Until We Win: Black Labor and Liberation in the Disposable Era

Since the rebellion in Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014, Black people throughout the United States have been grappling with a number of critical questions such as why are Black people being hunted and killed every 28 hours or more by various operatives of the law? Why don’t Black people seem to matter to this society? And what can and must we do to end these attacks and liberate ourselves? There are concrete answers to these questions. Answers that are firmly grounded in the capitalist dynamics that structure the brutal European settler-colonial project we live in and how Afrikan people have historically been positioned within it.

The Value of Black Life

There was a time in the United States Empire, when Afrikan people, aka, Black people, were deemed to be extremely valuable to the “American project”, when our lives as it is said, “mattered”. This “time” was the era of chattel slavery, when the labor provided by Afrikan people was indispensable to the settler-colonial enterprise, accounting for nearly half of the commodified value produced within its holdings and exchanged in “domestic” and international markets. Our ancestors were held and regarded as prize horses or bulls, something to be treated with a degree of “care” (i.e. enough to ensure that they were able to work and reproduce their labor, and produce value for their enslavers) because of their centrality to the processes of material production.

What mattered was Black labor power and how it could be harnessed and controlled, not Afrikan humanity. Afrikan humanity did not matter – it had to be denied in order create and sustain the social rationale and systemic dynamics that allowed for the commodification of human beings. These “dynamics” included armed militias and slave patrols, iron-clad non-exception social clauses like the “one-drop” rule, the slave codes, vagrancy laws, and a complex mix of laws and social customs all aimed at oppressing, controlling and scientifically exploiting Black life and labor to the maximum degree. This systemic need served the variants of white supremacy, colonial subjugation, and imperialism that capitalism built to govern social relations in the United States. All of the fundamental systems created to control Afrikan life and labor between the 17th and 19th centuries are still in operation today, despite a few surface moderations, and serve the same basic functions. Continue reading

Texas: Some Hunger-Striking Mothers Were Put In Isolation At Karnes Immigrant Detention Center, Lawyers Say

[The massive detention and deportation of migrant workers and their families is still at record levels (in the many hundreds of thousands), and the detention industry (part of the larger prison industry) is a very profitable capitalist industry, with GEO and CCA the largest exploiters–and maintainers of large prison and detention populations, but in notorious abusive and overcrowded conditions.  Even more abusive are the family detention centers, which are the new growth industry for GEO and CCA.  In Texas, Karnes Immigrant Detention Center is among the worst. Many supporters, organized by Detention abolitionists, have protested repeatedly.  And from inside, the mothers have faced abusive repression but have gone on hunger strikes, to protest the detention/imprisonment conditions.  —  Frontlines ed.] 
Huffington Post, 04/02/2015
Image result for PROTEST AT KARNES

KARNES DETENTION Karnes Immigrant Detention Center

Authorities at Karnes Detention Center in Texas have responded to a hunger strike launched by a group of 78 mothers this week by placing some women in isolation with their children, according to lawyers and advocates working with the detained migrants.

The group of detained mothers announced Tuesday that they had launched a hunger strike, and demanded that they be released along with their children while they pursued asylum claims outside of detention. The Karnes facility houses hundreds of Central American women who crossed the border illegally with their children during a surge of migration from the violence-plagued countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras last year.

Attention Americans: This is What Street Harassment ACTUALLY Looks Like

A recent viral video of a woman walking down the street in New York, posted by Hollaback, sets out to expose the evils of catcalling. The video quickly went viral and Hollaback is using this viral exposure to push for legislation to “end catcalling.”

This sounds all fine and dandy to someone who doesn’t think past their own self-serving single layer government protected bubble of happiness. However, in reality, responding to someone’s speech with government force is horrific.

Sure, catcalling can be offensive, rude, derogatory, (insert negative connotation here) and it should most definitely be stigmatized and frowned upon by society.

However, non-violent speech does not directly violate or threaten the rights of any individual. Those who call for quelling the free speech of another person through the initiation of government force, are far more dangerous to society than a homeless drunk man vomiting up whatever lewd thoughts pop into his head as a pretty woman walks by. Continue reading

An Open Letter From Assata

My name is Assata Shakur, and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color. I am an ex-political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984.

I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I joined the Black Panther Party. By 1969 the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. Because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar Hoover called it “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists.

In 1978, my case was one of many cases bought before the United Nations Organization in a petition filed by the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, exposing the existence of political prisoners in the United States, their political persecution, and the cruel and inhuman treatment they receive in US prisons. According to the report:

‘The FBI and the New York Police Department in particular, charged and accused Assata Shakur of participating in attacks on law enforcement personnel and widely circulated such charges and accusations among police agencies and units. The FBI and the NYPD further charged her as being a leader of the Black Liberation Army which the government and its respective agencies described as an organization engaged in the shooting of police officers. This description of the Black Liberation Army and the accusation of Assata Shakur’s relationship to it was widely circulated by government agents among police agencies and units. As a result of these activities by the government, Ms. Shakur became a hunted person; posters in police precincts and banks described her as being involved in serious criminal activities; she was highlighted on the FBI’s most wanted list; and to police at all levels she became a ‘shoot-to-kill’ target.”

I was falsely accused in six different “criminal cases” and in all six of these cases I was eventually acquitted or the charges were dismissed. The fact that I was acquitted or that the charges were dismissed, did not mean that I received justice in the courts, that was certainly not the case. It only meant that the “evidence” presented against me was so flimsy and false that my innocence became evident. This political persecution was part and parcel of the government’s policy of eliminating political opponents by charging them with crimes and arresting them with no regard to the factual basis of such charges.

On May 2, 1973 I, along with Zayd Malik Shakur and Sundiata Acoli were stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike, supposedly for a “faulty tail light.” Sundiata Acoli got out of the car to determine why we were stopped. Zayd and I remained in the car. State trooper Harper then came to the car, opened the door and began to question us. Because we were black, and riding in a car with Vermont license plates, he claimed he became “suspicious.” He then drew his gun, pointed it at us, and told us to put our hands up in the air, in front of us, where he could see them. I complied and in a split second, there was a sound that came from outside the car, there was a sudden movement, and I was shot once with my arms held up in the air, and then once again from the back. Zayd Malik Shakur was later killed, trooper Werner Foerster was killed, and even though trooper Harper admitted that he shot and killed Zayd Malik Shakur, under the New Jersey felony murder law, I was charged with killing both Zayd Malik Shakur, who was my closest friend and comrade, and charged in the death of trooper Forester. Never in my life have I felt such grief. Zayd had vowed to protect me, and to help me to get to a safe place, and it was clear that he had lost his life, trying to protect both me and Sundiata. Although he was also unarmed, and the gun that killed trooper Foerster was found under Zayd’s leg, Sundiata Acoli, who was captured later, was also charged with both deaths. Neither Sundiata Acoli nor I ever received a fair trial We were both convicted in the news media way before our trials. No news media was ever permitted to interview us, although the New Jersey police and the FBI fed stories to the press on a daily basis. In 1977, I was convicted by an all- white jury and sentenced to life plus 33 years in prison. In 1979, fearing that I would be murdered in prison, and knowing that I would never receive any justice, I was liberated from prison, aided by committed comrades who understood the depths of the injustices in my case, and who were also extremely fearful for my life. Continue reading

The Persecution of Lynne Stewart

[Lynne Stewart, a lifelong activist and people’s lawyer-advocate, is a Federal political prisoner serving a ten year sentence in a Texas prison.  73 years old, she is suffering from terminal (stage 4) cancer–and not receiving the medical care she needs.  Her continued incarceration is nothing but medical torture.  We urge all to join thousands in demanding her release from prison, and in signing the petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/petition-to-free-lynne-stewart-save-her-life-release-her-now-2 — Frontlines ed.]

Lynne Stewart--people's lawyer and advocate, political prisoner, victim of medical torture

Lynne Stewart–people’s lawyer-advocate, political prisoner, victim of medical torture

“We go out to stop police brutality -To rescue the imprisoned -To change the rules for those who have never ever been able to get to the starting line much less run the race, because of color, physical condition, gender, mental impairment,” she said. “We go forth to preserve the air and land and water and sky and all the beasts that crawl and fly. We go forth to safeguard the right to speak and write, to join; to learn, to rest safe at home, to be secure, fed, healthy, sheltered, loved and loving, to be at peace with ones identity.”   —  Lynne Stewart

April 21, 2013

By Chris Hedges

Lynne Stewart, in the vindictive and hysterical world of the war on terror, is one of its martyrs. A 73-year-old lawyer who spent her life defending the poor, the marginalized and the despised, including blind cleric Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, she fell afoul of the state apparatus because she dared to demand justice rather than acquiesce to state sponsored witch hunts. And now, with stage 4 cancer that has metastasized, spreading to her lymph nodes, shoulder, bones and lungs, creating a grave threat to her life, she sits in a prison cell at the Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, where she is serving a 10-year sentence. Stewart’s family is pleading with the state for “compassionate release” and numerous international human rights campaigners, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have signed a petition calling for her to be freed on medical grounds. It is not only a crime in the U.S. to be poor, to be a Muslim, to openly condemn the crimes committed in our name in the Muslim world, but to defend those who do. And the near total collapse of our judicial system, wrecked in the name of national security and “the war on terror,” is encapsulated in the saga of this courageous attorney—now disbarred because of her conviction.

“I hope that my imprisonment sends the wake up call that the government is prepared to imprison lawyers who do not conduct legal representation in a manner the government has ordained,” she told me when I reached her through email in prison. “My career of 30 plus years has always been client centered. My clients and I decided on the best legal course, without the interference of the government. Ethics require that the defense lawyer DEFEND, get the client off. We have no obligation to obey [the] ‘rules’ government lays down.

“I believe that since 9/11 the government has pursued Muslims with an ever heavier hand,” she wrote, all messages to her and from her being vetted by prison authorities. “However, cases such as the Sheikh’s in 1995 amply demonstrate that Muslims had been targeted even earlier as the new ENEMY—always suspect, always guilty. After 9/11, we discovered that the government prosecutors were ordered to try and get Osama Bin Laden into EVERY Muslim prosecution inducing in American Juries a Pavlovian response. Is it as bad as lynching and the Scottsboro Boys and the Pursuit of Black Panthers? Not as of yet, but getting close and of course the incipient racism that that colors—pun?—every action in the U.S. is ever present in these prosecutions.” Continue reading

New Release “Let Your Motto Be Resistance: A Handbook on Organizing New Afrikan and Oppressed Communities for Self-Defense”

[We have received the following message from the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, announcing and detailing the release of a new organizing manual for community self-defense.  When many reform activists continue to appeal to oppressive institutions to solve the problems of repression and oppression, the manual charts a different path where matters are taken into the hands of the people, both in response to specific attacks they face from government and reactionary aggression, but also in building the struggle to end those oppressive powers once and for all.  Well worthy of study and broad distribution and active organizing, Frontlines offers it here (see link at end of announcement), encouraging responses.  — Frontlines ed.]

———————————-

559790_10152641717070627_1177440510_nOppressed peoples and communities can and will only be secure in this country when they are organized to defend themselves against the aggressions of the government and the forces of white supremacy and capitalist exploitation. “Let Your Motto Be Resistance: A Handbook on Organizing New Afrikan and Oppressed Communities for Self-Defense”, is the latest contribution of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) and the Every 36 Hours Campaign that seeks to strengthen organizing initiatives within Black or New Afrikan communities for self-defense, by presenting these initiatives with a comprehensive analytical framework and practical organizing tools to ground and unite them.

As the extrajudicial killing of Kimani Gray and the more than twenty other Black women and men by the police in the first two months of 2013 clearly illustrate, it is imperative that New Afrikan communities get organized and defend ourselves. As the real economy continues to contract, corporations become more vicious and exploitative, our communities are gentrified and displaced, public goods and services continue to be eliminated or privatized, and the national security state continues to grow and become ever more invasive, the attacks on New Afrikan and other oppressed and exploited people are only going to escalate. We must defend ourselves, and we have every right to do so by any means necessary.

“Let Your Motto Be Resistance” draws on the long history of New Afrikan peoples struggle to realize self-determination and defend our persons, our rights and our dignity from the assaults of the oppressive settler-colonial government and the forces of white supremacy. Building on this history “Let Your Motto Be Resistance” provides in summary form a vision of how we can (re)organize our communities from the ground up to defend ourselves and reassert our fundamental human rights to life, dignity, and self-determination. Continue reading

A rape a minute, a thousand corpses a year

 
[Photo:  The lives of half of humanity are still dogged by, drained by and sometimes ended by pervasive type of violence [AFP]]

Here in the United States, where there is a reported rape every 6.2 minutes, and one in five women will be raped in her lifetime, the rape and gruesome murder of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi on December 16, 2012, was treated as an exceptional incident. The story of the alleged rape of an unconscious teenager by members of the Steubenville High School football team was still unfolding, and gang rapes aren’t that unusual here either.

Take your pick: some of the 20 men who gang-raped an 11-year-old in Cleveland, Texas, were sentenced in November, while the instigator of the gang rape of a 16-year-old in Richmond, California, was sentenced in October, and four men who gang-raped a 15-year-old near New Orleans were sentenced in April, though the six men who gang-raped a 14-year-old in Chicago last fall are still at large. Continue reading

The Rape Poem

By Marge Piercy

This poem first appeared in “Red War Sticks”
Feminist Alliance Against Rape Newsletter April/May 1975


There is no difference between being raped
And being pushed down a flight of cement steps

Except that the wounds also bleed inside.
There is no difference between being raped
And being run over by a truck
Except that afterward men ask if you enjoyed it.

There is no difference between being raped
And being bitten by a rattlesnake
Except that people ask if your skirt was short
And why you were out alone anyhow.

There is no difference between being raped
And going headfirst through a windshield
Except that afterwards you are afraid
Not of cars
But half the human race.

The rapist is your boyfriend’s brother.
He sits beside you in the movies eating popcorn.
Rape fattens on the fantasies of the normal male
Like a maggot in garbage.

Fear of rape is a cold wind blowing
All of the time on a woman’s hunched back.
Never to stroll alone on a sand road through pinewoods,
Never to climb a trail across a bald
Without that aluminum in the mouth
When I see a man climbing toward me.

Never to open the door to a knock
Without that razor just grazing the throat.
The fear of the dark side of hedges,
The back seat of the car, the empty house
Rattling keys like a snakes warning.
The fear of the smiling man
In whose pocket is a knife
Waiting to glide its shark’s length between my ribs.
In whose fist is locked hatred.

—————————————————————

Source: The All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA)

http://aipwa-aipwa.blogspot.in/2012/12/the-rape-poem.html?spref=fb

 

OccupySandy: Grassroots Relief from Disaster Capitalism

by Max Haiven, Dissident Voice,  November 2nd, 2012

For the past two days I’ve been volunteering with grassroots relief efforts in New York City in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. While the storm could have been a lot worse, and while New York is one of the richest cities in one of the richest countries in the world, the storm has swept the veil off of the entrenched inequalities at this city’s core.

In New York, a lot of public housing projects and poor neighborhoods are located on the beaches and shores of this maritime capital, and so have been hit hard. On the eve of a pivotal election, all the politicians and media stooges are eager to show images of action and recovery. But the reality is that you can drive out to any one of a number of neighborhoods and find block upon block of low-income high-rises, full of people and utterly dark. Inside, children, the elderly and the sick suffer with no heat, no clean running water, and no electricity. Relief and support has been slow in coming from the powers that be. And two days after the New York Stock Exchange opened, tens of thousands of poor and working class folks are barely scraping by.

Yet one year after Occupy Wall Street bloomed and was quashed it is at the heart of grassroots relief efforts. Much is already being made of the magic of social media and its capacity to connect donors with needs in the wake of the storm. But there’s a hidden story here. That social media process is enabled and facilitated by dozens of Occupy-trained and tested organizers working 10-16 hour days to get the word out about what’s needed, to coordinate the gathering of materials from multiple city-wide drop points, to organize the sorting and bagging of all those materials, to cook hot meals for blacked-out neighborhoods, and to send teams of volunteers out to areas far and wide to provide food, clothing, blankets, water, toys, diapers, medicine (asthma inhalers and insulin, mostly) and whatever else is needed.

I worked in an OccupySandy-run church kitchen in Sunset Park today and yesterday, and drove around doing pick up and delivery. I talked to a lot of volunteers. Some had been involved in the Occupy encampments a year ago and Occupy organizing since, though many had just admired the movement from afar. We all marveled at the efficiency and determination of those who had cut their teeth in Occupy as they gracefully coordinated the often chaotic volunteer efforts and the rapid flow of people and materials. But we also admired these organizers’ good nature and friendliness, their patience and their adaptability, all hard-won qualities that come from organizing under fire in a non-hierarchical, mindful, and consensus-based movement that’s seen its fair share of crises. No one is “in charge,” yet things get done and needs get met. People’s skills and abilities find outlets. People are at their best, despite everything. Continue reading

US: “At 11th Hour, Georgia Passes ‘Women As Livestock’ Bill”

By Lauren Barbato, Ms.Magazine Blog, March 31, 2012

http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2012/03/31/at-11th-hour-georgia-passes-women-as-livestock-bill/

After an emotional 14-hour workday that included fist-fights
between lobbyists and a walk-out by women Democrats, the
Georgia House passed a Senate-approved bill Thursday night
that criminalizes abortion after 20 weeks.

The bill, which does not contain rape or incest exemptions,
is expected to receive a signature from Republican Gov.
Nathan Deal.

Commonly referred to as the “fetal pain bill” by Georgian
Republicans and as the “women as livestock bill” by everyone
else, HB 954 garnered national attention this month when
state Rep. Terry England (R-Auburn) compared pregnant women
carrying stillborn fetuses to the cows and pigs on his farm.
According to Rep. England and his warped thought process, if
farmers have to “deliver calves, dead or alive,” then a
woman carrying a dead fetus, or one not expected to survive,
should have to carry it to term. Continue reading

US: the economic crisis and the choices of the bourgeois state

Must See Chart: This Is What Class War Looks Like, via dailykos.com

Media_httpi1007photob_jehng
This chart puts the class war in simple, visual terms. On the left you have the “shared sacrifices” and “painful cuts” that the Republicans claim we must make to get our fiscal house in order. On the right, you can plainly see WHY these cuts are “necessary.”

Radical Black Women, Leadership, and the Struggle for Liberation

Monthly Review
a book review by Antonio Lopez

Dayo F. Gore, Jeanne Theoharis, Komozi Woodard, eds.  Want to Start a Revolution?: Radical Women in the Black Freedom Struggle.  New York: New York University Press, 2009.

In the last two decades, a growing field of movement scholarship has complicated conventional representations of Black Power in the United States.  Historians have produced biographies of civil rights leaders, social histories of postwar civil rights organizations, intellectual histories of black liberation thought, and new studies of the Black Panther Party that undermine the artificial structures traditionally used to frame and demarcate civil rights activism and Black Power resistance.1 Building upon the memoirs of Panther members and political prisoners, and new examinations of urban politics, recent historiography has provided students with a deeper appreciation of the oppression faced by black people in the United States, the politicization of black communities, and the freedom dreams of activists.2

Despite the growing interest in the politics of black radicalism, the editors of Want to Start a Revolution?: Radical Women in the Black Freedom Struggle explain that the vital contributions and radical political perspectives of black women remain largely overlooked.  In the introduction to this compilation of essays, the editors Dayo Gore, Jeanne Theoharis, and Komozi Woodard state: “Although, a new generation of scholars has greatly expanded our knowledge of black radicalism and the black freedom struggle, they have left intact a ‘leading man’ master narrative that misses crucial dimensions of the postwar freedom struggle and minimizes the contributions of women.  Such histories have neglected crucial dimensions of the postwar black radical tradition that held black women’s self-emancipation as pivotal to black liberation” (p. 2). Continue reading

Global Report: Unsafe Abortions Kill 70,000 Women a Year

[We are reposting this article to go along with yesterday’s article about the prosecution of women in Mexico whose abortions are charged as “homicides.”–ed.]


Unsafe abortions kill 70,000 a year, harm millions

By Kate Kelland

LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Increased use of contraceptives has pushed global abortion rates down, but unsafe abortions kill 70,000 women each year and seriously harm or maim millions more, a global report said on Tuesday.

Despite easier access to abortion with restrictions being relaxed in many countries, the number of abortions fell from an estimated 45.5 million in 1995 to 41.6 million in 2003, the report by the U.S.-based Guttmacher Institute said.

But the study found a stubbornly high number — almost 20 million — of unsafe abortions, mostly in poorer countries and often carried out by the women themselves using inappropriate drugs or herbal potions, or by untrained traditional healers.

“It is significant and tragic that while the overall rate of abortion is on the decline, unsafe abortion has not declined,” said Sharon Camp, president of the Guttmacher Institute, a think-tank which studies sexual and reproductive health.

“Legal restrictions do not stop abortion from happening, they just make the procedure dangerous. Too many women are maimed or killed each year because they lack legal abortion access,” she told a news conference in London.

CONTRACEPTION CHEAPER

The researchers said 40 percent of women still live in nations where abortion is highly restricted, and called for greater effort to improve access to contraception to prevent some of an estimated 76 million unwanted pregnancies each year.

They also said that in the developing world as a whole, healthcare for women harmed by unsafe abortions costs an estimated $500 million.

“Behind every abortion is an unwanted pregnancy,” said Akinrinola Bankole, the Guttmacher’s international research director.

He said developing countries and donor nations should look at the figures, which he said clearly demonstrated that “preventing unwanted pregnancy is cost-effective”.

In Nigeria, for example, a recent study showed the costs of treating women for complications caused by botched abortions were some $19 million, while it would cost only $4.8 million to provide contraception for those who wanted it.

The researchers said preventing the need for abortion entirely was unrealistic, but said eliminating unsafe abortion by improving access to contraception and increasing pressure to lift abortion restrictions was a worthwhile and achievable goal.

“Women will continue to seek abortion whether it is safe or not as long as the unmet need for contraception remains high,” Camp said. “With sufficient political will, we can ensure that no woman has to die in order to end a pregnancy she neither wanted nor planned for.”

Camp pointed to the Netherlands as an example of best practice and said she hoped to see global abortion rates come down from the current rate of 29 per 1,000 women aged between 15 and 44 rate, to the Dutch rate of around 10 per 1,000.

“It’s a long way off, but it’s not impossible,” she said.

Marilyn Buck on 9/11: Incommunicado–Dispatches from a Political Prisoner

Marilyn Buck

September 11, 2001

before
morning-slow
I move
Julan hollers
come come see
the world trade center’s
exploding

she’s not serious
no one would make that up
would they?
maybe
live on TV
video mantra
replay: plane crash
replay: collapse
slow motion, dying morning

no not a made-for-TV movie
not a disaster film
not Hollywood special effects
one tower falls
the other follows

do chickens come home to roost?
enormity crashes
dazed disbelief
(chickens won’t roost here again
pigeons either)

I, a political prisoner, can
conceive why
but comprehension is not complicity
I look around me
I know nothing
I know too much
there is no answer in death
nor in dying Continue reading

The Hyper-sexualization of images of American women

counterpunch.org, August 2, 2010

The Stepford Sluts

By Gail Dines

The return of Mad Men for a third season takes us back to 1963, the year in which Betty Friedan’s classic book The Feminine Mystique laid bare the myth that women could find nirvana as Stepford Wives, happily cooking dinner in high heels and full makeup. Friedan revealed that many women of the time were bored and frustrated with their constrained roles, and some turned to the bottle or tranquilizers to get through the tedium.

Now we live in a different time, one in which the image of the Stepford Wife makes little sense to young women. How many people today see the perfect woman as on her hands and knees waxing the kitchen floor? Not many, I bet. Today the perfect woman is still on her hands and knees, but rather than waxing, she is the one waxed, as in Brazilian.

Something has shifted so profoundly in our society that the idealized, pop culture image of women in today’s pornified world is no longer a Stepford Wife but rather a plasticized, scripted, hyper-sexualized, surgically enhanced young woman. The media world we live in today has replaced the stereotyped Stepford Wife with the equally limiting and controlling stereotype of a Stepford Slut.

This image didn’t appear from nowhere but is rather a logical outcome of living in a society that has become increasingly swamped by pornography. The image of the “slut” that is central to porn has now seeped into pop culture to such a degree that media representations today look like soft-core porn from ten years ago. Whether it be an almost-naked Britney Spears writhing around onstage or a Victoria’s Secret model clad in a plunging bra and thong, women and girls today are bombarded with images of themselves as sex objects whose only worth is their “hotness.” In this hypersexualized, image-based culture, the Stepford Slut is everywhere, all the time. Continue reading