This article, originally a speech to a Women's WORLD European team meeting at Bellagio in 1999, goes over the organization's politics and principles, and then gets down to personal vision.
This pamphlet, written for the 1995 Beijing Conference on Women, is the first international treatment of gender-based censorship. It is also an argument for integrating culture and economic development.
March 20, 1995
In 1994, my children's picture book, Families, became the focus of a Christian Coalition censorship campaign in Fairfax County, Virginia. I went there to see what was up, and found that I was but the first step on a broader agenda: to make sure no information about gay sexuality ever reached the county's children.
May 10, 1993
The 1993 trial-by-media of the "Five Croatian Witches," women writers who were insufficiently nationalist for the new powers-that-be, brought together all the elements necessary for a witch hunt.
Human ecology means that people's opportunities must match their gifts, so that we can live up to our potential. This has never been the case for women, especially poor women, and things are getting worse.
Women's writing can bring the world back into balance.
Why women writers attending the 1986 International PEN Congress in New York, chaired by Norman Mailer, felt it necessary to occupy the ballroom of the Essex House Hotel in a protest meeting.
January 27, 2014
Male gatekeepers are still finding ways to stifle women's voices, in places ranging from the internet, where sexist trolls attack women who write about videogames, to Kolkata's literary circles, where Taslima Nasrin is under fire for discussing sexual harassment among writers.
This is a link to all the writing on the Women's WORLD website, preserved as an archive of our work 1994-2004. Lots of good stuff here, including descriptions of our projects in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and South Asia; practical advice for writers; our contest "Women in War Zones," all our publications; and "The Crisis," an archive of feminist responses to 9/11 and the "war on terror."
March 14, 2010
An article written as part of an international campaign to defend Gita Sahgal after she was suspended as head of Amnesty International's gender unit.
An impassioned plea for more attention to cultural questions in the global women's movement.
A discussion of the history and work of Women's WORLD, a global free speech network that works on the relationship of gender and censorship.
May 17, 1999
A culture war has broken out all over the world between globalizing capitalists, on the one hand, and various kinds of fundamentalist movements, on the other, and women are caught in the middle. This article argues for the centrality of battles over culture.
March 9, 1998
Culture wars can lead to wars of blood, and they are increasing all over the world. Therefore, the global women's movement must pay attention to cultural questions.
Oct. 26, 1993
Human rights must be the basis for work in Eastern Europe and the same human rights standards should be applied there as anywhere else.
An exchange in the New York Review of Books between Kenneth Roth of HRW and a group of transnational feminists who felt his endorsement of the election that brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt got some basic things wrong.
Unlike the Judaism I grew up with, the religion practiced by many American Jews is one of death and resurrection: Jewish martyrdom in the Holocaust is redeemed by Jewish resurrection in the state of Israel. This religion also includes land worship, a form of idolatry.
June 4, 2001
A report on the Junity conference in Chicago, a first step in developing a Jewish peace bloc in the US.
A Jewish peace demonstration demonstrating, among other things, that silencing dissent drives people out of the community.
A discussion of Primo Levi's work, including bits of an interview with him, along with recollections of growing up Jewish in Milwaukee in the 1950s.
March 6, 1983
A brief overview of my thoughts on Jewish identity, circa 1983. Fairly strong stuff.
Everybody needs to know about the Rojava cantons, a liberated area in the Kurdish northeast of Syria, whose militias defeated ISIS in Kobane, the only armies in the region to have done so. Maybe this is because they really had something to fight for.
For Yazidi women who were captured by ISIS, the female warrior offers a powerful counterimage to that of the raped and dishonored victim who is considered a source of shame to her family and community.
The PKK started as a Marxist-Leninist national liberation movement and evolved into a feminist movement that sees any state as inherently oppressive and emphasizes local participatory democracy.
Despite its NATO membership, Turkey is hand-in-glove with ISIS and a mountain of evidence shows this has been true all along. Wouldn’t it make sense for the US to give the Kurds some real help rather than keep deferring to Turkey?
Many of the charges in Roy Gutman’s Nation report on the Syrian Kurdish militia charges are easily refuted; some have even been denied by his quoted sources. Why is he acting as a mouthpiece for Turkish disinformation?
In January, 2018, when Turkey attacked Afrin, the US did nothing, while Russia collaborated with Turkey. US progressives should unequivocally support Rojava, which holds the key to a secular, pluralistic, and feminist future in the Middle East.
It is urgent for feminists and progressives to support this beleaguered socialist experiment in Syria, whose survival could help to determine our own possibilities for a more democratic future.
A group letter in the New York Review of Books calls upon the US to respond to Turkey's invasion of Afrin, the Kurdish canton in Syria, by giving more political support to Rojava.
A description of the way Rojava has organized itself and the position of women within the society, from Foreign Affairs, Oct. 2016.
A heated polemic in defense of the historical novel as a genre—with some reflections on how my books were handled in the Times Book Review.
This speech, given at the Harvard conference on anticommunism in November, 1988, laments the absence of critical post-Stalinist novels in the United States, and says all we have is either demonology or lives of the saints.
A discussion of the conditions of production of art and literature, and the ideology behind modernist/post-modernist critical theory
An historical overview of various kinds of women's songs—ballads, complaints, songs of struggle, and women's liberation songs—and their function in women's culture.
For the People Hear Us Singing, "Bread and Roses! Bread and Roses!"
A memoir of the early days of the women's movement and what I did after; and reflections on the difficulties of combining a life of writing and political activism in a hostile climate.
Dec. 5, 1988
An op ed about my young son, who seemed at age four to have macho hardwiring—a situation that I, as a feminist, found hard to grasp.
How and why I began to write, and how history moved me to write fiction.
The primary campaign exposed a long-standing fault line in the US feminist movement and raised fundamental political questions. The debate is just the latest chapter in a hundred year argument between liberal feminists, who see women’s issues as separate and self-contained, and leftwing feminists, who see them as intertwined with race, class, and other social questions.
June 12, 2008
Since 1989, women have become key to both the globalization and the fundamentalist projects. Only a left that is feminist can adequately oppose these forces.
Nov. 16, 1998
May 8, 1989
A story about the great abortion rights march of April, 1989, and the struggle within the women's movement that preceded it.
Dec. 20, 1988
This speech urges activists to take a long view and to treat their own history as part of a vast scientific experiment that needs to be summed up and extrapolated. Rather than throw out the experience of the past, we must analyze it.
An examination of the relationship between the women's movement and the left and the strengths and weaknesses of both, originally titled "what socialism has to learn from women's liberation."
March 4, 1984
A speech celebrating the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Women's Trade Union League, with some thoughts about how the labor movement has changed since 1903.
Another plea for analyzing the women's movement's past practice, and overcoming the gulf between theory and practice.
An historical analysis of women's alliances, based on the research in my book, The Rising of the Women, and bringing the analysis up to 1980, when the book was publshed by Monthly Review Press.
August 22, 1978
A view from 1978 on what the women's movement must do to defend abortion rights.
Should the steering committee of a democratic organization be elected by all members or should committees elect their own representatives? That depends whether you want a unified or federalist organization.
What organizational form combines the maximum possible amount of democracy with the greatest potential for getting things done? This question was discussed extensively in the period of CARASA's formation.
A founding document of the women's liberation movement, one of the first to discuss sexual harassment and apply Marxist thinking to sex.
Oct. 7, 2017
The historical debate within the US women’s movement has been largely between liberal and leftwing feminists,. As the recent events show, their common interests provides the basis for a united front in which the left should avoid drawing lines too soon.
April 4, 2007
The case of Lydia Cacho, Mexican feminist and human rights activist, who was censored and targeted with death threats because of her exposure of a ring of pedophiles.
Nov. 18, 2002
A discussion of the persecution of Bangladeshi feminist writer Taslima Nasrin, and a review of the first volume of her memoirs.
Jan. 28, 2002
Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea series and the place of fantasy in fiction.
A review of Silko's magesterial Almanac of the Dead.
Oct. 30, 1990
A review of the first four books of the Earthsea series, and an interview with the author.
A meditation on the career and prospects of the historical novel as a genre, with many examples current in 1985.
A review of The Integral Trees by Larry Niven and Extra(Ordinary) People by Joanna Russ, with some reflections on the way science fiction is gendered.
A 1999 review of two books by Dubravka Ugresic about the Yugo war: The Culture of Lies, political essays, and The Museum of Unconditional Surrender, a novel.