Women's Fightback, Feminism

Women's Fightback — latest and back issues

Women's Fightback is a socialist feminist publication produced by the Alliance for Workers' Liberty. See here for the latest issue — PDF and articles — from which you can find back issues, audio, and related tags.

Women's Fightback: Your assistant may not be female

If you’ve updated the operating system on your iPhone recently you’ll notice Siri is no longer defaulting to a female voice. This is Apple’s response to criticism of the gender bias in virtual assistance. Digital sociologists Yolande Strengers and Jenny Kennedy argue that Siri, and other voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, have been developed in order to “carry out ‘wifework’ — domestic duties that have traditionally fallen on (human) wives.” They accuse tech companies of designing feminised digital assistants who are “friendly and sometimes flirty, occasionally glitchy but...

What we mean by socialist feminism

This is an excerpt from a speech at Ideas for Freedom, 10-11 July 2021 In Workers’ Liberty, we believe that the liberation of women can only happen with the emancipation of humanity as a whole, through the socialist transformation of society through class struggle. The working class is the vast majority of people — immensely diverse, but united by our dependency on waged labour to survive. Men and women both have this dependent relationship to waged labour, but it is differentiated by women’s historic and current role in childbearing, our ability to stitch together childcare, and the gendered...

Women's Fightback: Batman and “heroes don’t do that”

The internet is alive with debate on Batman’s sex life, specifically cunnilingus and the caped crusader. Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacher, co-creators of HBO Max’s adult animated series Harley Quinn, shared why a scene of Batman performing oral sex on Catwoman got removed. “It’s incredibly gratifying and free to be using characters that are considered villains because you just have so much more leeway,” they said. “A perfect example of that is in this third season ofHarley [when] we had a moment where Batman was going down on Catwoman. And DC was like, ‘You can’t do that. You absolutely...

"Questions of democracy are where to focus our energies"

Clive Lewis, Labour MP for Norwich South, spoke to Sacha Ismail in late March. There could still be another 30,000 deaths as we approach the end of lockdown, and maybe much more. Even with the vaccine program at full tilt, in the absence of a proper test and trace system, an isolation system and social support for people, it’s still potentially a dire situation and could still overwhelm the NHS. [This was even before the "Indian variant" of Covid was widely discussed.] NHS workers have launched their demand for a 15% pay rise. Do you support that? Yes, absolutely. We need to aim high. I’m...

Women's Fightback: Combatting sexism through democracy

The Department for Education has promised more support for schools to tackle sexual abuse and has strengthened safeguarding guidance. This was in response to a review by Ofsted that concluded that sexual harassment has become “normalised” for young people, in school. The report, published on 10 June, concluded that school inspections by Ofsted and the Independent Schools Inspectorate were “sometimes not robust enough” on sexual harassment and there was not always appropriate cooperation between schools and safeguarding teams. It found that teachers “consistently underestimate” the scale of the...

Women's Fightback: Don't trust the "ethics committees"

Rogério Caboclo, the Brazilian Football Confederation president, has been suspended after accusations of “sexual and moral harassment”. The suspension comes just days after the announcement that Brazil will host the Copa America, Brazil was chosen at the last minute after Colombia was forced to withdraw because of anti-government protests and co-host Argentina was ruled out due to coronavirus infection rates. The worker alleges Caboclo called her into his office and asked her to remove her mask and offered her alcohol. The employee messaged two CBF directors who came and “rescued” her. However...

Women's Fightback: The Tarun Tejpal case - rape victim on trial

In India, a judge has thrown out charges against journalist and publisher Tarun Tejpal, accused of raping a female colleague. The allegations attracted a lot of attention as it involved a major media figure. His magazine was one of the leaders in Indian investigative journalism, his publishing house India Ink represented major figures, and he was often seen with friends Arundhati Roy and VS Naipaul. Not content with acquitting the accused, the judge went on to question the character of the alleged victim. The 527-page judgment reads like a checklist of sexist tropes on rape victims. Judge...

Women's Fightback: Lockdown-easing sharpens lockdown danger

Five women were killed in Spain in the week from 17 May by their partners or ex-partners. In Asturias, Maria Teresa Aladro was found dead in her home with two shotgun wounds in her back. Her husband, whom she was in the process of divorcing, was arrested on suspicion of murder. A 42-year-old woman in Barcelona was stabbed to death by her husband, who then killed himself. In Mallorca a pregnant Moroccan woman and her young son were killed by her partner, who called police to confess. Their deaths bring to 14 the number of women killed in Spain so far this year by their partner or former partner...

Women's Fightback: Eating meat to prove masculinity?

Fragile masculinity is back in the news with a new poll, which showed almost three quarters of men would choose to die a decade earlier over giving up meat. The Australian survey was commissioned by No Meat May, a group that encourages people to give up meat for a month to combat climate change, global food scarcity, health problems, and animal cruelty. The poll, which included 1,000 respondents, found that almost half (47 per cent) of all participants thought of meat as a “masculine undertaking”, and almost three quarters (73 per cent) of men surveyed said they would rather die ten years...

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