Gender

Censor censored - MacKinnon law stops friend's Andrea Dworkin book

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A CENSORSHIP LAW praised by feminists has been used to ban books by a leading anti-porn feminist. In February of 1992 the Supreme Court of Canada accepted the legal definition of pornography popularised by the US law professor and feminist anti-porn theorist Catherine MacKinnon. This outlaws material deemed degrading to women.

2 years after X and Workers Solidarity format change

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The democratic "will of the people" is not of major concern to the politicians in Leinster House. Two years ago the pregnant 14 year old at the centre of the 'X' case was prevented from going to England for an abortion. The High Court effectively interned her inside the 26 counties. The Dublin Abortion Information Campaign of which the Workers Solidarity Movement were founder members. called a demonstration.

Student Unions ordered to fund SPUC's anti-choice case - Bigots send for sherrif

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THE FIGHT between SPUC and the student unions over the provision of abortion information has entered a new phase. SPUC's solicitors, are now seeking costs from the student unions for the earlier stages of the case. This is despite the fact that the legal case is ongoing. In fact this is the first time in the history of the Irish state that one party has been awarded legal costs over the other while the case is still being disputed. Talk about impartiality!

The Irish left and the x-case referendum - Where were the vanguard?

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The Irish Left is very small. However history has shown that it is possible to have influence far out of proportion to your numbers. So what strategy did these highly organised groups committed to fighting for womens' liberation adopt.

The history of the Left and the Fight for Women's Liberation

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The struggle for women's liberation has generally been bound up with other, wider social and economic changes. The first written evidence of equality with men being put seriously on the agenda was during the reformation starting in the sixteenth century. This questioning of established religion also bought the questioning of other long held beliefs.

Types of Feminism and Anarchism

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The conservative view of women argues that the sexual division of labour is 'natural' and that woman's role as wife, mother and home-maker is biologically given. They believe, to quote Freud, that "Anatomy is destiny". I am going to look at the different traditions of political thought that have developed to critique this vision of women's role in society. There are broadly speaking, four theories; Liberal Feminism, Traditional Marxism, Radical Feminism and Socialist Feminism. I am going to present these in the historical order that they developed but all these theories are still evident in politics today.

The International Backlash Against Abortion in the 1980's

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In Ireland where our own constituition enshrines such edicts as "Mothers shall not be obliged _ _ _ _ _ to engage in labour to the neglect of therir duties in the home", the battle for abortion rights can seem like a mamouth up hill struggle. However what makes our fight even more difficult is the current onslaught which womens rights, in particular abortion rights are experiencing internationally. Even in those countries where limited abortion rights have been won they are now under constant attack.

Feminism and Anarchism

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Feminism & Anarchism, comrades might wonder why we have chosen this subject for discussion. Due mainly to our involvement in the Repeal the 8th Amendment Campaign we have had to deal with the feminists organised in the 'Womens Coalition' and to adopt a position in relation to their structure and interventions. This involves dealing with the ideology of feminism. Feminism as a philosophy locates the unequal position of women in society in gender terms. Patriarchy - male power and domination over women in every aspect of their lives - is identified as the enemy, the obstacle to womens liberation. Womens oppression is not differentiated in class terms - feminists see all women as oppressed by all men.

Abortion in Ireland - a Historical Perspective to the 1990's

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Abortion was totally illegal in Ireland under all circumstances until the Supreme Court judgement in the "X" case earlier this year, which seems to permit abortion in the extremely limited case of threatened suicide by the mother. The 1861 Offences against the Persons Act states that any person "performing, attempting and or assisting in an abortion is liable to penal servitude for life". Laws such as this on the statute books of other European countries have been relaxed, liberalised or abolished in the face of the general realisation and acknowledgment that women always and everywhere will exert their right to end an unwanted pregnancy. In Ireland powerful reactionary forces have succeeded in not only preventing the liberalisation of laws here on abortion but have gone much further with a constitutional amendment, the 8th Amendment, and a series of court actions which have outlawed the distribution of information on abortion. Ireland is now the only country in the world that actually bans information on abortion. The offensive by the Pro-Life Amendment Campaign (PLAC) against womens' rights in Ireland is part of a world wide offensive against abortion rights. The upholding of Ireland's information ban by the E.C. Court of Justice places the campaign for abortion rights in Ireland in an international context.

Abortion Information is Illegal in Ireland - Review from 1992

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The mainly black cover of this pamphlet showing a drawing of a gagged woman with the words "censored" over her mouth give a graphic first sight into the contents of this pamphlet. A well written and informative document, we are brought through the recent history of Women's Rights in Ireland, in particular a woman's right to control her own fertility. (Review of "Ireland's Abortion Reality - Including a Guide to Abortion Services for Irish Women" by the Cork Abortion Information Campaign (£1.00) )

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