“I couldn’t be myself,” or words to that effect: It was written in pencil on a piece of scrap foolscap I found amongst my father‘s papers after he died in 1982. He wrote that sentiment in 1977 when he was working on his memoir. My father’s name was Jim Higgins, and his book is called Fighting for Democracy: a Canadian Activist in Spain’s Civil War. It was not published until 2020.
The most influential queer theorist is Judith Butler an American philosopher who draws heavily upon Foucault and Derrida. Butler’s chief contribution to queer Theory was to question the links between sex – the biological categories of male and female – gender- the behaviours and traits commonly associated with one sex or the other – and sexuality – the nature of sexual desire. Butler claims gender is wholly socially constructed, and developed her most well-known concept: gender performativity. She claims gender roles are taught and learned unwittingly through socialisation – as sets of actions, behaviours, manners, and expectations and people perform these roles accordingly.
If you want to fan the flames of fascism, keep doing things like this, Penn State students!
Several days ago Penn State, a top-ranked U.S. research university, known for its football team and its programs in engineering, business, and marketing, began trending on social media for something entirely different.
The event was to feature Gavin McInnes, cofounder of the right-wing organization Proudboys and comedian, provocateur Alex Stein. Student opinion was very strongly against allowing these individuals to speak, and violent protests developed.
Under postmodernism many ideas that were seen as objectively true came to be seen as mere constructions of language. Foucault refers to them as ‘discourses’ that construct knowledge. Consequently, since discourses are believed to create and maintain oppression, they have to be carefully monitored and deconstructed. This is not some obscure academic issue, it is the outlook that is behind calls for laws to outlaw speech which may cause offense.
In these times, leftists who espouse free speech are like wanderers in the wilderness. The political sands may be swirling so intensely that they are unable to see clearly, but the desert is actually filled with like-minded wanderers, each mistakenly thinking they are alone. That is why it is all the more important to discover and support a site like Redline. Redline is a blog collective in New Zealand that combines original content with a carefully chosen selection of re-posted articles. The content on Redline reinforces a consistent editorial line centered on class, worker rights and feminism, grounded in the materialism of the traditional left and on the principle of free speech.