The RadFems also hate other feminists, the ones they label “FunFems”

I’m really glad to see the RadFems have already moved on to another target.

They are kind of inclusive in their hatred and bigotry.

They are sort of the spiritual descendants of people like Torquemada and Cotton Mather.  Rigid ideologues and dogmatic assholes.

Movement killers.  Sort of like how Progressive Labor Party invaded Students For a Democratic Society and tried to impose a bunch of Stalinistic puritanical rules.

No wonder the anarchistic types formed Weatherman in reaction.

The dirty secret about the destruction of Second Wave Feminism is that it was killed from within by the RadFems.

First they came for the Transsexuals.

Well actually no.

First they came for the left wing hippie women and demanded they foreswear any affinity to the counter culture we were building, quit the anti-war movement, the ecology movement, the anti-racism movement, devote all our energy to feminism.  Because all women were of the same class, never mind those pesky intersects of oppression like race and class.

We forget how popular feminism was during the early part of the 1970s.  Not just the humorless puritanical hard core radfem variety but ordinary equity feminism.

In December 1972, Helen Reddy’s song “I am Woman” was number one on the Billboard charts.

Topless dancers were playing it during their sets and a friend of mine was stripping to it.

The Venus with the clenched fist pendant had replaced the peace symbol on buttons and pendants.

Women were opening restaurants, businesses, learning new skills and breaking down doors.

Then the puritans started saying things like.  You can’t wear make-up and be a feminist.  Long-hair is part of patriarchal oppression.  Never mind how skirts are cooler in the summer than jeans, wearing a skirt or dress is oppressive.

Every new rule for political correct behavior was a rule that would be enforced by those claiming radical purity and every rule drove women away from the movement.

Never mind that some of the books that were being held up as paragons of “radical feminist” thinking seemed to have been written by women who were seriously mentally disturbed.

Then being in a relationship with a man began to be questioned. This went over big with the majority of women who weren’t looking to reject heterosexuality but rather to reform the way relationships between men and women were conducted. Heterosexual women started say stuff like, “I am not a feminist, but I believe in equality of the sexes.

Then the radfems turned on femme lesbians.  They turned on B/D/S/M lesbians. They turned on sex positive lesbians.  They attacked sex workers.

They turned feminism into a dirty word most women didn’t want to be associated with.

NOW, Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List and other mainstream feminist organizations didn’t suffer as much because they didn’t chug the radfem Kool-Aid.

But things like women’s bookstores suffered.

Ironically the radfems came to be associated with lesbians and yet many lesbians considered themselves partners with gay men  in the gay and lesbian movement.  Many if not most detested the Stalinistic tactics of the radfems.

Lesbians kept those LGBT/T Centers functioning during the worst of the plague years during the 1980s when gay men were dying left and right.

Then in the 1990s feminist groups like Guerrilla Girls (a fun feminist artist group that attacks sexism in the arts) gave birth to Riot Grrls and Third Wave Feminism, which saw the dead end of the puritanical radical feminism that seemed really reactionary and hateful rather than positive and sustaining.

The Slut Walks of the last few years as well as the recognition of the intersectionality of oppression, the willingness to be sex positive and defend sex workers is all part the Third Wave.

The Third Wave has been really supportive of TS/TG people to the benefit of all because TS/TG people  bring their own take on matters like gender to the table.

The radfems have stuck a number of slurs on Third Wave feminists.  They have labeled Third Wave Feminists: “Do me Feminists!” and “Fun Feminists.”

One of the louder radfem voices of bigotry, Julie Bindel shows how she thinks as little of Third Wave Feminism as she thinks of TS/TG folks in this article from the New Statesman:  Why “fun feminism” should be consigned to the rubbish bin

In the 1980s women in the New Wave music scene were taking pot shots at the radfem crap while the academics were treating it seriously.

I lived in San Francisco at the time, even took a song writing workshop from Bonnie Hayes.  Saw The Waitresses and Cindi Lauper along with a bunch of other  Grrl Groups that had more positive influence over women than the folk music of the Women of Olivia ever did.

Rather than spending all their time whining about the patriarchy these women were going out and creating and in doing so they were breaking down doors and making it possible for more women to enter the male dominated music industry.

Transgendered Women & Sex Work

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Black Leaders and Gay Advocates March in Step

From The New York Times:

By Kate Taylor
Published: June 9, 2012

For years, gay rights organizations and major civil rights organizations viewed each other warily. African-American leaders often saw the gay rights groups as insensitive to racial concerns, and some resented the movement’s use of civil rights language to make the case for same-sex marriage. Advocates for gay rights, in turn, sometimes blamed socially conservative African-Americans for their defeat in crucial electoral battles.

But since the relationship reached something of a crisis with the passage of Proposition 8, California’s ballot initiative against same-sex marriage, in 2008, leaders in both movements have made an effort to bring their groups closer together.

Now, conversations among leaders in the gay, black and Latino communities have borne significant fruit: On May 19, the board of the N.A.A.C.P. voted to endorse same-sex marriage.

And then, last Tuesday, representatives of several national gay rights organizations gathered at New York City’s Stonewall Inn, often described as the birthplace of their movement, to announce that they would march to protest the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practice, under which the police each year have been stopping hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, most of them black or Latino, in an effort to prevent crime.

Some of the gay rights leaders specifically cited support from the N.A.A.C.P. for same-sex marriage as a reason they decided to oppose the stop-and-frisk policy.

“We need to find ways to strengthen our alliances and really strengthen our commitment to one another,” said Jeffrey Campagna, a national gay rights organizer who is coordinating the involvement of gay rights groups in the march on June 17 against the stop-and-frisk practice.

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It’s up to you.

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Marijuana Decriminalization: Efforts To Relax Pot Rules Gaining Momentum In U.S.

From Huffington Post:

By David Klepper

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Catharine Leach is married and has two boys, age 2 and 8. She has a good job with a federal contractor and smokes pot most every day.

While she worries that her public support for marijuana decriminalization and legalization could cost her a job or bring the police to her door, the 30-year-old Warwick resident said she was tired of feeling like a criminal for using a drug that she said is far less harmful than the glass or wine or can of beer enjoyed by so many others after a long day’s work. Like others around the nation working to relax penalties for possession of pot, she decided to stop hiding and speak out.

“I’m done being afraid,” she said. “People in this country are finally coming around and seeing that putting someone in jail for this doesn’t make sense. It’s just a changing of the time.”

Once consigned to the political fringe, marijuana policy is appearing on legislative agendas around the country thanks to an energized base of supporters and an increasingly open-minded public. Lawmakers from Rhode Island to Colorado are mulling medical marijuana programs, pot dispensaries, decriminalization and even legalization. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia now authorize medical marijuana and 14, including neighboring Connecticut and Massachusetts, have rolled back criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of pot.

Rhode Island is poised to become the 15th state to decriminalize marijuana possession. The state’s General Assembly passed legislation last week that would eliminate the threat of big fines or even jail time for the possession of an ounce or less of pot. Instead, adults caught with small amounts of marijuana would face a $150 civil fine. Police would confiscate the marijuana, but the incident would not appear on a person’s criminal record.

Minors caught with pot would also have to complete a drug awareness program and community service.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee has said he is inclined to sign the legislation.

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President Obama Addresses Netroots Nation 2012

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Monsanto’s Genetically-Modified “DroughtGard” Corn Barely a Drop in the Bucket

From Common Dreams:

Report Finds Limited Prospects for Genetically Engineered Crops to Combat Drought and Conserve Water

Report by Union of Concerned Scientists
Published on Sunday, June 10, 2012 by Common Dreams
Monsanto’s new drought tolerant corn, DroughtGard, reduces crop losses only modestly during moderate droughts, and will not reduce the crop’s water requirements, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The report found that traditional breeding and improved farming practices have done more to increase drought tolerance, and that further improvements in genetic engineering are unlikely to solve the drought problem in coming years.“Farmers are always looking to reduce losses from drought, but the biotechnology industry has made little real-world progress on this problem,” said Doug Gurian-Sherman, a senior scientist with UCS’s Food & Environment Program and author of the report. “Despite many years of research and millions of dollars in development costs, DroughtGard doesn’t outperform the non-engineered alternatives.”

Agriculture accounts for about 70 percent of all water extracted from rivers and wells, making drought a serious and costly problem for farmers. An extreme drought is still plaguing Texas, triggering a record $5.2 billion in agricultural losses in 2011 alone. Monsanto’s new corn is not likely to provide any practical help under such conditions, even by the company’s guarded claims.

The report, High and Dry: Why Genetic Engineering is Not Solving Agriculture’s Drought Problem in a Thirsty World, found that during limited testing, DroughtGard—the only crop engineered for drought tolerance approved for commercial use—reduced crop losses by about 6 percent. By comparison, breeding and improved farming practices have increased drought tolerance by roughly 1 percent per year over the past several decades.

In terms of crop yields, DroughtGard will increase overall corn production by about 1 percent because it is likely to be of practical value on only about 15 percent of U.S. corn acreage. Breeding and improved farming practices increase corn production by about 1.5 to 2 percent annually.

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Paul Krugman Keynote, Netroots Nation 2012

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Did Republicans deliberately crash the US economy?

From The Guardian UK:

Be it ideology or stratagem, the GOP has blocked pro-growth policy and backed job-killing austerity – all while blaming Obama, Saturday 9 June 2012

So why does the US economy stink?

Why has job creation in America slowed to a crawl? Why, after several months of economic hope, are things suddenly turning sour? The culprits might seem obvious – uncertainty in Europe, an uneven economic recovery, fiscal and monetary policymakers immobilized and incapable of acting. But increasingly, Democrats are making the argument that the real culprit for the country’s economic woes lies in a more discrete location: with the Republican Party.

In recent days, Democrats have started coming out and saying publicly what many have been mumbling privately for years – Republicans are so intent on defeating President Obama for re-election that they are purposely sabotaging the country’s economic recovery. These charges are now being levied by Democrats such as Senate majority leader Harry Reid and Obama’s key political adviser, David Axelrod.

For Democrats, perhaps the most obvious piece of evidence of GOP premeditated malice is the 2010 quote from Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell:

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

Such words lead some to the conclusion that Republicans will do anything, including short-circuiting the economy, in order to hurt Obama politically. Considering that presidents – and rarely opposition parties – are held electorally responsible for economic calamity, it’s not a bad political strategy.

Then again, it’s a hard accusation to prove: after all, one person’s economic sabotage is another person’s principled anti-government conservatism.

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Van Jones Keynote, Netroots Nation 2012

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Working Women’s Bodies Besieged by Environmental Injustice

From In These Times:

By Michelle Chen
Friday Jun 8, 2012

From birth control pills to equal pay, women are a favorite target in the country’s most heated political wars. But a much quieter struggle is being waged over women’s bodies in their neighborhoods and workplaces, where a minefield of pollutants threaten working mothers and their children.

According to new research from the the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, working pregnant women who are exposed on the job to toxins known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are more likely to have children with gastroschisis, a rare birth defect in which the intestines stick out from the baby’s body, generally requiring surgical repair.

The study, summarized by Environmental Health News, reveals a distinct link between women’s occupational exposure and the prevalence of the defect: “mothers who were exposed to PAHs had 1.5 times the risk of having a baby with gastroschisis compared to women who were not exposed to PAHs at work.”

While this is a rare defect, the troubling context of these findings is the prevalence of PAH pollution in women’s workplaces. The researchers noted, “assessing workplace exposure to PAHs is important because ‘more than 95 percent of employed women in the United States remain employed during pregnancy’ and ‘an increasing number of women are being exposed in their jobs to chemicals that can harm the fetus.’” The researchers especially noted exposures among women working as “cashiers in fast food restaurants.”

PAH’s are an ubiquitous byproduct of everyday combustible materials like oil and coal. Studies have linked the contamination they cause when burned and churned into the atmosphere with health problems that can shape a kid’s entire upbringing, ranging from developmental disabilities to childhood obesity.

A separate study on women in New York City linked prenatal PAH exposure to behavioral issues that could pose a lifelong burden. Researchers with the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found a connection between a pregnant woman’s exposure to PAH-laden air and the chances that her child will by age 6 or 7 show mental health symptoms such as anxiety or attention problems. These long-term behavioral patterns, the researchers wrote, “suggest an adverse impact of prenatal PAH exposure… that could impact cognitive development and ability to learn.”

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