What's your favorite time period to read about and why
Great question! My academic area of expertise is nineteenth century United States, around the time of the Civil War. I find it fascinating because it was such a pivotal moment in America’s transition from revolutionary colony to global superpower. Plus, my dissertations examined fringe religious movements, and there were lots of them during the nineteenth century!
While I’ve never studied it properly I also really like Japanese history, especially the period of isolation and its dramatic end with the Meiji Restoration. It’s so interesting how they just suddenly decided to break with historic traditions and adopt of a ‘modern’ way of life.
As a Brit myself, I also like reading about twentieth century Britain. After WW2 the empire continued to fall apart and Britain faced such an identity crisis as it sought to establish its role in a postcolonial world. It certainly wasn’t always pretty, but it’s an important moment in my country’s history.
Pepe the Frog was killed by his creator. But his alt-right legacy lives on.
After a 12-year life span, Pepe the Frog is dead. The troubled cartoon and unwitting face of the alt-right movement was put to death by his creator, comic artist Matt Furie, on Saturday, May 6, 2017. A cartoon frog who came to symbolize the far-right, white nationalist fringe movement known as the alt-right, much to his creator’s chagrin, Pepe received his symbolic burial as a part of this year’s Free Comic Book Day. Read more
In the 1980s and 90s, mainstream lefty parties around the world rebranded. Clinton in the US, Blair in the UK and Keating in Oz all stayed left-wing on social issues (eg. gay rights! racism! abortion!) but shifted right-wing on economic issues (eg. free trade! cut corporate taxes! cut welfare!). This was a pragmatic move to keep up with huge changes in the world economy (“if you don’t embrace Reagan/Thatcher neoliberalism, you’ll be left behind”) and to steal back right-shifting voters.
But in the 2010s, a lot has changed. Sanders in the US, Corbyn in the UK and The Greens in Oz demonstrate the resurgence of left-wing economics. Why? Because 30 years later it has been made clear that right-wing economics are a disaster. They lead to mass inequality between rich and poor, destruction of the middle-class, no welfare safety nets for the growing number of poor, sweatshops exploiting the poor, rich people and their corporations gaining more power to wound both democracy and the planet, and the explosion of uni/home/personal debt.
In Australia, we now have mainstream respected economists and journalists - Ross Gittens, Lenore Taylor, George Megalogenis - seriously challenging right-wing economic orthodoxy, adding fresh mainstream widespread legitimacy to those on the fringes (Occupy, alter-globalisation movement etc) who have been saying this for a while.
“I like life on the land and I want as many dykes to share that as possible. I want dykes to visit and find new resources within themselves to resist patriarchy. I want dykes to visit and decide they could choose this life. I want this place where I home and wild myself to be open to others to do the same. I want dykes to see the reality of life on the land and flesh out my context, to place this life choice in reality, not fantasy. This life is a political act, a boycott of as much patriarchy as possible, a self-loving choice, not a sacrifice. In this it is healing: healing my Lesbian self, healing the connection between dyke and nature, healing the earth …
“I want to be in relationship to these visiting dykes, to have an acknowledgement of the community we can make by being together in this world apart. This community happens when the romanticizing of the country stops and the connections begin, when the noise of our expectations and fantasies rests so that our harmonies can be heard. These rhythms are deep, primeval, yet knowable. They are the relationship of wommon to wommon as well as wommon to earth. This is what is healing and we know it.
“But this healing comes with a claim. The connections once acknowledged have a hold on us, have a necessity that we maintain them because to deny these connections is to deny what we may be. This is what is so threatening about the land that it must be romanticized. This is wilderness as we are. This nature is our nature, uncivilized, uncivil. We come for healing but we are offered health, a whole way of life that is not compatible with the way we are accustomed to living.
“And so the land dyke becomes part of that romanticized other. We open our homes and our hearts to wimmin over and over and yet feel isolated, not by our solitude but by the distance dykes keep from this life. We are not the fringe of the movement but its very heart. We are not throwbacks to some idealized way of life but dreamers of sustainable life now. We are escapees, to be sure, but not escapist as in the numbing fantasies and diversions of city life. We are escaping patriarchy by building and living Lesbian community. This is political work that rivals the most strenuous leafleting. Putting Lesbian community at the center of our new world making is more radical and more change-making than any coalition to which we could direct our energies. Lesbian land is a lived politic. And this is the invitation I extend to city dykes. Not that they ‘get away’ for a weekend so that they can go back with renewed vigor but that they come for the healing they speak of. Life on the land offers a wholeness, not a relic or a retreat, but a life with our Lesbian selves at the center.
— From “Country Hospitality, Compassion and Community,” by Nett Hart. The Lesbian Outlook #7 (February/March 1993).
With the rise of Donald Trump, as a racial demagogue, and champion of their backward cause, this league of ideologically-driven racial hate groups, and their mindless minions, have become more bold, more bitter, and more violent, with each passing week. This former fringe movement, which has now taken center stage in the Republican Party, has also sparked a massive rejuvenation of the Ku Klux Klan, and the formal unification of white supremacist organizations, throwing their support, along with the Fraternal Order of Police, behind Donald Trump’s Presidential candidacy. Their public, and too often violent, support of Donald Trump’s falsehood-ridden campaign suggests that the people in the Alt-Right movement have lost their perspective on reality…if they ever actually had one. This is unfortunate. Also unfortunate is their cult loyalty to Donald Trump.
So I had a thought: MRAs like to say “Oh those guys who want to kill women are a fringe group, nothing to do with us”. If you think about it, it’s not that different than “TERFs don’t represent Feminism, they’re extremists”. Except! Except mainstream feminism actively fight damaging, extremist feminists; just check the “TERF” and “gender critical” tags.
So, my question is: Do MRAs actively fight the most extremist, damaging aspects of their group? Is there a MRA regularly arguing against the misogyny and racism of A Voice for Men, or the Red Pill or the PUA movement?
What are you doing to stop this dangerous fringe movements?