy and empire – not two or three out of four but all four. This tradition, which puts intersectionality in the context of class analysis and class struggle goes back at least to Claudia Jones in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, and the Cohambee River Collective in the 1970s, although neither of these ever heard or uttered the word “intersectional.” The second intersectionality according to Smith, is rooted in post-structuralism which categorically rejects socialism and class analysis, and either downgrades the importance of class struggle at most to something coequal in importance with ageism, ableism and speciesism. With no anchor in class struggle, and emphasizing the oppressed experience of individuals and non-class groups this kind of intersectionalism acts to perpetuate the division of the US left and wannabe left into squabbling constituency groups vying for attention, funding and acknowledgement of whose cause is the most righteous. With neither the means nor the inclination to contend for power, this intersectionalist emphasis on individual experience and deeds has given rise to atrocities like callout culture .

Unfortunately this second version of intersectionality is nearly hegemonic among self defined radicals and even liberals in the academy. Since it’s vigorously promoted by sectors of corporate media and the funders of the nonprofit industrial complex , it’s likely to remain so for the forseeable future. Worse still, since class conscious and class oriented formations neither dominate or even figure prominently in the US left, the class struggle intersectionalists are seriously handicapped at playing the game they say they want to play. Add top this the fact that some left feminists doggedly insist on using the same name for themselves as the anti-socialist, anti-class struggle intersectionalists who have a far broader reach and bigger microphones, and we have what can only be described as a hot mess.

“…the term intersectionality has become a kind of brood parasite. It mimics just enough of left feminist rhetoric to deceive the unwary…”

Zoologists identify about a hundred species of birds they call brood parasites . A brood parasite lays its egg in the nest of a host species, and it counts on fooling the host mom into hatching, feeding and raising the hostile alien offspring. Evolution has engineered the parasite chick to out-eat, out-compete or simply butcher its nest mates. The parasite chicks often grow bigger than both parents put together while still being fed in the nest. In the context of the real left, the community of those aiming to overthrow capital, patriarchy, white supremacy and empire – not two or three out of four but all four, the term intersectionality has become a kind of brood parasite. It mimics just enough of left feminist rhetoric and branding to deceive the unwary and ensnare many bright, serious and sincere leftists into defending and promoting its fundamentally hostile project.

Melissa Harris-Perry was lauded as a leading intersectionlist at the same time she aggressively defended the government’s right to intercept and record every email, text message, phone call and electronic brain fart on the planet and store them for future inspection. Democracy Now, which has given more air time to intersectionality than perhaps anybody refused to cover the lynching and ethnic cleansing of black Libyans during Obama’s 2012 war on that unhappy country even though they had a correspondent on the ground. To this day DemocracyNow dependably spouts US propaganda justifying Obama’s and Trump’s war on Syria. Angela Davis gets credit for being a leading proponent of intersectionality too, even though like hordes of other intersectionalists, she lost her mindover Barack Obama. All these people are examples of intersectionalists, with bigger audiences and far more visibility than left feminists are likely to achieve any time soon. When bona fide left feminists defend the word intersectionality and call themselves intersectional they confuse the lazy, the naive or unwary, they surrender their own credibility to the anti-socialist intersectionalists, and they provide protective cover to the eggs of these brood parasites. It doesn’t have to work that way.

In the natural world brood parasites have been around for millions of years, long enough for hosts to evolve defenses against them. Birds defensively mark their eggs and their chicks to distinguish them from hostile parasites. Sometimes they stand watch to sound the alarm at the presence of intruders and strange eggs, and more. These are lessons left feminists might do well to emulate. You defeat a brood parasite not by adopting its name, but by making it easier, not harder to distinguish the parasite from the real thing. Real left feminists will never get as many professorships, grants, media outlets and TED Talks as the anti-socialist intersectionalists. They invented the term anyway, for their own reasons not yours. Get over it. The real left can’t get intersectionality back and there was never a time when they had exclusive possession of it anyhow. Claudia Jones and the Cohambee comrades made themselves perfectly well understood without it.

There’s no shortage of sharp, erudite left feminists who can if they want, come up with some new terminology that will allow ordinary people to distinguish between the anti-socialist intersectionalist project and authentic left feminism without a six paragraph discourse on postmoderism and post-structuralism. We cannot wait on natural selection to take care of this for us. At the risk of being that cis het guy who offers unsolicited advice to woman comrades, I respectfully suggest this is something that needs to happen real soon.

“Like the dominant version of intersectionality afro-pessimism is pretty explicitly anti-socialist and anti-class struggle…”

I said last week that afro pessimism was a stepchild of intersectionality. Like the dominant version of intersectionality afro-pessimism is pretty explicitly anti-socialist and anti-class struggle. It’s about centering (the woke intersectional word for putting something first and last and ignoring all else) the totality of anti-blackness, the permanent war against black bodies, black aspirations, black lives, black livelihoods and black dreams. Sounds a lot like Ta-Nehisi Coates. Like intersectionality afro-pessimism is not a theory. Like intersectionality, it only describes and does not explain. Like the prevailing flavor of intersectionality, it enjoys considerable support in the academy and mimics enough “woke” rhetoric to deceive the unwary into imagining afro-pessimism is some new kind of emancipatory project, that it prescribes or informs solutions and strategies to tackle real world stuff, even though its foremost proponent Frank Wilderson says it does not.

The only instance where afro pessimism seems to have anything prescriptive to say about how struggle ought to be conducted in the real world is afro-pessisms’s consistent disparagement of the possibility of achieving anything in coalition with anybody who ain’t black. It’s never worked before, the afro-pessimists say, trotting out a long historical list of times and places white “allies” turned tail and defected from the cause of their black compatriots. But since in just about every instance neither the fickle white allies nor the black formations in question were class-based, class oriented or led by the working class it’s hard to see how things could have turned out differently. It’s a problem the Green Party, which I’m part of, has to this day. If the state, the media and the so-called economy are contraptions a particular class uses to rule the rest of us, how do you contend for power when you don’t have a class analysis, or even recognize the importance of class? Nobody can be a dependable ally, a steady rock on either side of an alliance contending for power without a class analysis and an understanding of how power is exercised.

Clearly, the afro-pessimist injunction against working with non-blacks is a prescription for impotence. People of African descent are 13% of the US population. Slavery didn’t end until the political moment when a plurality of white people sided with blacks to end it. Reconstruction folded only when that plurality was shrunken, disarmed and shattered. Jim Crow also ended at the political moment that a plurality of whites took the same side as blacks to kill it. But afro-pessimists, even the ones who talk about reparations, rule coalitions off the table period exclamation point. How they plan to achieve that without cultivating and working with non-black political partners is anybody’s guess. But I misspoke– Afro-pessimists do not plan. They engage, they propose, they put on a show making the point that nobody is or ever was as oppressed as they are, all in the same self-involved spirit of post structuralist intersectionality. Their shtick isn’t even unique; there’s a queer pessimist discourse that sounds a lot like Frank Wilderson or Ta-Nehisi Coates on whatever drug is the opposite of speed.

Tellingly there was no queer pessimism in the early 1980s, when gay men (and even greater numbers of straight black women) were dying like flies from then untreatable HIV-AIDS. People were too busy fighting for their lives then, just as our own ancestors in the 1950s, the 40s, and prior decades had no time for anything like afro-pessimism when Africans in America could be lynched with impunity and Jim Crow was an everyday reality. Queer pessimism only emerged after drug therapies enabled people to live decades with HIV-AIDS. Similarly afro-pessimism only surfaced after enough black faces got comfy spots in the academy.

A few years ago a young comrade in school somewhere told me his professor was insisting that Europeans colonized Africa and maybe the Americas too not because they wanted land, slaves, gold and empire, but because they feared and/or envied the sexual potency of all those outa control black bodies. After I stopped laughing, I assured my young friend this was errant nonsense and I didn’t think about it any more. Now I know this is part of a concept Jared Sexton and Frank Wilderson and other afro-pessimist academics call, presumably with straight faces, “libidinal economy .”

Ta Nehisi Coates has fashioned a lucrative and prestigious career out of that stuff, although I doubt he would call himself an afro-pessimist. Nice work if you can get it. I really believe the afro-pessimist shtick is about one-upping Coates. It’s working well for him, maybe it will work for them too.

 

Listen to the podcast on This is Hell!: : https://soundcloud.com/this-is-hell/989brucedixon

 

[Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report and co-chair of the GA Green Party. He lives and works near Marietta GA and can be reached via email at bruce.dixon(at)georgiagreenparty.org. He has to be reminded to answer Twitter messages @brucedixon, but he’s getting better at it.]

Destroy Here and Destroy There: The Double Exploitation of Biodiversity Offsets

World Rainforest Movement

August 23, 2017

Bulletin 232

 

 

This issue of the WRM bulletin is focused on one of the key strategies that (mainly extractive) industries use to expand within the framework of the so-called “green economy”: biodiversity offsets. We believe it is important to warn about the strong corporate push that is trying to get governments to relax their environmental laws, and thus allow certain industrial activities to take place in areas previously considered to be unviable. The only requirement is that the biodiversity destroyed upon implementing the industrial activity be “offset.” These offset projects incur double destruction, exploitation and domination: on the one hand, of lands affected by industrial activities, and on the other hand, of lands targeted for offset projects. The latter generally entail severe social and cultural destruction.

In order to understand the rationale behind “offsets”, whether they be for biodiversity, carbon, water or anything the like, it is important to always keep the following in mind: the main purpose of these compensation mechanisms is to enable the dominant economic model—which is dependent on fossil fuels—to continue to thrive and expand. In the context of the current socio-environmental crises, adopting offsets was necessary for both governments and companies responsible for these crises to appear to be taking action to move towards a “greener” model. Yet this smokescreen, full of misleading discourse and empty promises, actually further deepens these crises.

Considering this starting point, we can understand why offset mechanisms do not seek to stop the driving forces behind the destruction of territories and forests. On the contrary, they enable destructive activities to expand into areas which, until recently, were impossible to imagine being handed over for exploitation. This is how mining, petroleum, infrastructure, monoculture plantations, mega-dams and many other industries—along with the thousands of kilometres of access roads, workers’ camps, drainage ditches and other impacts these industries cause—continue to grow their operations and profits. Let us not forget that the dominant economic model, which is structurally racist and patriarchal, unloads almost all of its destruction, invasion and violence on indigenous peoples and peasant families, so as to keep exploiting, producing and accumulating profits.

Offsets also make it easier for industries and their allies (governments, conservation NGOs or others) to access more and more land. At the end of the day, offsets have become a green light for destructive activities to proceed within a legal framework; never mind that areas which previously could not have been legally or legitimately destroyed now will be. The only requirement is that the biodiversity destroyed at the site of operations be recreated or replaced elsewhere. In order to achieve this, the argument goes, the biodiversity lost in the area that is destroyed must be “equivalent” to the alleged protection or (re)creation in the area chosen to supposedly replace what is destroyed. Yet this “equivalence” argument actually covers up important contradictions and questions of power, territorial rights, inequalities, violence and colonial history.

Since the aim is not to stop the destruction, but rather to “offset” it, most offset projects are focused on indigenous peoples’ and other traditional forest-dependent communities’ territories. In many cases, forest-dependent communities are required to surrender their land—or control of it—in the name of the offset project. Offset mechanisms thus incur double destruction, exploitation and domination—on the one hand, of land affected by extractive/capitalist industrial activities, and on the other hand, of territories targeted for offset projects. The latter generally do not involve environmental destruction, since they supposedly protect an area for conservation; however experience has shown that they do, indeed, entail severe social and cultural destruction.

“Offset areas” must be under some kind of threat, at least on paper—since, if this were not the case, why would a project be needed to protect them? Thus, almost all projects identify traditional communities as the main threat to conservation. Numerous restrictions are placed on communities’ access to, control of, and rights to use these forests that are turned into offsets. Project proponents argue that “conservation” can only be “successful” through the dominant Western approach (which has its roots in colonization); that is, through the creation of fenced-off parks, or “nature without people.” Usurping forest-dependent communities’ customary rights and territorial control—and hence also their traditions, cultures and livelihoods—is fundamentally racist and violent. (See more on Environmental Racism in Bulletin 223 from April 2016.) 

So, how do so-called biodiversity offsets work in practice?

First and foremost, offsets for loss of biodiversity must be able to measure and quantify “biodiversity.” The elements that will be destroyed must be established and categorized in order to later be recreated elsewhere, or to ensure that the protection of another area has an “equivalent” amount of these elements. Of course, reducing the destruction of a territory—in a specific place and time, and with a specific history and stories—to mere categories and measurements, ignores the coexistence of peoples, cultures, traditions and interconnections within forests and lands, as well as many other aspects. The only thing that matters in this logic is that which can be measured, and therefore exchanged or replaced.

The investment criteria of multilateral banks—such as regional development banks or the World Bank—aim to influence countries’ environmental legislation. In this vein, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank, changed its Performance Standard 6 in 2012. Any company wishing to access an IFC loan for a project that will destroy what the IFC considers to be “critical habitat,” must present a plan stating that the biodiversity destroyed will be compensated elsewhere. Accordingly, governments mainly from the Global South are increasingly relaxing their environmental laws to follow the “rules” established by corporate power—concentrated in financial institutions. They can now accept the viability of certain operations previously considered to be unviable, as long as they offset the biodiversity which will be destroyed upon project implementation.

Many biodiversity offset projects are presented as “conservation projects”. About many of them, there is scarce and difficult-to-access information. In these cases, forest-use restrictions imposed on communities are also framed within conservation arguments. This is very problematic: it covers up the fact that, in practice, offset projects prevent communities from carrying out subsistence agriculture, hunting or fishing activities, meanwhile permitting corporations to extract petroleum or build mega-dams in areas that are often protected due to their biological diversity. Once again, the prevailing economic model—reinforced by the offset system—reveals its dominating and racist characteristics.

Worse yet, in some cases, companies claim they even “create” “more biodiversity”; for example, when in addition to the offset project, they implement complementary activities—such as planting trees to “enrich the biodiversity” of the area. They call this having a “net positive impact.” The result is that a mining company—which is extremely destructive—can advertise that its activities not only have no impact, but are also positive for the environment. Meanwhile, communities are forced to change their practices, a few might be offered employment as park rangers – reporting on whether their relatives and neighbours comply with the rules imposed by the offset project -, or leave their territories because they can no longer obtain a livelihood from the land.

In other words, biodiversity offset mechanisms are a strategy for destructive industries to expand even more without violating legislation. The diverse life that is destroyed can never be recreated or replaced. Each space, time and interconnection is unique. These kinds of compensation mechanisms—whose proponents seek to turn them into national and regional policies, international treaties, and ultimately the “status quo,”—impose a worldview based on dominating others’ lives. Clearly, this is not a fortuitous imposition, but rather a violently racist one.

Therefore, it is essential to actively stand in solidarity with struggles to defend lands and territories, and simultaneously expose these mechanisms for what they are. This is necessary in order to break paradigms of domination and open up space—not only to respect, but to learn from, the many other worlds that exist.

 

STATEMENT

 

 

August 26, 2017

To all-

It has come to our attention that a respected leader of our small online enclave has betrayed the trust many people have instilled in him over the past years.  We are stunned at these revelations like everyone else.  It was with much internal debate and emotional pain that we decided as a group that we had to release the information to the community.  Although this form of information is not our usual forte as we are collectively concerned about overriding issues, such as leaving some form of a natural world above all else, it was something so stunningly vile that we had no other choice but to present it to the community as our conscience would not allow us to conceal this from the public.

Since this decision, which is something we thoroughly debated due to its seriousness, there is much online discussion regarding to what degree his transgressions can be described as terrible and even if they should be in the public due to the personal nature of the correspondence.  From this perspective, this person and his supporters have pointed to the fact that the behavior between himself and the woman in question was of a consensual, private nature, and should be of no concern to the wider community.  We believe this argument falls short for three critical reasons which should be considered both separately and collectively.

The first reason is one of ethics, which is separate from legality.  The word ethics is defined as “a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct.”  Most professional organizations have codes of ethics, which participants must adhere to in order to remain in good standing.  In regards to its specific ethical standards, the American Psychological Association states “your psychologist shouldn’t also be your friend, client, or sex partner.  That’s because psychologists are supposed to avoid relationships that could impair their professional performance or harm their clients. One type of relationship that’s never acceptable is a sexual relationship with a current client.“

This person has taken on several roles, which in combination provide the framework for producing potentially serious ethical concerns.  As a recognized authority in the field of climate science, this person’s words contain the weight of authority for many.  His carefully worded prognostications of a coming end of human existence on the planet, though backed by his scientific understanding,  nonetheless have the ability to produce a state of anxiety, uncertainty, and despair in those who accept his perspective.  This person acknowledges this on his website, stating that “Because the topics of his presentations sometimes induce despair, Guy became a certified grief-recovery specialist in January 2014.”

The combination of his pursuits, as a climate scientist predicting the end of life as we know it, and grief counselor, puts him in the unique role of both producing or exacerbating the effect of anxiety or despair in an individual, as well as creating the context through which that despair is then addressed.  His audience, of which we have been a part, consists of individuals often marginalized by our larger society that ignores the very real warnings of catastrophic  climate change.  The views shared by many in our numerous and varied Near Term Human Extinction (NTHE) groups have produced not simply a sense of despair about the future, but also a sense of isolation from our immediate communities and families.  Solace is then sought out within the NTHE community, under the banner of this person’s scientific findings.

While in many ways natural responses warranted by our current situation, this combination of despair, confusion, and isolation, none the less set up the potential for the exploitation of those who acutely feel the desperation and disorientation of abrupt climate change, and have nowhere else to turn for answers.

And this is the reason for the need for ethics and ethical boundaries.  This person is in a position of authority with direct influence over the mental, emotional, and in some cases physical and monetary lives, of those who exist in a state of vulnerability.  This is a state which he has helped to facilitate and of which he profits from in his personal life.  To then use that position, as this person has done, to engage in sexualized relations with women by way of administering a self-serving “healing” to individuals who are going such traumatic personal experiences, is a violation of ethical boundaries.  From a purely ethical perspective within a narrowly focused context of a professor/student and grief therapist/client context, the exact content of these relations, which will justifiably elicit revulsion in many by themselves, is not the primary concern.  The mere existence of these relations under such power dynamics, whether consensual or not, is at best ethically compromised, simply because of the potential  for abuse that exists, even if no actual abuse can be conclusively identified.  As the revelations of women who have come forward and expressed their pain with regard to these relationships continues to grow, this strongly indicates that emotional abuse and the abuse of power were at play and their claims should be taken with utmost seriousness. At the most basic level, it is because these abuses could take place that professional boundaries and codes of ethics are established and why we should reject this person‘s behavior.

In that vein, the truth of the matter is that whatever grey area there may potentially be is no longer up for debate due to his repeated and lengthy record of attempting and succeeding in taking advantage of women in a vulnerable position emotionally due to the disheartening mental and social effects of personally accepting the ongoing Sixth Great Extinction (of which humanity will be one of its victims, as well as its singular cause).  As one of the admittedly unfiltered and honest voices concerning this present set of circumstances with few people having the sphere of influence that he has in our small community,  the unethical manner in which he used this trust for nefarious sexual ends repeatedly has left us no other recourse but to do everything in our power to stop him from continuing the same behavior.

This then leads to the second critical point.  While the argument has been made that in regard to his relations with one particular woman, the content is irrelevant because of its consensual nature, this defense rings hollow.  To use an analogy: while living in a free society one may be legally permitted to hold racist beliefs and freely associate with other racists, a member of the NAACP would  nonetheless rightfully oppose its leader if they were later discovered to be a member of the KKK.  Such an association would clearly violate the spirit and mission of an organization promoting racial justice, and in the duplicity of core beliefs in the leadership, it would  also indicate a threat to the structural integrity of the organization and potentially its members.  It would not matter whether the current leader had joined the KKK after being first approached by a klansman, or if the leader started a chapter on his own.  The compromise would be clear.

Similarly, the content of his interactions with one woman in question, no matter how they came about, indicated the willingness of this person to engage in, perhaps initiate, rape fantasies  and other degrading and sexually objectifying dialogues that are not congruous with the core values of a significant number of members of the Near Term Human Extinction Support Group and its associated community.  This incongruity is borne out in the fact that he has spoken out specifically against patriarchy on his regular online radio program and in innumerous public forums and presentations, but has engaged in fantasies of rape and sexual enslavement, which represent the most extreme form of patriarchy, regardless of how that interaction began.   Therefore, the problems surrounding the content of his interactions are twofold.  They are contained in both the degrading, misogynist verbiage itself and the fact that such interactions represent a betrayal of trust relating to the public image of a respect for life and an opposition to patriarchy that he has cultivated in the public eye to his personal benefit.

The destruction of the Earth, the underlying concern of the various NTHE support groups, is the direct result of human and environmental exploitation, a core element of which is the domination of women where females are treated as property to be used  like much of the natural world, mere objects for male gratification.  Thus the move from more egalitarian, hunter gatherer societies into stratified agricultural and industrial societies, which culminated in today’s planet devouring global civilization which this person critiques, entailed the objectification and commodification of women.  To participate in such objectification and fantasies of female subjugation with a potential member of the NTHE community no less, goes beyond hypocrisy.  It signifies that in regard to what this person believes and values, he cannot be trusted.  And given the context, as suggested in the above analogy, this duplicity threatens both group integrity and potentially the safety of its members.

Perhaps some would say that the way in which the information was obtained makes us no better and even worse than the perpetrator, as there are many online accusations of this being the case.  However, we didn’t go out seeking this information, even if we are greatly appreciative of it since it allows us the opportunity to stop any future manipulations by someone in a leadership position.  It was brought to us and we made the difficult decision to use it for the greater good of stopping any further occurrences – our decision superseding any disparaging things said about us individually or collectively.

Ultimately, the fact of the matter is that none of the individuals who became privy to this information have an axe to grind with this person. Actually, this is quite the contrary.  We are all people who had a great amount of respect and admiration of him as a scholar and a person.  It wasn’t until recently that those who possessed such a tremendous amount of respect for this man started questioning his motives outside of the irrefutable science and his singular desire to provide it to the public.  Sadly, this recent incident dispelled any doubts in our minds regarding much of his endeavors.

We are a small community of activists.  Most of what we know to be true in this world in regards to the state of affairs of the planet are things that are not accepted by the mainstream world, even though they are playing out in real time and disaffecting humanity at this very instant and with growing intensity.  As it is difficult to find any sources of solidarity, be it local or globally, once this disparate group of human beings find comrades or leaders (of which there are even less), we tend to cling on to them in great desperation as they are truly few and far between.

As this is the case, the people who come to us and try to find a community of some sort to explain to them what is going on or just commiserate about the ongoing travails of this global society are the picture of vulnerability during their greatest hour of need.  Hence, it is unethical, even predatory, for anyone to take advantage of these people while they are most defenseless.  As some people are trying to construe this as just a single, solitary case,  the fact of the matter is that this has been an ongoing pattern for awhile now and has reached a point where someone must step in and stem the tide of abuse this man is committing on this tiny yet venerable group.

As such, it begs the question how long can people righteously withhold  what they know to be the truth when it comes to this man’s interaction with the members of such a small group, an already victimized sect who find very little acceptance in general society?  Can we, as supposedly moral people, just sit back idly and allow this type of behavior to continue unabated since it is the path of least resistance to stay silent?  As the response from this tight knit community has ranged from outrage to acceptance, the outcome of this revelation is of no real importance as biases abound as to the acceptance of this information.  Since that is the case, the only thing of barometric significance is apprising the people of the truth to keep them from harm, which was our singular reason for the release of this information.

Although we are cognizant that all of us have personal transgressions and no one is perfect, the predatory nature of this individual makes him a threat to both those who may be accepting of his advances and, most importantly, those who are not.  If the interaction is one of consent amongst equals, it is not the business of us as individuals or as a group to intercede at all.  But, when there is a blatant disregard for the welfare of the people  in an attempt to serve the lascivious desires of one man, then that is something that must be addressed by those who are in power to do so by any means necessary.

This brings us to the third and final critical point.  Not only was there a sordid psycho-sexual aspect of what took place that was against everything this man professed to be of a personal nature as a leader of a social movement, he also betrayed the confidence and trust of another intellectual leader and comrade in the movement, where, based on his documented language, it is a legitimate concern as to whether or not he would have been an actual physical threat to her if he had the opportunity.  With this third and final critical piece, his actions go beyond purely professional ethical violations and public misrepresentations of core values which demonstrate a willingness to degrade and objectify women.  His discussion moves into the realm of creating a physical environment that justifiably feels unsafe to core members.  As previously mentioned, there are other cases of women who have begun to voice their own troubling experiences, which at this time we cannot provide further details.

Therefore, even though we have all had an immense amount of respect for this man over the years, the recent events show he isn’t worthy of being in a position of influence and power over others, as he has abused it in the past, is abusing it presently and will assuredly continue this behavior in the future if no one attempts to at least stop him.

Although we are understanding that people will still hold their opinions about the veracity of the evidence against this man and come away absolving him of all guilt in this series of events, the primary thing we hope to accomplish is to warn those who are in the community about the ulterior motives of this man.  Once people are provided all the evidence, it is up to them to make a personal decision if they wish to continue their relationship with this person, be it personal and/or professional.  We aren’t here to tell anyone what to do in any aspect, as freedom of thought and choice is something we believe in and respect.  However, we would be remiss if we didn’t provide people the total knowledge they need to make informed decisions.

As we know that many people will consider our revelation as being divisive and a planned attack for some fantastical reason that has no basis in reality, we can only say we received this information through no attempt on our part and will receive no reward for releasing it.  Once we became aware of it though, there was no other recourse but to bring it to the public sphere, as the ongoing pattern of behavior was spiraling out of control. There will be those who will cast aspersions against our character and accuse us of somehow profiting in some way from this event, even though this is anything but the case.  Still, there will be many people who will consider us turncoats, paid informants, subversives and every other form of accusation as to our motives.  Yet, we will almost assuredly lose more favor and receive heightened scorn through providing this information than any other outcome.  No matter what blowback we receive though, it is worth it to us to receive a mountain of negative response rather than live with the unconscionable act of staying silent in the face of knowing malfeasance.

We welcome all queries about the veracity of the information since the specific evidence is part of the public domain and not under our supervision.  We have nothing to hide and will vociferously defend our decisions in this matter since to be silent in this regard is criminal, if not legally, then definitely morally.

We are greatly appreciative of the support from our online community in bringing this to the fore.

Thank you.

Michael  Sliwa, Host of the radio show Nature Bats Last from August 2014 to May 2017

Derrick Jensen, Deep Green Resistance

Lierre Keith, Deep Green Resistance

Cory Morningstar, Wrong Kind of Green

Forrest Palmer, Wrong Kind of Green

Luke Orsborne, Wrong Kind of Green

 

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Psychiatrist, researcher, teacher, and author Judith Herman:

“Authoritarian, secretive, sometimes grandiose, and even paranoid, the perpetrator is nevertheless exquisitely sensitive to the realities of power and to social  norms. Only rarely does he get into difficulties with the law; rather, he seeks out situations where his tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired. His demeanor provides an excellent camouflage, for few people believe that extraordinary crimes can be committed by men of such conventional appearance.  The perpetrator’s first goal appears to be the enslavement of his victim, and he accomplishes this goal by exercising despotic control over every aspect of the victim’s life. But simple compliance rarely satisfies him; he appears to have a psychological need to justify his crimes, and for this he needs the victim’s affirmation. Thus he relentlessly demands from his victim professions of respect, gratitude, or even love. His ultimate goal appears to be the creation of a willing victim. Hostages, political prisoners, battered women, and slaves have all remarked upon the captor’s curious psychological dependence upon his victim. George Orwell gives voice to the totalitarian mind in the novel 1984: “We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us; so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul.”

 The desire for total control over another person is the common denominator of all forms of tyranny. Totalitarian governments demand confession and political conversion of their victims. Slaveholders demand gratitude of their slaves. Religious cults demand ritualized sacrifices as a sign of submission to the divine will of the leader. Perpetrators of domestic battery demand that their victims prove complete obedience and loyalty by sacrificing all other relationships. Sex offenders demand that their victims find sexual fulfillment in submission. Total control over another person is the power dynamic at the heart of pornography. The erotic appeal of this fantasy to millions of terrifyingly normal men fosters an immense industry in which women and children are abused, not in fantasy but in reality.”

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An Analysis of Women’s Marches Along Historical & Present Lines

Wrong Kind of Green Op-ed

January 27, 2017

By Cory Morningstar and Forrest Palmer 

 

not-my-feminism

To go back into the women’s rights movement in the Western world historically, there has ALWAYS been a breach along ethnic lines. That is the truth regarding any honest analysis of the situation. In order to give it some context, we need look no further than the white women who spurred the women’s rights movement in the United States during the eighteenth century and their collective inability to acknowledge the suffering of black women at the hands of white men that was along ethnic lines. This is best illustrated in the presence of Ida B. Wells and her crusade against lynching, something that affected and was used to control black women as well as men. Yet, there was never any open support of her crusade nor black women as a selective group and the crimes against them that were inclusive of being both women and non-anglo. As there was wanton rape of black women and non-anglo women in general by white men during that time which was in accordance with the ethnic domination and patriarchy of that day (which continued as the norm until fairly recently and still present today we might add), there was NEVER any acknowledgement that non-anglo women face an INCREASED amount of subjugation in comparison to white women due to the fact that they lived in a white supremacist system where gender is secondary to being White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant.

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Over the many, many decades since the Western women’s movement began in the nineteenth century, there has been little betterment in regards to the acknowledgement that white supremacy is a reality and a part of the overall oppression of women. It hasn’t happened in regards to their plight then or now. This is not to dismiss any number of atrocities that white women have faced in this patriarchal system, but their inferior position has ultimately been at the behest of the sole continuance of white male supremacy and dominance. That has been the impediment of white women reaching equality in this world (of which “equality” in regards to gender lines needs to be fully defined in a way that is universal in nature and not just a Western standard, which is what it is today). So, while white women have INTRA-racial domination, non-anglo women have always had to deal with INTRA-racial domination and INTER-racial domination by white men, with the latter being more of an issue than the former. It is granted that Indigenous men the world over have practiced patriarchy and misogyny to varying degrees, but the INTER-racial dominance of white men as a collective has always been a perpetual fear that was many times enacted on Indigenous women in addition to the vagaries that come along with just being a women in this world. Hence, their ethnicity compounded their problems while there was always some alleviation of white women’s problems at some juncture due to their shared ethnicity and heritage with white men.

Presently, we must ask this question after this long sordid history of Western domination that has essentially seen it control the entire world (which it still does presently): How are we going to stop non-anglo women from being taken advantage of in this socio-economic system when white women benefit more now from this set of living circumstances more than their counterparts? By any measurable you want to use, white women lead much more improved lives than any other group of women on this planet. This is entirely due to their ethnicity. There are an ample amount of tales of woe on the white female side, but that doesn’t negate the norm. In comparison, there are any number of black men who hold prominent positions in the United States, but that doesn’t belie the normative aspects of their collective existence at the lowest rung of the social order when it comes to incarceration, unemployment, homelessness and innumerable other forms of disenfranchisement. So, you can always point to individual cases of good and bad, as there were even individual cases of black and African “success stories” even during the height of African chattel slavery across the globe. However, primacy must always be placed on the worst of conditions that the majority face every day. Therefore, it is impossible to fairly equate the enrichment of Oprah Winfrey and extrapolate that to encompass all black women, the same way that you can’t take a white woman who is living in comparable horrid conditions as a First Nations woman and look at it as normal circumstances for white women in the Western world.

What people need to understand is that patriarchy and misogyny became the primary forms of global dominance over the intervening centuries from the European invasion, which began approximately 500 years previous to now. In basically commandeering the entire globe, whiteness (something that was wholly defined and embraced by Europeans as a reason for their NATURAL right to dominate the entire world) replaced patriarchy and misogyny in the daily lives of everyone on Earth. As such, this change in the global social order made white women as a group complicit in subjugation, even over other women. Hence, the historical record has been one of white women being complicit in the crime of ‘racial’ domination, which put them as enemies of other women as they put their gender in deference to their ethnicity. That is just an objective reality.

radical-feminism

And to go even further to the extremities of Western culture and how the immersion of people along ethnic lines is skewed towards the continuation of white domination, the assimilation of non-anglos over the centuries has ultimately led non-anglo women to be fully supportive of dominating other non-anglo women at the behest of white supremacy. So, be it the conservative Condoleezza Rice or the liberal Susan Rice, non-anglo women are just as guilty in thinking of themselves as a part of the Western standard, which is to see the typical non-anglo woman as being lesser than themselves due to their acceptance of the superiority of whiteness. Therefore, these women have no qualms about agreeing with Madeline Albright that the death of 500,000 Iraqi children was worth it to conquer that country. As a result, these non-anglo women will commit the same atrocities as their white female counterparts since the only victims of this state violence by the Western world will always include non-anglo women and children. This is no different than say non-anglo female police leading their non-anglo to a prison cell domestically, which is happening in increasing numbers.

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In conclusion, there has been no honest discussion of straight universal principles to address the inequalities of non-anglo women with white women due to ethnic reasons, with suggestions of how this equality is to be achieved at a state, regional and local level across the globe. In order to do that, the leaders of these marches must be willing to be on TOTALLY equal footing with their non-anglo female counterparts in the Western world domestically as well as those in the Global South.  The terms of revolution can’t be dictated by the same people who benefit in some degree to the status quo and only want to reform it to their particular benefit and not deal with the problems that are plaguing their supposed allies. Hence, until Western women want to deal with the Indonesian woman in the sweatshop making her shoes where the victim is paid pennies to feed herself and her family as well as be forced to have sex with one of the male managers (nothing but rape) to keep her job, then this is nothing but caterwauling about personal aggrievement by white women. And as this Western standard is wholly unattainable for non-anglo women in whatever place on Earth (and even becoming more precarious for white women in the Western world), there can be no honest dialogue between the women of the Western world (primarily white women) and those residing in the nether regions of the Global South who will never have access to the resources available which give white women their privileged lifestyles in comparison. Therefore in regards to the oppressed non-anglo woman in this world, it isn’t the female comrade next to her in the fields that is the enemy. It is the typical western white woman who goes to the grocery store or her corporate job and continues her privileged lifestyle everyday who is her enemy, since one’s comfort is entirely dependent on the other’s domination in toiling in those fields. Solidarity can’t be reliant on the convenience of its participants or lack thereof.

Ultimately, until white women as a group (which has spearheaded this movement) want to deal with the historical and present day contributions to the domestic and global subjugation of non-anglo women, of which they have systemically caused and benefited to varying degrees through their willing participation, then this “revolution” can best be described as a grandstanding show of outrage based upon gender being the primary component of white women’s collective oppression while denying the privilege they receive based off their ethnicity.

Gloria Steinem Discussing Her Time in the CIA:

 

[Cory Morningstar is an independent investigative journalist, writer and environmental activist, focusing on global ecological collapse and political analysis of the non-profit industrial complex. She resides in Canada. Her recent writings can be found on Wrong Kind of Green, The Art of Annihilation, and Counterpunch. Her writing has also been published by Bolivia Rising and Cambio, the official newspaper of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. You can follow her on twitter @elleprovocateur]

[Forrest Palmer is an electrical engineer residing in Texas.  He is a part-time blogger and writer and can be found on Facebook. You may reach him at forrest_palmer@yahoo.com.]

WATCH: Gail Dines: Putting the Radical Back in Feminism

January 27, 2016

 

How did we get from radical feminism (liberation meaning you and me) to empowerment (“if I’m okay fuck you”) in a single generation?

A Gail Dines talk filmed at The Institute of Education in London on ‘Putting the Radical back in Feminism’, November, 2014 [Save the Dog Video Production, London]

 

 

Peru: Mass Feminist Victory Confronts Embedded Patriarchy..Ni Una Menos

The Free

September 16, 2016

 

not-one-less

Arlette was dragged by the hair and strangled by her boyfriend on camera as he screamed.”You’re mine or you’re nobody’s”.

But yet again the Judge refused to convict for ”lack of evidence”.

That was one of a string of horrific attacks on women that swept social media and provoked the massive 500,000 strong feminist demo last August 13th in Peru, supported by cities worldwide.

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Peru has finally joined the tidal wave of ‘Not One Woman Less’ protests that have inundated Latin and South America. Finally women are confronting the ingrained social license to treat them as sex slaves, private property, servants and veritable punch-bags in the service of runaway macho hubris.

In recent years in Peru, women’s groups like the Red Carpet, The Insurgents, Feminist Command, the Association of Women Affected by Forced Sterilizations, Stop Street Harassment Street, Chola Contravisual and various university groups, have fought on several fronts against gender violence, domestic and institutional.

But they have been answered by open police repression, beatings and tear gas, condescension and contempt for their demands and protests by the press and much of civil society.

'I decide whose hands touch me'..'Not one woman more..nor one less, I want to ne a woman and enjoy my se'.. No lock nor key can shut me up'..
‘I decide whose hands touch me’..’Not one woman more..nor one less, I want to be a woman and enjoy my sex’.. No lock nor key can shut me up’..

Soon after the mega protest it became clear that far from improving the wave of attacks on women and children was actually on the increase. Officials were quick to explain this might be due to women becoming emboldened to accuse their tormentors.

Milagros was inspired by the demo to report her tormentor, but he and the police turned against her.
Milagros was inspired by the demo to report her tormentor, but he and the police turned against her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Famously the police and courts were seen to continue their open anti-women policy when Milagros Rumiche, inspired by the movement, decided to denounce the systematic abuse she received from the father of her child.

Instead of redress she was taken in for questioning and then beaten by her husband. Today Milagros lies disfigured and tubed-up in a hospital bed, yet the coroner has determined that she has only suffered minor injuries and the criminal ‘cannot be found’.

This and many many more atrocities, along with the court rejection yet again of the case brought by more than 200,000 peasant sterilized against their will, has finally broken through the submission of hundreds of thousands of women.

The acquittal of Adriano Well of crimes of sexual violence, the femicide against Arlette Contreras and the suspension of the prison sentence of Ronny Garcia, the individual who left Lady Guillen disfigured with blows and bites were the drops that overflowed a glass that seemed bottomless.

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The call for a ‘Not one Woman Less’ National Mobilization began on July 19 as a closed Facebook group. The response was such that in three weeks it had nearly sixty thousand people.

Allegations and testimonies flooded the wall, confessions gave courage to others to also break their silence and publicly identify their assailants by name, even if they were public figures, including well-known artists and activists.

Soon self pity gave way to companionship, fellowship led to catharsis, and catharsis to rage. The objective of ”holding a demonstration” faded among both harangues, calls for self-defense, and to picket the oppressors. The exchange of information and resources was so empowering that they had to create a new virtual group – specifically for the operational issues of the march.feminismo-peruano

The massive August demo was an amazing wake up call, but being Peru this was qualified by all kinds of wild, hypocritical, and scandalous actions.

An almost kitsch bandwagon of positions opened up with the appearance of a whole range of  previously unknown institutional feminists hostile to the most combative, based on the streets: the pacifists, who are terrified of the word feminist; the fujimoristas, which claim for women only her role as mother, wife, sister or daughter;

The pro-life, who cry “Not one less from the womb”; those supporting till a male friend was denounced; Catholics outraged at the male violence, but indifferent to the conditions of horror in which hundreds of thousands of clandestine abortions are practiced.

(The streets of downtown Lima are riddled with flyers and posters advertising ‘Delayed Menstruation Clinics’ that offer an illegal and dangerous solution to an unwanted pregnancy that seriously undermine the health of patients. The vast majority of Peruvian women can not afford to pay between 600 and 800 dollars for a private clinic. )

march against forced sterilisations
march against forced sterilisations: ‘Your hatred doesn’t reduce my rights’…’Are Forced Sterilizations part of your ‘Natural Order”

Then there were those well-meaning men, ‘mansplaining’ the way we should organise the feminist struggle; the enthusiasts of the death penalty for rapists; and many more multiple groups, more diverse every day.

Amid this barrage of information, the phenomenon of ‘victim shaming’ or blaming the victim was not long in appearing. Along with polemics networks, blockades and taking sides.

Having started as a funny and novel initiative, easy to join and without risking much, when it was just a platform “against gender violence”, once the harassment, self-defense and the debate on the consensus began to be common themes in discussions ‘Not One Less’ began to be referred to as a “cage of raging madwomen” and “feminazis out of control”.

'No More Patriarchal Violence' .. 'Abusing one of us they abuse us all' .. 'We cry out against our forced destiny'..
‘No More Patriarchal Violence’ .. ‘Abusing one of us they abuse us all’ .. ‘Libertarian Socialism’ .. We cry out against our forced destiny’..

But there was no stopping it, next thing, brands and companies of all kinds, including those who do not allow their workers to form unions or which do not recognize rights to maternity leave, were jumping on board and joining the cause.

Even the judiciary and the most recalcitrant mass media were voicing support. The march on August 13, also had 24 cities in the world in support with simultaneous actions.

 Half a million people marching is many, many people. So that, among them, to the astonishment of abused women, they could find even their own assailants, some of them still operating in situ , shielded by the police uniforms.
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After the march, in fact, social networks burned with complaints about the slow reactions of the police who gawked at the protesters, almost always accompanied by a “how sexy you are.”

Peruvian hypocrisy, our inheritance of a courtier and colonial past, begins to show signs of having turned into schizophrenia. Stalkers marching against patriarchy, prosecutors cynically mouthing support for their victims,  businesses printing T-shirts, to be distributed by workers in scandalous slave labour conditions.

The macho Internet trolls called a counter demo..”Not One Man Less” for September 3rd, demanding their girlfriends learn to cook “like their mothers” and the right to give ‘a good beating’ for suspected infidelity.. but only 20 men and a lot of media showed up.

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Despite everything the arrival of Not One Woman Less is a huge breakthrough, reinforcing struggles on every side and re-creating women’s solidarity against a deep and implacable repression.

Feminists, far from being content with not being beaten, have sharpened their detection of everyday patriarchal practices and started talking about rebellion against capitalism, trans rights, and proclaiming what we have always known.. that the Pachamama is a feminist .

above is a shortened translation based on Diagonal article below.  https://www.diagonalperiodico.n..


 

El desborde feminista se enfrenta a la impunidad de las agresiones a mujeres en Perú

Alrededor de 500.000 personas de todas las regiones del país participaron el pasado 13 de agosto en la marcha Ni Una Menos, la más multitudinaria de la historia de Perú.

, de Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque Armado / Comando Feminista
El caso de las más de 200.000 campesinas esterilizadas contra su voluntad mediante el Programa de Salud Reproductiva y Planificación Familiar entre 1990 y 2000 ha sido archivado una vez más.

La fiscalía no considera que existan suficientes pruebas de que se trata de un crimen de lesa humanidad –a pesar de que fue perpetrado contra un sector específico de la población: mujeres campesinas y de escasos recursos– y niega la autoría directa de Alberto Fujimori y sus ministros de Salud.

El pasado 27 de julio, el Ministerio Público, por decisión de la fiscal Marcelita Gutierrez, dio por cerrada la investigación. La misma semana, la justicia peruana se inclinó en favor del agresor de Arlette Contreras, joven que fue estrangulada y arrastrada de los pelos por su novio al grito de “si no eres mía no serás de nadie”.

A pesar de que el episodio de este culebrón de terror fue registrado en vídeo por una cámara de seguridad, el juzgado ha resuelto que, otra vez, no hay pruebas suficientes.

Al archivo de conocidos casos de agresiones a mujeres en Perú se suman otros en los que son las propias instituciones las que dan el ‘tiro de gracia’ a las mujeres. Fue el caso de L.C., una adolescente que, al sospechar que estaba embarazada producto de las violaciones sistemáticas que sufría desde los 13 años, intentó suicidarse lanzándose desde el techo de su casa.

Sobrevivió, pero con graves lesiones en la columna vertebral que requerían de una intervención quirúrgica urgente para no causar daños irreversibles en la movilidad de su cuerpo. Los médicos encargados decidieron que la vida del feto, según ellos en peligro, era más valiosa que su salud y le negaron la operación.

Tres meses después L.C. tuvo un aborto espontáneo y finalmente fue operada, pero ya era tarde. Hoy en día es parapléjica y tras nueve años de batalla legal contra el Estado no ha conseguido una compensación.

Durante los últimos años en Perú, colectivos como Alfombra Roja, Las Insurgentes, Comando Feminista, la Asociación de Mujeres Afectadas por las Esterilizaciones Forzadas, Paremos el Acoso Callejero, Chola Contravisual y diversos colectivos universitarios, han luchado desde distintos frentes contra la violencia machista, doméstica e institucional, recibiendo como respuesta, por parte de la policía, golpes y bombas lacrimógenas, y por parte de la prensa y gran parte de la sociedad civil, condescendencia y desprecio ante sus demandas y protestas.

“¿Dónde? –parecen preguntar los estupefactos rostros de las manifestantes, al llegar a la sede–, ¿dónde está esa justicia?

Alrededor de 500.000 personas de todas las regiones del país participaron el pasado 13 de agosto en la marcha Ni Una Menos, la más multitudinaria de la historia de Perú.Las miles de manifestantes vieron como en la fachada de la sede del Poder Judicial peruano en Lima colgaba una inmensa pancarta en la que se podía leer “El Poder Judicial rechaza la violencia contra la mujer”, rematado con la frase “Una justicia con igualdad de género”.

Entre ellas y la pancarta, un cordón de policías con guantes blancos –en señal de rechazo a la violencia–. Por todo esto es por lo que es imposible no tomarse las palabras que adornan la inmensa pancarta que el Poder Judicial ha colocado en su fachada como una macabra broma, casi una provocación.

“¿Dónde? –parecen preguntar los estupefactos rostros de las manifestantes, al llegar a la sede–, ¿dónde está esa justicia?

La absolución de Adriano Pozo de los delitos de violencia sexual y feminicidio contra Arlette Contreras y la suspensión de la sentencia de cárcel de Ronny García, el individuo que dejó desfigurada a base de golpes y mordiscos a Lady Guillén –otro de los casos de violencia machista que saltó a los medios en 2012–, fueron las gotas que colmaron un vaso que parecía no tener fondo.

La convocatoria a ‘Ni Una Menos. Nos tocan a una. Movilización Nacional Ya’ se abrió el 19 de julio como un grupo cerrado en Facebook. La respuesta fue tal que en tres semanas ya había alcanzado casi sesenta mil personas.

Las denuncias y los testimonios inundaban el muro, las confesiones de cada una daban valentía a otras más para romper también su silencio e identificar públicamente a su agresor con nombre y apellido, aun cuando se tratase de personajes públicos, como conocidos artistas y activistas.

Pronto la autocompasión dio paso al compañerismo, el compañerismo a la catarsis y la catarsis a la rabia. El objetivo “manifestación” se desdibujó tanto entre las arengas, los llamamientos a la autodefensa, al escrache, al intercambio de recursos e información empoderadora, que se tuvo que crear un nuevo grupo virtual, específico para las cuestiones operativas de la marcha.

Los reclamos identitarios no se hicieron esperar. Un espectro casi kitsch de posturas se abrió como un abanico antes desconocido para las feministas institucionales, incluso para las más combativas, con base en la calle: las pacifistas, las que le tienen terror a la palabra feminista, las fujimoristas, las que reivindican a la mujer en tanto su rol de madre, esposa, hermana o hija; las pro-vida, que claman “Ni una menos desde el vientre”; las que dan me gusta a los testimonios hasta que uno de sus amigos es denunciado;

Las católicas indignadas ante las cachetadas masculinas, pero indiferentes a las condiciones de horror en las que se practican los cientos de miles de abortos clandestinos en las siniestras ‘clínicas de Atrazo Menstrual´ –las calles del centro de Lima están plagadas de flyers y afiches que ofrecen la solución a un embarazo no deseado y en los que la palabra ‘atraso’ se escribe con z.

Se trata de consultorios médicos clandestinos `low cost´ en los que se practican abortos en condiciones de insalubridad e inseguridad que atentan gravemente contra la salud de las pacientes. La inmensa mayoría de mujeres peruanas no puede darse el lujo de pagar entre 600 y 800 dólares en una clínica privada–.

A estas se suman los hombres bienintencionados, explicando el camino que debería seguir la lucha feminista, las entusiastas de la pena de muerte para los violadores y un largo etcétera cada día más múltiple y diverso.
De ser una iniciativa considerada graciosa y simpática cuando era sólo una plataforma “contra la violencia de género”, cuando el acoso y la autodefensa entraron en las discusiones ‘Ni Una Menos’ pasó a ser referida como una “jaula de locas furiosas” y “feminazis fuera de control”

En medio de esta lluvia de información, el fenómeno del ‘victim shaming’ o culpabilización de la víctima no se hizo esperar. Polémicas en redes, bloqueos, eliminaciones, bandos.

De haber empezado como una iniciativa considerada graciosa, simpática y a la que sumarse sin arriesgar mucho cuando era tan sólo una plataforma “contra la violencia de género”, una vez que el acoso, la autodefensa y el debate sobre el consenso empezaron a ser temas comunes en las discusiones ‘Ni Una Menos’ pasó a ser referida como una“jaula de locas furiosas” y “feminazis fuera de control”, especialmente por personajes de las redes sociales como la modelo Adri Vainilla, que utilizaron argumentos como estos para defender a amigos sobre los que pesaban denuncias de acoso.

Así y todo, marcas y empresas de toda ralea,incluyendo a las que no permiten sindicarse a sus trabajadoras o las que no reconocen sus permisos de maternidad, se sumaron a la causa, junto al Poder Judicial y los medios de comunicación más recalcitrantes.

La marcha del 13 de agosto sumó, además, 24 ciudades del mundo en acciones simultáneas de apoyo. Medio millón de personas marchando es mucha, muchísima gente. Tanta que, entre ella, para estupefacción de las agredidas, podíaencontrarse a sus mismísimos agresores, algunos de ellos operando in situ con tal desparpajo, escudados en su uniforme de policía.

Tras la marcha, en efecto, las redes sociales ardieron de denuncias a cerca de los lentos repasos que los efectivos policiales dedicaron con la mirada a las manifestantes, casi siempre acompañados de un “qué rica estás”.

Ni Una Menos consiguió una presencia avasalladora en las calles y en los medios. Y sin embargo las cifras de violencia contra la mujer y feminicidio se han incrementado tras la marcha. Milagros Rumiche, inspirada en el movimiento, decidió denunciar el sistemático abuso que recibía del padre de su hijo.

La policía recogió el parte y ni siquiera citó al denunciado para interrogarlo. Hoy Milagros yace desfigurada y entubada en la cama de un hospital, pero la médico forense determina que sólo ha sufrido lesiones leves, siguiendo a pies juntillas la ley que dictamina que sólo si la agresión postra a la víctima durante más de 15 días pasaría a tratarse de lesiones graves. El criminal se encuentra ‘no habido’ (no localizado).

La hipocresía peruana, herencia de un pasado cortesano y virreinal, empieza a dar señales de haberse tornado en esquizofrenia. Acosadores marchando contra el patriarcado, fiscalías acariciando una causa con la mano y dándole patadas con los pies, empresas imprimiendo camisetas de Ni Una Menos que reparten trabajadoras en regímenes laborales escandalosos.

Los primeros ya cuentan con una segunda cita a la que asistir para manifestarse, Ni Uno Menos, el 3 de septiembre. ¿Sus demandas? Las de siempre: que sus novias aprendan a cocinar “como sus viejitas” –un tipo acaba de destrozarle la cara a ladrillazos a su esposa por servirle la comida “muy picante”–, el derecho a propinar una buena golpiza en caso de infidelidad o sospecha de infidelidad y un extravagante “No + mujeres violadoras”, para darle color al asunto.

Las feministas, en cambio, lejos de conformarse con no ser golpeadas, parecen haber agudizado su órgano detector de prácticas patriarcales y empiezan a hablar de reinvindicaciones trans, de rebelarse contra el capitalismo y aseguran siempre haber sabido, eso sí, que la Pachamama es feminista.

Ella Baker and the Limits of Charismatic Masculinity

In memory and admiration of Ella Baker who was born on 13th December 1903 and died on 13th December 1986.

“During these hectic times while we are fighting for human dignity, and many times for survival, one forgets the contribution made by women.” ~Ella Baker

 

“You didn’t see me on television, you didn’t see news stories about me. The kind of role that I tried to play was to pick up pieces or put together pieces out of which I hoped organization might come. My theory is, strong people don’t need strong leaders.” ~Ella Baker

Black Agenda Report

Pascal Robert

February 19, 2013

 

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In perhaps one of the most important biographies of a civil rights leader published, Professor Barbara Ransby has conveyed the epic life and struggle of a woman whose sheer skill, leadership, and ability to mobilize the marginalized and dispossessed to full participation in their fight for human dignity is almost unprecedented in American history. In her book, Ella Baker & The Black Freedom Movement, Professor Ransby documents the life of Ella Baker, a black woman born to a middle-class family in North Carolina in 1903 who, after witnessing the staunch spiritually based dedication of her mother to serving the poor in the South, transforms into a sheer force of will that worked with all the major civil rights organizations of her time, and helped mobilize to create two of the most crucial to the Civil Rights Movement: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Before we continue to heap a single praise or Hosanna to men like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Wyatt T. Walker, Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, Paul Robeson, Thurgood Marshall, W.E.B. Du Bois, or any of these other gentlemen we idolize as embodiments of masculine heroism, we should know about one woman, of many, who had more wisdom, courage, and vision then almost all of them: Ms. Ella Baker.

What made Baker’s method of organizing both effective and revolutionary is that it completely dismissed the traditional paradigm of leadership that had plagued the black community from its earliest history in North America, stemming mostly from the black church: Charismatic masculine leadership based on oratory and exhibitionism. Baker believed in empowering the most common person, whether a sharecropper, teenager, or illiterate vagrant with skills to make demands on the political establishment. Baker believed that people did not need fancy leaders with degrees and pedigree to tell them what was best for them. She believed in giving people the power to choose their direction and make demands, and put pressure on institutions without depending on big shots with fancy suits. In her book, Professor Ransby notes:

“At every opportunity [Ella] Baker reiterated the radical idea that educated elites were not the natural leaders of Black people. Critically reflecting on her work with the NAACP, she observed, “The Leadership was all from the professional class, basically. I think these are the factors that have kept it [the NAACP] from moving to a more militant position.”

Moreover, Ella Baker was very critical of the hotshot black preachers who seemed to mesmerize their audiences with soaring oratory, then leave and expect others to implement an agenda. As Ransby further notes, at one point Ella Baker asked Dr. King directly “why he allowed such hero worship, and he responded simply, that it was what people wanted. This answer did not satisfy Baker in the least.”

Ella Baker did not mince words on her thoughts of Dr. King’s leadership style and vocally spoke out on its limitations:

“Baker described [Dr. King] as a pampered member of Atlanta’s black elite who had the mantle of leadership handed to him rather than having had to earn it, a member of a coddled “silver spoon brigade.” He wore silk suits and spoke with a silver tongue.

 

[…] In Baker’s eyes King did not identify enough with the people he sought to lead. He did not situate himself among them but remained above them.

 

[…]Baker felt the focus on King drained the masses of confidence in themselves. People often marveled at the things King could do that they could not; his eloquent speeches overwhelmed as well as inspired.”

The limitations of this charismatic masculinity noted by Ella Baker are profound, particularly in today’s political age when we have a president like Barack Obama who often tries to channel the traditions of charismatic leadership and oratory from the black tradition. Ironically, Obama has been as anemic in delivering real change and effective at stifling progress as Ella Baker worried Dr. King would have been. So perhaps in a strange twist, we have found a similarity between King and Obama after all.

Often in America, when discussing prominent black trailblazers who fought the injustices of segregation and racial oppression, we see the same images of a variety of men. I somewhat jokingly call them our superhero black male icons. This phenomenon mimics the more noxious western patriarchal fascination with viewing history as a series of events being shaped and guided by the hands of a strong capable man embodying all our fantasies about leadership, masculinity and sometimes fatherhood.

The danger of such imagery is that it often both obscures and denies the scope of nuanced factors, issues, and circumstances in shaping the events from which our societies were born. Furthermore, such narratives often exclude any consideration of female agency in effecting the great events that have transpired over time.

Barbara Ransby should be applauded for putting a halt to this tradition and setting the record straight with her towering biography Ella Baker & The Black Freedom Movement. As a man still troubled with patriarchal sexist notions, this book opened my eyes to ways in which the role of women are often neglected and intentionally obscured. Let us all read the story of Ella Baker and make sure such injustices do not continue.

The Dying Planet Index: Life, Death and Man’s Domination of Nature

The White Horse Press

Environmental Values 24 no.1: 1-7, 2015

by Clive Spash

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Excerpt:

During my time working in Australia for the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) I visited a nondescript building on the rural work site outside Canberra. This restricted access building held the Australian National Wildlife Collection. What the building in fact held was the preserved dead bodies of species, some of which were extinct. The curator was especially pleased at having collected rare specimens. He told of finding one such for sale in a rural market and how he proceeded to order more from the vendor so other collections around the world could have a specimen as well. That this egalitarian act on behalf of collectors would have wiped out the last remnant of a species did not seem to have crossed his mind. Looking at the bottles of rare pickled amphibians and drawers of compressed and preserved bodies of birds was for me a bizarre experience. In this mortician’s chamber the careful cataloguing of decline was ongoing but with some kind of abstraction from the reality of it all. There was nothing wild here and certainly no life. The Australian National Dead Animal Collection would certainly have been a more accurate and truthful description.There was nothing wild here and certainly no life. The Australian National Dead Animal Collection would certainly have been a more accurate and truthful description.

I was reminded of this incident by publication of the Living Planet Index (LPI) measuring the abundance of more than 10,000 representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. In the most recent report this had decline by 52 per cent since 1970; that is, ‘in less than two human generations, population sizes of vertebrate species have dropped by half’ (WWF 2014: 4). The statistical decline of species on Earth is another reminder of how humanity watches, observes and statistically enumerates the ongoing destruction. Like the CSIRO collection, the LPI is not a measure of life but rather the death toll relating to human appropriation of resources for human ends. Presenting death as life seems to fit well with the optimistic messages in the rest of the WWF report, which finds an organisation that was once concerned with wildlife now stating ‘we love cities’ because urbanisation is becoming the dominant form of human lifestyle. Meanwhile they treat Nature as capital that is valued for supporting production to provide new greener consumption possibilities and financial rewards. This is the economic discourse now common amongst the environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs). The contradictions of supporting extractivist capital accumulation and consumerism while wanting to conserve Nature are reconciled as easily as calling death life.Like the CSIRO collection, the LPI is not a measure of life but rather the death toll relating to human appropriation of resources for human ends.

The ongoing decimation of the natural world is now reaching such heights that the term Anthropocene is being put forward as encapsulating the overwhelming influence of man on natural processes. You might expect this to raise concern over stopping abusive and unthinking advance of economic growth and technology and promoting the need for precaution. However, Baskin opens this issue by describing how the urgency of problems is being used by an elitist expert grouping to promote the rapid implementation of global management and high-tech ‘solutions’ bypassing democratic institutions. This same approach is reflected in the Better Growth, Better Climate report (GCEC 2014), which recommends strong economic growth stimulated by public investment in new technologies and deregulation to aid corporate innovation (Spash 2014).

In a strange twisted logic the dominance of man and his destruction of the environment via technology and industrialisation changes from a negative to a positive. Rather than ignorant and unthinking innovation risking life on Earth this becomes man controlling everything. Here man may be taken as meaning male because this discourse strikes me as highly patriarchal, with the overt goal of dominating and controlling all that Nature represents. As Baskin explains, the Anthropocene is for many a modernist triumph signalling the final dissolution of Nature because everything is now man-made.

Download the full editorial here.

 

[Clive Spash is an economist who writes, researches and teaches on public policy with an emphasis on economic and environmental interactions. His main interests are interdisciplinary research on human behaviour, environmental values and the transformation of the world political economy to a more socially and environmentally just system.]

The Weaponized Naked Girl

manyfesto

July 15, 2014

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The 1976 film Network is the story of a failing television channel and its scheme to improve ratings by putting a crazy man on television. Howard Beale is driven out of his mind after he’s laid off to shield the bottom line. He is a widower, no real friends – a victim of the economic rearrangement of the 1970s. Promising to blow his brains out on live TV, Beale is suddenly the savior of the network as the ratings are higher than ever as a result of this outburst. He appears on television and delivers emotive appeals to his audience, reasoning that while he doesn’t know what do to fix the situation, he at least encourages everyone to “get mad”. But no mass movement erupts. Once his shares start to dip, the network assassinates him to pull their ratings out of the fire.

This is the usual synopsis you’ll receive. Network’s other story lines, the ones about Faye Dunaway’s sexually aggressive yet sexually vacuous character, the cynical manipulation of Black Power politics, are usually ignored. Everyone loves a story about a maniac street preacher. But Network is also about how the media is manufactured, how our pain and frustrations regarding the state of the world are manipulated for ratings, and how legitimate grievances are monetized under capitalism.

It’s a shame we miss out on that, because the media we consume today is just as cynically manipulated. It’s just as weaponized against the population as the media of a hundred years ago, but has now adopted new marketing techniques to sell, promote, and defend imperialism and capitalism. This is not to say that older techniques are not still used – some corruption is still as blatant as taking money or gifts – but other techniques have not been as examined, as thoroughly condemned. While sex and race are just as common as ever in the media’s worship of imperialism and capitalism, the new neoliberal strategies of atomization and the cult of the individual gives the old tropes of manipulation a fresh coat of paint:

We live in an era of flux. The old model of a creator or creative type—a person who does one thing well, and depends on institutions for support—is falling by the wayside. The creator of the future is a super-connected trans-disciplinary mutant: engaged and intellectually rebellious. Molly Crabapple has created everything from Occupy Wall Street posters and arts journalism of collapsing countries to murals on the walls of the world’s most exclusive nightclubs.  On stage, she delivers an energizing, take-no-prisoners talk on how creators—how everyone—can create a life of their own design, without asking permission. (Emphasis mine, from Lanvin Agency)

Atomization is the isolation of a person from their “institutions of support”, meaning, essentially, not just their fellow human being, but also the traditional ways of reading and perceiving knowledge, though history or dialectical reasoning. The atomized individual is “intellectually rebellious”, cut off from the ability to reason correctly and confused by constantly shifting parameters – relying on their own atomized and manipulated environment in order to successfully parse reality. A strategy as old as time is to successfully make the person feel like they came up with the idea to oppress themselves. The fresh coat of paint here is to make everyone relate to their own oppression in an intimate, ego-shaping way. The individual’s decision – once they choose oppression, of course – is a sacred decision; their reasoning and their motivations are private and autonomous. The oppressed are oppressed whether they choose to be or not – but the propaganda encourages the oppressed to accept it anyway, because it makes things easier for domination and atomizes society faster.

Imperialism, too, wants invitations for military advisors, trade agreements, and foreign direct investment. Wars and battles can be disagreeable. Usually it’s preferable both morally and logistically when the oppressed ask for their own subjugation, argue for it themselves. Likewise, patriarchy seeks to subjugate by invitation. Women are told that patriarchy really does have nothing but the best intentions, that she can cleverly twist patriarchy on her own to make it “work for her”. In this way, we can compare the woman who feels violent pornography is empowering to the country which feels monoculture depending on the imperial markets is empowering. Under this paradigm, we the audience, must believe that if they are asking for it, we must respect their agency. Systems of oppression, however, do not simply disappear because they are somehow passively (or actively!) accepted by the oppressed. Indeed, systems prefer the acquiescence of the oppressed to conflict. This is why it is so important for us to be told that women love being prostitutes and how much happier developing countries are under capitalism. In many cases, this functions as a sort of shield for oppression – it’s their choice, after all! And we must respect that. And if not their choice, well then, certainly NATO has their best interests as individuals at heart. An argument about imperialism successfully becomes an argument about agency.

All of this is not just a successful tool for atomization, it is also a savvy marketing strategy for oppression. For this essay, I am going to write mainly on how imperialist-marketing techniques specifically corrupts feminism. While women who stand against oppression and imperialism are often excluded from public platform, or labeled as “crazy” otherwise, when standing for imperialism, misogyny, racism, and capitalism, women are seen as strong and independent-minded. When their representations of the aforementioned are attacked, these otherwise “modern” women simply melt back into stereotypical gender roles, and are posited as victims. I will present three case studies for this phenomenon that will seek to make this connection between feminism, traditional gender roles, agency and imperial aggression.

For the first case study, let’s take a look at a so-called feminist, modern group of women: FEMEN. The marketing strategy of this Ukrainian group is pretty simple to grasp. A photo of any FEMEN action usually includes a half naked blonde woman, political slogans scrawled across her breasts, her face contorted in pain and fear as a police officer or soldier, generally a man, attempts to tackle and arrest her. Here we have a twofold approach: one strategy is that instead of holding placards, these women use their bare breasts as “weapons” (their word, not mine) to trick an otherwise apathetic and disinterested male population into buying whatever it is they’re selling, while courageously doing this as wielders of their own agency, allegedly wielding it in the name of atomized feminism (what I call elsewhere “postfeminism“). This is greatly analogous to marketing strategies which seek to utilize female sexuality – we can see examples of this on any convention showroom floor.  They are simultaneously empowered by using their sexuality to sell their politics, while at the same time cynically bowing to traditional gender roles. The second part of the marketing strategy is to usually include the police. Their groping hands put these lovely blonde ladies in danger. They roughly claw at their exposed flesh. Like King Kong, these women are generally presented as helpless against their attackers, suspended in midair by the ruddy paws of the enemy who seeks to destroy us all. We are winked at by the titillating vision of half-naked attractive white women, offering their politics on their breasts as a way of appealing to the so-called essential nature of of piggish men, appreciative of their strong choices, angry that a man would stand in their way.