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Perpetuating hegemony: How the left collaborates in its own defeat

Our state apparatus is so deplorable, not to say wretched, that we must first think very carefully how to combat its defects, bearing in mind that these defects are rooted in the past, which, although it has been overthrown, has not yet been overcome, not yet reached the stage of a culture that has receded into the past. – Lenin, 1923 As leftists we are confronted by an immediate duality when we begin to think of taking control or achieving power within the state. We need the state and ultimately to control the power of the state’s arms to a greater or lesser degree to realize our goals and to effectively begin to work to end the societal institutions of oppression that are embodied in patriarchy, hierarchy, class, racism,...
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Because boys still matter more: The popularity of anti-bullying campaigns and the erasure of sexism

The relatively recent development of the anti-bullying campaign has been almost universally accepted as something that is unquestionably “good”. These campaigns are politically correct, they are focused on kids (a largely unhateable group), and they are relatively easy to get behind for most people, (with the exception of some religious groups) particularly those who consider themselves to be open-minded, liberal folks. Support for these campaigns has surged in popularity with celebrity endorsements and the almost immediate, enthusiastic incorporation of anti-bullying discourse into elementary and high schools. Projects like Dan Savage’s It Gets Better, aimed at inspiring hope in alienated and harassed LGBT kids, are hard to criticize, particularly in light of stats around the increased likelyhood of suicide attempts by these youth. But while anti-bullying campaigns grow ever more...
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Letter to the Feminist Movement

Originally posted on www.lacles.org: La Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle (CLES).  CLES is a coalition of organizations and individuals operating out of Quebec, who are critical of the sex industry. This letter was reposted with permission.   Letter to the Feminist Movement Originally circulated in French on June 23, 2011 In the wake of a series of targeted attacks–sometimes subtle, other times blatant–aimed at abolitionist feminists, we call on you, as members of the feminist movement in Québec, to react. Abolitionist feminists address the fundamentally patriarchal but also racist, capitalist and colonialist nature of the institution of prostitution. The purpose of their political education, prevention and intervention work is to equip feminists with information and tools to enable them to argue that the sex industry is illegitimate and...
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The F Word? Haven't heard of it. We assumed Noami Wolf was taking care of all that.

So according to the outside world (feminists live inside a stormy bubble filled with hornets and smoldering bras), feminism is either TAKING OVER THE WOOOOORLD WITH IT’S RADICAL AGENDA HIDEYOURPROTONZZZZZZ or, according to the CBC, totally boring, unhip, and overrun with rich white ladies. Now, I am as titillated as the as the next feminist to hear the word even acknowledged by mainstream media and when I heard there was going to be a WHOLE MOVIE about my one true love, I was more than pleased. Alas, the film did not do us justice. Nor did it really ‘do’ much of anything aside from remind us that EVERYTHING STILL SUCKS. And NO ONE IS DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Except Naomi Wolf. Last night, the CBC aired The “F” Word:...
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A Word or Two on Abolition.

If you don’t look hard enough, it’s easy to feel like the abolition argument has become ‘passe’. As though arguments against sex slavery and violence against women can go out of style. What I mean, I suppose, is that it has become somewhat  unpopular, let’s say, these days, to talk about abolition. The divides between women and feminists which come up around the argument are, often, vitriolic. The ‘radicals’ are often painted as desiring to “abolish prostitutes–not just prostitution…that we’re after criminalizing everyone connected to prostitution, rather than the profiteers–there’s the accusation that we don’t respect women’s choices (that’s my fucking favourite), and that we’re moralistic and anti-sex.” (I highly recommend reading this whole post I’ve just linked to here, it is very good); those doing the painting thereby...
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