Is it not an assault on Black people’s reproductive rights to brutally and systematically deny us the opportunity to raise children who will grow to adulthood, who can experience the world with childlike wonder? Is it not an assault on Black people’s reproductive rights to tell us we give birth to future criminals and not innocent children, to murder one of us every 28 hours and leave a family in mourning?
Those victims are not just statistics; they are people, with bodies and families and future generations who will never see them smile again. They are children, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, and chosen family members. They are integral parts of communities that raise children. As RH Reality Check senior legal analyst Imani Gandytweeted, we cannot ignore the truth that “police violence against black and brown people is a reproductive justice issue.”
Women of color bear a relationship to reproduction that is fraught with trauma and state control, a perpetual tightrope that stretches beyond the simple paradigm of “pro-choice” organizing. Police violence against our children is a continuation of the same culture that lynched pregnant Black women, that forcibly sterilized cisgender women of color well into 2010, that has required mandatory sterilization for trans people, that paints reproductive rights as an issue only affecting cisgender women. The unifying message is simple: Black bodies, trans bodies, disabled bodies are not worthy of defending. We do not need to continue existing, to further our legacies.
Let us be clear: feminism is out to screw patriarchy. It’s not there to be wheedling and apologetic. It’s not there to teach women to cope with life as subordinates. It’s not there to promote a chirpy, can-do response to a cat-call, a hand on the arse, a tongue down the throat, an unwanted grope or a rape. And if you’re thinking “all this sounds a bit judgmental,” I do understand. I know words like “patriarchy” and “male dominance” make people feel uncomfortable (I’d call it “feminismphobia” if it wasn’t time we stopped pathologising dissent). I know some women have a deep-rooted fear of how feminism could change their sexual landscape. To support something which is ultimately for everyone – but not specifically for you – is difficult, but feminism is not about misusing words (empowerment, choice, freedom) to cover up the things we don’t want to see. We’re here to knock down the entire edifice, not repaint the walls.
Chiune Sugihara. This man saved 6000 Jews. He was a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania. When the Nazis began rounding up Jews, Sugihara risked his life to start issuing unlawful travel visas to Jews. He hand-wrote them 18 hrs a day. The day his consulate closed and he had to evacuate, witnesses claim he was STILL writing visas and throwing from the train as he pulled away. He saved 6000 lives. The world didn’t know what he’d done until Israel honored him in 1985, the year before he died.
Why can’t we have a movie about him?
He was often called “Sempo”, an alternative reading of the characters of his first name, as that was easier for Westerners to pronounce.
His wife, Yukiko, was also a part of this; she is often credited with suggesting the plan. The Sugihara family was held in a Soviet POW camp for 18 months until the end of the war; within a year of returning home, Sugihara was asked to resign - officially due to downsizing, but most likely because the government disagreed with his actions.
He didn’t simply grant visas - he granted visas against direct orders, after attempting three times to receive permission from the Japanese Foreign Ministry and being turned down each time. He did not “misread” orders; he was in direct violation of them, with the encouragement and support of his wife.
He was honoured as Righteous Among the Nations in 1985, a year before he died in Kamakura; he and his descendants have also been granted permanent Israeli citizenship. He was also posthumously awarded the Life Saving Cross of Lithuania (1993); Commander’s Cross Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (1996); and the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2007). Though not canonized, some Eastern Orthodox Christians recognize him as a saint.
Sugihara was born in Gifu on the first day of 1900, January 1. He achieved top marks in his schooling; his father wanted him to become a physician, but Sugihara wished to pursue learning English. He deliberately failed the exam by writing only his name and then entered Waseda, where he majored in English. He joined the Foreign Ministry after graduation and worked in the Manchurian Foreign Office in Harbin (where he learned Russian and German; he also converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church during this time). He resigned his post in protest over how the Japanese government treated the local Chinese citizens. He eventually married Yukiko Kikuchi, who would suggest and encourage his acts in Lithuania; they had four sons together. Chiune Sugihara passed away July 31, 1986, at the age of 86. Until her own passing in 2008, Yukiko continued as an ambassador of his legacy.
It is estimated that the Sugiharas saved between 6,000-10,000 Lithuanian and Polish Jewish people.
Women’s social condition is built on a simple premise: women can be fucked and bear babies, therefore women must be fucked and bear babies. Sometimes, especially among the sophisticated, “penetrated” is substituted for “fucked”: women can be penetrated, therefore women must be penetrated. This logic does not apply to men, whichever word is used: men can be fucked, therefore men must be fucked; men can be penetrated, therefore men must be penetrated. This logic applies only to women and sex. One does not say, for instance, women have delicate hands, therefore women must be surgeons. Or women have legs, therefore women must run, jump, climb. Or women have minds, therefore women must use them. One does learn, however, that women have sex organs that must be used by men, or the women are not women: they are somehow less or more, either of which is bad and thoroughly discouraged. Women are defined, valued, judged, in one way only: as women—that is, with sex organs that must be used. Other parts of the body do not signify, unless used in sex or as an indicator of sexual availability or desirability. Intelligence does not count. It has nothing to do with what a woman is.
Seventy percent of women in prostitution in San Francisco, California were raped (Silbert & Pines, 1982). A study in Portland, Oregon found that prostituted women were raped on average once a week (Hunter, 1994). Eighty-five percent of women in Minneapolis, Minnesota had been raped in prostitution (Parriott, 1994). Ninety-four percent of those in street prostitution experienced sexual assault and 75% were raped by one or more johns (Miller, 1995). In the Netherlands (where prostitution is legal) 60% of prostituted women suffered physical assaults, 70% experienced verbal threats of assault, 40% experienced sexual violence and 40% were forced into prostitution and/or sexual abuse by acquaintances (Vanwesenbeeck, et al. 1995, 1994)… The prevalence of PTSD among prostituted women from 5 countries was 67% (Farley et. al. 1998), which is the same range as that of combat veterans (Weathers et. al. 1993).
From Farley et. al. (2003) “Prostitution in Nine Countries” (x)
Prostitution is created and supported by an established culture of men’s perceived and socialized entitlement to sex. This is also reminds me of how many people on this website as well as offline tend to glorify sex work (of its various forms; street prostitution, massage brothels, escort services, outcall services, strip clubs, lapdancing, phone sex, adult and child pornography, video and internet pornography and prostitution tourism) by assuming that it financially empowers women without realizing that a) Sex must not be a commodity; its commodification in patriarchy targets women firstly and most violently, b) Re: Young female students and privatized education. Young female students taking up prostitution/pornography is often extolled by liberals and viewed as sexually/financially liberating whereas the question should not concern individual agency but the one that must be asked is completely forgotten: Why is she compelled to take up such a profession in the first place. And the answer directly leads you to understand how neoliberalism/the privatization of education hits young women in a very different and vicious manner and also that marketplaces are so cutthroat now that basic survival, without having to turn your body into a commodity, is virtually impossible in this era. This further reminds me of how often white, Western women will put a spin on prostitution and assert that if they enjoy it, everyone else does too. Which is false.
If you read Prostitution, Liberalism, and Slavery, you will learn: “Only a tiny percentage of all women in prostitution are there because they freely choose it. For most, prostitution is not a real choice because physical safety, equal power with buyers, and real alternatives don’t exist. These are the conditions that would permit genuine consent. Most of the 1% who choose prostitution are privileged because of their ethnicity and class and they have escape options. Poor women and women of color don’t have these options.” Again, as I’ve said before, liberal individual agency becomes an abstract concept in this debate of empowerment because it fails to account for the material conditions of the majority of prostitutes, which is not a pleasant picture as liberal Western women would have you think. Ask the average prostitute in Pakistan or Ukraine or Nigeria about the empowerment of her work and she will think you’re insane.
"If we ignore the evidence for the structural inequalities of sex, race, and class in prostitution and if we ignore the clear statements of women who tell us that they want to escape prostitution, then we end up in a postmodern neverland where liberal theory unanchored to material reality frames prostitution as a problem of sexual choice, workers’ rights or sex trafficking as an immigration problem. Prostitution is the international business of sexual exploitation. Describing the strategic focus on sex buyers, a Swedish detective said, “trafficking is a business, we try to destroy the market.” Yes." [x]
So, it’s a lot uglier and horrifying than we think it is.
One would assume that scientists, who are trained to think objectively, are completely immune to gender discrimination. However, a recent Yale study by Corinne Moss-Racusin and colleagues suggests otherwise.
The researchers created a fictional student and sent out the student’s application to science professors at top, research-intensive universities in the United States. The professors were asked to evaluate how competent this student was, how likely they would be to hire the student, how much they would pay this student, and how willing they would be to mentor the student. All of the applications sent out were identical, except for the fact that half were for a male applicant, John, and half were for a female applicant, Jennifer. Results showed that, with statistical significance, both male and female faculty at these institutions were biased towards male students over female students.
Data from the study shows that on average, science faculty was willing to pay the male applicant about $4,000 more per year. source