Gender

Men are from Earth, and So are Women

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How different are men and women? Very, according to some. John Gray’s book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” is based on the idea that there are fundamental differences between the genders. It may be just another self-help book on relationships, but it has also sold over 30 million copies and been translated into 40 languages. Deborah Tannen’s book “You Just Don’t Understand: Men and Women in Conversation” was on the New York Times bestseller list for nearly four years and has been translated into 24 languages. 

Repressing Abortion in Ireland - a doctor speaks out

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The Republic of Ireland has one of the most draconian abortion laws in the world. At present abortion may only be performed where continuation of pregnancy poses a 'real and substantial' risk to a pregnant woman's life - about 5 cases per year of 50,000 pregnancies. In reality a woman must be dying before a lifesaving abortion can be performed.

Anarchists and the right to choose

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We envisage an anarchist society as a society where people are free to make choices about their own lives. We picture a society where decisions are made at the lowest effective level. For women, this includes the decision whether or not to become pregnant, whether or not to remain pregnant, whether or not to have children.

Mujeres Libres - Free Women of Spain

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Conditions for the vast majority of people in Spain in the 1920s and 1930s were appalling. For women they were especially bad. There were extreme gender divisions. Most women were economically dependent on men. Household chores and childcare were exclusively women's domain. In both countryside and city women's wages were lower than men's. For example the average daily wage of a male agricultural labourer was 3 pesetas while a women got just half this, for working from dawn to dusk.

Ode to ARC - a video love story

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To mark International Women's Day 2019 we are releasing this video that celebrates the grassroots womens organising responsible for victory in the 2018 abortion referendum.  We'd heard the text at the ARC Christmas party and immediately felt it would make a fantastic video, hopefully you will agree.  The authors introduction is below, we've also recorded a background interview with her about the campaign which gets further into the grassroots organising themes expressed in the video, see link at end.

The author Mary writes "On International Womens Day two years ago we gathered on O'Connell  Bridge and in towns all around Ireland as part of Strike 4 Repeal, demanding that the government call a referendum on the 8th amendment. On International Womens Day last year, we marched under the banner of Votes for Repeal. We had a proposed referendum date, the structure of a campaign, energy, commitment and determination. But the result was far from certain. On International Womens Day this year, Ireland is free of the 8th amendment. Barriers to access remain and the work of ensuring free, safe, legal and local abortion care for everyone who wants and needs it continues. But we are in a place we did not think we would be a few short years ago. We have moved out from under the shadow of the 8th. We got here through collective action, hard compromises, exhaustion, friendship, compassion, determination and grit.

Was winning the Repeal referendum inevitable?

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The vote to remove the ban on abortion from the Irish constitution in May 2018 was overwhelmingly carried, with almost 2 out of every 3 voters voting Yes remove the ban. The margin of victory was such that some post-referendum polemics made the mistake of arguing that victory was always inevitable, that the campaign didn’t matter. Such arguments tended to be made by opinion writers who never liked the Repeal campaign and in some cases published pieces during the campaign arguing that unless whatever aspect they disliked was dropped the referendum would be lost.

WSM marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women at their strategy gathering

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The WSM took some time out from our future directions discussions session at Cloughjordan eco village over the week to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Video - all of 2018 March for Choice as it passes down the Dublin quays

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This video shows all of the 2018 March for Choice pass down the quays in Dublin.  This year we had won the refrendum but much is left to fight for in terms of the details of the legislation and standing down the inevotable anti-choice attempts that will be made once the lefislation comes in to intimidate doctors,  as welll as women and pregnant who will finally be able to access free, safe and legal abortion in Ireland. [video]

Moral philosophy and abortion

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The debate around abortion is sometimes characterised as an opposition between the morals of the church and personal morals. But is this an accurate description? Moral philosophy can broadly be defined as the branch of philosophy that contemplates what is right and wrong. It explores the nature of morality and examines how people should live their lives in relation to others. But a closer look at what characterises moral philosophy leads to the conclusion that while the expression “relying on personal morals” may come across as a useful shortcut to describe what the pro-choice stance is about, it is also a misuse of moral terminology which has the effect of casting a positive light on moral philosophy, rather than helping us come to terms with the deeply problematic nature of this field. As I hope to make clear, arguments in favour of abortion rights are rooted in anti-authoritarianism whereas moral philosophy can only exist as a rhetorical tool of authoritarianism (even when it is used with good intentions).

How my politics is intersectional - audio from panel at 2018 #DABF

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Panel from the 2018 Dublin Anarchist bookfair on the intersection between race politics, class and gender in Ireland with a particular focus on the current housing struggles and the Together for Yes referendum campaign / Repeal movement. [audio]

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