Q Crisis of Masculinity Run Amuck

Everywhere you look these days, someone is making a case for why the latest economic shake up could be a tremendous gift in the long run. No one is pushing that point of view more enthusiastically than feminists, who see a great opportunity for gender equality in these uncertain economic times. The big boys have been humbled and the women emboldened by the financial meltdown. In fact, a new report by the National Council for Research on Women argues that the economic crisis was caused by a perfect storm of things, but was in part, a result of masculinity run amuck.
As controversial as this claim sounds, it’s been made in the most mainstream of places — including in the New York Times, where Nicholas Kristof wondered if we might all be better off if it were “Lehman Brothers and Sisters.” Barnard College president Deborah Spar even went so far as to call it a “one gender crash” in the Washington Post.

Everywhere you look these days, someone is making a case for why the latest economic shake up could be a tremendous gift in the long run. No one is pushing that point of view more enthusiastically than feminists, who see a great opportunity for gender equality in these uncertain economic times. The big boys have been humbled and the women emboldened by the financial meltdown. In fact, a new report by the National Council for Research on Women argues that the economic crisis was caused by a perfect storm of things, but was in part, a result of masculinity run amuck.

As controversial as this claim sounds, it’s been made in the most mainstream of places — including in the New York Times, where Nicholas Kristof wondered if we might all be better off if it were “Lehman Brothers and Sisters.” Barnard College president Deborah Spar even went so far as to call it a “one gender crash” in the Washington Post.

Courtney E. Martin | AlterNet

No Matter Who Is President of Iran, They Would Stone Me

No change is possible while Iran is controlled by autocratic, fundamentalist religious despots who determine the laws of the land. There has been no real election. Candidates are all hand-picked and cleared by a central religious committee. It is a farcical imitation of the free nomination/ election process that we have pictured in the free world. There is no possibility that a secular, pluralistic, freedom-loving democratic person who loves his or her country can become a candidate to run for president or any other office in Iran.

Let us not forget that Mousavi was Prime Minister of Iran in the 1980s, when more than ten thousand political prisoners were executed after three-minute sham trials. He has been a part of the Iranian dictatorship system for the past 30 years. If he had not been, he would not be allowed to be a candidate in the first place.

Lila Ghobady | CommonDreams.org

A Brief History of the Radical Right

What was the bridge between the posse movement and anti-abortionist fanaticism? The Sovereign crowd viewed women as chattel, and the prospect of an independent woman deciding to seek an abortion didnt sit well with them. I gained some insight into this line of thinking in another piece I once wrote about a young woman in Oklahoma who aspired to join the Christian Identity group, hoping that its followers would teach her to shoot and become a guerrilla. Instead, the men asked her for sex. When the woman replied that she wanted a relationship first, one of them replied, “Women are for breeding.” According to one faction of the group, women who have abortions are race traitors and should be stoned to death. With that in mind, the fact that some members of the far-right became violent anti-abortionists perhaps shouldnt come as such a surprise.

James Ridgeway | Mother Jones

Why Male Military Veterans Are Committing Sexual Assault at Alarming Rates

A recent study by the Department of Justice found that military veterans are twice as likely to be incarcerated for sexual assault than nonveterans. When asked about the finding, Margaret E. Noonan, one of the authors of the study, told the Associated Press, “We couldn’t come to any definite conclusion as to why.” The intrinsic and systemic connection between militarism and violence against women, however, makes this finding far from surprising.

Sexual violence has been a de facto weapon of war since the beginning of the patriarchal age. Raping and assaulting women is seen as a way to attack the honor of the enemy, and women have always been the spoils of war. The result is that many types of violence against women are exacerbated by militarism, including the indirect effects on civilian populations both during hostilities and after the conflict ends and soldiers go home.

Lucinda Marshall | AlterNet 

Women Under Attack: The Talibanization of Iraq

But today, most of her friends have left the country. Women for Women International keeps its locations secret and takes all sorts of security precautions. Salbi herself stopped traveling back to her homeland two years ago. “At first I was able to say I knew 10, 20 women who had been assassinated,” she says. “Now, I’ve lost count. … They are pharmacists, professors, reporters, activists …”

“Often, the first salvo in a war for theocracy is a systematic attack on women and minorities who represent or demand an alternative or competing vision for society,” wrote Yifat Susskind, Iraq coordinator of the international human- and women’s-rights organization MADRE, in a report she authored on “gender apartheid” in Iraq. “These initial targets are usually the most marginalized and, therefore, most vulnerable members of society, and once they are dealt with, fundamentalist forces then proceed towards less vulnerable targets.”

Bay Fang | Ms. Magazine

The Greatest Threat to Choice

The leaders of this movement understand that the only emotion that cannot be subsumed into communal life, which they seek to dominate and control, is love. They fear the power of love, especially when magnified and expressed through tender, sexual relationships, which remove couples from their control. Sex, when not a utilitarian form of procreation, is dangerous.

They seek to fashion a world where good and evil are clearly defined and upheld by the nation’s judicial system. The battle against abortion is a battle to build a society where pleasure and freedom, where the capacity of the individual and especially women to make choices, and indeed even love itself, are banished. And this is why pro-life groups oppose contraception—even for those who are married. The fight against abortion is the facade for a wider fight against the right of an individual in a democracy.

Chris Hedges | TruthDig.com