Feature

Gender, sport and capitalism

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The shocking treatment of runner Caster Semenya raises questions about what is “fair” in top level sport, but it should also make us re-examine how girls and women are taught to feel about their bodies, writes Sue Caldwell.

In May the Court for Arbitration in Sports (CAS) ruled that the South African Olympic gold medallist Caster Semenya has an “unfair advantage” when running the 800 metres because of the high level of her naturally occurring testosterone. By their own account the CAS admitted that the ruling is “discriminatory”, but “necessary”. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) welcomed the ruling as a “reasonable and proportionate means of preserving the integrity of female athletes”.

Outrageous imposition

Pick of the summer

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Our writers recommend books, art, music and events for the holidays.

Tim O’Dell

In her novel, An American Marriage, Tayari Jones introduces us to Roy Othaniel Hamilton, a young Southern black man who is doing well. Everything takes a terrifying turn when he is convicted of a rape he didn’t commit. Jones knows that we judge people on how we imagine we’d react, but real life is a bit more complicated. This novel is an exploration of the fragility of black lives in the US. Deserving of its Women’s Prize for Fiction win, it is a great read that will touch you deeply.

The logic of capital online

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Shoshana Zuboff’s new book, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, explores the world of the giant tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon. We all know they collect our data for profitable uses; how deeply does this affect capitalist relations, asks Joseph Choonara.

I was part of the last generation in Britain to experience childhood before the Internet. It still seemed miraculous when, in the mid-1990s, it became possible to browse the Web, using search engines such as Altavista and Lycos — Google being as yet neither a search engine nor a verb.

The Internet had none of the pervasiveness it has today. Mobile phones, for those who had them, were mostly used for phone calls. Beyond my university computer room, going online meant using a dial-up modem with speeds one thousandth of my current connection.

Race, class and identity

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Racial prejudice forces us to define ourselves with categories that it has created writes Yuri Prasad.

Identity is intrinsic to our very being and poses vital questions: who we think we are; what defines us; who we believe we are connected to — and perhaps as importantly, who we are not, and who we do not feel connected to. It’s not hard to see how such notions become intertwined with those of race, community, ethnicity, and nation.

Debating critical Marxism in Cuba today

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In May over 100 people attended an international conference in Cuba discussing the ideas of Leon Trotsky, with the aim of shaking up state–sanctioned “Marxism”. Héctor Puente Sierra reports.

Resistance to imperialism runs through the history of this small Caribbean island. A Spanish colony for nearly four centuries, Cuba was the last Latin American country to win independence, in 1898 — only to become a United States protectorate immediately after. The US held Cuban development back, channelling away the profits of the economy’s chief export, sugar.

May is going, what next for Corbyn?

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Theresa May has announced she's standing down, yet there is still no end in sight for the Brexit debacle. Sally Campbell analyses the European election results and the pressures coming to bear on Corbyn.

Goodbye Theresa. Socialist Review is happy to file you away in the box marked “Tory detritus”. Private Eye’s new issue following May’s announcement that she would be resigning on 7 June features the headline, “Theresa May Memorial Issue: The Prime Minister’s Legacy in Full”, followed by a blank space. But this is far too kind.

The strike that shook Glasgow to the core

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In the final part of her series on women workers in struggle, Jane Hardy talks to women who organised and took part in a successful strike over equal pay.

An explosion of anger from women council workers in Glasgow culminated in a two day strike in October 2018 that closed down the city. The women had run out of patience when the Scottish National Party (SNP) minority council failed to deliver on its promise of rectifying equal pay cases that had lasted over a decade.

From direct action to mass civil disobedience

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The Extinction Rebellion actions over Easter were a remarkable success. Climate activist John Sinha places the tactics of the movement in historical context and XR member Simon Assaf reports from inside the protests.

With its colourful and creative protests and the political background of its founders, Extinction Rebellion (XR) would appear to have a lot in common with previous movements such as Occupy, the Climate Camp and other direct action protest movements.

Certainly the organisers have learned a lot from what went before, but to leave it at that would be to overlook major differences in organisation, objectives, strategy and tactics.

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