Oppression

Going Backward

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Under neo-liberalism women are only 'liberated' as long as it means equal rights of exploitation and being commodities for the market.

Sometimes I feel I'm going back to the 1950s. There seems to be an endless parade of mostly women in the media telling us that we can't have it all, and that women who choose careers without giving due thought to how and when they will have children will regret it. You really wouldn't be surprised to see a young Doris Day pop up with advice on how to keep your man, or a new game show on how to beat your biological clock.

Gay Rights: Who are the Real Enemies of Liberation?

The bigoted outburst by the magazine of the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association calling Islam a 'barmy doctrine' is the clearest example of the co-option of many in the gay liberation movement into the barmy doctrine of the clash of civilisations.

That homosexuals around the world face oppression on a daily basis is as true of the US and Europe as it is for those living in the Muslim world. Yet, some have chosen to shift the struggle into a racist argument against Islam.

Listening to Western activists speak about 'Islamofascism' and, in the same breath, justify holding the 2006 World Pride in occupied Jerusalem should be a clear indicator. The apartheid wall alone makes a mockery of the pride's slogan of 'Love Without Borders'.

Women on the Front Line: Altered Images

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As the media panic about a 'nation of fatties', Hazel Croft looks at the pressures on women to conform to an ideal shape.

It's hard to pick up a newspaper or watch the TV news without being told that we are all getting too fat. Obesity has become the major health issue in both Britain and the US. Food, diet and body image are political issues. Whether or not we're overweight or get a nutritious diet is not down to our personal quirks of choice or our own culpability when we choose to eat a cream cake rather than an apple. On the contrary, our diet and how we feel about our bodies are intimately bound up with the structures and organisation of the capitalist world we live in.

Mind the (Gender) Gap

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Shocking new figures have put equal pay back on the agenda.

A batch of recent statistics on the role of women in the labour market highlight the fact that widespread discrimination has not gone away - even though women now make up virtually 50 percent of the workforce in Britain. The figures on pay discrimination are particularly scandalous given that it is now more than 30 years since the Equal Pay Act came into force and - despite all the ballyhoo about 'Blair's babes' - there has been hardly any shift in the gender pay gap since New Labour came to power.

Women: Give Us a Break!

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The number of women at work may have reached record levels but they still have a long way to go to achieve equality with men--let alone genuine liberation.

It's a man's world, as the saying, the song and women's direct experience all testify. It shouldn't be, of course. The old imagined world of 'femininity', where women were supposedly put on pedestals, where they waited at the hearth for men to come home, is long gone. Women are expected to work outside the home as well as in it. Their work has expanded at a truly terrifying rate. Around 65 percent of women with dependent children go out to work, including a majority with under 5s.

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