Abortion in the media continues to escape the grasp of sound feminist analysis for a variety of reasons. This chapter asserts that the construct of fetal personhood has been used to objectify women as vessels for carrying children, erode solidarity among working class women, dismantle the social safety net, and increase surveillance of women’s bodies. A historical overview of the development of abortion law and policy is presented, along with important facts about the need for this essential reproductive health service.
This chapter examines what went wrong with the promising Bernie Sanders campaign. In particular, the insistence on a colorblind economic message meant to appeal to young college students and white male workers at the expense of what were dismissed as “identity politics” is critiqued. Much of what was seen from Sanders followers was similar to what women and minorities experienced in the leftist activist movements in the 1960s, so a historical overview of these activist movements will be presented.
There is much conflation of fascism with authoritarian populism, which makes fighting these movements more challenging. An overview of characteristics of right-wing movements are presented, including rampant misogyny and racism. This chapter discusses what each has in common, but also presents important differences. The common media approach of equating historical events to the present will also be critiqued for its role in hyperbole and spreading confusion.
This chapter presents a fierce defense of the need for science in the era of questioning of expertise and knowledge. An examination of the political functions of conspiracy theories, which serve up the target of the “big guy” to take the pressure off of capitalism and its effects, is included. The dislike and distrust of “big government” with its emphasis on isolationism and individualized solutions is part of an ongoing attack on the public commons.
This introductory chapter opens with the assertion that the left has been woefully inadequate in combatting the recent rise of fascism and right-wing populism, primarily because it retains faith in tenets of liberalism (unrestricted free speech, including racist speech; belief in rationally presenting the facts; and clinging to a colorblind economic analysis). Several examples from current events/media will be presented to orient the reader to the rest of the book.
An overview of socialist feminism and the rationale for this dialectical approach is presented, along with support for its use in critically examining media. The history of feminism(s) in this chapter will illustrate different competing narratives in terms of fighting capitalism.
Online spaces are a socialist feminist issue that must be addressed, especially since the structure of the tech industry itself impacts attitudes toward women and minorities. This chapter outlines the abuse that women, minorities, LGBTQ people, and the disabled face as they inhabit online contexts. A major contributing factor to this environment is a form of “hands off” e-libertarianism, where those who fight back against toxic discourse are told to “log off if you don’t like it.” The fact that the Internet and social media are now essential spaces for one’s livelihood only heightens the need for a militant response. An overview of authoritarian and fascist organizing within online spaces is presented as well.
One of the major media talking points about Trump supporters was that deep down they were anxious about the economy, thus driven to right wing movements. Endless articles and blogs investigated the plight of the white, male, rural, heterosexual worker, with few pieces devoted to the majority of people who rejected Trump. This de-racialization of the working class in particular flies in the face of reality, which is a multicultural, female young, urban workforce occupying service industry jobs. A major assertion of this chapter is that unless labor movements and the media acknowledge the diversity of the working class, it will be impossible to fight what is happening under capitalism.