#womenwrites: on Kate Millett, capitalism, and sexual harassment

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/07/kate-millett-pioneering-second-wave-feminist-dies-aged-82-sexual-politics
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/07/kate-millett-pioneering-second-wave-feminist-dies-aged-82-sexual-politics

Feminists Attend Kate Millett’s Memorial in New York, by Penelope Green

Ms. Millett died Sept. 6 in Paris, a week before her 83rd birthday, with Sophie Keir, her spouse and partner of 39 years, by her side. The memorial was held Thursday afternoon at the Fourth Universalist Society, a Unitarian church on Central Park West.

Before the service, friends and family traded war stories. Barbara Love, the lesbian activist, remembered a protest 50 years ago when she, Ms. Millett and others demonstrated against The New York Times and its gender-segregated want ads. And Ms. Love recalled, hilariously, the many actions Ms. Millett attended with a toilet. “It was arrested several times,” said Ms. Love of the toilet, though not at one famous demonstration in front of the Colgate-Palmolive offices on Park Avenue, when Ms. Millett and others dumped soap flakes into it to protest the company’s treatment of women on the assembly line.

Ms. Millett’s final demonstration was the women’s march last January in New York City, Ms. Love said. She attended in her wheelchair, holding a sign with her name on it. The police opened the barricades for her, and the march’s organizers led her to the front of the line, where demonstrators approached Ms. Millett to pay their respects and give thanks. “Even the police knew who she was,” Ms. Love said. It was a fitting tribute to the woman who some have called the most famous feminist you’ve never heard of.  ….

Men behaving inappropriately, by @wordspinster

“… Yet if recent events have shown us anything, they have surely shown us that the bureaucratic approach to sexual harassment has got us precisely nowhere. All the policies and procedures and guidelines and hotlines have not delivered justice to the complainants who tried to use them, or curbed powerful men’s enthusiasm for behaving ‘inappropriately’. By contrast, the stories which have circulated under the banner of #metoo have been specific, visceral, and shocking–and they have forced at least some organisations to take decisive action. …”

The end of necro-capitalism (but not necessarily capitalism), @sunnysingh_n6  via @WritersofColour

” … In 2006, I began using necrocapitalism to describe USA’s military-industrial complex and its expansion into sectors as diverse as insurance, medicine, leisure. However, as I traced economic histories, theories and practices, the foundation of our current economic model on slave trade, colonial wealth and yes, death became clearer. Since then, necrocapitalism has evolved to denote wider practices of the current capitalist model. It now seems an apt term to describe an economic model that is collapsing and devouring itself but that given its foundational premise could have had no other end. …

For a fairer share of wealth, turn to the 13th century, by Felicity Lawrence

Ordinary people increasingly shut out from the means of subsistence; a rich and powerful minority privatising and extracting rent from common resources – it is 800 years this week since the sealing in London’s St Paul’s Cathedral of the Charter of the Forest and these were the grievances it addressed. Its resonances today are so strong that this ancient document from 1217 is providing the inspiration for a new political settlement at events around the country.

The Charter of the Forest, the lesser-known but equally significant twin of Magna Carta, asserted the rights of ordinary people to access from “the commons” the means for a livelihood and shelter, whether it was grazing their livestock, cutting wood for housing and fuel, fishing and hunting, creating water mills, or sharing the other resources of the forest. It restricted the rights of the king and nobles to privatise and exploit the forest while guaranteeing the rights of the commoners. It represented an early constitutional victory for ordinary people over a wealthy elite, and as such was hugely influential in the writing of other constitutions around the world. The battles in England continued of course, and waves of enclosures across Britain through subsequent centuries stripped away many of the rights. …

Hollywood Normalizes Sexual Infatuation with Children, Declares 13yo Girl ‘Sexiest Actress’, by Rachel Blevins

Millie Bobby Brown is talented, composed and precocious, but at the end of the day, she is just a 13-year-old girl. When the entertainment industry begins to give her the label of “Sexy,” it teaches both Hollywood insiders and the public that it is acceptable to sexualize a child.

While the current Hollywood sex scandal became public with the allegations that producer Harvey Weinstein had an extensive history of sexually harassing and assaulting women who were typically in their early 20s, it has since expanded to include the revelations that actor Kevin Spacey has had sexual relationships with and attempted to sexually assault teenage boys.

When child actor Corey Feldman attempted to speak out about the ongoing problem of pedophilia in Hollywood on an episode of The View in 2013, Barbara Walters interrupted him, saying, “You’re damaging an entire industry!” Now, the increasing number of sexual assault allegations against some of the most prominent directors, producers and actors in Hollywood is serving as a reminder that Feldman was not attempting to damage the industry—the industry had already damaged itself. ….

Miscarriages in Flint: ‘I Really Believe It’s the Water’, by Auditi Guha

…  Researchers studying the water crisis recently found a high number of fetal deaths and fewer pregnancies in Flint since April 2014, which is when the city switched its water supply to use water from the polluted Flint River without adding anti-corrosives to treat it.

Comparing health records with 15 other Michigan cities, David Slusky from the University of Kansas and Daniel Grossman from West Virginia University found that fetal death rates jumped by 58 percent and fertility rates dropped by 12 percent in Flint, according to the Detroit Free Press. Their working paper is yet to be peer reviewed.

Nakiya Wakes, 42, one of the women portrayed in a movie about Flint that debuted last month, has faced two miscarriages, including one last month, and is convinced they were caused by her exposure to the lead in the water.

A mother of two, she moved to Flint in June 2014, and was pregnant with twins a year later. Five months into it, she lost one; and in her second trimester, she lost the other, she told Rewire. …

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