But Seriously… (International Women’s Day)

In 2018, the #MeToo hashtag on sexual harassment was one of the top 10 censored topics on China’s popular messaging app, WeChat, according to the University of Hong Kong’s WeChatscope.

Weibo and WeChat also banned China’s most influential feminist social media account, Feminist Voices. Authorities have closed down prominent women’s rights centres. They have also detained students and recent graduates advocating for #MeToo and workers’ rights.

Just as China’s crackdown on women’s rights activism is growing, the global backlash against feminism is likely to intensify, as misogynistic autocrats have been emboldened everywhere, in part by a US president who openly expresses admiration for “strongman” rulers…

Why are authoritarian rulers so threatened by feminism? The subjugation of women is a common feature in virtually all authoritarian regimes.

Putin signed a law in 2017 that partially decriminalised domestic violence in Russia, making it much more difficult for women to report abuse.

In Hungary, the autocratic Prime Minister Viktor Orban has banned gender studies programmes at universities. Putin, Orban and Xi, among others, are fixated on pushing women into more traditional roles in the home and having more babies for the state…

Far too often, women in resistance movements are overlooked by journalists and the narrative revolves around male opposition figures.

Yet more young women in authoritarian states have become fed up with the misogyny in their daily lives, demanding equality, dignity and an end to pervasive gender-based violence.

Young women standing up for their rights pose a growing challenge to male autocrats everywhere – not just in China – which is why authoritarian rulers are so threatened by the prospect of any large-scale women’s movement developing.

Male autocrats see patriarchal authoritarianism as crucial for their political survival, but one of the core demands of feminism – that women should be free to control our own bodies and reproductive lives – is in direct conflict with the coercive, often pronatalist policies of authoritarian states, which see declining birth rates as an existential crisis. And that is exactly what is happening in China…

44 replies
  1. 1
    Adam L Silverman says:

    And this is how business gets done!

  2. 2
    Mike in NC says:

    Dear Leader Donald Trump celebrated International Women’s Day by trying to grab some …

  3. 3
    NotMax says:

    Kinder, Küche, Kirche.

  4. 4
    Jay says:


    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
    Boycotting cookies that teach little girls leadership skills to own the libs 👍🏽 nice job

    I’ll take 10 😉
    9:48 AM · Mar 7, 2019 · Twitter for iPhone


  5. 5

    @NotMax: From the OP:

    pushing women into more traditional roles in the home and having more babies for the state

    Kinder, Küche, Kirche.

    Yeah, I thought the same thing; this sounds familiar.

  6. 6
    Mary G says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’ve watched that about six times today.

    And the FTFNYT actually does some reporting that’s not Trump voters in diners – Democrats all over the country are fired up:

    IOWA CITY — They dragged their friends to see Bernie Sanders in Iowa. In South Carolina, their unrelenting selfie requests made Cory Booker late. And in New Hampshire, so many showed up at a church for an event with Kamala Harris that an overflow crowd had to stand outside in the snow.

    “I’m super overwhelmed by the number of Democratic candidates that have already come out,” Regan Johnson, a 28-year-old from Omaha, said on Thursday in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where Mr. Sanders appeared at the first of three rallies in the state. “Hopefully the excitement continues and we’re able to get a good, viable candidate that can beat Trump.”

    As the already large presidential field grows by the week, the enthusiasm that propelled Democrats to a decisive takeover of the House in the midterms is still surging, driving crowd sizes and intensity typically seen in the days before the first caucuses and primaries, not a year ahead of them. Powered by an almost desperate yearning to oust President Trump, and galvanized by the most diverse field in presidential primary history, Democrats are packing into gymnasiums, churches and exhibition halls to hear candidates speak — even if they are far from committed to supporting the candidate they are showing up to see.

    ETA: sorry, forgot linkie: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/08/us/politics/trump-democrats-2020-election.html

  7. 7
    Aleta says:

    Reposting up here bc it kept getting marked as spam below. Apology to IWD.
    From a NYT article about Judge Ellis’ decision

    The judge had predicted some pushback, but he may not have expected how his decision reverberated around the nation.

    Rachel E. Barkow, a former member of the United States Sentencing Commission, said she had expected Mr. Manafort’s punishment to fall below the guidelines. In fraud cases, the recommended penalty can skyrocket depending on the amount of money involved, she said, leading many judges to opt for a lighter sentence.

    But Judge Ellis cut the punishment far more drastically than she expected, said Ms. Barkow, a law professor at New York University.

    Judge Ellis said the guidelines for Mr. Manafort’s crimes were distorted by a 2017 decision by the Justice Department that increased the recommended punishment for failing to disclose a foreign bank account, which was one of eight counts Mr. Manafort was convicted of after a lengthy jury trial in his courtroom. He also noted that he had sentenced another defendant who had hidden $200 million in overseas accounts and evaded $18 million in taxes to only seven months in prison, plus restitution.

    Greg D. Andres, the lead prosecutor on the case, argued that Mr. Manafort was different because the jury had found him guilty not only of hiding his wealth and evading $6 million in taxes, but also of deceiving banks to obtain millions of dollars in loans. The two bank fraud counts were the most serious charges he was convicted of, each carrying a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

    Mr. Andres also urged Judge Ellis to take the broader picture of Mr. Manafort’s behavior into account, including the crimes he admitted to as part of his plea agreement in a related case in Washington. Mr. Manafort acknowledged he was guilty of 10 other felonies on which the Virginia jury had deadlocked 11 to 1, including several more counts of bank fraud.

    But Judge Ellis seemed to see Mr. Manafort’s case as more strictly about tax evasion. He noted that one fraudulent loan application was never actually approved, and questioned whether Mr. Manafort had in fact intended to cause that bank a loss when he lied to get another loan. “I don’t know that there’s any other way to defraud a bank and not intend it to lose the money,” Mr. Andres replied.

    Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, said Judge Ellis’s sentence seemed strangely light, especially given that the judge denied every objection raised by Mr. Manafort’s lawyers to the sentencing guidelines. “He refuted all of the arguments of the defense, yet ultimately ruled very much in favor of their client,” Mr. Tobias said.

    To the very end, Judge Ellis showed his distaste for special counsels. He said the office of the special counsel … had the authority to prosecute Mr. Manafort, but “that doesn’t mean that I decided the wisdom or appropriateness of delegating to special prosecutors broad powers.”

    Judge Ellis cut off a prosecutor as he tried to explain the special counsel’s position on the appropriate fine for Mr. Manafort, admonishing: “That’s the government’s position. I don’t want to hear special counsel.”

    The defense has played on the judge’s sentiments, insisting that Mr. Manafort has been relentlessly pursued for garden-variety crimes only because of his importance to the special counsel’s inquiry…. On Thursday, Kevin Downing, Mr. Manafort’s lead lawyer, took up that refrain again, repeatedly saying that a local United States attorney’s office would have handled the case differently.

    Few expect [Judge Amy Berman Jackson, in sentencing ] to be influenced by the Virginia judge’s decision. “It’s not her job to use her sentence as a moment to correct what she thinks went wrong in this case,” Ms. Barkow said.

  8. 8
    Kay says:

    This is a novel defense for a Trump criminal:

    Follow Follow @AJHeadtoHead
    Erik Prince responds that the U.S. Congress “got the transcript wrong” when asked why he didn’t tell the House Intel Committee about an Aug 2016 meeting he attended at Trump Tower.

    Add “got the transcript wrong” to the long list of excuses.

    Erik Prince has the exact same arrogant, entitled sneer as Betsy DeVos. The family resemblance is remarkable. You wonder if they’re born with it.

  9. 9
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: Here’s the video embedded. He’s a terrible liar.

  10. 10
    Duane says:

    @Mike in NC: The POTUS is investing in Chinese massage parlors and escort services. That should be the start of a joke not the bizarre reality taking place.

  11. 11
    Brachiator says:

    Why are authoritarian rulers so threatened by feminism?

    Damn good question.

    Authoritarians and others just seem to fear women, period, not just feminism.

  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: Zee mother, tell me about zee mother…

  13. 13
    meander says:

    The ZigZag podcast from Manoush Zomorodi and Jen Poyant (both formerly of WNYC and responsible for Note to Self and more) had an episode about how Blockchain helped women evade censors in China. There were some #MeToo reports that appeared on the Chinese internet, only to be wiped out by censors. Someone came up with the great idea of embedding the story in a Blockchain so that it couldn’t be removed. This tool might be useful for journalists in the future.

  14. 14
    Jay says:


    It’s a mix of heirarchalism, pandering and freedoms.

  15. 15
    Ruckus says:

    Men who can only rule by fear are always afraid of their betters.

  16. 16

    It seems we must conclude that one of the roots of the wave of authoritarianism sweeping the world is threatened masculinity.

  17. 17
    Jay says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    threatened white male patriarchy,…..

    most of these assholes don’t know the first thing about masculinity,

    They are PUAs, MGTOWs, Incels, God Botherers and Nazi’s.

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Brachiator: Feminism threatens the patriarchy, the patriarchy is the status quo, and reactionaries defend the status quo (especially if they are privileged by it) relentlessly.

  19. 19
    Math in PA says:

    Just saw Captain Marvel with my wife and Sister In Law. Tears in a lot of eyes. Cheering– me included, loudly, even– at a number of awesome scenes.

    But I’ve seen here and in other places criticizing the ‘military propaganda’. While I know that the Air Force has been trying to do recruitment off that, it is *not* a military propaganda movie. I can’t explain why without giving away an amazing plot twist that just works on *so many freaking levels* it’s scary, but it is very, very clearly a condemnation of the old MIC (which fits into the other multilevel part of the movie, the core one IMO).

    If you see it, you’ll know very quickly, and it does it in such an incredibly human way, with one amazing line and moment after another.

    “My hands are filthy” is the line to look for; neither apology for nor condemnation of the soldiers, just the empires that use them.

    But– and it resembles our cultural relationship with the Military-Industrial Complex because of course it does– the cues about Yon-Rogg, the Supreme Intelligence and Carol on the one side, and Maria, Monica, and Fury with Carol on the other– tell me that someone in the writing/direction, probably more than one, knows what an abusive relationship looks and sounds like. And wrote some serious fucking catharsis with feels that had the women around me going from moist eyes to fierce warcries.

    Of course, given the number of women involved in the directing and writing, they’d almost have to have one or more who know, probably intimately. Statistics, and all that.

    I’m going to have to watch it again. For both metaphors, because there are so many moments– watching Yon-Rogg with basically ANYONE concerning Carol is… revealing. Very, revealing, and it leaves multiple re-watching hooks open.

  20. 20
    Brachiator says:


    threatened white male patriarchy,…..

    China: not white male patriarchy.

  21. 21
    Sab says:

    @Brachiator: But very much male patriarchy.

  22. 22
    sukabi says:

    @Brachiator: male patriarchy of a different flavor is still male patriarchy.

  23. 23
    sukabi says:

    @Adam L Silverman: they’re ALL terrible liars, which is good. Also frustrating that so damned many terrible liars have been running rampant crime sprees for decades under the protection of the government agencies, or if not directly under gov. then with blinders firmly in place so as not to disrupt the spree.

  24. 24
    Mary G says:

    @Math in PA: Well, I had no plans to see that, but you may have sold me.

  25. 25
    gene108 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Al Jazeera reporters are really good with follow up questions.

  26. 26
    Brachiator says:

    @Math in PA:

    But I’ve seen here and in other places criticizing the ‘military propaganda’.

    I saw this, too, in a couple of reviews and it really caught me off guard.


    I am not a reader of the comics, but I still knew that Captain Marvel is a warrior. Not just a superhero, but a warrior superhero. The movie takes some time to show her with the other Kree and they are clearly a highly specialized special ops force.

    And in her human identity, Captain Marvel is a highly trained military pilot. Not just a person who loves to fly, but a military pilot.

    One critic said that the film was almost as bad as Top Gun in glorifying the military.

    In this case, this stance is pointless and self-defeating.

    ETA. This stuff aside, I really enjoyed the movie. One critic on a podcast said that one of the small character moments she enjoyed was seeing a warm friendship between two women, Captain Marvel and her pilot buddy, Maria Rambeau.

    I wonder if we will see any of these supporting characters again.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    Math in PA says:

    @Mary G: I hope you’ll enjoy it, too. My wife is, if anything, far more fervently politically progressive than I was, and she saw it as a very *human* condemnation of war, and the dehumanizing(1) effects war has on the people caught in the middle of it. Honestly, I have to agree with her: you are set up to believe you’re going to see the classic ra-ra-ra good guys out dealing with The Threats On The Periphery, but from the very beginning, it is very, very firmly telling you that it knows what empires are and what they do. At the same time that — gah, I can’t even explain it without too many spoilers but you’ll see the personal metaphor-thread in the interactions between Yon-Rogg and ‘Vers’ on the train to the Supreme Intelligence terminal– and when they’re doing the establishing shot, there’s a PA-style announcement with this melodic female voice saying, “It has been 120 days since the last Skrull attack.” It is not making that reference to remind us to Never Forget, that’s all I’m going to say about that.

    … man, I just realized that if I’m remembering the order right, they juxtaposed both foreshadowing/outright moments of those threads multiple times.

    @Brachiator: They are teasing Photon/Spectrum so hard with Monica, and my wife and I both adore how they wrote Maria. And Jesus, really, “almost as bad as Top Gun in glorifying the military?” That’s as much in the “Did you SEE the movie or did you just read the pre-release speculation and write the review?” moment as the critic who apparently never even heard of Ant-Man (let alone [long list deleted]) and called Captain Marvel ‘the first Marvel flick with heart.” It does not glorify the military, and it definitely does not glorify imperialism.

    It doesn’t do so mindlessly, and I heard more than a few intakes of breath which made me think that the others in the audience too understood the ‘My hands are filthy’ like, too. I wish I could remember specifically whether it was ‘My hands are filthy, too,” or even just ‘This war has made my hands filthy’ or whatever– it’s nearly midnight and my head is buzzzzzzzzz.

    My wife is bopping around to her Exalted RPG ‘theme music’ google music playtest and adding 90s songs we loved from then with this huge smile on her face. Even if the movie hadn’t had so much soul I’d have expected it to spontaneously open a portal to Vormir, I’d love it for that smile.

    Some of the internet assholes sneer that Brie Larson (who has an immense acting range) looks ‘wooden’ in her acting. But when you realize the sort of relationship Yon-Rogg had with her, and you think about how women in that sort of context _do_ have… Well, as my wife said again– if you watch her expressions, they just get more and more passionate as she starts to cut loose, leading up to that Woo!

  29. 29
    Aleta says:

    Interview with Mary Oliver
    Listening to the World

  30. 30
    Math in PA says:

    Er, playLIST… yes it is bedtime but she’s so beautiful smiling and singing like that. >.>

  31. 31

    Greetings from Tokyo! My watch informs me it’s saturday afternoon.

  32. 32
    guachi says:

    @Math in PA:

    I’m glad you liked it. I was disappointed. Either the ’90s nostalgia wasn’t well-done or I’m clearly not moved by it (probably the latter). I found the CGI to be typically off-putting so it’s not really a negative compared to any other Marvel movie I’ve seen.

    As for the rest of the movie, I didn’t find Carol Danvers appealing as a character and that was probably because of how the story is structured.

    It’s not a bad film. But it is below average and my least favorite Marvel film since Iron Man 2 (though I’ve heard that Thor 2 is typically considered a weaker film, I haven’t seen it).

    When I collected comics, I didn’t buy every issue even as part of their big crossovers. This is one I’d have left on the rack.

  33. 33
    Math in PA says:

    @guachi: I suppose not everyone will like it, and to each their own, etc. I hope we’ll have a chance to talk about it after a reasonable spoiler embargo is over, because I completely disagree with its _quality_ being low by any objective standards; but I’d base that in some pretty spoiler-tastic discussions of the Kree and the Skrull and Carol,so I suppose I’ll just have to wait the month out.

    Er, damn I’m tired, the (1) up there was meant to note that ‘human’ is fully applied to every alien species involved. Well, some cough cough unexpected aliens cough cough may be treated a bit better than human; I posited to my wife & SiL who saw it with us that the little bastard was either a bodyguard or otherwise a cohort of the good doctor– who was stalking the base and waiting patiently for the day to strike. _He_ got the royal treatment, as all his earth-native ilk demand.

  34. 34
    Aleta says:

    Voting matters @BumphBean

    Reality Winner sent to a site NSA info about Russia accessing voting machines & phishing election officials, one felony. She pleaded guilty & got longer than Manafort who thefted millions of dollars from taxes while being paid by foreign entities.

  35. 35
    guachi says:

    My biggest problem with Captain Marvel is how it may effect Avengers: Endgame.

    I am now less excited to see the fourth Avengers movie then I was before I saw Captain Marvel.

    Introducing such a potentially important character this late does not fill me with confidence.

  36. 36
    Aleta says:

    Thomas A. Fine  @thomasafine

    I agree with every woman he’s put on this list, and it should be explicitly added that I follow more women than men for their leadership on Trump-Russia, because there are more women than men doing top-quality work here.

    Scott Stedman @ScottMStedman
    Women that are changing history for the better as we speak:

    and so many others.

  37. 37
    Aleta says:

    fionawatsonart @fionawatsonart
    (‘there is a road, no simple highway, between the dawn and the dark of night’) #gratefuldead #lochvoil #scotland

    fionawatsonart @fionawatsonart
    “The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears or the sea” (Isak Dinesen)
    #soudabeach #crete

  38. 38
    NotMax says:


    the ’90s nostalgia

    This is a thing? Today is Friday. The nineties were, like, Wednesday.

  39. 39

    @NotMax: 80’s nostalgia started around 1995.

  40. 40
  41. 41
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    It’s true; nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.


  42. 42
    satby says:

    Man, slow night?
    I’m up and getting ready to leave for the market. A friend gifted me a bag of pistachio flavored coffee, so I made that this morning.
    Grateful for gifts from friends, and VERY grateful the bag only made one pot 😂.

  43. 43
    NotMax says:


    Sounds more like something to be brewed strong and either added to a cake mix or whisked into chocolate as an ice cream topping.

  44. 44
    Math in PA says:

    @guachi: Her presence would have been a problem in a lot of the earlier movies, to be honest; if Fury had had the time to page her for Sokovia, a lot of the drama would have been lost (and people would have been complaining about trivialized lightspeed a lot earlier, given the timescale). She’s a blockbuster– Fury’s final ace, potentially literally– and fights on even an entirely different level than pre-Ragnarok Thor. And even post-Ragnarok Thor won’t have the same level of experience and practice, even if he’s in her range.

    He may not be. And that’s fine; serial escalation can work. Dr. Strange trumped both Asgardian brothers pretty handily, after all, after coming out of nowhere. Or at least as much nowhere as a character from the late 60s in Carol.

    I’m kind of wondering if some of the elements were backfill or not, but her presence explains why the Nova Corps in GG1 are trying to speak to the Kree Emperor’s representative (or was it him? Gotta rewatch now, like I needed an excuse) rather than the Supreme Intelligence. And Carol’s declaration of intent to pull back the lies would make a good explanation for why the Kree were fighting the Nova Corps at all. There’s other areas, but most of those are either subtler or would require spoilers.

    In terms of timing– we only had one sequel released before Avengers itself, and while Dr. Strange was released two years before Infinity Wars, his part in Ragnarok was barely more than very brief plot device. I think this is a form of advertising as experiment, using the hype and heft from this movie (which it’s getting– on track for a $155-160 mill opening weekend) to see whether or not the demand to KNOW MORE SEE MORE after the midcredits scene will cause an uptick in the combo movie. It’s like they’re trying to see if they can get bingewatching, or a return to the old serials, going. I’m hoping so.

    Additionally, both my spouse and I actually have a lot of renewed interest in Endgame now because of just how wowed we were by Carol (and a certain set of very subtly, realistically done moments of interpersonal interests). I don’t think we’d have been likely to pre-purchase in-theater tickets without the interest from Carol, for example. I’m heavily disabled and the only theater is about 45 minutes away, and the chain has some ties to the worse fundies in the area.

    And yet, I want to reward Marvel for this. For the story, for Carol, for getting back up again and again. So we’ve made our choices and voted with our money.

Comments are closed.