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Women's Voices

Women's Voices

By Women's Voices
✺ News and conversation regarding current events
✺ Interviews with women's rights activists
✺ Recorded readings of feminist texts, speeches, and essays
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Ending Sex-Based Oppression - Holly Lawford-Smith

Women's Voices

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Pornography and Male Supremacy - Andrea Dworkin
Pornography and Male Supremacy was first published in an anthology of speeches and essays by Andrea Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone, 1988. Read by Elly Arrow "Feminists are often asked whether pornography causes rape. The fact is that rape and prostitution caused and continue to cause pornography. Politically, culturally, socially, sexually, and economically, rape and prostitution generated por­nography; and pornography depends for its continued existence on the rape and prostitution of women. The word pornography comes from the ancient Greek porne and graphos: it means "the graphic  depiction of whores." Porne means "whore," specifically the lowest class of whore, which in ancient Greece was the brothel slut available to all male citizens. There were distinct classes of prostitutes in ancient Greece: the porne was the sexual cow. She was, simply and clearly and absolutely, a sexual slave. Graphos means "writing, etching, or drawing. The  whores called porneia were captive in brothels, which were designated as such by huge phalluses painted on or constructed near the door. They were not allowed out, were never educated, were barely dressed, and in general were miserably treated; they were the sexual garbage of Greek society. Wives were kept in nearly absolute isolation, allowed the company of slaves and young children only. High-class prostitutes, a class distinct from the porneia and from wives both, had the only freedom of movement accorded women, and were the only educated women. Two very significant words originated in the ancient Greece many of us revere: democracy and pornography. Democracy from its beginnings excluded all women and some men. Pornography from its beginnings justified and promoted this exclusion of all women by presenting the sexuality of all women as the sexuality of the brothel slut. The brothel slut and the sexuality of the brothel slut had been stolen and sold — raped and prostituted; and the rape and prostitution of that captive and degraded being with her captive and degraded sexuality is precisely the sexual content of pornography. In pornography, the will of the chattel whore is synonymous with her function: she is purely for sex and her function is defined as her nature and her will."
24:28
April 30, 2021
In Context - April 10, 2021
Caroline Norma and Genevieve Gluck discuss the Yogyakarta Principles, US bills banning the medical transitioning of minors via "puberty blockers", some of the challenges faced by women and girls in Japan, Australia's growing "Me Too" movement, and a website exposing rape culture in top UK schools.
01:31:24
April 21, 2021
Ending Sex-Based Oppression - Holly Lawford-Smith
Dr Holly Lawford-Smith, radical feminist and associate professor in Political Philosophy at the University of Melbourne, reads her philosophical essay, Ending Sex-Based Oppression: Transitional Pathways arguing for the abolition of gender stereotypes, sometimes also referred to as sex roles. First published in Philosophia in November 2020. Abstract: From a radical feminist perspective, gender is a cage. Or to be more precise, it’s two cages. If genders are cages, then surely we want to let people out. Being less constrained in our choices is something we all have reason to want: theorists in recent years have emphasized the importance of the capability to do and be many different things. At the very least, we should want an end to sex-based oppression. But what does this entail, when it comes to gender? In this paper, I'll compare four 'transitional pathways', with a view to considering how each relates to the ultimate end of ending sex-based oppression. Should we open the doors to the cages, so that people can move freely between them, but leave the cages themselves in place? (Transgender pathway). Should we add more cages? (Nonbinary pathway). Should we make the cages bigger, so that people have a lot more room to move around inside them? Or should we dismantle the cages, so there are no more genders at all? (Gender abolitionist pathways). Some of these options are ‘gender revisionist’, others are gender abolitionist. I'll argue in favour of a gender abolitionist pathway.
01:02:50
April 18, 2021
Dr Holly Lawford-Smith - No Conflict, They Said
Dr Holly Lawford-Smith is an associate professor of political philosophy at the University of Melbourne. Holly is a women’s rights activist and creator of the website, NoConflictTheySaid.org, which seeks to gather anecdotal evidence of the ways in which sex self-identification impacts women. As a result of the website launch, Holly has been targeted by her colleagues, who penned an open letter to university administrators denouncing her as transphobic. In addition, over the weekend of April 2nd, trans activists staged a protest on campus condemning her and the site.
36:22
April 5, 2021
In Context - March 15, 2021
Genevieve Gluck and Caroline Norma discuss rape impunity in India, women's day protests in Mexico, women garment workers demonstrating against the military coup in Myanmar, and guest Jen Izaakson comments on the murder of London woman Sarah Everard along with the public response.
01:06:07
March 24, 2021
Vaishnavi Sundar's Documentary 'Dysphoric'
Vaishnavi Sundar is an independent filmmaker, feminist, writer, and women’s rights activist from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. She is the founder of Women Making Films and Lime Soda Films, and she has recently released a four-part documentary titled Dysphoric, which explores the social, medical, and institutional construction of gender identity. Her film places women and girls front and center, and questions not only why they may feel uncomfortable in their sexed bodies, but also the myriad of harms involved in medical transitioning. The full documentary is available for free on YouTube.
42:34
March 15, 2021
The Attack on French Feminists
A radical feminist in France -- who wishes to remain anonymous for her safety -- was part of a small group of women, including survivors of the prostitution industry, who organized a protest in Paris on March 7 in honor of International Women’s Day. During their demonstration, they were attacked and threatened with death by trans activists, who had planned their assault in advance. In addition to hitting the women and hurling eggs at them, the trans activists, most of whom were very young, also spray painted the message: “Kill a TERF, save a trans” on the monument where they had congregated. This attack on feminist activism, especially activism centered on women’s sex-based oppression and opposition to the sex industry, is an increasing trend globally. Similar attacks and countless death threats have been recorded in the US, Canada, the UK, and Spain, as gender ideology spreads out of academia and through social media, where such hostility and incitement to violence is allowed to be openly expressed, virtually unchecked.
55:49
March 14, 2021
In Context - Feb. 21, 2021
In this episode, Genevieve Gluck and Caroline Norma discuss Larry Flynt, pornography's impact on women beyond Western societies, surrogacy, and gender identity ideology.
01:17:14
March 10, 2021
In Context: Feb. 5, 2021
News for the week of January 29 to February 5, 2021, followed by discussion with Genevieve and Caroline. Topics include criticism of the military sexual slavery system known as the "comfort women" system; sexual abuse and discrimination by employers at Google; the sexism inherent in the garment industry; impacts of puberty blockers on children.
01:07:36
February 10, 2021
In Context: January 2021
A selection of international news stories pertaining to women's rights for the month of January 2021. Genevieve Gluck and Caroline Norma discuss the Nordic model legislation proposed in New York and Malta; US bills to prevent minors from undergoing experimental "gender reassignment treatments"; deepfake pornography.
41:18
February 3, 2021
The Japanese Comfort Women and Sexual Slavery During the China and Pacific Wars - Caroline Norma
Caroline Norma is Lecturer at the School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Her 2015 book, The Japanese Comfort Women and Sexual Slavery During the China and Pacific Wars explores the origins of the Japanese military's system of sexual slavery and illustrates how Japanese women were its initial victims. Campaigns for justice and reparations for 'comfort women' since the early 1990s have highlighted the magnitude of the human rights crimes committed against Korean, Chinese and other Asian women by Japanese soldiers after they invaded the Chinese mainland in 1937. These campaigns, however, say little about the origins of the system or its initial victims.
36:33
January 30, 2021
Mind: Your Own Business - Jo Bartosch
This was a talk given by Jo Bartosch on July 4, 2020, during a webinar titled: "Sex Tech, Robots & AI: A feminist Response," hosted by the Campaign Against Sex Robots. campaignagainstsexrobots.org
17:08
July 11, 2020
Child Sex Abuse Dolls - Caitlin Roper
Caitlin Roper is Campaigns Manager for Australian grassroots movement Collective Shout: For a World Free of Sexploitation, and a PhD candidate researching female-bodied sex dolls and robots. This talk was given during an online workshop titled "Sex Tech, Robots, and AI: A Feminist Response" on July 4th, 2020, hosted by the Campaign Against Sex Robots. www.collectiveshout.org/ campaignagainstsexrobots.org/
16:10
July 10, 2020
Living Laboratories: Women and Reproductive Technologies - Robyn Rowland
This is the introduction to the 1992 book, "Living Laboratories: Women and Reproductive Technologies," by Robyn Rowland. Here, she describes reproductive technologies as inherently based on a male desire for domination and control of both women's reproductive capacity, and over nature itself. "In the process of trying to end their own alienation, men have made procreative alienation a reality for women, divorcing women from their wombs, eggs and embryos — from their own bodily selves and their sense of procreative continuity. They have made children products of the nexus between commerce, science and medicine, calling experimentation on women and human society ‘therapy’ and camouflaging the intention to map and control human genetics with the rhetoric of ‘helping the infertile’. In this process women have become the experimental raw material in the masculine desire to control the creation of life; patriarchy’s living laboratories."
28:19
May 27, 2020
The New Misogyny - Kara Dansky
Over the last several years, transgender activism has made sweeping gains. Proponents of this ideology have succeeded in positioning "gender identity" as the social justice issue of our day. But are the claims made by these activists actually true? What does it mean to say that people can be "born in the wrong body"? Does the concept of “gender identity” break down stereotypes about the nature of men and women, or does it reinforce them? And what about the rights of women and girls? On February 1, 2020, the US-based organization Women's Liberation Front hosted a panel event called “The New Misogyny.” Three women’s rights campaigners, Meghan Murphy, Saba Malik, and Kara Dansky, presented a critical analysis of gender identity and made arguments for sex-based women's rights. The event took place at the Seattle Public Library in downtown Seattle, Washington, despite protesters inside and outside the building. This is the talk given by Kara Danksy, who serves on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Liberation Front, where she acts as an attorney and media coordinator. https://soundcloud.com/womenreadwomen/the-new-misogyny-kara-dansky
15:32
May 21, 2020
The New Misogyny - Saba Malik
Over the last several years, transgender activism has made sweeping gains. Proponents of this ideology have succeeded in positioning "gender identity" as the social justice issue of our day. But are the claims made by these activists actually true? What does it mean to say that people can be "born in the wrong body"? Does the concept of “gender identity” break down stereotypes about the nature of men and women, or does it reinforce them? And what about the rights of women and girls? On February 1, 2020, the US-based organization Women's Liberation Front hosted a panel event called “The New Misogyny.” Three women’s rights campaigners, Meghan Murphy, Saba Malik, and Kara Dansky, presented a critical analysis of gender identity and made arguments for sex-based women's rights. The event took place at the Seattle Public Library in downtown Seattle, Washington, despite protesters inside and outside the building. This is the talk that was given by Saba Malik, a radical feminist who serves on the Board of Directors for the Fertile Ground Institute, a non-profit organization working for ecological justice.
22:56
May 21, 2020
The New Misogyny - Meghan Murphy
Over the last several years, transgender activism has made sweeping gains. Proponents of this ideology have succeeded in positioning "gender identity" as the social justice issue of our day. But are the claims made by these activists actually true? What does it mean to say that people can be "born in the wrong body"? Does the concept of “gender identity” break down stereotypes about the nature of men and women, or does it reinforce them? And what about the rights of women and girls? On February 1, 2020, the US-based organization Women's Liberation Front hosted a panel event called “The New Misogyny.” Three women’s rights campaigners, Meghan Murphy, Saba Malik, and Kara Dansky, presented a critical analysis of gender identity and made arguments for sex-based women's rights. The event took place at the Seattle Public Library in downtown Seattle, Washington, despite protesters inside and outside the building. This is the talk given by Meghan Murphy, a Canadian journalist and founder of Canada’s leading feminist website, Feminist Current.
20:18
May 20, 2020
Pornography: The New Terrorism - Andrea Dworkin
***Please note this recording contains explicit content.*** This is a recording of both a speech, "Pornography: The New Terrorism," and a short essay, "For Men, Freedom of Speech; For Women, Silence Please." Both were originally published in "Letters from a War Zone" in 1988. "Pornography is the propaganda of sexual fascism. Pornography is the propaganda of sexual terrorism. Images of women bound, bruised, and maimed on virtually every street corner, on every magazine rack, in every drug store, in movie house after movie house, on billboards, on posters pasted on walls, are death threats to a female population in rebellion."
25:52
May 12, 2020
Surrogacy: Erasing the Mother - Dianne Post
"The birth mother is not in the place of another; she is the mother. That was the law in every country in the world until now. We always knew who the mother was — she was the one who gave birth. That is the first definition of a mother. We weren’t so sure about the father, which is why women’s freedoms have been curtailed so men could be assured of their lineage. Now, with DNA, we can be scientifically certain of the father. So the first 'success' of the surrogacy movement was to change the definition of the mother and remove the woman who gave birth from the frame. By applying the word 'surrogate' to the wrong person, it depresses the position of the birth mother but does not elevate the position of the other woman. Instead, the position of the sperm donor, or the father, is elevated as the only person with rights." https://www.fairobserver.com/culture/surrogacy-legality-ethics-womens-rights-news-018210/
16:47
May 10, 2020
Witches, Midwives, and Nurses - A History of Women Healers
Excerpts from "Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers," by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English (1973). "Women have always been healers. They were the unlicensed doctors and anatomists of western history. They were abortionists, nurses and counsellors. They were pharmacists, cultivating healing herbs and exchanging the secrets of their uses. They were midwives, travelling from home to home and village to village. For centuries women were doctors without degrees, barred from books and lectures, learning from each other, and passing on experience from neighbor to neighbor and mother to daughter. They were called 'wise women' by the people, witches or charlatans by the authorities. Medicine is part of our heritage as women, our history, our birthright." Full text: https://www.marxists.org/subject/women/authors/ehrenreich-barbara/witches.htm
01:25:47
May 8, 2020
Pornography and Grief - Andrea Dworkin
This is a speech given by Andrea Dworkin in San Francisco, 1978, first published in Letters from a War Zone. Introduction: "Pornography and Grief was written as a speech for a Take Back the Night March that was part of the first feminist conference on pornography in the United States in San Francisco, November 1978. Organized by the now defunct Women Against Violence in Pornography and Media (WAVPM ), over 5000 women from thirty states participated and we shut down San Francisco's pornography district for one night. The ground was taken but not held."
17:52
May 1, 2020
The Politics of the Toilet - Sheila Jeffreys
***Please note this recording contains explicit content.*** "This article is a feminist response to the campaigning activism and queer and transgender theory which promotes the ‘degendering’ of public toilets. This campaign originates in the demands of men who transgender to access women's toilets. Activists argue that sex segregation of toilets is the result of nineteenth century moralism and is a discriminatory practice. They say that degendered toilets would be safer for women because the good men would protect women from aggressors, and they show a remarkable degree of insensitivity to women's needs and interests. The campaign is increasingly effective, with schools in the US and local councils in the UK moving to degender toilets in response. This article will argue that the safety of women as a group requires that toilet provision should remain sex segregated or take the form of individual cubicles that offer privacy and safety to all users."
01:00:12
April 26, 2020
Female Erasure, Reverse Sexism, and the Cisgender Theory of Privilege - Elizabeth Hungerford
Female Erasure, Reverse Sexism, and the Cisgender Theory of Privilege by Elizabeth Hungerford read by Genevieve Gluck "Cis theory of gender denies the lived experiences of millions of women who despise the social role 'woman,' instead framing non-trans women's gender identity as a privilege. The theory is blind to how these seemingly benign 'gender identities' operate as a hierarchy of social roles and interactions whose end game is the unequal distribution of power between male and female humans. This essentialist, ahistorical assessment of gender identity short-circuits women's ability to recognize themselves as oppressed by gender-based roles. It denies us use of the language and concepts necessary to describe women's specific exploitation as women." Elizabeth Hungerford is a feminist writer at sexnotgender.com and ehungerford.com. She is also the co-founder of a public discussion group about the contentious politics of gender. As an attorney, she is particularly interested in class-based analysis of gender, identity, women-only spaces, and the philosophical contradictions created by protecting "gender identity" as a matter of law.
37:45
April 26, 2020
Transgenderism, Neoliberalism, and Rape Culture - Renee Gerlich
This is a speech given by Renee Gerlich in Brisbane on October 12, 2019. The event was hosted by the International Women’s Day Brisbane Committee. Full text of the speech can be found here. "The mindless mantra 'transwomen are women' encapsulates both the ideology and attitudes of transgenderism, and the neoliberal zeitgeist, in three words. It implies the destruction of nature, of biology, of our own bodies – including through the radical mastectomies increasingly conducted on adolescent girls, mainly lesbians. It is based on the commodification of women, and it leads to the removal of legal protections and social supports designated for women and based on sex, and using this mantra like a threat – because if you don’t accept it, you are a bigot – men are colonising women’s hard-won spaces, organisations, movements and safehouses as well as lesbian culture."
11:41
April 26, 2020