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Many people of this generation think that feminism is dead or that there is no need for feminism anymore. Students at Cambridge University were asked why they need feminism and here are some of the responses. You can check out more here. Thanks to the students who organized this! What great messages!

 

Ineedfeminism2Ineedfeminism3Ineedfeminism

Unlearning our Dreams

Grade Five. I am stronger than I’ve ever been.
I am quick and smart. I love math.
I wear bright orange (even though it clashed with my short red hair).
I hold a calculator up and yell “Yippee”
To discover how the world works
……………..through the abstract.
……………..through numbers.

……………..

Grade Eight. I am quiet and confused
Confused(, Why am I feeling so lifeless, so cardboard?).
All the girls are made of cardboard.
The math teacher pours water over them.
……………..Making them wilt.
……………..Making them mush.
……………..Losing all excitement for the future they could have had.
……………..Losing all dreams.

The boys he waters (like the water dripping off the swimwuit models of the only Sports Illustrated that he’s not allowed to plaster on the wall of his classroom).
The boys he waters, with drops of knowledge.
……………..that make them grow.
……………..that make them dream.

The girls he pours on so their cardboard selves slump, into a lack of dreams.
……………..(The Lack of Dreams.)

[He does not desire this.
……………..(Or does he?)
The lack of dreams that they are supposed to embody.
……………..(supposed to?)

(Embody, whose body?) The only bodies they ever had were owned by others, controlled by others, like this man
This Gardener of Boys and Pulperizer of Girls]

……………..

Grade Ten. Their bodies are not their own just like their dreams. (My body is not my own just like my dreams.)
Their dreams of being a good girlfriend, a writer, a mother, an assistant.
Never a scientist, an astronaut, an owner.
They have finished their transformation to cardboard cutouts.

The boys raise their hands.
The girls sit unmoving. Cardboard cutouts cannot raise their hands.
……………..Not unless someone meant them to raise their hands.

The boys answer the questions.
The girls are silent. Cardboard mouths cannot speak out.
……………..Not unless someone meant them to.

The boys dream.
The girls are empty, for cardboard cutouts cannot dream.
……………..Not unless someone meant them to.

……………..

Mr. ——,
Did you ever mean to make hands that could not be raised, mouths that could not speak?
Did you ever mean to make girls that could not dream?

(You must have.)

(You must have.)

The IDF opened a new front in the war in Gaza (2.0), and now Facebook and Twitter are just more grounds to conquer.

The battle is fierce.

Commander-in-Chief: The IDF’s Facebook page.

Infantry:  Jews all around the world, liberal and less liberal.

Weapons Used: Pictures of attractive soldiers, scared children, and impressive graphic representations of carefully selected statistics, all with guilt-inducing texts.

Casualties: Journalism ethics.

So, my dear peace-loving, Obama-voting, coexistence-advocating friends, there are a few things I need you to know:

  1. The IDF’s facebook and twitter do not count as news sources and reading them doesn’t make you more aware of anything. They are often lying to you and you need to understand more than just what the IDF thinks if you’re going to have an opinion on this. Do you go to the US military’s facebook when you want to learn more about what’s happening in Iraq? No. Because that doesn’t make any sense.
    .
  2. Reposting IDF pictures/posts is not helping peace/justice/security/any of those things you say you support. It just helps the IDF do whatever the fuck it wants without giving a shit about how many Palestinians and Israelis are going to die because of it.
    .
  3. The people you’re actually supporting by repeating meaningless statements about Israel’s right to defend itself are politicians such as Netanyahu and other right-wing racist warmongers who couldn’t care less about the safety of people in the south of Israel (who were unsafe also a year ago and two years ago, except then it didn’t seem to worry Netanyahu and his buddies). They care about getting reelected and about keeping Israel in a constant state of war because war is their expertise and if Israel had peace we wouldn’t need military experts and they wouldn’t get elected. Actually, if it wasn’t for this comfortably-timed war, people would probably still be talking and voting on things they cared about until all of this started, things like the financial crisis, the rising cost of living, and the increasing difficulty to make ends meet (aka things that would make them not vote for Netanyahu.)
    .
  4. To make it clearer: if this was about the US, you’d be the people who support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan because they think the most important thing is to support the US government and fight whatever war they say is just. Those are the people in Israel you are aligning yourself with. Here’s a brief example of what supporting this war looks like. Think hard if these are the people you want to be supporting.
    .
  5. “Supporting Israel” doesn’t mean anything because “Israel” is not one big lump of cells all working together to attack Gaza. Israelis don’t all agree. “Israel” doesn’t have a Facebook page where you can see exactly what we all think and want. I know, it sucks when things are complicated, but they are. You can support the Israeli government, but don’t pretend that you’re defending Israel. You’re not. You’re defending Netanyahu’s right to save his seat in the government. You’re defending a war. You’re defending policy that makes peace less and less likely to happen in Israel.
    .
  6. You are not being liberal. You are not being alternative. You are not being smart. You are not being subversive. You are definitely not being peaceful. You are being played by racist idiots who know exactly what buttons to push because it’s their job to make people like you advocate for their wars.
    .
  7. If you want to support peace, here’s a radical idea: object wars. Even if the IDF told you that there is no other way.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

+Bonus:

Some *actual* news sources where they have actual news and not just catchphrases with cool, inspiring pictures:

Al Jazeera English

+972 Magazine

Haaretz

The Electronic Intifada

Democracy Now

+Extra special bonus suggestion:

Do your research about the last time Israel defended itself against Gaza. This time seems to be terribly reminiscent. Google “Gaza War“/”Operation Cast Lead“/”Gaza Massacre“, and you are promised to find interesting things. Wikipedia is always a good place to start.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

See you in the next justified war.

Whether you agree with the Occupy Wall Street movement or not, there is one thing we can all agree on: that police officers should not be sexually assaulting protesters, using senseless violence on people who have not broken any laws (or even on those who have) and inhibiting freedom of speech.

Over the past few days many article have come out about the brutality and police state tactics used by the New York Police Department recently.

Many reports have focused on straight up violence on peaceful protesters, let’s not forget the women peppersprayed by New York’s finest while they were sitting down, clearly not being a threat. Or the peaceful protesters at UC Davis that were sprayed with pepperspray so strong that it is illegal for California policement to carry. 

See an interesting article here about the excessive force used against UC Davis students: http://bradhicks.livejournal.com/459368.html

In more recent cases NYPD has systematically begun using sexual assault as a tool against protesters. These incidents began around March 17th, in mass. The cases began all of a sudden and are not few in number, suggesting that an order or other acknowledgement by superior officers was made to use this tactic. One women’s wrists were broken when she yelled at an NYPD officer after he grabbed her chest. She was breaking no law at the time (not that it matters, no one should be sexually assaulted by a police officer at any time regardless of what they are doing, breaking the law or not).

For more information read here: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/05/david-graeber-new-police-strategy-in-new-york-sexual-assault-against-peaceful-protestors.html#Subscriptions

This article also includes a video of a medic at the most recent Occupy march on May Day. The medic was breaking no law and the police decided to use his head as a battering ram to break a window in New York during a peaceful parade to Union Square.

Despite such incredible violence being used against peaceful protesters in New York and other major cities in the United States, resistance by the citizens that these police are sworn to protect has been limited. This is possibly due to the complete lack of reporting on these cases by mainstream media.

As you may notice these articles have all appeared in alternative media sources. After attending the massive peaceful (on the protesters part) May Day event in New York City, it is clear that Occupy Wall Street is not receiving the media attention that it deserves. This may be due to the fact that many news agencies, along with the politicians, are in the pockets of the corporations, banks and other institutions that the Occupy movement is trying to challenge.

For more information on the poor media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement see here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/benjamin-r-barber/may-day-media-mayhem_b_1475336.html?ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

Overall the May Day rally was much larger than I personally expected. The May Day marches and rallies were very festive, upbeat, and hopeful. The mainstream media coverage focused on it more as a somber event or as a failed general strike. The day was very successful however and a wonderful show of the power we still have despite the brutality and immorality of the people who are supposed to protect us: the police.

In response to increasing police brutality by NYPD a law suit has been brought up against NYPD by New York city councilors, Occupy activists, and a former Iraq veteran. One protesters camera was reportedly taken from him, not returned after he was released from jail and when he went back to the station to retrieve it he was arrested again and the police officers were told to smash his camera which held evidence of another protester’s arrest.

This law suit is calling for the creation of a federal position to oversee the NYPD police department, the police force that Mayor Bloomberg has called his own personal army.

For more information about these arrests and the alw suit see an article here: http://www.alternet.org/rights/155282/is_the_nypd_out_of_control_new_lawsuit_takes_on_bloomberg’s_’private_army’/?page=1

Keep your eyes out for more information about the law suit and you can post other articles about NYPD’s police brutality or other cities police brutality below in the comments section. We should all be sharing whatever information we can to make up for the silence of mainstream media.

The name of the game is free information. In a time when the government threatens to censor the interent, and information from companies about their products are held back from consumers, we must consider how access to free and open information is essential to our wellbeing, even if we are looking at the world through the narrow view of neoclassical economics.

Neoclassical economics is the current leading school of thought in economics. It is the type of economics that every student learns in economic classes these days no matter how progressive the rest of their education institution may be.  It is the basis for current day free market ideologies, mainstream economic theory and also government policy regarding hot topics like the budget deficit, what to do about unemployment… basically any policy that the government enacts is based on neoclassical economic thought.

BUT neoclassical economics itself is based on a few assumptions, some of which are so generalizing or so uninformed that they negate the rest of economic theory and remove it from actually informing us about the real world.

For example it is based on the idea that every human being is completely individualistic, selfish and will make decisions based solely on their utility, a fancy way of saying their preferences towards what will make them happiest. An individual’s utility, or happiness, is not actually a measurement of happiness at all however. It’s not based on anything that makes me happy at least (spending time with friends and family, doing things that are rewarding, etc..) In fact this measurement of happiness is not really based on anything at all except the idea that we will always consume as much as possible and that this is what will make us most happy in life. Utility is essentially a measurement of our preferences to different combinations of goods that will make us the most happy. Remember, you will always consume as much as possible because this is what makes you rational. Also, every human being is rational 100% of the time in neoclassical economics.

Neoclassical economics is based on another  underlying assumption: that all consumers are fully informed. Fully informed meaning you know everything about the products you might buy and about all the other alternatives that are on the market and just how much they all cost. So for example when you go to the store to buy a new pair of shoes you would know exactly how those shoes were made. You would know that they are made in a sweatshop by someone making X amount of pennies an hour and you would know exactly what the carbon footprint of those shoes would be. You would know exactly how unsustainable and socially irresponsible it is to be buying products that come from halfway around the world at such a low cost. You would also know about all the other shoes you could buy, where you could buy them and at exactly what cost to you. But clearly this is not the case in real life because we do not know where our products come from, how they are made or what the alternatives are. Sometimes even if you search for years for this information you cannot find it. Take for example the commodity chain of your cell phone, people have been trying to figure out exactly where that nasty little metal, coltan, was sourced from. Imagine that economic theory assumes that we know, and have always known, this for as long as coltan was being mined in the Congo.

The internet allows sites to report on commodity chains, materials that go into products, conditions in which they were produced, and their environmental impact. Without the internet this information would be extremely difficult to find. In an age when companies are not required to report any of this information to consumers who are interested, and are allowed to in fact hide it from consumers, it is essential that this information remains free to access on the internet. It is concerning that the US government is moving to censor the internet because while the government is in the pocket of corporations this information, or the sites that provide this information, could come under attack.

If an underlying assumption of all economic models assume that all individuals taking part in the market already have all of this information, then from a neoclassical economists perspective surely this information should be at the very least available for any interested consumer to view on the internet.

This is why even neoclassical economists should support open access to information on a free internet.