Comments

  1. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    I’m too young to know that feeling personally. However, I can definitely raise up the “Grateful to the women before me” sign as well.

    I also have a terrible sinking feeling I’m going to be saying “I can’t believe I still have to protest this shit” when I’m older.

  2. jacintareid says

    I’ve seen this photo about, but without any indication of when or where it is from, and what the women were protesting. I saw one vigorous comment debate in which it was assumed and asserted that the women were protesting against abortion. Um. So can anyone actually pin down the aim of the protest in question?

  3. Becca Stareyes says

    jacintareid, Google Images isn’t being helpful since it’s taken off as a meme, but the women next to the sign-holder appear to be dressed as suffragettes. While I guess you could wear that kind of costume to an anti-abortion protest, anti-abortion protestors don’t usually equate their goals with Women’s Rights.

  4. jacintareid says

    Thank you, John Phillips. I completely failed to try the obvious, because previous instances of the image didn’t link anywhere. I should have known that this blog would provide a source. *blush*

  5. sabazinus says

    I realized recently that I’ve been hearing the same arguments against gays and gay marriage for decades now. The statements from the right haven’t changed much of any since the 1980’s.

  6. raven says

    Says it all and boy, do I ever share that sentiment.

    So true.

    I grew up during and protesting the Vietnam war.
    I’m sure that is ancient history to a lot of people these days.

    Nothing’s changed much. The issues sort of change sometimes but its always been something. Seems like any civilization comes with a built in group of people trying to destroy it.

    PS The late 70’s, 80’s and into the 90’s weren’t too bad. For a while there, it looked like we won something. That was before the christofascists rose up.

  7. says

    Raven:

    PS The late 70′s, 80′s and into the 90′s weren’t too bad. For a while there, it looked like we won something.

    Yep. Recently, in another thread, I remarked on just how weary I am of fighting on the feminist front, especially when I find myself thinking “things weren’t this bad in the ’70s.

  8. says

    Well, yes and no. In the 70s, there was less overt threat of violence, less demeaning language used, and less threat to abortion rights. There was probably more hope: things really looked like they were getting better. That part was especially nice, and I do miss it.

    However, there was also no such thing as rape in marriage, and domestic violence was hushed up and never prosecuted, and we were only just starting to open women’s refuges. Workplace discrimination was massive, and sexual harassment just a joke. And we didn’t even have official equal pay until sometime in the 70s (IIRC 1974 in .au). And gay and lesbian rights were in a much worse way, and trans people were comedy fuel for the papers. So progress has been made.

  9. Gregory Greenwood says

    Alethea H. “Crocoduck” Dundee @ 14;

    I find myself having to stop and actively remind myself that things really have gotten better, on average, over the last few decades.

    All too often it seems to me that progressives are losing ground these days on issues of equality that should have been settled many years ago. The very fact that we are still fighting the same old fight, and seemingly will have to continue to do so forever, put a big dent in my naive, youthfull optimism of a few years ago that we were well on the way to a consistently, sustainably better future where we didn’t have to fight tooth and nail, day in and day out to maintain a basic level of social justice.

    Still, the fact that change has been acheived shows that we can make things better, even if the road is longer and harder than it has any right to be.

    Once more unto the breech…

  10. Gregory Greenwood says

    *Sigh* That should be;

    The very fact that we are still fighting the same old fight, and seemingly will have to continue to do so forever, put a big dent in my naive, youthfull optimism of a few years ago that we were well on the way to a consistently, sustainably better future where we wouldn’t have to fight tooth and nail, day in and day out to maintain a basic level of social justice.

    In my last post.

    I must be getting tired. Probably time to be off to bed.

  11. Lonely Panda, e.s.l. says

    jacintareid @4:

    I’ve seen this photo about, but without any indication of when or where it is from, and what the women were protesting. I saw one vigorous comment debate in which it was assumed and asserted that the women were protesting against abortion. Um. So can anyone actually pin down the aim of the protest in question?

    I always enjoy a good Google scavenger hunt. My conclusion is that this is the “United Against the War on Women” protest in Los Angeles on April 28, 2012. Here’s a video from the event and you can see the sign briefly during the march around 18:54 to 19:02 (perhaps other points as well; I didn’t watch the entire video):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TGV-UpkxGE

    They certainly didn’t seem to be protesting against abortion.

  12. says

    Worthy sentiment but not original.

    http://farm1.staticflickr.com/156/372494856_410ea24b00_z.jpg?zz=1

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6GAku7gIW9Q/T18cBRHrmHI/AAAAAAAADuQ/f3S8VumX9Cc/s640/uFcG02wJxoyi44tebcqj8qMVo1_500.jpg

    http://hellyeahbitch.com/images/wp/2008/11/prop-8-guy.jpg

    http://www.bradblog.com/Images/StillProtestingThisShit.jpg

    There are other relevant hits on Google Images.

    Alethea:

    In the 70s, there was less overt threat of violence, less demeaning language used, and less threat to abortion rights. There was probably more hope: things really looked like they were getting better. That part was especially nice, and I do miss it.

    However, there was also no such thing as rape in marriage, and domestic violence was hushed up and never prosecuted, and we were only just starting to open women’s refuges. Workplace discrimination was massive, and sexual harassment just a joke. And we didn’t even have official equal pay until sometime in the 70s (IIRC 1974 in .au). And gay and lesbian rights were in a much worse way, and trans people were comedy fuel for the papers. So progress has been made.

    Very much true. Although there’s still no equal pay in the U.S.

    I’m very glad I grew up in the ’70s. I realize it had its problems that were not immediately apparent to me as a child, but there was definitely a sense that society was moving forward and that the opponents of progress were all dinosaurs.

  13. riftmann says

    There’s a lot of shit I can’t believe we still have to protest.

    I remember reading an article by Stephen Jay Gould in the late 70s or early 80s that he couldn’t believe evolution vs creationism was still an issue and he was still fighting it.

  14. says

    Caine:

    That said, the backlash has been incredibly severe and attitudes have gotten much more toxic.

    True dat. Though I do recall reading in Ms. (my mother subscribed) about the harassment directed at ’70s feminists.

    Male students at Dartmouth, for example, called the first women students “co-hogs,” a nasty play on “co-ed” and “quahog.” They yelled outside the women’s dorm, “Come on out here, quahogs, and spread your legs, that’s all you’re good for.” One man walked up to a woman in the cafeteria, poured some liquid or other (not hot, fortunately) over her, and said, “That’s for being a fucking woman at Dartmouth.”

    Then there was a woman who was the first one on a certain blue-collar job… I don’t recall the details. The harassment was not only sexual; it included sabotage of her work that could have injured or killed her.

  15. echidna says

    The same story on a different topic: I’m just reading a book by Popham on the progress, or lack thereof, in education. He describes in his book how the basic mistakes he saw being made 50 years ago are still occurring, despite the education community knowing so much more now than then.

  16. riftmann says

    @15 crocswsocks

    My mom would be 78 if she were still alive and I can so see her making that sign, getting more and more pissed off… worrying she didn’t have enough room for the biggest “shit” she could make.

    She kinda looks like mom too.. I love it.

  17. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    That sign is perfect, and sums up pretty much how I’m feeling. I’m not that old, and it feels like we’re going so rapidly backwards.

  18. says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter:

    True dat. Though I do recall reading in Ms. (my mother subscribed) about the harassment directed at ’70s feminists.

    Oh yeah, plenty of that shit went on. I was around for it. However, as bad as it got, it wasn’t politicized to the point of becoming one law after another, constituting an outright war on women.

    The harassment of feminists is every bit as harsh as it was in the ’70s, if one now includes the internet, worse. On top of that, the political and legal war on women has made massive strides.

  19. mildlymagnificent says

    As a graduate of 1975, International Women’s Year, street marches (few) and extremely tedious meetings (far too many), it **feels** worse to me now.

    The big difference is, I think, that we were then full of hope even though our lives were objectively worse than now. Now I look at my 30ish year old daughters and think they’re going to have to do it all over again. But for them, it will be trying to defend a position rather than advance one.

    How depressing.

  20. DLC says

    Social Progress is like that. three steps forward, two steps back. If it were easy, people wouldn’t have to protest that shit.

  21. says

    DLC:

    If it were easy, people wouldn’t have to protest that shit.

    Yeah, perfectly normal for it take over a hundred years to acknowledge that yes, women are human beings. Uh huh.

  22. Amphiox says

    There is always reactionary backlash pushing us back whenever we try to move forward. And indeed, if we become complacent with gains already “won”, the backlash can push all the way back, or even further.

    The fight never ends.

    “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” Ida B. Wells

  23. huntstoddard says

    What happens if instead of the place where bad ideas go to die, the Internet is the place where they come to life?

  24. Rorie says

    I remember reading an article by Stephen Jay Gould in the late 70s or early 80s that he couldn’t believe evolution vs creationism was still an issue and he was still fighting it.

    I remember reading something by Robert Ingersoll, expressing his concern that a politician was suggesting a day of prayer to deal with agricultural pests. In the late nineteenth century.

    But let us be careful how we laugh at these things. Let us not pride ourselves too much on the progress of our age. We must not forget that some of our people are yet in the same intelligent business. Only a little while ago, the governor of Minnesota appointed a day of fasting and prayer, to see if some power could not be induced to kill the grasshoppers, or send them into some other state.

    From The Ghosts, writen 1892.

    More on topic, it is a little worrying to see the present state of things in the US. Sure there have been people who’ve tried to slow any form of social progress, but reading some of the comments here*, among other writing, it seems that in some ways, they [conservative christian authoritarian types] have succeeded in reversing things.

    *As a male in his early 20s, living in Australia**, much of my understanding of these sort of issues comes from others’ descriptions of their experiences. And various articles online of course.

    **Not to say that sort of stuff doesn’t happen here.

  25. says

    Rorie:

    *As a male in his early 20s, living in Australia**, much of my understanding of these sort of issues comes from others’ descriptions of their experiences. And various articles online of course.

    **Not to say that sort of stuff doesn’t happen here.

    From my understanding, you’re all doing much better in Australia, but there are patches of U.S. style infection here and there.

  26. mildlymagnificent says

    Absolutely Rorie. I’m Australian (but I’m 40 years older than you).

    As for that sort of stuff happening ‘here’. My rule of thumb during many years of work and union activism and some involvement in education is that the US can come up with lots of ideas because they have more population and more universities.

    Australian businesses, politicians and educators generally wait until such ideas have been put into practice, usually in the US. Once they’ve been shown to fail, **then** we adopt them and prove the failure all over again.

  27. PatrickG says

    @ Caine:

    Oh yeah, plenty of that shit went on. I was around for it. However, as bad as it got, it wasn’t politicized to the point of becoming one law after another, constituting an outright war on women.

    As someone too young to directly recall that period in history, I do appreciate insight into that period from someone who was actually… there. Every so often I just have to call my parents and be “seriously, is it worse now?”. They’re always kind of on the fence about it, but more in a “some things, yes, some things, no” sort of way.

    That sign sums it all up. So well.

  28. magistramarla says

    Oh yes, I feel just like the lady in the picture.
    My husband and I are glad that we grew up and were educated during the Sputnik age, when it was a good thing to study math and science and being progressive was praised, not belittled.
    I have four daughters, and a grand-daughter due in a few weeks. I’m very upset that they still have to fight for the rights that I thought we had worked out back in the ’70s.

  29. hypatiasdaughter says

    It seems that social movements move in cycles. I think we are about due for a swing back to progressive ideals – please.
    A faint ray of hope is that the fundie right has become so bold and cocksure that they are saying and doing things publicly that they would have only said to each other in the past – the racism; the creationism replacing real science; xtian theocracy; the anti-abortion crowd who talk of imprisoning and doctors and letting women die; and of banning birth control; even the regressive taxation that shifts the burden form the rich to the middle class.
    I think,I hope, that the average American is finally beginning to realize that what they thought was the road to moderate conservatism has actually been the pathway to religious fascism and start pushback.

  30. spamamander, more skeptical-er and rational-er than you says

    Very timely, as I am about ready to head to bed to get some sleep before driving a couple of hours to Seattle to participate in the Slutwalk tomorrow.

  31. Patricia, OM says

    Birth control – do we REALLY have to go there again? I got married in 1975, in 1976 my husband and I had to have a lawyer petition a doctor to give my husband a vasectomy. Yeah, menz rights to birth control, remember that?

  32. Pteryxx says

    unfortunately, my clan at that time was probably protesting *against* y’all. *shudder*

    I wonder, are the groups/people currently attacking women’s rights the same as they were back then? Some of the same old white dudes? Same religions?

  33. robro says

    Wikipedia has an a propos item featured in the front page Did You Know section: In 1924, Izetta Jewel became the first woman to address a major American political party convention to second the presidential nomination.

    Now guess which party.

  34. randay says

    Magistramarla, I am also of the Sputnik era. At the time, it cost California students around $100 tuition per quarter at the University of California. It is now $15,000 or more per year. California now spends more on prisons than higher education. The cost to the state per inmate is more than the cost for a student.

    So there has also been a War on Education since Reagan was governor.
    ______

    My next sign at a demonstration shall be:

    Christ NO!

    Stop Rethuglican Theocracy!

  35. kevinalexander says

    You might as well refine your tactics and teach them to your daughters because you are going to be protesting this shit forever.
    Everyone is born conservative, it’s a carryover from our animal past. To become human takes education which explains the war on education as well.

  36. says

    Yeah, I do have to keep reminding myself. The backlash is so very nasty at the moment. I think things are worse in the US, too. At least in Australia we still have some unions and less religion.

    (And no, we don’t have real equal pay anywhere, that’s why I said “official equal pay”.)

  37. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Everyone is born conservative, it’s a carryover from our animal past. To become human takes education which explains the war on education as well.

    I call bull. Firstly, how do you even separate innate from cultural teachings? Secondly, animal past? How on earth is our “animal past” relevant to fighting over BC and abortions? Thirdly, humans are animals, there is no way to stop being animals unless you die.

    The war on education is so religious families can lie and indoctrinate children without them ever knowing better but that doesn’t mean being conservative is innate as a human or natural at birth or some such nonsense.

  38. hypatiasdaughter says

    #45 kevinalexander
    Humans, individually and socially, are both “conservative” AND “socialist”. We have to balance them in our personal natures and we turn them into social/political movements.
    In the old days, many conservatives genuinely felt that their small government,low taxes policy would create jobs for the working man. This would create a booming economy which would result in more tax income for public works, more investment money to create jobs and more charitable giving for the needy which meant less need for government welfare. It was all about creating jobs.
    You can see the shadow of this thinking in the current Repub party (especially in their tax cuts for the rich which would “trickle down” into job creation).
    But, starting with Regan, this has totally gone off the rails. The current crop of conservatives still CLAIM their goal is above, but it is all about looting the economy while the looting is good. Can any of them really believe that giving a small (in proportion to his income) tax break to a man who makes $20 million a year is going to induce him to invest any more in businesses than he already is? No, it’s about taking care of your “kind” of people – the rich and powerful.
    The economy runs on small businesses that are totally ignored by the Repubs. Entire industries have moved off shore and they no longer care that all the investment income poured into them is creating jobs offshore, not in the USA, as long as they get rich.
    The traditional conservative principle of people being free of government intrusion has been trashed by the infiltration of the religious right who want to use government to enforce their agendas.
    No, conservatism and the Repubs are not what they were 30 years ago. I wish the fuck that the old guard would stand up on their hind legs and fight to take back control of the Repub party from the theocrats and robber barons who are running it now.

  39. Rich Woods says

    @mildlymagnificent:

    Australian businesses, politicians and educators generally wait until such ideas have been put into practice, usually in the US. Once they’ve been shown to fail, **then** we adopt them and prove the failure all over again.

    Now that gave me the best laugh of the day so far! In a painful and upsetting sort of way.

    It reminds me of my own country’s government (the UK) and their recent re-imposition of trickle-down voodoo Reagonomics, in the shape of higher-bracket tax cuts while the rest of us are suffering pay freezes, job insecurity and pension changes. Bastards.

  40. opposablethumbs says

    As another UKnian, I agree (and this is what’s going to end up giving my teeth stress-fractures from all the gnashing and grinding). Look at what the tories have wet-dreams about doing to the NHS, just by way of example – they’d love to turn it into a version of USAnian(absence of)healthcare (lite at first, perhaps), with money to be made from private health insurance and even more money to be made from having the NHS buy the services of private facilities when they haven’t got their own.

  41. kevinalexander says

    @47 JAL

    I don’t think we disagree. “How do we separate innate from cultural teachings?”
    Innate is what we feel, it is a reflex. Cultural is what we think about it and what we can do about it. What we have evolved is the lust for power and that means trying to deny power to others, in this case to women.

    We also have evolved a tribal sense. That’s where our social evolution begins. Unfortunately it has evolved to give us the emotional need to separate the world into us and them, something you see very strongly in conservative thought. The drive for social justice is a modern one and is a good example of where we are able to overcome our inherited bias to create something novel. We can understand that the circle of our tribe can expand to include everyone. Conservatives like to shit on this idea but they don’t put a lot of thought into it, they just feel very intensely, I think a good indicator that the impulse is innate rather than learned.

    I often say that ‘conservative thought’ is an oxymoron because they don’t so much think as feel. They are just following their innate impulses. It’s what I mean when I say that we are born conservative and must learn to think about it to see where it’s wrong. Only us humans have the ability to do that. That’s what I mean when I say we are animals who can become human.

    @48 hypatiasdaughter

    Thank you. You did a better job than I could outlining the historical development of human society. And, yes the republicans have degenerated considerably since Reagan. It’s a good example of what someone else here called three steps forward and one step back. The Republicans have stepped so far back that they have fallen into a pit. Let’s just hope they don’t drag the rest of us into it with them.

  42. DLC says

    @Caine # 30: I didn’t say it should be like it is. Personally, I wish it were not necessary to have such protests. Equal rights for all should be the default position, not the goal.

  43. osmosis says

    My take on why things have gotten worse lately is that in the 80’s, the likes of Reagan and Bush Sr were hard at work mobilizing the religious right. Whereas previously the cults shied away from politics, believing it to be the devil’s work, now they embrace it as their source of worldly power.
    And it’s a two-way street: the cults gain power in step with the politicians who pander to them.
    I find this trend very disurbing for many reasons, not the least of which being the current political, financial and educational state of The States.

  44. birgerjohansson says

    National/language boundaries have one good purpose: they serve as a firebreak for dumb memes (Reagan, the Religious Right).
    And the Murdoch media empire only extends to Anglo-saxon countries, thank Zod.
    .
    BTW I just postad a link to an article at Thunderdome. It is about how student-age people seems to subjectively regard certain groups as “less attractive” (which I ascribe to cultural programming. We live in a world where white people dominate TV)
    I posted it at Thunderdome to avoid “triggers”.