Tuesday, March 18, 2014

contesting patriarchy-as-governance: lessons from youth-led activism


opendemocracy | The recent waves of citizen-led activism that swept the globe inspired numerous attempts to identify common drivers [23] across diverse instances of public disobedience and protest.  Growing numbers of educated, unemployed, alienated youth, the humiliations  of autocracy, the authority- busting potential of the internet and social media, and the coming of age of Generation Y [24] are among recurrent leitmotifs. These common denominators – broadly  related to the tensions between the global forces of neoliberalism [25]seeking to expand the freedom of capital, and the forces of social resistance struggling to preserve and redefine community and solidarity - provide  an overly broad umbrella for phenomena  as diverse as the Arab uprisings, the Occupy [26] movement, the indignados [27] of Southern Europe, the student movement in Chile [28] or the Gezi protests [29] in Turkey.  Could the lure of the “global” be making us lose sight of more subtle and context specific idioms of discontent? 

In this article, the fourth in a series of reflections on the Arab uprisings (and beyond), I explore the reasons behind the apparent anti-patriarchal thrust of struggles against authoritarianism in some parts of the MENA region, and pose a relatively neglected question: Are there any lessons to be drawn from youth-led activism for a new politics of gender? 

At first sight, the answer would appear to be negative.  A mobilized citizenry was, first and foremost, demanding their social and political rights, clamouring for justice and freedom and an end to state violence and corruption. If and when gender issues came up - as they did[30] in the context of the Arab uprisings - they were treated in a rather truncated manner, mainly to document levels of  women’s participation in popular protests, their subsequent exclusion from formal processes of transition and their exposure to increasing levels of violence. Feminism and women’s rights activism - considered by some as  “old politics”[31] par excellence - appeared to elicit ambivalence, if not outright indifference, among members of a new insurrectionary generation. Yet this distancing was taking place against the background of widespread popular protests against gender-based violence[32], involving both men and women, who were plainly engaged in new forms of grass roots activism and social critique. How can we account for this state of affairs?  Is the language of feminism up to the challenge of capturing the new sensibilities and aspirations animating the actions and idioms of multitudes of youth, both male and female? Or do the lenses we train on the politics of gender inadvertently restrict our vision?

16 comments:

woodensplinter said...

I bet Daniel Kahneman would have something to say about the hazards of "youth-led" activism http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2011/10/hazard-of-confidence-illusion-of.html

woodensplinter said...

I love the comment you made at The Atlantic http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/03/the-hazing-problem-at-black-fraternities/284452/#comment-1289140015 cue crickets.

CNu said...

Thank you for paying attention John, and, where is Bro.ConFeed when we need him? If Ivy League fraternities are fermentation vessels for psychopaths, what exactly the phuq are so-called divine nine cabals which beat the shit out of their young members and brand them as part of their "initiation"? One of my closest buddies and I momentarily strolled down this path, and the first instant some of these asswipes crossed that line, we turned that table and beat the living shit out of them. That was in fact the very first time I heard the unique sound a plate glass window makes when a body goes crashing through it.

CNu said...

My boy is on a week long mission retreat for spring break. Doing roofing repairs and deprived of all his digital electronic crack pipes. I have seldom been happier and more relieved than when I dropped him off. While we miss the energy, how is it even possible to miss the "know-nothing - know it allness" of youth? Youth-led oppositionality is nihilism in the absence of competent paternal guidance.

makheru bradley said...

the intergenerational transfer of fundamental competencies-- such as? This loss implies that such transfers previously took place.
When?

CNu said...

Then: http://www.joebageant.com/joe/2014/03/the-value-of-father-son-respect.html - which is why somebody else's little bastards marching around mouthing afrocentric gibberish is not only more useless than tits on a boar, it's flagrantly incompetent abrogation of paternal responsibility and child abuse.

CNu said...

Very obviously it's exponentially worse to have somebody else's deeply closeted, ignorant little sadistic bastards getting their homoerotic wank on at your kid's expense http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/03/the-hazing-problem-at-black-fraternities/284452/ and leaving you so brain-damaged and stockholm syndromed that you think these tops-gone-wild are your "brothers"..., Basileus Fleece Johnson, eat your heart out http://youtu.be/n9WClv4U5B8

makheru bradley said...

You’re giving me Ward Cleaver, Ozzie Nelson, and Dick Van Dyke as the reasons for “the loss of the intergenerational transfer of fundamental competencies,” while complaining that “mouthing afrocentric gibberish is more useless than tits on a boar.” Whew! Are you in the bottle tonight?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdhoX1Xu6ZI

The examples of Cleaver, Nelson, and Van Dyke are more useless than tits on a boar when it comes to understanding what has happened to the Afrikan American family since 1965. Your position is, when there are no fathers to transfer anything, let the young men go to hell. My position is, intervene and try to give them something--teach them life skills, e.g. to grow their own vegetables, and provide them with knowledge of self.

makheru bradley said...

When the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, 65 percent of the US incarcerated population was white. In 1965 when the Voting Rights Act was passed 75 percent of Afrikan American children were being raised in a two-parent family. The Black family was the fundamental power unit which made the Civil Rights Movement possible. If a group wanted to prevent Afrikan Americans from driving towards real power, they would attack their families. How could this be accomplished? Unemploy Black males, and expand the Welfare State--reward Black females for having children out of wedlock.

The rate of decline in Black male employment since 1970 for working age males (16-64) in select cities.

Chicago (1970) 72.1% employed (2010) 48.3% employed Charlotte (1970) 79.2 “”” (2010) 56.5% “”” Cleveland (1970) 73.7% “”” (2010) 47.7% “”” Philadelphia (1970) 72.7% “”” (2010) 51.7% “”” Detroit (1970) 71.6% “”” (2010) 43.0% “”” Atlanta (1970) 76.1%””” (2010) 59.0% “””

http://www4.uwm.edu/ced/publications.cfm

This decline in Black male employment is correlated to the disintegration of the Black family and the rise in Black male incarceration over the same timeframe. It becomes extremely difficult for a community to keep its families intact and its youth out of the throes of delinquency when its men are either not working or they are incarcerated. Thus, the fundamental power unit of the community is neutralized.

CNu said...

My position is that somebody else's bastards are an insufferable civic liability that shouldn't have to be tolerated http://www.kansascity.com/2014/03/18/4898887/shots-reported-fired-outside-kansas.html

BigDonOne said...

The "decline in Black male employment" correlates more directly with the rise in intellectual demands and complex decision-making required of typical modern jobs. Automation and computers have taken over the low-IQ strong-back and assy-line stuff that were the mainstay for anyone with a warm body, and used to pay a living wage, but are now pretty much phased out. Could do all right in middle class back in the 50's without even a high-school diploma....


As for OOW breeding, the same Welfare State ground rules apply to white folks as well. No one is holding guns to Black heads saying "Breed...!!" White folks just have superior FutureTimeOrientation which correlates with higher average IQ, and thus can better envision the consequences and have less tendency to fall in the trap. And the OOW breeding rate for even higher-IQ Asian-American group is so low it's hard to get an accurate number, as the gov't's stat keepers lump them with Pacific Islanders to try and make Asians look worse for PC purposes....


It is, of course, all genetically pre-determined....

woodensplinter said...

You dodged my question Makheru. Did the architects of these programs intend negative consequences, or, were the negative consequences unintentional? In the EU, there's an incendiary Irish writer named Kevin Myers who wrote some very blunt essays about the modern plight of Africa. http://www.armedpolitesociety.com/index.php?topic=13694.0;wap2

Roundly criticized, he wasn't much refuted. http://bodhranbanger.wordpress.com/2008/07/12/why-kevin-myers-is-no-longer-a-journalist/

Tom said...

Ethiopian babies might make cost-effective food for Irish tables, eh?

woodensplinter said...

Ireland has its own problems - contributing even one farthing more to the escalating, population-driven problems in Africa has no place on the Irish table. Myers makes sense, which is why his points give offense, and none of his critics have anything more substantive to offer than snark.

Tom said...

Interesting to hear that you feel Swift had nothing more substantive than snark to offer.

woodensplinter said...

Tom Swift?