Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.
Ursla Le Guin (1929-2018)
The Left Hand of Darkness, 1969
We want to see women rise. But we don't want to see women rise only on the basis of others doing worse. We want everybody to do better, and we want to see the rise of women in this country be accelerated to ensure that their overall pace is maintained.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Men who are threatened or worried of women achieving equality is the bloody problem.
South Australia Senator Sarah Hanson-Young
So it's the Monday after the Friday that saw International Women's Day take place. This year's theme had a hash tag of #BalanceforBetter and the slogan, "Think equal, build smart, innovate for change". Not much socialism there. As Kurt Vonnegut was fond of writing, So it goes.
I wonder what Rosa Luxemburg would have made of Morrisson' remarks which were made at an International Women's Day breakfast held in Perth, Friday. Her killing in 1915 during the Sparticus Uprising and described by historian Issac Detscher as the first triumph of Nazi Germany was summarised by Bertolt Brecht:
Red Rosa now has vanished too. (...)
She told the poor what life is about,
And so the rich have rubbed her out.
May she rest in peace.
Equality is all very fine but equality to do what? The real criticism of Morrison's remarks is that he doesn't define better. Better able to hoard wealth? Better able to screw other people over? Better to be a better capitalist?
International Women's Day has socialist roots but one wouldn't know that looking at internationalwomensday.com or watching the BBC. BBC News featured a report about three Chinese women, a student musician who enjoys travelling alone, a business women selling sex toys for women and a lawyer who doesn't want children. Meanwhile Asian Business report focused on gender equality in the Financial industry and a business making money selling comics about menustration.
As slogan's go is there really that much difference between Balance for Better and Make America Great Again? Just how useful are days like International Women's Day? Wouldn't it be better to focus directly on equality, peace, community? Howard Zinn wrote, You can't be neutral on a moving train. In the same way access to power in a hierarchical society is not less terrible because of a difference in gender. Just consider what the first female Prime Minister of Britain did with it. Casino Capitalism anyone?
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