On women’s reactions to harassment

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“ Women don’t want to come across as though they’re overreacting or hysterical – common accusations when you speak up about harassment. You don’t want to make a fuss because you know saying anything will just make the exchange last longer. Or get confrontational. And so you laugh and smile, nod and remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible. Maybe because it’s easier, but often because it’s safer. Women have been berated, attacked – and, in extreme situations, killed – for rejecting men. And so smiling politely becomes like muscle memory ”

Jessica Valenti, ‘Trump was sleazy with a reporter. Her awkward laugh felt all too familiar’, The Guardian

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On the French Socialist Party and rebuilding the French left

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“ It is difficult to say what the PS is today. Its figures, its staff, its members are not one single entity. Part of it has gone off toward Macron and En Marche. And it is also important to be clearly aware that the reason it got 6 percent was that it embodied defeat and had no prospect of winning after the Hollande years. There was a very strong sense of disillusionment (…) The Parti socialiste is no longer the leading force on the Left, but the Left is not yet in good shape. What really interests me is how we can accomplish the challenging task of rebuilding the Left. That means a Left that concerns itself with the March for Dignity and Justice, a Left that makes feminism relevant for our own time, and a Left that can bring the popular classes back onto the political terrain ”

Elsa Faucillon, ‘The Left Under Macron’, Jacobin Magazine

 

On raising a feminist son

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“ Raising a son this way isn’t just about telling boys what not to do, or about erasing gender differences altogether. For instance, all male mammals engage in rough-and-tumble play, Ms. Elliot said. So roughhouse, crack jokes, watch sports, climb trees, build campfires. Teach boys to show strength — the strength to acknowledge their emotions. Teach them to provide for their families — by caring for them. Show them how to be tough — tough enough to stand up to intolerance. Give them confidence — to pursue whatever they’re passionate about ”

Claire Cain Miller, ‘How to Raise a Feminist Son’, The New York Times

On why state equality isn’t necessarily a conquest for feminists

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“ Equality – that is, the quantitative principle of equality – often hides the eradication of women. The so-called state feminism has interpreted the movement of women as a carrier of a demand for equality, putting at the center of action the division of power between women and men (equal opportunities, ‘pink quotas’, women as men and many often women-who-like-to-men). When a traditionally male role is occupied by a woman, it is not said that it is automatically considered a conquest for feminists. Equal demands in the public space – which are often in the mouth of men – work as annihilation of the feminine difference: the trick of the quantity is the inadequate male response to the change triggered by the feminist revolution. That’s why it’s almost never a good fit: dimensions do not matter ”

Translated from Italian.

Giulia Siviero, ‘Emmanuel Macron and women’, Il Post

On the western conviction that Muslim women are all victims of sexism

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“ Commonplace is the firm conviction that sexism against Muslim women is rife, most often coupled with the utter disbelief that women who challenge sexism could exist, let alone that there are many of them, that they are not a new phenomenon, and that Muslim men often support them in their efforts (…) The assumption is that Muslim women need to be extricated from the religion entirely before anything close to liberation or equality can be achieved (…) It is as though male Muslim scholars and non-Muslim western feminists have handed down predetermined scripts for us to live by. And it is left to those people thought not to exist — Muslim women who fight sexism — to rewrite those scenarios and reclaim our identities ”

Susan Carland, ‘If you want to know about Muslim women’s rights, ask Muslim women’, The Guardian

On the twisted and misogynist alt-right stance on abortion

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“ Some alt-rightists, unsurprisingly, argue that abortion is simply immoral and should be banned. Yet many others in the movement disagree – and for reasons that have nothing to do with respecting women’s autonomy or privacy. These alt-rightists support legal abortion because, they claim, it’s disproportionately used by black and Latina women and, secondarily, because they see it as a way to weed out “defective” white babies. In other words, they support abortion as a form of eugenics. Both sides of this internal alt-right debate agree that women have no business controlling their own bodies ”

Matthew N. Lyons, ‘The alt-right hates women as much as it hates people of colour’, The Guardian

On Trudeau’s exclusive feminism

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” Justin is practicing token feminism […] ; he made his cabinet half women, but these are women who are already privileged and in power. So, essentially, he shared some power around a small group of elites ”

Ashifa Kassam, ‘Is Justin Trudeau living up to his self-proclaimed feminist ideals?’, The Guardian