Adonis Diaries

Archive for October 16th, 2013

Thatcher Legacies: Many refuse to forget and forgive, and The angry women of Liverpool AWOL
I watched on TV the movie on Margaret Thatcher last night, and this post is from the women of Liverpool AWOL perspective on Thatcher legacies.
For 2 decades, Thatcher PM dominated the political scene in England and transformed the society and economic policies that are still enduring.
For examples:
1. The unregulated free market concept ravaged the poorer classes in England and the Reagan USA, and its effects are still not resolved after many financial crises, the latest was in 2008.
2. Preemptive wars became the norm, and the foreign policies of Thatcher and Reagan coincided, as two buttocks in one pant.
3. Thatcher reinforcing working class women’s oppression.

If you failed to review the Hot posts, this is a repost.

, a member of  AWOL angry women of Liverpool, posted this April 9, 2013 “A feminist guide to celebrating Thatcher’s demise

I’ll start from the premise that anybody who’s got as far as reading this had no particular love for Margaret Thatcher.

If this doesn’t apply to you, this article will not help. You’re on the wrong blog. Go away now.

Yesterday, today and probably for the next week or so, people are sharing the glad tidings around TwitFace in succinct missives ranging from jubilant celebration to wary reminders that this doesn’t change the way things are, and we must keep up the fight against Thatcher’s legacy.

There’s nothing wrong with either of these sentiments.

While we must not forget that the wheels she put in motion are still driving the cogs that grind us into submission on a daily basis, we’re also entitled to blow off a little steam, and even to celebrate the presence of one less architect of our oppression, wasting our oxygen with their vile presence on this planet.

However, unusually for a such a potent symbol of rampant destructive capital, and especially for one in a position to wield so much power against the working class, she was a woman.

What does this mean for the conscientious Thatcher-basher? Let’s try out a few suppositions that are making their presence felt throughout that amorphous confusion of privilege, oppression, liberal denial, radical indignation and occasional hope that our newspapers refer to as “The Left”.

Does it mean you can’t say anything these days cos feminists and political correctness has gone mad innit? No.

Does it mean that we have to acknowledge her as a feminist icon because being in power was harder for women and she raised women’s political status and all that? No.

That is, it probably was harder for her than it would have been for a man, because patriarchy etc., but it’s not as if she was pursuing a feminist goal or fighting oppression.

Her ambitions were quintessentially individualist. She wasn’t raising the status of women, in fact she used every feminine stereotype she could to promote herself while reinforcing working class women’s oppression.

You don’t get to claim any feminist kudos for breaking glass ceilings when you rain down shattered glass on the women below in the process. Feminism (which Thatcher loathed) wasn’t, and isn’t, about getting to the top and playing with the big boys, it’s about bringing the big boys down, along with all the structures maintained by patriarchy and capitalism.

Let’s get one thing entirely clear: Thatcher was no feminist, and she did shit all for women.

Does it mean that we can’t vilify her because we wouldn’t be vilifying a man in the same way? No, we can definitely vilify her.

But we should be careful about how we vilify her, because patriarchy does make it so much easier to vilify women as women, in ways that are harmful to all women rather than just the villains.

That said, give her credit: she was vilified for far more than just her gender, and there are many very good reasons why Thatcher holds such a special place in the nation’s gallbladders.

She was the one who turned on the tap for all the neoliberal free market shit we’ve been wading through for the past three decades. Why vilify her for being a woman when there’s her role in privatizing services, destroying industries, breaking unions, starting wars, atomizing communities and, lest we forget, stealing milk from babies.

It’s true that any other Prime Minister at that time would have done similar things, and that every one since has continued the job, and it’s also true that a man might have got away with much of it with less flack from the press. Doesn’t make Thatcher any less of a villain.

If we want to be fair and break down the genders vilification, let’s get ready to blow the roof off when Blair carks it.

Does it mean I can’t call Thatcher a bitch, cunt, hag, harridan, cow or cast aspersions on her sexual integrity or attractiveness? I don’t know where you think I acquired magic powers from, but I can’t actually stop you from saying anything.

But would it be wrong for somebody who thinks of themselves as a feminist or feminist ally to use those words against Thatcher?

Look, I’m not about making naughty lists, here. Words and their meanings are fluid, and often context-dependent. But as a general rule, insults that are only used for women are misogynist.

A good litmus test is to ask yourself if you’d ever find occasion to use the same insult on a man, without the insult centering on implying he’s like a woman.  If you’re not sure, try it on Cameron and see how it fits.

There are very few insults that aren’t suitable for him. Also, be aware that people who hear you using those insults on Thatcher without first seeing you, use them on Cameron will be perfectly justified in assuming misogyny, as that’s the usual meaning of those words.

Don’t come back with “But I used the same insult on Cameron, so it’s OK!” One cross-gender insult does not wash away centuries of misogynistic cultural baggage. Best response to being called out on this is to apologise and use a more gender-neutral insult (on Thatcher, not the person who called you out. Unless they were defending Thatcher).

Does that mean I just can’t insult women? Not at all.

What’s wrong with calling Thatcher a venomous, putrid crust of syphilitic smegma on the chode of the universe? Or if you don’t like the vulgarity, go for the surreal: Thatcher was a wax-encrusted elbow-joint of the highest order. Be creative. Please feel free to use the comments on this post to practice your non-genders insults, provided you aim them only at Thatcher.

Where do you stand on singing “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead?” Tough one.

The history of witch persecution is fraught with the very foundations of modern capitalist and patriarchal oppression, as anybody who’s read Silvia Federici knows. But there are so few songs you can sing joyfully about the death of somebody thoroughly deserving.

You want a proper argument in defense? Give me a minute. OK, got one. The cultural connotations of “witch” in the modern day are so fragmented, having passed from fairy tale and myth through church/state persecution, a modern reinvention as “Wicca”, developing into a full-fledged sub-culture with often positive portrayals in TV drama and children’s literature, it could be argued that the word “witch” is now primarily a fairly neutral term for a female magic-user and serves only to denote the profession of the woman in question, not her moral status.

After all, the song takes care to distinguish: “Which old witch? The wicked witch,” suggesting that wickedness is by no means assumed by the term’s use. If Glinda, the good witch, can allow the munchkins their song of triumph over the ruby-slippered menace that has oppressed them for so long, who am I to begrudge it?

Lebanon Water Festival? Drowning from the first shower in 7 months?
Photo: Stating up kite boarding race!#lebwf #lebanon #lebanonbykite #lebanonwaterfestival #beirut #bankers #batroun #banqueduliban #banquelibanofrancaise #instaleb
Still haven’t tried Water Ski? Now is your last chance to learn some moves while enjoying the last few weeks of summer.
Register now for the clinic that will be taking place in Kaslik on the 23rd of September http://lebanonwaterfestival.com/water-ski-clinic-kaslik-7/
Photo: Still haven’t tried Water Ski? Now is your last chance to learn some moves while enjoying the last few weeks of summer.  Register now for the clinic that will be taking place in Kaslik on the 23rd of September http://lebanonwaterfestival.com/water-ski-clinic-kaslik-7/

Desmond Tutu: Save The International Criminal Court (ICC) 

In 2 days, African leaders could vote to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, crippling one of the world’s best hopes for confronting genocide and crimes against humanity. I know together we can stop this. Join me in urging the voices of reason within the African Union to stand up for justice and accountability — let’s protect this great institution:

SIGN THE PETITION

In just 2 days time, African leaders could kill off a great institution, leaving the world a more dangerous place.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the world’s first and only global court to adjudicate crimes against humanity.

The leaders of Sudan and Kenya, who have inflicted terror and fear across their countries, are trying to drag Africa out of the ICC, allowing them the freedom to kill, rape, and inspire hatred without consequences.

I know that together we can change this.

We have to join hands and call on the voices of reason at the African Union (AU) – Nigeria and South Africa – to speak out and ensure that the persecuted are protected by the ICC.

In my years of work, life and travel, the fight for justice has been a long and arduous one. I have seen the very worst in Darfur and Rwanda, but also the very best with the reconciliation in South Africa.

During this journey, I have seen great gains made that protect the weak from the strong and give us all hope. The ICC is one of these beacons of hope.

This threat to the ICC started precisely because the court was doing its job. It charged Kenya’s Deputy President for killing people who rallied against him during an election and Sudan’s President for murdering women and children in Darfur.

Now Kenya and Sudan are lobbying all of Africa to pull out of the court and destroy its chance of success.

But in Darfur, Congo, Cote D’Ivoire and Kenya, the ICC has played a key role in bringing hope to those terrified by the armies, militias and madmen that have waged war against the innocent. It’s a light in the darkness that cannot be allowed to go out.

The main argument by some leaders with a guilty conscience is that the ICC is a Western witch-hunt as most of the investigations have happened in Africa. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The the ICC was an institution that was created by 20 African countries, 5 of the court’s 18 judges are African and the chief prosecutor is African.

Friday is a key judgement day. 
Will our African leaders stand on the side of justice or injustice? With survivors and fallen victims or with tyrants and oppressors?

This is the moment to choose. Join me in calling on African leaders to stand on the side of justice and support the International Criminal Court:

I’ve seen some of the brightest moments in human history, moments where we together brought hope to so many. This is our chance to do that again, together.

Join me by adding your name to the petition now and share it with everyone — when we have hit 1 million our petition will be delivered straight into the AU conference hall where Africa’s leaders are meeting in Addis Ababa (capital of Ethiopia).

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/justice_for_africa_icc/?bFAfecb&v=30068

With hope and appreciation for this community,

Desmond Tutu

Note: So far, the ICC has been manipulated by the superpower forces to reach political objectives. However, it is an excellent tool to any public criminal who still believe that the superpowers will save him in the long run from justice, as politics is ever changing, and the ICC will be called upon to deliver “justice”.

More information:

Botswana Supports International Criminal Court (Voice of America)
http://www.voanews.com/content/botswana-supports-international-criminal-court/1764960.html

130 Groups Across Africa Call for Countries to Back ICC (Human Rights Watch)
http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/10/07/130-groups-across-africa-call-countries-back-icc

Kenya pushing for African split from International Criminal Court (Irish Times)
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/africa/kenya-pushing-for-african-split-from-international-criminal-court-1.1549427

Annan defends International Criminal Court (News 24)
http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Annan-defends-International-Criminal-Court-20131007

Africa to debate ICC role amid growing opposition (Yahoo News)
http://news.yahoo.com/africa-debate-icc-role-amid-growing-opposition-103053710.html


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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