Category: Women in Politics (Page 1 of 2)

The Republican Party: pro-life and anti-facts

In the days leading up to the Republican National Convention, the only Republican making news was Todd Akin, Missouri’s now infamous member of the U.S. House of Representatives. The offhand pedalling of unsubstantiated facts on a live broadcast was as alarming to the left as it was to the right; Democrats took the chance to champion Obamacare, their support of Planned Parenthood and in all ways being pretty swell towards women (not to mention their giddy support for Akin to run in the election, no doubt ensuring a Democrat seat), while Republicans sharply distanced themselves from the campaign-killing talk that Akin was now renowned for.

Women were now on the political spectrum for both parties in the run-up to the election cycle. The selection of Paul Ryan as running mate for Mitt Romney, in wake of such extreme anti-choice sentiments being news fodder on the eve of the Republicans biggest event, again pushed the issue; just what exactly did the Republicans mean by intending to ban abortion? Did Mitt Romney the Senator agree with Mitt Romney of 1994, who said that the longevity of Roe v Wade signified that ‘we should sustain and support it?’ Or was he Mitt Romney of 2007 who said it had ‘gone too far’? The Mitt Romney of 2002 had not only pro-choice leanings, but wrote in to the National Abortion Rights Action League’s candidate survey, to the tune of “women should be free to choose based on their own beliefs, not mine and not the government’s.” Well damn. Continue reading

Collaborative round-up for anti-DSK blogs, media, videos, responses and thoughts

Perhaps this thread can be a resource to share responses to and coverage of the anti-DSK protest/movement that have been written elsewhere? (Not to prevent anyone from writing their own separate responses on GA) I feel that I am still recovering and trying to process what happened, it was so important to me, and I don’t want to lose or forget that so much was created. Please add things I have missed. I have purposefully left off “The Cambridge Student’s” “coverage”, see here:
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Humanitas Visiting Professor in Women’s Rights 2011

Professor Nancy Fraser (Henry A. and Louise Loeb Professor of Philosophy and Politics, The New School for Social Research, New York)

Lecture 1: ‘A Polanyian Feminism? Re-reading The Great Transformation in the 21st Century’ (5-6.30pm, 8 March 2011)

Karl Polanyi’s 1944 book ‘The Great Transformation’ rejected economism and instead analysed the previous crisis of capitalism as a crisis of social reproduction. He traced the roots of crisi…s to what he called the “fictitious commodification” of labour, land and money and diagnosed the tendency of a “free market society” to undermine the shared understandings that underpin social life. In his view, 19th-century efforts to create such a society proved so destructive of livelihoods, communities, and habitats as to trigger a century-long struggle between free-marketeers and those who sought to protect society from the ravages of the market. The end result of this “double movement” (marketisation versus social protection) was economic depression, political stalemate, and world war.

In the first lecture, Professor Nancy Fraser will reread ‘The Great Transformation’ from a feminist perspective, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of its signature concepts. Although it was developed for an earlier era, Polanyi’s diagnosis is, Professor Nancy Fraser will argue, highly relevant today as today’s crisis is not merely economic but also encompasses social reproduction and thus can be fruitfully analysed as a “great transformation,” in which a new round of efforts to commodify nature, labour, and money is sparking a new round of struggles. The following lectures and symposium will build upon this to create a Polanyian-feminist framework for theorising capitalist crisis in the 21st century.

Further lectures in the series are:

‘The Wages of Care: Reproductive Labour as Fictitious Commodity’
Wednesday, 9 Mar 2011

‘Between Marketisation and Social Protection: Ambivalences of Feminism in the Context of Capitalist Crisis’
Wednesday, 16 Mar 2011

A symposium will take place on Thursday 17 March.

For more information, please see

Women, Masculinism and Democracy

Throughout the centuries when the political project that has resulted in “modern democracy” was developing, women were excluded from decision making processes. The development of “modern democracy” – from ancient Greece to the French Revolution to the Constitutional Convention in the USA – had no meaningful participation of women, and took place in the context of profound gender norms. Therefore, I use quotation marks when referring to “modern democracy” to indicate that it is neither unquestionably democratic nor modern. The  existence of differences in gendered behaviour means that the political ideas, practices and structures developed were complementary to dominant gender norms of privilege men- masculinism with an elitist and racist edge. This has resulted in political systems which, although now legally open to women to vote, run for office, etc, are still not a place where most women can thrive because these systems still privilege masculine norms, and gender norms continue to be deeply embedded. Continue reading

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