What Next For Feminism?

Episode: http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/244413825-intelligence2-what-next-for-feminism.mp3

Anne-Marie Slaughter is the Washington power player who upset the feminist applecart. At the peak of her career — as first female Director of Policy Planning at the US State Department — she turned her back on her dream job with Hillary Clinton in order to spend more time with her teenage sons. How, cried her contemporaries, could she have sacrificed her high-powered career for her family? Slaughter’s ensuing article for The Atlantic, ‘Why Women Still Can’t Have It All’, went viral, sparking furious debate about how men and women juggle their working lives. Having it all, Slaughter argued, remained a mirage. Women who managed to be both mothers and top professionals were either ‘superhuman, rich or self-employed’. On January 26, Anne-Marie Slaughter came to the Intelligence Squared stage, together with Amanda Foreman, award-winning historian and presenter of the recent BBC documentary series The Ascent of Woman, which charts the role of women in society over 10,000 years. They were joined by neuroscientist and broadcaster Daniel Glaser and Sky News social affairs editor Afua Hirsch, as they examined what real equality might look like for both men and women. Is gender equality a matter of women ‘leaning in’ harder in their careers? Or do we all need to fundamentally rethink the roles we assign ourselves, so that both sexes can break free from traditional gender stereotypes?

by Adekola the Underdog #Underdogs&Outsiders

Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners review: ‘a vivid picture of the spread of slavery profits’ | Television & radio | The Guardian

Untold British history.

‘David Olusoga’s two-part documentary Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners (BBC2) concluded last night by following the money. The money in question was that paid to the slave owners to compensate them for the loss of their human property when slavery was finally officially abolished in 1834. A 10-man committee divvied up nearly £17bn in today’s money among 46,000 claimants stretching across the entire British empire, from £800 or so to a country vicar for his single servant to £80m for John Gladstone’s (father of prime minister William) loss of thousands of unpaid workers on his plantations in Guyana. Not a penny, of course, was paid to the slaves themselves…

http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/jul/23/britains-forgotten-slave-owners-review

by Adekola the Underdog #Underdogs&Outsiders

The Revolutionary act of telling the truth

The revolutionary act of telling the truth
30 September 2015

George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

These are dark times, in which the propaganda of deceit touches all our lives. It is as if political reality has been privatised and illusion legitimised. The information age is a media age. We have politics by media; censorship by media; war by media; retribution by media; diversion by media – a surreal assembly line of clichés and false assumptions.

Wondrous technology has become both our friend and our enemy. Every time we turn on a computer or pick up a digital device – our secular rosary beads – we are subjected to control: to surveillance of our habits and routines, and to lies and manipulation.

Edward Bernays, who invented the term, “public relations” as a euphemism for “propaganda”, predicted this more than 80 years ago. He called it, “the invisible government”.

He wrote, “Those who manipulate this unseen element of [modern democracy] constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country… We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of… ”

The aim of this invisible government is the conquest of us: of our political consciousness, our sense of the world, our ability to think independently, to separate truth from lies.

This is a form of fascism, a word we are rightly cautious about using, preferring to leave it in the flickering past. But an insidious modern fascism is now an accelerating danger. As in the 1930s, big lies are delivered with the regularity of a metronome. Muslims are bad. Saudi bigots are good. ISIS bigots are bad. Russia is always bad. China is getting bad. Bombing Syria is good. Corrupt banks are good. Corrupt debt is good. Poverty is good. War is normal.

Those who question these official truths, this extremism, are deemed in need of a lobotomy – until they are diagnosed on-message. The BBC provides this service free of charge. Failure to submit is to be tagged a “radical” – whatever that means.

Real dissent has become exotic; yet those who dissent have never been more important. The book I am launching tonight, ‘The WikiLeaks Files’, is an antidote to a fascism that never speaks its name. It’s a revolutionary book, just as WikiLeaks itself is revolutionary – exactly as Orwell meant in the quote I used at the beginning. For it says that we need not accept these the daily lies. We need not remain silent. Or as Bob Marley once sang: “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”

In the introduction, Julian Assange explains that it is never enough to publish the secret messages of great power: that making sense of them is crucial, as well as placing them in the context of today and historical memory.

That is the remarkable achievement of this anthology, which reclaims our memory. It connects the reasons and the crimes that have caused so much human turmoil, from Vietnam and Central America, to the Middle East and Eastern Europe, with the matrix of rapacious power, the United States.

There is currently an American and European attempt to destroy the government of Syria. Prime Minister David Cameron is especially keen. This is the same David Cameron I remember as an unctuous PR man employed by an asset stripper of Britain’s independent commercial television.

Cameron, Obama and the ever obsequious Francois Hollande want to destroy the last remaining multi-cultural authority in Syria, an action that will surely make way for the fanatics of ISIS.

This is insane, of course, and the big lie justifying this insanity is that it is in support of Syrians who rose against Bashar al-Assad in the Arab Spring. As The WikiLeaks Files reveals, the destruction of Syria has long been a cynical imperial project that pre-dates the Arab Spring uprising against Assad.

To the rulers of the world in Washington and Europe, Syria’s true crime is not the oppressive nature of its government but its independence from American and Israeli power – just as Iran’s true crime is its independence, and Russia’s true crime is its independence, and China’s true crime is its independence. In an American-owned world, independence is intolerable.

This book reveals these truths, one after the other. The truth about a war on terror that was always a war of terror; the truth about Guantanamo, the truth about Iraq, Afghanistan, Latin America.

Never has such truth-telling been so urgently needed. With honourable exceptions, those in the media paid ostensibly to keep the record straight are now absorbed into a system of propaganda that is no longer journalism, but anti-journalism. This is true of the liberal and respectable as it is of Murdoch. Unless you are prepared to monitor and deconstruct every specious assertion, so-called news has become unwatchable and unreadable.

Reading The WikiLeaks Files, I remembered the words of the late Howard Zinn, who often referred to “a power that governments can’t suppress”. That describes WikiLeaks, and it describes true whistleblowers who share their courage.

On a personal note, I have known the people of WikiLeaks for some time now. That they have achieved what they have in circumstances not of their choosing is a source of constant admiration. Their rescue of Edward Snowden comes to mind. Like him, they are heroic: nothing less.

Sarah Harrison’s chapter, ‘Indexing the Empire’, describes how she and her comrades set up an entire Public Library of US Diplomacy. There are more than two million documents, now available to all. “Our work,” she writes, “is dedicated to making sure history belongs to everyone.”  How thrilling it is to read those words, which also stand as a tribute to her own courage.

From the confinement of a room in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, the courage of Julian Assange is an eloquent response to the cowards who have smeared him and the rogue power seeking revenge on him and waging a war on democracy.

None of this has deterred Julian and his comrades at WikiLeaks: not one bit. Isn’t that something?

The WikiLeaks Files: the World According to the US Empire is published by Verso
Follow John Pilger on twitter @johnpilger

by Adekola the Underdog #Underdogs&Outsiders

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Too Black to be Arab, too Arab to be Black

Being human is all I can be call me naive it’s not a defeat

Media Diversified

by Leena Habiballa

Within every Sudanese diasporan is an unceasing internal dialogue about where we fit in the dominant racial order. Sudan is one of the most ethnically, culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse places on the African continent. It was also home to some of the most ancient civilisations in African memory. But today it suffers from the brutal legacy of Arab slavery, Ottoman imperialism and British colonialism.

My early childhood was spent living in various Arab countries, where I learnt from a young age that my darker skin tone threatened my claim to Arabness. To be authentically Arab, it wasn’t enough to speak Arabic or have facets of Arab culture syncretised into my own. My Blackness needed to be invisible. My identity as an Arab was, therefore, always contested and fraught, though nevertheless an important part of my being and, ultimately, self-evident. When others denied my Arabness I felt…

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Underdogs and Outsiders by Adekola 
'BE HUMAN'

Blurring Lines (Poem)

I won’t speak for you
hard to separate
What I am, and what I do
Tradition is powerful
Revolutions are few
Principles changing
Does friendship stay true

When comes the time
How we blur the lines
When comes the time
How we do the crime

Her folks said
That’s not our way
You can’t be gay
So she ran away
To avoid the fray
somewhere to lay
And sometimes pray

Strength

On a lonely way
And for a brighter day

Tradition is powerful
Revolutions are few
Principles evolving
Hope friendship stays true

When comes the time
I might blur the lines
When comes the time
How I do the crime

What did I expect from myself
I don’t lower my eyes
I like hips, and breasts, and thighs
No more honest or wise
Than other guys
Who talk about size
And embellish with lies

Still

I’m obliged as a friend to be critical and caring

Not asking about hormones
Or going under the knife
Somethings are worth pain and some strife
We all face tests in this passage called life

Please Don’t retread my regret
Let’s take a recess to refresh
To re-read and reflect
Right the wrongs and reset
Where we respond
And return to something like relatives

There’s What I am and what I do
Tradition, Powerful
Revolutions, Few

When comes the time
How I blurred the lines
When comes the time
How I did the crime

——

Originally written in 2014