This year’s pride marches in Europe have taken place under the shadow of a threat, compounded by the recent terrorist attacks in Western Europe (Paris, Brussels and now Germany) and the slaughter at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. We have been urged not to give in to fear, while at the same time we’ve been told that undisclosed security precautions are being taken. The route of the Paris pride march was drastically shortened, supposedly for security reasons. It’s not clear whether the attack in Orlando was motivated by religious fundamentalism or was more the product of anger and anguish about the attacker’s life and sexuality. Either way, it could be just a matter of time before a similarly murderous anti-LGBTQI attack takes place in Europe.
Just three days before the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision to legalize same sex marriage, president Obama ordered that an undocumented transgender woman be escorted out of the White House Pride celebration because she interrupted the President to raise her voice against the state-sanctioned torture and deportation of LGBT people.
Zakia Salime is associate professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University. This tribute is to Fatema Mernissi: mentor, insightful teacher, organic intellectual, incisive feminist, powerful voice, charismatic presence, craftswoman, generous host, and friend. It appeared on Jadaliyya and is reprinted here with the permission of the author and Jadaliyya.
It was not long ago that Poland’s name echoed throughout the whole civilized world, that its fate stirred every soul and provoked excitement in every heart. Lately one no longer hears very much about Poland – since Poland is a capitalist country. Do we now want to know what became of the old rebel, where historic destiny steered it?
Luxemburg, The Industrial Development of Poland
Several days ago, at the end of March, the conservative party Kukiz15, the ruling party of Mr. Kaczynski, Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc (PiS), the Polish Prime Minister, Mrs. Beata Szydlo, the national council of bishops, and the majority of MPs declared their support for banning abortion completely.
The battle for reproductive rights is a global battle. In March, the United States Supreme Court heard a landmark case over the future of women’s access to safe and legal abortions in Texas. In Poland, a proposed law by the country’s right-wing Law and Justice Party would effectively outlaw abortion. And while abortions have been legal in India since the seventies, Indian women’s control over their own bodies remains abbreviated.
Global elites have appropriated feminist language to justify brutal exploitation and neoliberal development.
I arrived in the United States prepared to talk about why and how queers need to fight Islamophobia: the fear and hatred of Islam and of Muslims. But [on November 13] the day after my plane landed, Paris was hit by a wave of terrorist attacks. So I can’t give quite the same talk that I prepared.
I was supposed to write about class liberation and its relationship with social liberation, but I found it more critical, at this point, to write about the relationship between the Left and the issues of women, from a personal perspective connected with my own experiences.
Neoliberalism isn’t just harmful economics. Here is a look at its gender side. Academics and a few journalists have been writing about neoliberal feminism for some time. But most of them discuss it theoretically. Few recognize how neoliberal assumptions saturate specific proposals for advancing women, or how these proposals do not actually address women’s inequality, especially the inequality multiplied by race and class. At best these proposals are feeble in relation to most women’s problems, and they may even be part of the problem.
Forty-six years ago patrons at the Stonewall Inn, a popular New York City gay bar, fought back against abusive police, and in doing so launched the modern lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender movement.