Gender and Sexuality

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

This panel will lead a discussion around the mental health crisis in America. Topics will include deficiencies in mental health services regarding rural and urban populations, generational concerns, veterans' services, homelessness, wrongful incarceration of diagnosed youth, lack of funding for services, as well as qualified practitoners, and others.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Feminist analysis is crucial for our understanding of male, white supremacist, and imperialist capitalism as a whole. Yet women’s liberation has too often been misunderstood and denigrated by many on the Left. Our speakers will talk about the relationship between feminism and the Left, and why it’s important for Leftists to study feminist theory and history, as well as why feminists should study Marxism. We will examine history, how the feminist movement’s relationship to the Left has evolved, and why a viable revolutionary movement needs to center feminist praxis, and fight to be inclusive of working class women from all backgrounds.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

In this panel and participatory discussion we will explore how Cooperation Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi, and Barcelona en Comu in Barcelona, Spain, have brought social movements directly into elected office to expand the potential of democracy to be truly accountable to the needs of the people - and where we can go from here in our towns and cities. We will take a deeper look at how solidarity economies and worker cooperatives build strength and long term equity in communities of color, highlighted by the Jackson experience, how the battle against inequality and for housing is embedded in local struggles inside and outside the ballot box, as shown in Barcelona, explore how the paradigm shift in municipalism's commitment to feminizing politics underpins the radical nature of the municipalist hypothesis for change, and where we will go next in building a vibrant network of local movements.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

This panel first examines pinkwashing in historical context, looking at efforts to link queer and Zionist organizing from the 1970s-1990s. Then it moves to the present, tracing Islamophobic funders' evolving investments in pinkwashing as a way to recruit queer youth and campus groups *away* from antiracist, anticolonial activism that challenges Israeli apartheid. It covers ways to expose these tactics and support student/youth and queer resistance.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Rank-and-file healthcare workers talk about building resistance on the job and in their unions, organizing the unorganized, the fight for universal healthcare, being a socialist at the workplace, and strategies for a militant new labor movement.

BACKGROUND: For the majority of people in the US, health care is a system in crisis – a landscape marred by subpar services, unequal access, racial inequalities, millions uninsured, rising premiums and soaring debt. This trillion-dollar industry reaps massive profits for hospital execs, insurance corporations, pharmaceuticals and technology firms while patient care facilities get the chopping block and working-class communities struggle with prohibitive costs. In New York City alone, 16 hospitals have been shut down since 2003. Heightened competition, management-by-stress, technological advancements, rapacious profit-mongering, neoliberal policies, and the weakened position of labor unions have led to intolerable conditions for workers and patients.

However, healthcare workers are not taking things lying down. In recent years, nurses have been at the forefront of labor battles and audacious strike actions. The force of healthcare workers – many women, immigrant, of color, and more unionized than other sectors – supported Black Lives Matter, went on strike, fought for better staffing and universal healthcare. Those watching the recent strike wave among teachers have pointed to the strategic importance of the unrest brewing among educational and healthcare workers. Join a discussion with frontline workers who are practicing and exploring what it means to be socialist on the job, in the union, and in a brutal healthcare system.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

From day of his inauguration as president, Donald Trump has faced a broad, multifaceted resistance that ranges from neolliberal Democrats such as Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo, to progressives such as Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Elizabeth Warren, on the one hand to social movements of women, immigrants, labor and antifa on the other. How do we characterize Trump's presidency? How do we view the Resistance? How will all of this impact the midterm elections? And where should we socialists be and what should we do?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Universities today are dominated by notions of identity developed in a broad range of academic disciplines, from subaltern studies to critical race theory to intersectional feminism.

This panel seeks to examine these identity discourses in relation to Marxism and the history of the world proletarian movement. Can we conceive of Marxism as an aggregation of identities? How do Marxism and identity discourses respectively articulate the relation between oppression and exploitation? What are the consequences of the rise of identity discourses on organizational forms, including that of the vanguard Party? Are identity discourses idealist or materialist? Can identity discourses be reconciled with Marxist dialectics? Or do they rather evacuate dialectics in favor of a metaphysics of difference? Is social class an identity? How does Marxism treat various forms of oppression – of women, of nations and national minorities, etc.? Can identity discourses organize a genuine politics? Does Marxism simply aspire to gather diverse particular identities – subjects as they currently exist – in a common state project? Must Marxism incorporate supposedly ‘positive’ non-Marxist ideas in order to periodically ‘update’ itself? Or should the universality of political, military, and organizational line rather be grasped in terms of a summing up of objective history and the revolutionary experiences practiced by the masses on the basis of objective conditions?

The panel will examine identity discourse and Marxism both generally and in the context of communist political mass work in both India and the United States.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Between participation in the labor forces of World War II, growing levels of education, a feminist revolution, and more and more women getting more and more education entering the workforce, women have made a great deal of progress toward equality. Yet sexual harassment, indeed assault persists. Over 40 years ago Susan Brownmiller's critical analysis of the rape culture called attention to the problem, but since there has been little progress, victims have been ignored, silenced, and denied voice. But recent history suggest major changes in the offing, as a number of highly visible male predators have been outed and cast into the spotlight such as Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, Bill Hannity, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and even Donald Trump POTUS. It seems as if a critical mass of victimized women has been reached and women who will no longer suffer in silence, but to speak out, mobilize, and indeed challenge the patriarchal culture of male violence toward women. The saga of Stormy Daniels is part of necessary change in America. The old lines of dominance and subordination crumble as Stormy Daniels, METOO# and the youth cast off their fear, break out of submission and enter the political arena. Will the old lines of power crumble?

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Two films about the rise of the fascist right will be screened, one a ten-minute short "The Battle for the Real", a film that shows how both activists and fascists have used media tools, while calling for an ethical use of platforms, and "Antifa", a 30-minute film about who Antifascists are and how they have fought the racists and misogynists that are taking advantage of the momentum given to them since the campaign and election of Donald Trump to the White House. The screenings will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Daryle Lamont Jenkins, Executive Director of the Philadelphia-based antifascist organization One People's Project, and feature antifascist activists who have been on the frontlines over the past two years.

Description/Abstract of your Event: 

Donald Trump is a threat to the sexual health of the nation. This panel will consider the politics of sex under the growing tyranny of the religious right, a force that now controls the Trump administration as well as many state and local legislations. Trump and his supporters promote a false notion of masculinity – and, thus, femininity. They seek to rationalize abuse, prohibit a woman’s right to an abortion and restrict young-people’s access to contraceptives. Their goal is to deny a woman’s ownership of her own body. Trump and the religious right are being challenged by activists who champion a sexual value system anchored in a belief in the pleasures of age-appropriate, informed consent; they believe in the equality, mutuality, of both participants. It’s the moral order that distinguishes 21st century sexuality. The shift in sexual values is occurring as the “sexual wellness” marketplace – covering everything from sex toys, porn and prostitution to sex-enhancement drugs and medical procedures -- has become a $70-plus billion enterprise.