Today (Sunday 25 November) is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This was learnt via twitter from Caroline Lucas. I would not otherwise have known. The 25th November was designated by the UN General Assembly and the date came from the brutal assassination in 1960 of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (Wikipedia).
I was struck by the ‘coincidence’ of this with another chock of tweets which floated in on my list of eco-socialist guardian-reading allotment-gardening tweets on my smart phone. Domestic violence accounts for 10% of emergency calls, data shows http://gu.com/p/3c46f/tf. Where does this all start? It’s not a subject we’ve touched on at the Friday Room.
You will probably have noticed that the Church of England has demonstrated that patriarchy is alive and kicking. But several other items of news which put “women in their place” may have passed you by. Whilst politicians of all persuasions were lamenting the conservativeness of the Anglican laity, the House of Lords were listening to Mike Buchanon, intrepid anti-feminist blogger . Buchanon submitted a statement on the Lords ‘Women on Boards’ inquiry – oral and written evidence (sic):
…studies reported as showing positive links between more women in the boardroom and enhanced corporate performance are confusing correlation with causation. He says he has challenged you and representatives of many other organisations to provide evidence of the alleged positive causal link between ‘improved’ gender balance in the boardroom, and enhanced corporate performance. No such evidence has ever been forthcoming, he says, and he knows of only two studies showing a causal link. Both show a negative causal link. In layman’s terms, increasing the number of women on boards has been found to damage corporate performance.
Why do they even let him in, let alone listen to him! Meanwhile Compass chair Neil Lawson writes no less worryingly on how “sexual consumerism is a conspiracy against young women” Lawson writing in the New Statesman:
…over 100 years ago Rosa Luxemburg the Marxist revolutionary wrote brilliantly about the ever-expanding nature of capital in her theory of empire. Capitalism would expand to new territories where natural resources were abundant and regulations were non-existent so that places and people could be exploited to the full, and profit maximized. She called them virgin lands. Luxemburg could only see the geographical expansion of capital. What we are experiencing today is the emotional and cultural expansion of capital into every aspect of lives and our society. And yes into ‘virgin’ lands in a way that is stomach-churning. The new abundance is us, the people, or our children if necessary. And there are still no regulations to stop it happening. Today in Britain some children go hungry while others have plastic surgery performed on their genitals. It’s a sick world.
Thoroughly depressed, I turn to my music collection. Several old vinyl albums need to be off-loaded during a domestic declutter. I don’t listen to them anymore, the Clash, Haircut 100 (!), Everything But the Girl. Another tweet popped up. I was startled to read this by Joe Rivers, also in New Statesman:
Singer-songwriter and former Everything But The Girl frontwoman, Tracey Thorn, was recently asked in an interview whether her “not being an extremely hot girl” has held her back in her career. Long-running international music monthly Rolling Stone has just announced the winner of a contest called “Women Who Rock”. American lifestyle magazine, Complex, last month ran a feature on the ten “hottest women” at a New York music festival, fitting in nicely with other articles they’ve published this year, including “Ten Sexy Indie Artists You Should Know” and “The 15 Hottest Frontwomen In Rock History”.
Has feminism failed? Time for next generation feminism? Read on in Soundings.