Sexist Of The Year 2012: George Galloway

The End Violence Against Women Coalition poll has finished, there is a winner, George Galloway!

I hope he enjoys his Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, here’s an extract:

” IN the present state of society it appears necessary to go back to first principles in search of the most simple truths, and to dispute with some prevailing prejudice every inch of ground. To clear my way, I must be allowed to ask some plain questions, and the answers will probably appear as unequivocal as the axioms on which reasoning is built; though, when entangled with various motives of action, they are formally contradicted, either by the words or conduct of men.

In what does man’s pre-eminence over the brute creation consist? The answer is as clear as that a half is less than the whole; in Reason.

What acquirement exalts one being above another? Virtue; we spontaneously reply.

For what purpose were the passions implanted? That man by struggling with them might attain a degree of knowledge denied to the brutes; whispers Experience.

Consequently the perfection of our nature and capability of happiness, must be estimated by the degree of reason, virtue, and knowledge, that distinguish the individual, and direct the laws which bind society: and that from the exercise of reason, knowledge and virtue naturally flow, is equally undeniable, if mankind be viewed collectively.

The rights and duties of man thus simplified, it seems almost impertinent to attempt to illustrate truths that appear so incontrovertible; yet such deeply rooted prejudices have clouded reason, and such spurious qualities have assumed the name of virtues, that it is necessary to pursue the course of reason as it has been perplexed and involved in error, by various adventitious circumstances, comparing the simple axiom with casual deviations.

Men, in general, seem to employ their reason to justify prejudices, which they have imbibed, they cannot trace how, rather than to root them out. The mind must be strong that resolutely forms its own principles; for a kind of intellectual cowardice prevails which makes many men shrink from the task, or only do it by halves. Yet the imperfect conclusions thus drawn, are frequently very plausible, because they are built on partial experience, on just, though narrow, views. “

Wollstonecraft is neglected in the media dominated by men. I hope these links will, in part, helped to reverse that trend, her ideas are as relevant today as they were in the 18th century.

Mary Wollstonecraft Legacy.

History Guide on Mary Wollstonecraft.

Mary Wollstonecraft on education.

Mary Wollstonecraft: A ‘Speculative and Dissenting Spirit’

Virginia Tech’s electronic version of A vindication of the rights of woman.

Spartacus on Mary Wollstonecraft.

Some quotes from Mary Wollstonecraft.

In Our Time discusses Mary Wollstonecraft. As an MP3 file.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s entry.

If you know of any other informative links, please leave a comment.


Women And George Galloway

This piece in the Guardian reveals that all is not well in Bradford concerning George Galloway:

“”I want an appointment to see George Galloway,” announced the blonde, smartly dressed woman. “I want to talk to him about his comments on rape and consent,” she told Bilal, one of Galloway’s two case workers at his constituency office in Bradford town centre.

“Oh,” said Bilal, glancing over to see who had overheard, before offering her an appointment two weeks hence – when Galloway was due to return from a holiday campaigning for Hugo Chávez’s re-election in Venezuela and then from a speaking engagement in Kazakhstan.

Five months on, Yaqoob has resigned as leader in protest at Galloway’s refusal to apologise for his rape comments. And what Galloway bombastically described as the Bradford spring, when he overturned a chunky Labour majority to romp home with a 10,000 lead of his own in the March byelection in Bradford West, has turned into a decidedly murky autumn. A number of longstanding members of Respect’s national executive have followed Yaqoob out of the door, imperilling the party’s future and seemingly dashing any hopes that it could grow into a serious left-of-Labour outfit comparable with Germany’s Die Linke or the Front de Gauche in France.

Kate Hudson, the well-respected chair of CND, who had been due to contest the Manchester Central byelection in November, withdrew her candidacy. In Bradford, while Respect’s five councillors are largely thought to be doing their best in difficult circumstances, a number of the women who played a key role in Galloway’s win want nothing to do with the party, amid claims of misogyny and bullying.

Galloway may be a skilled and gifted politician. He’s quite an orator, but character will out, and political groupings led by singular, egotistical leaders have a way of failing. It’s just a matter of time with Respect.

But, he won’t starve.

George Galloway will always float to the top with his income from Press TV, al-Mayadeen and other media sources.

Still, it is just a matter of time before he makes another sexist and offensive comment towards women.

That’s his nature, character will out, as the people of Bradford have found now know.

The Stupid Host the Racist, Gilad Atzmon

Some stupid people around Bradford have decided to host the racist, Gilad Atzmon.

I say, stupid because it is probably better to assume ignorance than malice in most situations.

However, it is getting harder and harder to understand how anyone with access to the Internet could be ignorant of Atzmon’s racism.

Firstly, Atzmon’s work is peppered with conspiracy theories, a key componant of anti-Jewish racism.

Next, Atzmon constantly denigrates Jews and Jewish history.

Further, his “criticism” such as they comprise, are aimed squarely at Jews.

In short, any considered review of his work would have to conclude that he is a racist towards Jews.

Now the trite response is that “he is a Jew too, therefore can’t be racist against Jews.”

This line of argument conveniently forgets that it is what you do that confirms the charge of racism or not. Not who you are.

A person’s own ethnicity is a quinary consideration at best.

Rather what is most important is the content of what they say, its relationship to traditional racist imagery and myths, and how its fits in the wider scheme of racist thinking.

If you think a Jew can’t invoke racism against other Jews then ask yourself, can Chris Rock/Eddie Murphy invoke racial imagery when they use old stereotypes of African-Americans? Of course they can.

It it what people do, not their own ethnicity, that defines if their actions are racist or not

Or look at it another way, suppose a woman pushed sexism and sexist imagery, the retort “she can’t be sexist, she’s a woman” would probably be ignored by those keen to absolve Atzmon of racism as nonsense, and rightly so. Anyone can be racist, anyone can be sexist.

Any thoughtful person would have to conclude that such a line of argumentation is woefully inadequate as it does not engage with the content of Atzmon’s racism, which is the real point.

So we are back to those stupid people in Bradford at Raise Your Banner.

I think they should read this great piece by Nick Lowles at HOPE not hate.

Update 1: Over at Lancaster Unity, Atzmon Quotes From BNP Website To Attack Hope Not Hate. I wonder what his defenders at Raise Your Banner think of that?