On Hillary Clinton and Bourgeois Faux Feminism

 honduran-women

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Radical feminists and women of color have been challenging Hillary Clinton’s feminist credentials of late, enumerating the grievous violence and harm her policies have caused so many women.That’s right. And I don’t care if she is up against a steaming pile of shit in this election, the fact that she too is a monster must not be denied or suppressed. The crimes of US foreign and domestic policies under Clinton, Bush, Obama, and next up Hillary, must not be swept under the rug. We must not inure ourselves to these crimes, or shirk responsibility for them as Americans, or justify the wrongs and sufferings of peoples whom our government has violated: bombed,murdered, raped, robbed, tortured, interned, and deported in our names to uphold US domination and the privileges of the rich, just so the US bourgeoisie can have rights, or so US bourgeois feminists can have rights to abortion on demand and equal pay. The rights they seek for themselves, while important as rights, pale in comparison to those of others our imperialist/capitalist government has trampled or denied others.

If people’s votes matter here in the US then they bear responsibility for the outcomes of those votes. The Democratic party is just as guilty as the Republican. People in Latin America, the Middle East, and other parts of the world, and here in the US, who have experienced the effects of US imperialism and destructive militarism, or who are on the losing side of capitalism, see no meaningful difference between Clinton and Trump. Is Hillary up to the task? Yes, sure. The murderous imperialist task of the status quo, just like the boys who have been running the show thus far. But it is that status quo and its tasks that must be renounced, not glossed over and celebrated because a woman is doing them. The realities of its horrors must not be concealed and construed as some faux ‘feminist’ victory. Feminists don’t pursue policies that impoverish, maim, and kill women and children. The only difference between Hillary and Trump is the packaging, rhetoric, and target audience they need to get in power.

Hillary is no feminist. Her poor judgment, lack of principle, and opportunism are all too evident. She has remained married to a sexist and rapist for decades to secure her own political advancement. Providing him respectable cover and bullying the women he used and abused to silence them. Hillary reps for white, bourgeois women. A highly exclusive form of feminism for privileged women that pretends to speak for all women. But it does not. If that is feminism then I am not a feminist. So Trump called a beauty queen fat. Big freaking deal! It is no secret he is an asshole but how does such name-calling compare to the murder and devastation and rapes and dehumanization of countless women, girls, and children all over the world? Crimes that were the result of policies promulgated during Hillary’s time as First Lady by her husband (they are a team), during her tenure as senator when she voted for the Iraq War, and under her watch as secretary of state. Yes, she was a party to those crimes. It is that very record she references as the experience that makes her fit for the job of president.

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Neoliberal Savagery and the Assault on Higher Education as a Democratic Public Sphere

Neoliberal Savagery and the Assault on Higher Education as a Democratic Public Sphere

Café Dissensus

By Henry A. Giroux

Across the globe, a new historical conjuncture is emerging in which attacks on higher education as a democratic institution and on dissident public voices in general – whether journalists, whistleblowers, or academics – are intensifying with alarming consequences for both higher education and the formative public spheres that make democracy possible. Hyper-capitalism or market fundamentalism has put higher education in its cross hairs and the result has been the ongoing transformation of higher education into an adjunct of the very rich and powerful corporate interests. Marina Warner has rightly called these assaults on higher education, “the new brutalism in academia.”[i] It may be worse than she suggests. In fact, the right-wing defense of the neoliberal dismantling of the university as a site of critical inquiry is more brazen and arrogant than anything we have seen in the past. What we are witnessing is an attack…

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The replication crisis, sociology, and liberal gender politics: Or the perils of psychologization and shallow materialism

The replication crisis, sociology, and liberal gender politics: Or the perils of psychologization and shallow materialism

Symptomatic Commentary

In general, I am loathe to share hot-button takes from the NPR set as I tend to find the mixture of liberal self-congratulation, the TED talk simpleton’s vision of science, and fads in sociology and social psychology to be sickening.  However, the last episode of Invisiblia really hit on a problem of the way many institutional gauges for “female empowerment” work as well as the perils of the replication crisis, although it downplays the latter.

The case study is Rwanda, where after the genocide, female empowerment and representation in civic life was degreed, but as the podcast showed, private life remained, incredibly patriarchal in ways that few women in US or Europe, despite their countries showing up much lower on those female empowerment indexes would accept. Part of the irony of this episode is that the case study about the female debaters tries to expand to the entire country in…

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