by Vivian Kane
September 6, 2018
For women who work or spend time online, the idea that online misogyny is dangerous seems like basic common sense. Female journalists, politicians, celebrities and other women with work-related internet presences often face daily harassment, hacking or doxxing—the release of their private information, including phone numbers and home addresses. The hostility is often only loosely, if at all, tied to a woman’s specific work or actions; rather, the mere act of occupying public space seems to be the crime. That level of harassment is increased many times over for women of color.
Whether because of the anonymity, or the nature of internet echo chambers—where people’s thoughts are parroted back to them with no opposition—bigots of all stripes have felt emboldened to share their hate not just within but also outside the “manosphere”—that too-flippantly-named area of the internet designated for those who want to mourn and seethe over what they see as the theft of their masculinity.
So it surprised me that it’s taken this long for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to issue a report officially condemning misogyny in the same way it has other forms of violent hate speech. Until now, the ADL’s “Women’s Equity” category was limited to gender bias, pay inequality and fighting gender stereotypes. It’s about time somebody highlighted the genuinely hazardous aspects of extreme misogyny.
The new report pulls together research establishing a direct connection between misogyny and white supremacy, anti-Semitism and other forms of violent terrorism and says misogyny should be considered “a dangerous and underestimated component of extremism.” It explores the ways misogyny is expressed, both in person and online, and offers a useful taxonomy: There are the men’s rights activists (MRAs), who believe feminism has resulted in discrimination against men; the self-proclaimed “involuntary celibates” or “incels”; and the self-described “pickup artists,” who believe, as the report puts it, that date rape is “not only defensible, but is a skill that can and should be taught.” All of these types of men express ideas stemming from a core set of beliefs: that men are entitled to women’s attention, both emotional and (especially) sexual, and that feminism is a specific evil designed to deny them that right.
The ADL says it intends to continue investigating “the ways in which people in the white supremacist, incel and MRA orbits feed and inform one another’s poisonous hatred of women.” This could actually help. For far too long, these men have been written off as fringe types or as all talk. What few have officially recognized—except for women who have been on the receiving end of this hate—is that this sort of online misogyny can also have serious real-life implications.
Continue reading at: https://www.momentmag.com/opinion-online-misogyny-is-hate-speech/
From The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/08/opinion/kavanaugh-supreme-court-religious-liberty.html
By Katherine Stewart
Sept. 8, 2018
On day two of the confirmation hearings for Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s second nominee to the Supreme Court, Senator John Cornyn of Texas brought up the 2000 case Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, in which the court ruled that sectarian prayers at high school football games violated the clause of the First Amendment that prohibits the establishment of religion.
Mr. Cornyn repeated Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist’s complaint that the decision “bristle[d] with hostility to all things religious in public life.” In fact, the plaintiffs in the case identified as Catholic and Mormon, and it is safe to say that they were not hostile to religion, but to the presumption that one religion speaks for all.
Judge Kavanaugh, eager to signal his agreement with Mr. Cornyn, tossed back the catch phrase that Mr. Cornyn appeared to be fishing for: “religious liberty.”
Over the course of this week’s Senate confirmation hearings, the other senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, repeatedly identified Judge Kavanaugh as a jurist who would uphold “religious liberty.” That should concern anyone who cares about actual freedom, religious and otherwise. What senators Cornyn, Cruz and other religious conservatives mean by “religious liberty” is its opposite.
If the Senate confirms Brett Kavanaugh, it will be declaring that the United States is a nation in which one brand of religion enjoys a place of privilege; that we are a nation of laws — except in cases where the law offends those who subscribe to our preferred religion; and that we recognize the dignity of all people unless they belong to specific groups our national religion views with disapproval.
When a pharmacist refuses to fill a prescription on the basis of his own religious beliefs, according to today’s Christian nationalists, that is a shining example of “religious liberty.” It is not. When a Catholic hospital delays or refuses to perform a legal and medically indicated procedure on a woman suffering a miscarriage on the grounds that the procedure violates its religious directives, that isn’t religious liberty. When a private school that miseducates students with scientifically illiterate and historically inaccurate theories claims a public subsidy, or a Medicare-supported retirement home turns away a lesbian couple, that isn’t religious liberty, either.
Let’s call it by its true name: religious privilege, not religious liberty. Today’s Christian nationalists want the ability to override the law where it conflicts with their religious beliefs, and thus to withdraw from the social contract that binds the rest of us together as a nation.
This kind of religious privilege has a history. In the Jim Crow south, for example, when black doctors and black patients were routinely shunted to inferior hospitals, many people justified the practice in terms of their sincerely held “biblical” belief that God intended for the races to be forever separated.
By Emma Ockerman
Sep 10, 2018
Cancer patients and other people with debilitating conditions are being forced to choose between medical marijuana and federal public housing assistance.
Even though some of the most conservative states are passing laws legalizing medical weed, marijuana is still a Schedule I controlled substance on a federal level, along with heroin and ecstasy, which can make users ineligible for programs like rental assistance or public housing.
Lily Fisher, a 55-year-old breast cancer survivor in Montana, learned that first-hand when she saw her application for a Section 8 rental assistance voucher rejected in August after revealing that she was using medical marijuana to treat her pain, according to the Billings Gazette. Section 8 is a federal program that subsidizes rent for low-income Americans.
In August, another woman seeking Section 8 assistance in Pennsylvania learned the same about the marijuana she uses to treat her back pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. And a third woman, in Arcata, California, was evicted from her federally-subsidized apartment in July after a maintenance worker spotted her legal stash of medicinal edibles, according to the local Times-Standard.
These women are facing homelessness due to the conflict between state and federal law on pot.
“From a civil rights perspective, you’re denying a whole class of people housing that have already been denied other aspects of living their life to the fullest potential because of the federal prohibition on cannabis,” said David Mangone, director of governmental affairs and counsel for the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access.
The majority of states now allow some form of medicinal marijuana. Americans overwhelmingly favor legalizing the drug for medical use. And in New York State — which hosts North America’s largest public housing population — medical marijuana is permitted to treat debilitating conditions such as cancer, chronic pain and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released a memorandum in 2011 saying new admission applications revealing legal marijuana use would be denied, no matter the circumstance. However, the memorandum gave local landlords and public housing authorities the right to determine whether they should evict existing residents for medical marijuana use.
From Grit: https://gritpost.com/un-paper-capitalism/
August 28, 2018
Capitalism and global sustainability are incongruous with one another, according to a recent paper for the UN’s 2019 Global Sustainable Development Report.
The team of researchers from various academic institutions throughout Finland who wrote the report gave a sobering assessment of the planet’s future if the current economic order continues unabated. Namely, that all rich Western countries have based their societies on an abundance of cheap energy, which the scientists say is no longer a reality.
“Economies have used up the capacity of planetary ecosystems to handle the waste generated by energy and material use,” the paper reads. “[D]ominant economic theories as well as policy-related economic modeling rely on the presupposition of continued energetic and material growth. The theories and models anticipate only incremental changes in the existing economic order. Hence, they are inadequate for explaining the current turmoil.”
Scientists argued that worsening climate change is having a drastic impact on ecosystems and biodiversity, and that symptoms of unchecked capitalism like rising inequality, unemployment, and debt are also contributing to the destabilization of society. In order to guarantee that humanity is able to have a good quality of life on earth for future generations, the paper’s authors argued that new economic systems will have to be created, rather than the standard band-aid approach governments have taken in the recent past.
“Central banks in the US and the Eurozone have resorted to unconventional measures such as negative interest rates and buying up significant amounts of public debt,” researchers wrote. “This has relieved some economic pressure, but … It can be safely said that no widely applicable economic models have been developed specifically for the upcoming era.”
While the paper didn’t endorse any specific economic system to be used in lieu of capitalism, scientists said it would necessary to “transform the ways in which energy, transport, food, and housing are produced and consumed” with the goal of attaining “production and consumption that provides decent opportunities for a good life while dramatically reducing the burden on natural ecosystems.”
Early in the paper, researchers said it would be necessary to implement a global Marshall plan, as Harvard University atmospheric chemistry professor James Anderson proposed earlier this year. Ideally, such a plan would mean cooperation between countries around the globe to collectively restructure society with the end goal of eliminating carbon dioxide emissions entirely. Researchers gave a deadline for the United States and Europe to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2040, and for the rest of the world to be at zero emissions by 2050.
In order to meet this goal, however, scientists cast doubt on the ability of renewable energy sources to be able to sustain humanity’s current energy consumption rate.
Continue reading at: https://gritpost.com/un-paper-capitalism/