Far from being old fashioned, Andrea Dworkin’s feminist analysis was prescient. She wasn’t ‘crazy’ when she foresaw the prominence of the pornography industry as a cultural force, or when she called for the abolition of sex roles, or when she warned of the resurgence of right-wing politics and its foundation on the control and abuse of women’s bodies.
Every day and in every emergency, unwaged or low waged caregivers, urban and rural, mostly women, often immigrant women, struggle to protect and care for people of every age and condition. But this work is kept invisible and therefore there is never a relief package from governments for caregivers, only more work, especially with the advent of Covid-19.
In the 80s, the Women Count – Count Women’s Work petition issued by the International Wages for Housework Campaign gave voice of a hidden mass movement for recognition of this work. It was signed by 1,200 organizations representing millions of women worldwide, resulting in the 1995 UN decision that governments measure and value unwaged work in national accounts.
The Green New Deal for Europe (http://www.gndforeurope.com/) takes this forward. It looks at what work is needed for social and environmental wellbeing, and what work is not, and proposes a Care Income as a key part of its programme for climate justice. At last protecting people and protecting the Earth can be equated and prioritized over the uncaring market – a major step in transforming the world and saving it. We need this everywhere.
We demand a CARE INCOME across the planet for all those, of every gender, who care for people, the urban and rural environment, and the natural world.
Last week, Guterres issued a similar appeal, saying the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated an end to violence worldwide.
In Australia — where the government has promised some $91 million to address the problem as part of its COVID-19 response plan — Google reports a 75% increase in online searches for help with domestic violence.
The Texas abortion ban is supposed to be temporary. But our civil liberties are most fragile during times of fear and crisis; rights that are lost are not easily won back. It’s not just our physical health that we need to worry about during this pandemic; it’s the health of our democracy. As is already apparent, a small minority of zealots will do everything they can to use this crisis to eradicate the right to an abortion in America.
“File for the [US government] stimulus for your fetus,” a viral tweet this week advised. “You either get paid, or Republicans will have to admit a fetus isn’t a child.”
Maternity rights groups say there has been a rise in the number of women seeking advice about freebirthing owing to pressures on hospitals and new restrictions around birth partners.
More than a fifth of birthing centres and more than a third of homebirth services have closed due to a shortage of midwives and concerns about ambulance response times.
Alison Edwards, of Doula UK, whose 700 members advocate for expectant mothers, says she has seen a threefold increase in calls about freebirthing in the last fortnight.
“Initially women were concerned about staff shortages,” says Edwards. “Now they don’t want to go to hospital at all, it’s about infection.”
It is possible Maya thinks she will make a difference later, when she has more influence. So many people stay silent in the face of injustice and wait to acquire the power it will take to make a difference later – or so they tell themselves.
But these are not casual moments in a life, these crossroads. You pay a price for your silence when you have opportunities like Maya had and you don’t keep speaking. The rest of us are still paying that price. We are all still silenced and brought to heel by the Transgender Lobby.
In 2019, the world was horrified when a trans activist from Langley, British Columbia took 16 mostly-immigrant estheticians to British Columbia’s Human Rights Tribunal for refusing to wax her male scrotum. Today, a large part of this sordid saga came to an end.
In November of 2019, Yaniv was struck down by the BCHRT, with the tribunal finding the suits Yaniv had launched against the salon workers had been based in racial animus and a calculating, extortionary self-interest to monetarily benefit. Yaniv was ordered to pay $2,000 to each of three salon workers who Yaniv’s conduct had been considered inappropriate. Yaniv was also prevented from filing any additional suits through the BCHRT until which time the money had been paid.
Today, Jessica Yaniv tweeted out a photo of a cheque made out to the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms in the amount of $6,000. The JCCF is a collective of pro-bono lawyers who had been representing some of the salon workers at the BCHRT.
In a strange turn of events, shortly after posting the photo of the $6,000 cheque, Jessica Yaniv was suspended from Twitter.
While it is unknown what led to Yaniv’s suspension and whether Yaniv will be returning to the platform, many questions about the future of Yaniv’s vexatious litigation still remain.
Jessica Yaniv is currently engaged in five lawsuits—one of which against a female Post Millennial freelance reporter who Yaniv claimed sexually assaulted her in a courthouse bathroom. Amy Eileen Hamm is suing Jessica Yaniv for defamation of character.
In Brisbane, Australia, where prostitution is legal, police have been arresting and fining women working in unlicensed brothels, when what they should be doing is arresting the pimps and punters involved.
Vulnerable women need to be given the opportunity to escape the sex trade, and not be fobbed off with pointless health advice and hand sanitisers. These women are already exposed to horrific violence, as well as a number of serious and long-term mental and physical health conditions. The last thing any government should be doing is finding ways to keep the sex trade thriving.
Prostituted women should be financially supported and classed as long-term unemployed. We need to acknowledge the hell they have been living under and make available everything from counselling and health services, childcare, and re-education packages.
The government should clamp down on the men that are putting their own selfish desires before the lives of others. Prostitution can never be made safe. Covid 19 is but one threat to women in prostitution, and pimps and punters need to be the ones that pay the price.
An unexpected side effect of COVID-19 appears to be that biological sex is both real and mentionable again!
[W]hile men are becoming sicker and dying at a higher rate, women are emerging as more vulnerable to the social and economic sequelae of the virus. Professionally, women are more likely to be teachers, paid carers, nurses, supermarket check out workers, cleaners etc in ‘essential professions’ which are at high risk for exposure to COVID-19. They are also more likely to be engaged in casual or insecure work, and in sectors which are being most heavily affected by escalating closures and lockdowns. The contempt for the wellbeing of women in the sex industry was demonstrated perfectly in Sydney, where the first ’employees’ to be fined for breaching new pandemic regulations were three prostituted women working in a
brothelmassage parlour which was clearly not about to let the risk of communicable disease get in the way of profiting from women’s bodies.
Let’s be perfectly clear – it is not ‘people’ who are being forced into early induction of labour or surgical births as health systems divert resources from maternity wards to pandemic preparedness. It is not ‘individuals’ who are finding themselves wondering if their only choices are to birth their baby in an overrun disease ridden hospital or at home unattended. It is not ‘parents’ crying in the hoarding-emptied formula aisle wondering if it’s too late to rebuild the breastmilk supply they were told was optional. None of this is or has ever been done to any person on the basis of their pronouns – this is all a result of the status of women in patriarchy as less than people on the basis of belonging to the female sex class.
France is relocating women beaten by their partners into hotels, and has created a secret code word for them to discreetly seek help in pharmacies, in response to a huge increase in domestic abuse during the coronavirus lockdown.
n France and many other affected countries, restrictions on movement during the pandemic have trapped women inside their homes with abusive partners, resulting in a sharp rise in reports of domestic violence. French officials say that reports of abuse have leaped by about one third around the country since the restrictions came into effect on March 17.