LUMPENPROLETARIAT—[Monday, 8 MAR 2021] Today is International Women’s Day! Yay!
We were listening to an excellent Jacobin chat today, discussing the socialist history of Women’s Day. And we got a great idea from Jacobin‘s Meagan Day. She said she decided to start getting her mum flowers on International Women’s Day, instead of Mother’s Day. It was a subtle point, which her mother didn’t mind. But the message was very powerful, in terms of a much more meaningful form of solidarity.
The idea is to honor women, simply for being women, not for being an assigned social role. For some of us brown folks, we sometimes do two Mother’s Day days. We have the “American” Mother’s Day, which is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. But, then, we also feel obliged to honor the the Mexican version, which is always on May 10th, you see.
Well, we can add to that a third day, International Women’s Day, which is losing its original meaning as an anti-capitalist holiday. Capitalism tends to commodify everything and erase all traces of humanity, leaving nothing but marketing ploys and profit motive in its wake. Even Mother’s Day, we learn was originally in the spirit of anti-war, a pacificist spirit. Who knew?
Fortunately, the good scholars at Jacobin are working to provide us useful information, context, opinion, facts, and analysis. Jacobin’s Meagan Day spoke with Professor Kristen Rogheh Ghodsee (author of Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism). The two women discussed the socialist origins of International Women’s Day as well as the capitalist co-optation of Women’s Day in our current historical moment.
Kristen Rogheh Ghodsee is an American ethnographer and Professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She is primarily known for her ethnographic work on post-Communist Bulgaria as well as being a contributor to the field of postsocialist gender studies.
They delved into the many ways Women’s Day gets co-opted by capitalist social relations and marketing campaigns. But, they remind us that International Women’s Day has socialist origins, like so many other good things in life.
Please listen to this conversation. It’s such an excellent discussion because it carries forward the discourse, which many of us, especially Pacifica Radio listeners, heard from other scholars, such as economist Dr. Richard Wolff and his psychotherapist spouse Dr. Harriet Fraad in the wake of the 2007/2008 Global Financial Crisis. Dr. Wolff had pointed out how men had lost their economic position relative to women. Many men had been laid off or demoted. Many jobs have been deprofessionalized. And men felt threatened in their roles, as masculine heads of households.
Today, we can quite clearly draw a throughline from the Global Financial Crisis over a decade ago to the current rise in toxic masculinity, symbolized by Mr. Donald J. Trump and his 74 million voters. This past decade has brought us to this point where a con artist, like Mr. Trump, has unfortunately become a role model for many men, not to mention women. International Women’s Day provides us with an opportunity to consider healthier alternatives.
Today’s other salient observations:
- Mr. Biden signed two gender equality executive orders. We may celebrate the progressive spirit of the policies. But, at the same time, we may lament the dysfunctional nature of executive orders, which can easily be reversed by the next presidential administration. Executive orders tend to lead to unstable yo-yo policies.
@LumpenProles, updated on 9 MAR 2021 at 14:44 PST
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Notes from a working class left perspective…
Monday, March 8, 2021
“CHRIS HEDGES on Christian Fascists and the Rot Within the American System” by Reflection of Passion, 8 MAR 2021. Intercepted podcast interview from 7 NOV 2018, hosted by Jeremy Scahill.
We recall that billionaire Mr. Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post, not unlike a player in the game of monopoly.
“The Socialist History of International Women’s Day” by Jacobin, 8 MAR 2021.
First, they discussed contemporary co-optations of Women’s Day.
(c. 26:30) On the origins of International Women’s Day
(c. 1:00:41) Why women were better off under socialism.
Opening song, presumably, by singer Fely Chako(sp?), pronounced by Walter Turner as fey-lay.
(c. 1:57) Broadcast introduction by host Walter Turner.
WALTER TURNER: Fely Chako(sp?) ‘was born in the Ivory Coast and released two albums to critical acclaim in the 1990s. She now resides in San Francisco, where she continues to work on her music and her songwriting. Since 2004, she’s released two more albums, an EP, and has received a lot of accolades, including a 2010 Billboard Award nomination for the best independent artist. Yita(sp?), which means deep water, marks the fifth full-length album from Fely Chako(sp?), where she explores the themes of migration, human trafficking, and calls for social justice. The title track, “Yita”(sp?) was inspired by her 2016 humanitarian trip to bear witness to the Syrian refugee camps in Greece. And the album is dedicated to African and Middle Eastern migrants, who lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean. It’s going to be released on March 8th to coincide with International Women’s Day.
“And Fely sings in many different languages: English, French, and the others, which she will share with us.
“You can take a look at her work at http://www.fely.music.com. Fely, thank you so much for making the time.”
FELY: (c. 3:10) “Thank you so much, Walter, for having me.”
— snip —
[further transcription pending further volunteer labor]
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[8 MAR 2021]
[Last modified on 9 MAR 2021 at 15:33 PST]
[TW = Transcript Worthy, transcription pending volunteer labor. These are segments of radio, which would make excellent short-length, searchable resources to share and, hopefully, make useful news and information from a working class left perspective.]