—Hélène Barthélemy focuses on the criminal justice system, activism and culture.
“Subversive Imaginations,” by Chris Hedges. Guernica, July, 23, 2014.
So much of politics is speaking against, that I sometimes forget what it speaks for. This week was rife with tragedies from Gaza to Ukraine, as well as the usual overflow of indignation caused by the harshness of domestic politics. This beautiful article by Chris Hedges reminds us that emancipatory politics would allow people to be able to enjoy the brevity and marvels of bare living. Speaking about politics in terms of numbers, minimum wage, healthcare and incarceration rates is crucial, but it crowds out "the mysterious incongruities of human existence." From Shakespeare to Native American societies, he reminds us that "a society that loses its respects for the sacred… and severs itself from the power of human imagination ensures its obliteration." Although solitude disappears and culture is commodified, this is something to struggle for. We have to imagine the society we want to live in to then create it. Maybe no one does this better than philosopher Grace Lee Boggs, also interviewed in Guernica this week: as she writes, we must "grow our souls."
—Summer Concepcion focuses on race, gender and criminal justice.
"The Horrifying Women's Rights Injustice that Modern Feminism Forgot," by Raquel Reichard. Mic, July 14, 2014.
Although the feminist community has made great strides in pointing out why women's rights issues matter (see: #YesAllWomen), it is not immune to missing a mark—especially on the issue of forced sterilization of incarcerated women. Writer Raquel Reichard points out that feminist sites such as Jezebel, xoJane and Bustle had essentially non-existent coverage of the issue. Perhaps the inhumanity behind forced sterilizations isn't getting the amount of attention it deserves because it doesn't fit society's ideas of traditional reproductive rights. For modern feminism to fully advocate for all women, it shouldn't fall into the trap of perpetuating the invisibility of inmates. As Reichard puts it, "while a women's right to choose deserves headlines, so, too, does the callous stealing of that right."